Unnamed Press are to launch South African writer Henrietta Rose-Innes in the US in November 2016, with an East Coast tour for the author alongside publication of her prize-winning novel NINEVEH. NINEVEH is also published in French by Editions Zoe and in Spanish by Almadia in Mexico.
Originally published in South Africa by Umuzi, NINEVEH was described in Pornokitsch as ‘part Gothic, part mystery, all amazing and in the Mail and Guardian as ‘relentless and perfect’. KD, the central character of NINEVEH, is a woman with unusual skills. She learned everything about pest extermination from her father, but has instead become a specialist in the humane relocation of vermin; a “caterpillar wrangler”. Dressed in her toxic-green overalls, she’s a friend to the rats, birds, spiders, snakes and baboons that stray into the human world. Her job makes her hyper-aware of the shifting topography of Cape Town: the neglected corners of the city where displaced creatures – human and otherwise – make their homes, the churn of demolition and development.
Indeed, a new construction project is literally shaking the foundations of KD’s house, but, as the walls crack, other more intimate and disturbing forces are about to muscle into her life … You can read an extract here.
Olivia Taylor Smith of Unnamed Press says: ‘We are thrilled to be publishing Henrietta Rose-Innes in the United States and the novel NINEVEH in particular. Rose-Innes has the remarkable ability to create worlds that are lush, vivid, and endlessly fascinating, entire ecosystems and hidden communities that are buzzing with life. This is an absorbing, in every sense of the word, gothic novel for the 21st Century exploring both human relationships and the environment with grace and wit.’
‘I'm delighted to have found a home on Unnamed Press's exciting list,’ says Henrietta, ‘ – and very happy that NINEVEH's beasts and beetles will be swarming across the US soon.’
Henrietta is the author of four novels and one book of short stories. She was winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2008 (for which she was shortlisted in 2007), the PEN Short Story Prize 2007, and awarded the Runner-Up prize for her short story 'Sanctuary' at the BBC International Short Story Awards 2012. Her novel, NINEVEH, was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Fiction Prize (South Africa), the M-Net Prize 2012 and won the Francois Sommer Literary Prize in France.
She has degrees in archaeology and biology and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town and is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. For more information on Henrietta, please visit her website.
More praise for NINEVEH:
‘A gripping allegory … executed with wit, panache, and precision.’ – Neel Mukherjee
‘A tragi-comic psychological thriller … an original work of elegant writing that looks set to cement her status as one of South Africa’s more promising writers.’ – Jonathan Amid, SLiPNet
‘This multidimensional novel recalls Italo Calvino's beautiful, challenging and descriptive novel, INVISIBLE CITIES ... Such delicacy is evident in NINEVEH, where the architecture is finely spun, amid the ugliness of urban life...’ – Maureen Isaacson, Sunday Independent
Praise for Henrietta Rose-Innes:
‘Henrietta Rose-Innes writes an admirably taut, clean prose…A welcome addition to the new South African literature.’ – J.M. Coetzee
‘Rose-Innes’s writing is as entertaining as it is subtle – a rare combination.’ – Steven Amsterdam
'Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.' – Leon de Kock, Sunday Times
Follow Henrietta on Twitter: @HenriettaRI