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Darrel Bristow-Bovey on the “Quiet Thrill of Pleasure” He got from Henrietta Rose-Innes’ Green Lion

Green LionOne Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoDarrel Bristow-Bovey has written a piece on Sylvester the lion, who was recently recaptured after 24 days on the run, relating the incident to Henrietta Rose-Innes’ latest novel Green Lion.

Sylvester, a three-year-old male lion, escaped from the Karoo National Park through a hole in a fence, and was found 300 kilometres away in the Nuweveld mountains.

Bristow-Bovey, whose latest book is One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo, says that while recapture was best for the animal, who was probably scared and hungry, “there’s a selfish, silly part of me that wishes he was still out there, haunting the dusty landscape, bringing it subtly alive”.

Read the article:

In Henrietta Rose-Innes’ novel Green Lion, set in the not too distant future, a lion named Sekhmet escapes from an enclosure on the slopes of Table Mountain and vanishes into its kloofs and heights. I was reading the novel with a view of the mountainside and I looked up from the page with a quiet thrill of pleasure. Just the thought of Sekhmet on the loose reanimates the mountain, retrieves it from something domesticated and familiar and restores to the landscape its wildness and strangeness. Her uneasy, unseen nearness haunts the prose, making you follow the lines of writing as though tiptoeing up a narrow track following the faint indent of paw prints, glancing over your shoulder and nervously wiping sweat from your eyes.

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