cruel crazy beautiful world : a postapartheid novel in two voices

Mesmerising and evocative. I am in awe. Deon Meyer, author of Blood Safari and Trackers

A crazy, Tarantinoesque world.  Zoë Wicomb, author of Playing in the Light and October

Cruel Crazy Beautiful World beautifully chronicles the hazardous fates of the scatterlings that immense historical waves leave on the beach. Phillip Noyce, director of Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Quiet American

bold, poetic, terrifying. Terry Westby-Nunn, author of The Sea of Wise Insects

The words immediately took me into the world of the novel and made me look in a fresh way into the room behind the eyes. Witi Ihimaera, author of The Whale Rider

In the dark sleepless night of the jetlagged soul. I devoured Cruel Crazy Beautiful World - high stakes adventure/love story with high lit writing; sharks, whales, crocodiles, hard decisions, hurting people, hope, justice, love, refugees, a ghost cowboy and a lot of dogs. Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls


This is South Africa, 2004. Jerusalem (half Muslim, half Jew) is a young, coloured student and poet. Zero, his hard-headed father, will no longer fork out money for his unfocused studies. He is sent away from the jazzy verve of Cape Town to learn to stand on his own two feet by selling ethnic curios to tourists. During his inflicted exile in a distant harbour town he takes on a Tanzanian refugee boy as his fellow trader and falls for the beautiful yet elusive Lotte.

At the same time another story unfolds: Jabulani, a Zimbabwean teacher, loses his job for mocking Mugabe and so falls into disgrace. He heads south in a bid to find a life beyond the chaos of Zimbabwe. Across the border he is hounded by Ghost Cowboy, a murderous albino. In Mandela's rainbow country, racism is not dead. Like some resilient cockroach it has morphed into another deadly form: xenophobia.

For an insight into vigilante killings of outsiders in South Africa, see this video: Life and Death in Diepsloot

chapter 2


history: Jacana: Johannesburg, 2011. Flammarion: Paris, 2013.