Lauren Beukes was recently interviewed by Alex Segura for Pen America about her “enthralling and immersive fiction”.
Segura asks Beukes about how she came to write for a living, and where she writes. The author admits that she would like to “absorb” Jennifer Egan’s powers, by means of eating her brain if necessary.
Beukes says that she would like to have been a anti-apartheid activist because the enemy was simple – she wishes that “current social issues were as easily defined and that there was a clear path of resistance.” This leads into a discussion of the hardest thing she has ever had to write:
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever put into words? Why does it stand out for you?
The most daring thing I’ve wanted to put into words was vetoed by my editor. I wanted to describe my terrified heroine’s heart thumping “like an avalanche of ponies.” I still like the metaphor. Can’t you just see it? The ponies tumbling down the scree, all clattering hooves and dust? But the hardest thing to write, which still upsets me and makes me sick and angry, was the essay I wrote, “All The Pretty Corpses,” about the murder of my cleaning lady’s daughter in 2010 and how I believed in the fairytale of justice until the moment in the prosecutor’s office when he told us he was going to have to throw the case out. It was devastating, and it has fed into how I write about violence—what it is, what it does to us, how we talk about it, what it means when we lose someone, how violence is shocking and contemptible, how we shouldn’t let this shit go.
- Minister of Health or Mass Murderer? Excerpt from Lauren Beukes and Nechama Brodie’s Maverick
- 300 Artworks Sold and R450 000 Raised for Book Dash at the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition
- Maverick: Extraordinary women from South Africa’s past by Lauren Beukes, Nechama Brodie
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