Building project: Please help rebuild my mom’s home

As some of you may know, my mom’s house burned down at the beginning of last year. I say my mom’s house, but really it was my house too, and I’ve been carrying that around with me for a while. We didn’t have any insurance, so for the past year and a bit I’ve been […]

Love letter to a dive bar – The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk

  Book Review: The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk Device: Hardcover Location: One Saturday, in my bed in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Google an appropriate synonym for mindfuckingly beautiful   In 1998, a young South African makes his way to New York in pursuit of what Toast Coetzer calls “the Afrikaans American Dream”. Nearly […]

Magical realism meets historical fiction: Baudolino by Umberto Eco

  Book Review: Baudolino by Umberto Eco Device: Paperback Location: On the KTX from Daegu to Seoul and back (twice); Bus 405 to the gynaecologist’s office Rating: Transcendental   When I was a student at Rhodes University I was often daunted by the idea of reading Umberto Eco. The great Italian writer, who died this […]

Book review: Jimfish by Christopher Hope

  Book Review: Jimfish by Christopher Hope Device: Paperback Location: Green line – Gamsam-dong to Sinnam; Monorail – Sinnam to Suseong Lake in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Unsure   In an interview with Sue Grant-Marshall in April last year, Christopher Hope said that older South Africans would remember the greeting, “How are you doing Jim […]

Can you ever go home? On reading The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou

  Book Review: The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou Device: Paperback Location: My apartment, 해피타운, Jungri-dong, Daegu, South Korea Rating: By God, it’s beautiful   I waited nine months before finally reading Alain Mabanckou’s memoir, The Lights of Pointe-Noire. In September last year, I covered a panel discussion with Mabanckou at the 2015 Open […]

I’ll probably spend my 30s roaming the planet, chasing the dream

I woke up this morning to the notification light on my phone flashing and my heart stopped cold. Ever since 30 December 2014 – this day last year – the sight of that green light continues to fill me with dread and despair. And yes, I know it’s bad to sleep with your phone next […]