Hello and welcome to 2012! I am all set to continue with the regular guest posts and today it is my pleasure to introduce you to South African author Tracey Farren…. her second novel, Snake is now out and she is fast becoming a household name. She whispered quietly about being busy witha third book already when we chatted via email so be sure to remember the name… here she gives you a sneak preview into Snake!
New novel, Snake – by Tracey Farren.
To our shock, my first book, Whiplash (also Modjai Books) was shortlisted for the Sunday Times fiction prize in 2009. It hobnobbed with some highly esteemed, extremely literary writers, strange company for a heart-sore, pill popping street prostitute called Tess. In that year, Whiplash also received a White Ribbon Award from Women Demand Dignity for its fight against women and child abuse.
My second novel, Snake, is a very different sort of story. I’m glad to say that it has been described as a ‘fine literary thriller’, despite the fact that the entire story is told in the voice of a twelve year old farm worker’s daughter! I am immensely grateful (and relieved) that people seem to love this character as much as I do.
The set up for Snake?
‘When the luminous stranger arrives on the farm, twelve year old Stella is convinced that Jerry has come to heal her family. Now she tells the terrible story to a tabloid journalist in a compulsive effort to save what is left. The stage contains a metal wash tub, a traumatised child and a hard hearted journalist. The script veers between love and violence, shining a naked bulb on psychosis and the preposterous ways in which people express their shame. Snake is a tabloid tale told in a young girl’s sincere, anxious voice, bringing humanity to the theatre of the insane’.
It is still early days, but the feedback so far has been fabulous. Here are some quotes about Snake from some wonderful writers:
Feryal Ali Gauhar, Pakistani author and activist: ‘Crafting a story with words from the heart of a young child, set in rural South Africa, Tracey Farren weaves a tale which is universal in its celebration of family, its acknowledgement of loss, it struggle with the need to belong. This is a book which needs to be read not just for the story, but for the story within the heart that tells it’.
Sarah Lots, S.A crime/thriller writer: ‘I really loved Snake – I think that Stella’s voice is brilliantly sustained, and love the way you ‘drip-feed’ the story to the reader – the tension and the needing to know what happened next is so well done. Many crime writers could learn from you! (This is a huge compliment by the way!) I would almost be tempted to say that this is an extremely original literary crime novel in a sense – the ‘Truth Lady’ device is inspired’.
Rosamund Haden, S.A novelist: ‘I started reading Snake when I got home last night and finished it in one sitting! It is THAT GOOD! Snake is vivid, compelling and beautifully written. Stella’s voice hooks you from the first page and doesn’t let you go. It is a book that lives on in your thoughts long after you’ve read the final age.’