David Albertyn

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David Albertyn

Goodreads Author


Born
Durban, South Africa
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August 2018

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David Albertyn (1983) was born in Durban, South Africa, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. He studied at Queen’s University and the Humber School for Writers, and coached tennis until the publication of his first novel, “Undercard” (2019), which was a finalist for the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award. It also made 49th Shelf’s Top Fiction List of 2019 and CrimeReads’ list of “8 Debut Novels You Should Read This June” (2020). Among many sports, he primarily competed in track and field growing up, then in tennis as an adult. When he completes a draft of a novel, he does as much yoga and running in nature as he can, promptly burns out, and as soon as he’s recovered, it’s time to work on a new draft. His goal is to write visceral novels that are ...more

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David Albertyn The best thing about being a writer is when you're reading over your work and a line jumps out at you that you forgot you wrote. And you're moved by y…moreThe best thing about being a writer is when you're reading over your work and a line jumps out at you that you forgot you wrote. And you're moved by your own line, as if it was someone else's. It's a wonderful feeling.(less)
David Albertyn Wow, what a great question! This requires some thought:

- Details: Lynn Coady: I'll start with Canadian writer Lynn Coady for details. She can craft a …more
Wow, what a great question! This requires some thought:

- Details: Lynn Coady: I'll start with Canadian writer Lynn Coady for details. She can craft a subtle but evocative detail here and there that paints such a full picture and provides real insight into a place, person, or situation.
- Character: Leo Tolstoy: for character sketches, I would hire Tolstoy. He has the incredible ability of illuminating a character, where at the end of the character sketch, you as the reader think, yes, I know exactly this person. I've met this exact sort of person before and he captured them perfectly. Not only does Tolstoy pull this off for one or two characters, but for countless different types of characters.
- Humour/Satire: Paul Beatty: for humour and satire I would choose the scathing wit of Paul Beatty. He is both incisive and funny, such an effective combination.
- Descriptions: Jane Austen: Austen writes so beautifully, with such care and attention to detail, that you feel you're right there with her characters in the English countryside.
- World Building: J.R.R. Tolkien: for me there is only one choice on this one - even though there are so many great world builders out there (maybe I can find another subject for Ursula Le Guin) - Tolkien takes you to another world, and in so doing makes the world we are in seem so much richer and more magical.
- Dialogue: William Shakespeare: took the easy choice on this one, but how can you turn him down for dialogue?
- Plot: Michael Crichton: just so many imaginative ideas, which sparked my imagination growing up to such a degree. Whatever Crichton's shortcomings, original, dynamic plots was not one of them.
- Action: Virgil: I was amazed when I read The Aeneid of how immediate was the action, for something written in ancient times and long before the advent of film, as the action feels so filmic. There are scenes in The Aeneid that are so thrilling, epic, and cataclysmic that I was stunned. I could see it in my mind's eye as sure as if I was watching the most riveting action scenes in a film.
- Tension: Haruki Murakami: Murakami has an amazing ability to generate foreboding without that much going on, nor that much that is necessarily menacing happening, and yet the reader feels such a sense of menace. A quiet, intangible fear and anxiety closes in from the corners - really a special quality to attain in one's work.
- Theme: Sophocles: in Oedipus Rex, Sophocles works theme to perfection, unravelling strands in real time over the course of one afternoon that tie together so beautifully and (unfortunately for Oedipus) horrifically.
- Voice: Edward P. Jones: he has a style that really influenced me, where he moves seamlessly between past, present, and future while a story moves forward chronologically. I've read writers who have done something similar, but never quite in the way Jones pulls it off. There is also a grittiness and toughness to his characters and language, and at the same time an incredible warmth and empathy for those characters. I just found it an incredible voice that I would love to be able to emulate (am still trying on that one, haha).
- Wonder: Ursula Le Guin: I managed to get her in :-) The fantasy I respond to the most are the works with a sense of wonder. Where the magnificence and power of the natural world is shown to be beautiful, at times unknowable, and most of all magical. I feel that Le Guin does this to such a high level. I feel that I have been on the seas with Ged in a little boat, watching the light fade on a far horizon.

So these are some of the instructors and subjects I would definitely choose. But with so many magnificent writers and different aspects to writing, one could surely pick a variety of alternatives. Great question!(less)
Average rating: 4.34 · 111 ratings · 62 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Undercard

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Grow Together

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What is Good Writing and How to Achieve It

It's the question that is so often asked by writers, readers, editors and agents: what exactly is good writing? Beyond simply adequate vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, stylistic techniques, and so on, what makes a book—and in this context a book of fiction—well written? I have often heard people in the industry say, you can't exactly pinpoint what good writing is, you just feel it. I feel Read more of this blog post »
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Published on August 16, 2020 13:40 Tags: writing-advice

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David Albertyn is now friends with Gail Porter
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The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
" Great review! Sounds very compelling. "
David Albertyn and 77 other people liked Carolyn Walsh's review of The Good Sister:
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
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I wish to express my sincere thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of The Good Sister in return for an honest review. This was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be a routine mystery with some twists and turns" Read more of this review »
Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
"I don't think I've ever felt as seen in the world, as I have while reading this book. Sharing so many characteristics with the main character Kara: growing up a young, black, second-generation Jamaican teen in a priority Toronto neighbourhood, it wa" Read more of this review »
Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
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Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
Frying Plantain
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I am actually from the neighbourhood in Toronto where this collection of short stories is set, and it was quite an experience for me to read it. While the perspective is obviously different to mine, it reminded me so much of my childhood. It revived ...more
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Things that Can and Cannot Be Said by Arundhati Roy
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I enjoyed and found value in this short book of interviews, conversations, and essays. Firstly, I had not read Arundhati Roy before, and I'm very glad I've now been introduced to her writing, and plan on reading her more famous works when I get a cha ...more
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“Antoine knows it is imperative that he wins. But he cannot remember why. Everything before this fight has faded into a distant and irretrievable past.”
David Albertyn, Undercard

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“If you don't like someone's story, write your own.”
Chinua Achebe

“The bottom line of the Dune trilogy is: beware of heroes. Much better [to] rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes.”
Frank Herbert

“Antoine knows it is imperative that he wins. But he cannot remember why. Everything before this fight has faded into a distant and irretrievable past.”
David Albertyn, Undercard

“… and there was much blood, many motherless, many maimed legs, many broken homes and all because a few hungry souls sick with greed wanted everything for themselves. They took the virtues that arise from that as true virtues of the human heart. They practised charity, pity; they even made laws and rules of good conduct for those they had made motherless, for those they had driven into the streets. Tell me … would we need pity, charity, generosity, kindness if there were no poor and miserable to pity and be kind to?”
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Petals of Blood

“Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.”
Frank Herbert




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