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Niq Mhlongo Relates How a Ghost Story Inspired His Latest Novel, Way Back Home

Way Back HomeThe idea for Niq Mhlongo’s new novel, Way Back Home, comes from a ghost story he heard as a young boy growing up in Soweto.

Mhlongo told the Mail & Guardian that the story of Way Back Home had started to take shape in his mind from that early age and that he tried to write it when he bought his first computer in 1999. However, it was only when he gained confidence after the publication of his first two novels, Dog Eat Dog and After Tears, that he started to write it in earnest.

Mhlongo also spoke about his literary influences, saying it was “definitely not JM Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer” who inspired him but that he admires all the writers published in the African Writers Series.

Describe yourself in a sentence

An enigma — I’m like an algebra test that no student passes.

Describe your ideal reader

A boeremeisie in the Republic of Orania, an immigrant shoemaker on the streets of Diepsloot and Soweto, a goat-herder in Nkandla, a tenderpreneur in the Republic of Cape Town and all literature lovers around the world.

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