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Hedley Twidle’s Firepool gets under the skin of South Africa in fresh and unexpected ways

Firepool is a chronicle of South Africa in the ‘second transition’ – one in which the foundations of the post-apartheid settlement are being shaken and questioned in all kinds of ways.

From the complex legacy of artists like Moses Taiwa Molelekwa and JM Coetzee to the #FeesMustFall protests, from the N2 highway to the gnawing uncertainty of our nuclear future, Hedley Twidle treats serious subjects with a sense of playfulness, mischief and imagination.

Deeply personal, and spanning culture, elemental landscape and ideas, Twidle gets under the skin of South Africa in fresh and unexpected ways.

Hedley Twidle is an essayist of rare brilliance. His reach is remarkable. Whatever subject he touches, his writing is always luminous, astute and often darkly funny. – Rob Nixon

Hedley Twidle’s work is exquisitely crafted, clever, self-deprecating, and, above all, deeply thoughtful. We are lucky to have a writer of his calibre working on contemporary South African material. – Johnny Steinberg

Hedley Twidle is a writer, teacher and scholar based at UCT. He was born in Johannesburg and studied in KwaZulu-Natal, Oxford and York. Much of his current work concerns life-writing, non-fiction narrative and the essay in the 21st century. He writes regularly for publications like The New Statesman, Financial Times and Mail & Guardian.

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