How green lion came to be

In the run-up to the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, the Sunday Times (SA) has published an extract from Green Lion, and I briefly discuss the “spark” that brought the novel into being.

Green Lion was written at a time when I was very preoccupied, because of family circumstances, with ageing, mortality and the attempt to rescue what we love from time and oblivion. These old dilemmas are intertwined with the anxiety of environmental change, and are ultimately what drive Con’s hopeless pursuit of Sekhmet, his beloved, impossible, soon-to-be-gone-from-this-world lioness.

The Barry Ronge Prize, which awards “outstanding contributions in fiction”, is the fiction component of the The Sunday Times Literary Awards, South Africa’s most prestigious literary accolade. According to books editor Jennifer Platt, the shortlist represents “books of quality, that take the temperature and pulse of the nation”. Read more about this year’s shortlist here.

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