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A Journey Through the Past: Beverly Rycroft’s Debut Novel A Slim, Green Silence

A Slim, Green SilenceUmuzi is excited to present A Slim, Green Silence, the debut novel from accomplished poet Beverly Rycroft:

Constance West is dead. She is floating above her hometown of Scheepersdorp, unsure how long it has been since she died, since the cancer took her. Beneath her are all the people she ever loved: her younger sister Sylvia, her domestic worker Princess, her good friend Alwyn, Bart, her neighbour, Harry, her guardian, her former lover Ivor, and her child, Marianne. Connie doesn’t know why she is back in Scheepersdorp in this spirit form. “All I can tell you,” says the Boatman, who transports her there, “is you will know this thing when you see it. And you must be finished by half past six.”

A Slim, Green Silence is a journey through Connie’s past as she tries to understand why she is back home, and for what purpose. Not just a story about death, this is a tale about living and loving, about friendship and motherhood, loss and hope. Most of all, it is about ordinary people, and their attempts to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical world.

About the author

Beverly Rycroft’s poetry collection Missing won the 2012 Ingrid Jonker Prize for a debut poetry collection. In 2011 she was awarded second prize in the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Competition, and in 2004 she was shortlisted for the Real Writers Short Story Awards. In 2000 she was joint winner of the Femina/Sensa Features competition. She is a graduate of UCT and Wits. A qualified teacher, she has written articles for both local and international magazines. Her poems have appeared in Carapace, New Coin, scrutiny2, New Contrast and the anthology Difficult to Explain, as well as in school textbooks. For the past few years she has assisted in organising the poetry section of the Franschhoek Literary Festival. She lives in Cape Town with her family.

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