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Read an Excerpt from the Winner of the 2014/2015 UJ Main Prize: Rachel’s Blue by Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda

Rachel’s BlueRead an excerpt from Zakes Mda’s latest novel Rachel’s Blue, which was recently announced as the winner of the 2014/2015 University of Johannesburg Main Prize.

The UJ Prizes are awarded annually to the two writers of “the best original creative South African work (fiction or non-fiction) in English published in the previous calendar year” – in “debut” and “main” categories.

Penny Busetto was awarded this year’s UJ Debut Prize for her debut novel, The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself.

Rachel’s Blue is set in a small town in Ohio, United States, focusing on the complexity of human relationships and the stifling nature of a small-town community. The novel asks the terrifying question: What paternal rights does the rapist have, if any?

Eckard Smuts writes in his review: “One of the novel’s strongest accomplishments is the ease with which Mda has transplanted his sensitivity to such issues – and to their human impact – from the more familiar South African setting of his earlier work to the apparently fertile grounds of the American Midwest.”

Read the first chapter:

First Chapter of Rachel's Blue by Zakes Mda by Books LIVE


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