Seagull Press have published Zakes Mda’s RACHEL’S BLUE in a beautiful hardback edition, available now across North America, the UK, India and other English language markets outside South Africa (where Kwela’s edition is available). The novel was longlisted for the 2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award and in South Africa it won the University of Johannesburg Prize.

RACHEL’S BLUE is set in Athens, Ohio, and deals with the story of old high school friends Rachel Boucher and Jason de Klerk who reconnect­ and rekindle a relationship that quickly becomes passionate. Initially, all seems well. But then Rachel meets someone else. Jason’s anger boils over into violence—violence that turns the community on its head, pitting friends and neighbours against one another. And all this happens before Rachel realizes she’s pregnant.

The novel was written as a response to the legal situation that persists in many US states today – that the father of a child conceived from rape can claim the same paternity rights as any father. Although RACHEL’S BLUE is set in Athens County, Ohio, many of the issues raised in the book are familiar to South Africa and reviewer Eckard Smuts wrote on SlipNet that “one of the novel’s strongest accomplishments is the ease with which Mda has transplanted his sensitivity to such issues – and to their human impact – from the more familiar South African setting of his earlier work to the apparently fertile grounds of the American Midwest.”

Zakes Mda has just completed a very busy and successful tour in South Africa to promote his latest novel LITTLE SUNS, published in South Africa by Penguin Random House’s Umuzi imprint.

Follow Zakes Mda on Twitter: @ZakesMda

About the author

Zakes Mda is the author of the much loved classics of South African literature WAYS OF DYING and THE HEART OF REDNESS, among many others. He was born in the Eastern Cape, but spent his early childhood in Soweto, finishing his school education in Lesotho. He is a prolific writer of novels, plays, poems and articles for academic journals and newspapers, and his writing has been translated into twenty languages. His creative work also includes painting, and theatre and film productions. Mda is a recipient of South Africa’s Order of Ikhamanga. He is based in Athens, Ohio, where he spends his time writing and teaching.

Praise for Zakes Mda

‘Mda writes from the inside with a rare combination of passion and truth that will connect with readers everywhere.’ – Booklist

‘A voice for which one should feel not only affection but admiration.’ – New York Times

‘Zakes Mda is among the most acclaimed exponents of a new artistic freedom. His fiction has a beguiling lyricism and humour.’ – The Guardian