Ivan Vladislavić’s THE FOLLY is out now in the UK, published by And Other Stories. The novella was originally published twenty years ago, heralding the arrival of a unique and surprising voice in fiction. It was read then as an evocative allegory on the rise and fall of apartheid, but continues to strike new chords, its haunting characters speaking strange truths to our world today. THE FOLLY is published in South Africa by Umuzi and Archipelago published in the US in September, when Ivan Vladislavić was in the country to receive his Windham Campbell Prize for fiction. At a ceremony at Yale University he was awarded one of this year’s nine $150,000 prizes for Fiction, alongside writers Teju Cole, Helon Habila, Geoff Dyer and Edmund de Waal, among others.
On first publication THE FOLLY was hailed by André Brink as being ‘In the tradition of Elias Canetti, a tour de force of the imagination’ and its new edition has already drawn much praise. Nicholas Lezard has picked it as Paperback of the Week in the Guardian and spoken of its ‘fabulistic timelessness’ and other reviewers have described it as follows:
‘THE FOLLY is mysterious, lyrical and wickedly funny — a masterful novel about loving and fearing your neighbour. Ivan Vladislavić is one of the most significant writers working in English today. Everyone should read him.’ — Katie Kitamura
‘The rise and fall of ‘the plan’ at the heart of this potent short novel is as brilliant as it is unsettling. Vladislavić writes with spring-loaded precision about universal dreams and local desolation. A fable for the ages, a parable for our time.’ — Laird Hunt
‘Vladislavić’s cryptic, haunting tale echoes Jorge Luis Borges and David Lynch, drawing readers into its strange depths.’ — Publishers Weekly
'Memorable work that never underplays the unpleasant societal tensions that lie below the surface. … THE FOLLY plays out like a berserk blend of fairy tales, the plays of Samuel Beckett, and the films of Jacques Tati.’ – Tobias Carroll, Electric Lit
In THE FOLLY Mr and Mrs Malgas are going quietly about their lives when an eccentric squatter named Nieuwenhuizen arrives on the vacant plot next door, with a scheme to build an elaborate mansion. Slowly but surely the stranger's charm and persuasive language draws Malgas into "the plan". Grimly humorous and playfully serious, Ivan Vladislavić’s classic first novel is a comic and philosophical masterpiece.
Ivan Vladislavić is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed author of a prestigious body of literary work, published in several international markets. Ivan lives in Johannesburg, where he is a Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand and has won and been shortlisted for South Africa’s most prestigious prizes. His work is included in the GRANTA BOOK OF THE AFRICAN SHORT STORY and Sylph Editions published A LABOUR OF MOLES in the Cahiers Series. His novel DOUBLE NEGATIVE has just been published in Germany by A1 and Osburg have acquired German rights to THE EXPLODED VIEW, for publication in 2016. And Other Stories published his new short story collection 101 DETECTIVES earlier this year.
Read a new short story ‘Catch’ by Ivan on Visual Verse.
Visit Ivan's website.