"Masterful. A fascinating book made up of three different stories, to create a whole that is increasingly relevant in a multi-polar world where people's pasts have to be grappled with to be made sense of," says the judges for 2023's Sunday Times Fiction Award
regarding the book.
For Davids, who also won the UJ Prize for Fiction
2023 for How to Be a Revolutionary
, the recognition that follows hard work is much appreciated.
"Thank you to the Sunday Times
and Exclusive Books. This is a welcome reminder that writing fiction still counts. I'm very grateful. And thank you to the team at PRHSA," says Davids.
According to PRHSA, Davids was up against worthy competitors, including:
- The Heist Men by Andrew Brown
- The Quality of Mercy by Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu
- The Errors of Dr Browne by Mark Winkler, and
- An Unusual Grief by Yewande Omotoso.
Four of the five shortlisted books were published by PRHSA.How to Be a Revolutionary
tells the stories of Beth and Zhao and their unlikely and short friendship. Beth is a South African diplomat in Shanghai, Zhao is older and has worked for the Chinese governing party all his life.
While Beth struggles with memories of Apartheid and how she tried to make sense of a friend's death by appearing in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), Zhao is typing up his memories of working for the state but, even more, becoming disillusioned with the government who caused his mother to die. One among millions who had to pay the price for the Communist Party's Great Leap Forward.
Their memories are interspersed with letters from Langston Hughes, an American author and social activist from the 1960s to an unknown friend in Cape Town. At the heart of all three characters' search is meaning and how to be a revolutionary for that in which you believe.
C.A. Davids is a writer and indie publisher of children's books. Her debut novel, The Blacks of Cape Town
, was shortlisted for the:
How to Be a Revolutionary
- Edinburgh Book Festival's First Book Award
- University of Johannesburg Debut Prize, and
- SALA First-time Published Author Award.
, her second novel, has been awarded the University of Johannesburg Prize for Fiction
as well as the Sunday Times Fiction Award
in 2023, concludes PRHSA.
For more information, visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.za
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