Manu Joseph & George Makana Clark up for Newton First Book Award, both to appear at Edinburgh Book Festival


Manu Joseph and George Makana Clark are both appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year, and their debut novels - Manu's SERIOUS MEN and George's THE RAW MAN - are both up for the Newton First Book Award, for which readers can vote here.

Manu Joseph's event at the Edinburgh Festival will take place on Thursday 25 August (7-8:15pm). Please click here for more information on the event and here for more information about the author.

George Makana Clark's event at the Edinburgh Festival will take place on Monday 15 August (3.30-4.30pm) and he will also be reading at the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers series right afterwards. Please click here for more information on the event and here for more information about the author.

PRAISE for Manu Joseph

'One of the strongest debuts of 2010, this bittersweet Mumbai tale of high minds and low plots [is] more Lucky Jim than White Tiger…. Touching, hilarious, this collision between the Mumbai of stars and of mud rediscovers a deep Indian vein of humane and sophisticated comedy.' -- Independent

'Manu Joseph shows how petty jealousies in India can motivate and divide as surely as major societal differences. His skills as a writer are tremendous - he invests even the most ordinary interactions with keenly observed human quirks, and almost every sentence is a joy to read for its ingeniously constructed language. This is a compellingly entertaining novel - witty, subversive, extraordinarily perceptive, deliciously wicked.' -- Manil Suri, author of THE DEATH OF VISHNU
'The finest comic novelists know that a small world can illuminate a culture and an age. With this funny-sad debut, Joseph does just that for surging, fractious India.' -- Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Manu Joseph's satirical tale of an ostensibly new India still in thrall to its caste-ridden and sexist traditions is so much more than a mere comic caper.' -- Catherine Taylor, The Guardian

'Manu Joseph's first novel elegantly describes collisions with an unyielding status quo, ably counterpointing the frustrations of the powerless with the unfulfilling realities of power. With this astute comedy of manners he makes a convincing bid for his own recognition as a novelist of serious talent, the latest addition to a roster of Indian writers who are creating fine literary art from their country's fearsome contradictions.' -- Peter Carty, Independent

PRAISE for George Makana Clark

'Once the reader has gone past the first chapter - no, the first page - his chances of putting down the book are small: a story-ghost prowls the halls of this book, dragging the reader through its 12 doors, never letting go until the tale is told. It oscillates between realism, fantasy, folk tale, mythology and history...The main only a quarter black...but his soul is 100% African, and a sense of his mystical connection to the land is one of the things that lends THE RAW MAN its power. He is a blood reader, an art inherited from his Xhosa grandmother...Makana Clark seems to be saying that the true essence of a man, his true story, is more than skin deep; it resides in the blood...Makana Clark has been compared to Coetzee and Conrad...His publishers claim "THE RAW MAN is a revelatory work of fiction, and one that is impossible to forget." It is.' -- Helon Habila, The Guardian

'THE RAW MAN is an extraordinary novel, and a work of rare conception, bringing together, within one individual, the painfully conflicted history of southern Africa.' -- Brian Chikwava, author of HARARE NORTH

'George Makana Clark's THE RAW MAN is a doozy of a debut, unapologetically ambitious and suffused with a rare emotional intensity…Makana Clark creates a narrative voice of hallucinatory power and endless playfulness, even in the midst of horror.' -- Booktrust

'We are taken on this journey in chapters that could stand alone as stories. These smaller tales seem to reflect a cultural heritage, passing on tradition and history through folklore imbued with symbolism and the supernatural. This folklore expands outwards, stories enclosing stories, until it is finally encapsulated in something that we could call a novel. The book therefore symbolises not only the struggle for the identity of a single man, but also of a people faced with the collision between Western colonial traditions and their own cultural heritage. [H]is story builds such a complex web with its own symbols…At any rate, this is a fantastically imaginative and enjoyable book to read.' -- Ben Carson, Think Africa Press