Ivan Vladislavić's new novel DOUBLE NEGATIVE
wins the English category of the 2011 M-Net Award. In their 20th year,
the awards count as among South Africa's most prestigious, and are
awarded in four language categories - English, Afrikaans, Nguni and
Sotho - and a "film" category, for a novel showing the greatest promise
for translation into a visual medium.
This year's other winners are:
Afrikaans category: Die benederyk by Ingrid Winterbach (Human & Rousseau)
Nguni category: Inkululeko Isentabeni by Ncedile Saule (Hibbard Publishers)
Sotho category: Lehutso by KJ Sekele (Hibbard Publishers)
Film category: Happiness is a Four-letter Word by Cynthia Jele (Kwela)
Ivan Vladislavić's DOUBLE NEGATIVE is published as a standalone novel in South Africa by Umuzi. In DOUBLE NEGATIVE apartheid-era university drop-out Neville Lister is in danger, his father thinks, of 'falling in with the wrong crowd' and so is sent to eminent photographer Saul Auerbach - 'a man of strong convictions, but who has learned to direct them' - to gain some sense of perspective and direction. And so begins a delicate, funny and beautifully written exploration of the art of depiction, of the haunting power of photographs - those 'odd little memorials that owe so much to chance and intuition'. In three sections - 'Available Light', 'Dead Letters', and 'Small Talk' - this spare yet memorable novel tracks the changing city of Johannesburg and Neville's path to career success - though that first day and what they saw, and what Saul Auerbach photographed then, are things he will never forget. DOUBLE NEGATIVE is a brilliant meditation on our ways of seeing and recording, on how and what we remember, and the art of being lost.
Praise for Ivan Vladislavić
'One of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today.' -- André Brink
'Vladislavić is without doubt the most significant writer in South Africa today.' -- Focus on Africa
'Vladislavić is a rare, brilliant writer.' -- Sunday Times (SA)