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Umuzi

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From Durban to Dublin: Doomed Relationships in ZP Dala’s Debut Novel, What About Meera

What About MeeraZP Dala’s new novel, What About Meera, will be published by Umuzi this month:

What About Meera tells the tale of Meera Narain, a 22-year-old woman from Durban who escapes her abusive arranged marriage to run away to Dublin, where she takes up a job as a caregiver at a school for autistic children.

After years of abuse at the hands of her doctor husband, Meera’s fractured and damaged psyche sends her spiralling into a doomed relationship with Ian Gallagher, the father of one of her autistic patients. The obsessive affair uncovers frightening truths about Meera’s childhood on a farm in rural KwaZulu-Natal, setting her on a destructive path of alcoholism and hallucinations. It is in this dangerous state that Meera commits a horrifying act and is ostracised from the world where she thought she would find happiness.

Pulsating with life and colour and a considerable amount of black humour, What About Meera is the gripping story of a woman’s attempts to rise above her circumstances and take control of her fate.

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About the author

ZP Dala is a freelance writer and a psychologist at a school for autistic children. She has been the runner-up in several short story competitions, including an Elle short story contest in 2012, the SA Writers’ College Short Fiction Contest in 2013, and the Woman & Home Short Story Contest in 1999 and 2012. She was awarded second prize in The Witness True Stories of KwaZulu-Natal competition and was long-listed for the Orange Prize for short fiction. She has lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland, and currently lives in Durban.

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