For March we reached out to renown writer, president emeritus of PEN South Africa and a member of the executive board of PEN International, Margie Orford to ask for his reading suggestions to young writers and why she picked them.  

 

1. Chınua Achebe /Thıngs Fall Apart

(1958) (a line from a poem by WB Yeats) (Nigerian)

“This classic novel tells of pre-colonial life and then the arrival of Europeans in south-eastern Nigeria in the 19th century, thus revealing the experiences and struggles of people whose lives were altered completely by colonialism”


   

  

Image result for NERVOUS CONDITIONS original title

2. Tsitsi Dangarembga/ Nervous Condıtıons

       (1988) (Zimbabwean)

“This wonderful novel tells the story of Tambu, a young Zimbabwean girl, who is determined to be educated despite the patriarchal society she lives in – a universal story about the courage and determination of women to find their voice and tell their stories.”

 

3. Toni Morrison / Beloved

(American)

“One of the greatest writers of our time, lays bare the inhumanity of slavery – Morrison creates an unforgettable world despite the attempt to erase the experiences of enslaved people. You cannot understand the United States without reading this book.”

 

 

4. John Maxwell Coetzee / Waıtıng For The Barbarıans

(a line from a poem by Kavafy) by JM Coetzee (South African)

“Is a masterful book about a tyrannical and paranoid regime and the cruelty it visits on its citizens. A parable for our times.”

 

Out Stealing Horses5. Per Petterson /Out Stealıng Horses

(Norwegian)

“Is my favourite coming of age story. It made me understand the connection between a son and his silent and absent father and the language is exquisite – simple and yet devastating. The lesson for any writer is that saying less always makes the reader feel more.”

 

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