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First South African review of ‘The Savage Hour’

Book Review - The Savage Hour by Elaine Proctor - Elaine is a South African who has lived abroad for decades. Her debut a few years ago, Rhumba, about a Congolese immigrant searching for his lost mother in London was excellent. The Savage Hour (just released) is an intense and beautifully written work of South African literature. It is the the story of the platteland death of a ageing Afrikaans matriarch, a farm doctor. The complex and meticulously constructed narrative describes the events preceding this death, the people touched by it, and the efforts of a lonely gay Afrikaans detective to solve it.  At its core a beautifully multi-layered story of the indignities and diminishments of old age and dementia, and sensitively excavates the deeper subjects of family, loyalty, dying, loss, forgiveness, mercy and retribution. Within it live some of the richest characters I have read in a long time, and there are a number of parallel stories underneath the main narrative that serve to construct a complex and deeply satisfying meditation on the weighty matters of being human. The book is deeply moving throughout, and the language is at times so startling that I reread sections just for the pleasure of the way Proctor combines words and ideas. This book is, at least for my money, at front of the pack for next year’s awards season. Beware though, there are scenes of almost unbearable sadness in this book. Highest recommendation. Boykey Sidley

TEDx talking with the help of the great Cartier Bresson.

How stories build communities: Elaine Proctor at TEDxASL ↘
hkapstein asked: Dear Ms Proctor, I'm an academic based in New York who works primarily on South African literature and culture. I would like to be able to write about On the Wire but I can't track down a copy of the film, and nor can my college's library. I wonder if there's any way you can provide me or my institution with a copy or if you can direct me to someone who can? Most appreciatively, Helen Kapstein

Dear Helen, thank you for your interest in ‘On The Wire’.  There is a copy at the National Film and Television School to the best of my knowledge.  If you email Laura Lundy <llundy@nfts.co.uk> she will be able to direct you to the right archive person.  If you have any trouble please get back in touch with me.  I have a copy I can send.  Yours,  Elaine 

mdumonceaux asked: Hello. My name is Manon and I study at UCL (the french-speaking Louvain university, in Belgium). This academic year, I am following a course on 'Congo literature' for which I have read Rhumba. I will be working with another student on your book (which we both appreciated, by the way) and we were wondering if we could ask you some questions about it for our paper. It would be great if you were up for it. I wanted to send you my email address but apparently I can't. Hoping to hear from you soon.M

Hello Manon, forgive me for taking so long to answer you.  Strangely, I only just became aware of it.  I’d be happy to answer your questions if it is not too late. My email is elainepb@mac.com

The Paperback edition of RHUMBA is being published in a couple of weeks and we made this to help it on its way.

Interview for the BBC ↘

This is a sort of profile interview I did for BBC radio last week.  So enjoyed talking to the interviewer. 

Just back from a blissful 3 days at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.  Shared a panel with Tom Benn (The Doll Princess).  It was invigorating and bold and reassuring.  Edinburgh the city unspeakably lovely.  My daughter Lucia came with me and enriched it immeasurably.  Late, late nights and much unexpected joy.  Divine.

Just back from a blissful 3 days at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.  Shared a panel with Tom Benn (The Doll Princess).  It was invigorating and bold and reassuring.  Edinburgh the city unspeakably lovely.  My daughter Lucia came with me and enriched it immeasurably.  Late, late nights and much unexpected joy.  Divine.

Love this paper&#8230;!

Love this paper…!

Review in the Financial Times

 http://www.fm.co.za/fm/2012/07/05/book-rhumba

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