Zakes Mda will be in South Africa in February to talk about his striking new novel LITTLE SUNS. Among other events, he’ll take part in a discussion with Nakhane Touré as part of the Literary Crossroads series at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg on 9 February, sure to be a fascinating and lively evening.
LITTLE SUNS begins in 1903. A lame and frail Malangana – 'Little Suns' – searches for his beloved Mthwakazi after many lonely years spent in Lesotho. Mthwakazi was the young woman he had fallen in love with twenty years earlier, before the assassination of Hamilton Hope ripped the two of them apart.
Intertwined with Malangana's story, is the account of Hamilton Hope – a colonial magistrate who, in the late nineteenth century, was undermining the local kingdoms of the Eastern Cape in order to bring them under the control of the British. It was he who wanted to coerce Malangana’s king and his people, the amaMpondomise, into joining his battle – a scheme Malangana’s conscience could not allow.
Zakes Mda's fine new novel LITTLE SUNS weaves the true events surrounding the death of Magistrate Hope into a memorable story of love and perseverance that transcends exile and strife.
Zakes Mda’s previous novel RACHEL’S BLUE won the University of Johannesburg Prize 2014, and you can learn more about that and read the first chapter of the novel here. It is published in South Africa by Kwela, and Seagull Press will bring out an edition for the UK and the US in February.
Zakes Mda was born Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni Mda in the Eastern Cape in 1948. He spent his early childhood in Soweto and finished his school education in Lesotho, where he joined his father in exile. His forebears were also exiled from Qumbu to Lesotho after the assassination of Hamilton Hope. Mda has studied and worked in South Africa, Lesotho, the United Kingdom and the United States, and is a prolific writer of plays, novels, poems, and articles for academic journals and newspapers. His creative work includes paintings, and theatre and film productions and several of his novels like WAYS OF DYING and THE HEART OF REDNESS are much-loved South African classics. His memoir SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID was published by FSG in the US and Penguin in South Africa in 2011.
Zakes Mda is a recipient of South Africa’s Order of Ikhamanga and is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University’s Department of English.
Zakes also has a great following on social media – you can join his +77,000 followers here.