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Retired Challenges > March - April Author of the Month (Zakes Mda)

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message 1: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12633 comments Mod
For the months of March - April is.....

Zakes Mda

Here you can say what you are reading and if you are enjoying it, etc.


message 2: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Schaller | 2 comments I am curious as to who has read Mda's earlier books such as Heart of Redness and Ways of Dying as well as one of his recent books, specifically Rachel's Blue and what did you think of how Mda's style has changed.

I recently lent Rachel's Blue to a friend who, having only read Heart of Redness, said he could not believe it was the same author.


message 3: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12633 comments Mod
I have never read any books by Mda. Think I'm going to try The Sculptors of Mapungubwe by Zakes Mda ! I'm a little bit concerned because I'm very nit-picky when I read books about topics I know A LOT about. But I think it could also turn out amazing :)


message 4: by Molebatsi (new)

Molebatsi (momasedi) | 3 comments I have read the following of Zakes Mda's books:
1. Sometimes There is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider
2. Black Diamond
3. The Sculptors of Mapungubwe
I am now reading his Little Suns. After Little Suns I plan to read the remaining titles. His memoir gave me an insight of his life, his art and writing. I loved the immediacy of Black Diamond and how he weaves history in The Sculptors of Mapungubwe and Little Suns


message 5: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 2046 comments Mod
I have read:
Sometimes there is a Void – Memoirs of an Outsider. I found his description of their life in exile in Lesotho very interesting and I'd love to know more about his father. His name keeps popping up in any early ANC history and he sounds like a fascinating person.

I've also read The Heart of Redness and Ways of Dying. It's a very interesting comment that his writing style has changed substantially over time. I've read excerpts of Rachel's Blue and it felt very different to the other two books.

I'm slowly reading my way through his works so The Madonna of Excelsior is next on my list. I wanted to attend the launch of Little Suns at Love Books a few weeks ago, but was sick at the time. He's a wonderful speaker (and not afraid to speak his mind!) which comes across in his autobiography.


message 6: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Schaller | 2 comments Does anyone have the experience when reading Mda, that the first two dozen or so pages are not very enticing to read through, and then suddenly something that I can't identify changes and you struggle to put the book down?


message 7: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12633 comments Mod
Still have to read my first Mda book. Will let you know!


message 8: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 2046 comments Mod
Leigh wrote: "Does anyone have the experience when reading Mda, that the first two dozen or so pages are not very enticing to read through, and then suddenly something that I can't identify changes and you strug..."

Yes, I've definitely had that experience with him. It takes a while to understand the characters and the language and then suddenly it all comes together and you just have to keep on reading.


message 9: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12633 comments Mod
I forgot to post. I finished The Sculptors of Mapungubwe and it was amazing! So well researched and imagined. I didn't find one problem with the history and most things are supported by archaeology and where not, they are very probable. I will definitely read another book by Zakes Mda!

Anyone else read it?


message 10: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 2046 comments Mod
I've been meaning to read it for ages. I heard an interview with him when it was launched and it just sounded fascinating.

I found The Heart of Redness initially fairly hard going, but I am so glad I persevered with it since it bought that whole part of Xhosa history alive to me and I have stumbled on references to it regularly since I read the book. He seems to have a knack to take these bits of history and translate it to modern readers in a very relevant fashion.


message 11: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12633 comments Mod
I don't think you will be disappointed!

Ooooh I need to put that on my tbr list then :)


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