KWT writer’s debut novel hits shelves

King William’s Town-born author Masande Ntshanga and winner of the PEN International New Voices Award 2013 has released his first novel titled The Reactive.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Ntshanga, 28, said the novel centred on three friends who sold ARVs illegally in Cape Town.

“Then below that runs the story of Lindanathi, the protagonist, who feels both guilty as well as mournful over the death of his younger brother.

“He has turned his back on his family when a message reminds him of home, he is then faced with the decision to continue his life in Cape Town or return to his family,” said Ntshanga, adding that secrecy, substance-abuse, family and redemption were themes that ran throughout the novel. He said the book was conceived during a time of not only personal difficulty, “but one in which I became increasingly receptive to the difficulties of those around me”.

“ ... it took around a year to write, and then another to revise and prepare for publication,” he said.

Ntshanga, who has an English honours degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT), has worked as a music and film journalist.

He has also contributed to Rolling Stone South Africa and spent some time in Boston on a Fulbright scholarship, researching African literature.

The novel was published by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

It is available at all major bookstores across the country at R180. It’s also available as an ebook on Amazon. —


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