The story takes place in the colourful city on the day of Nelson Mandela’s death. Gin has arrived from New York to organise her cantankerous mother’s eightieth birthday party. Close by, the Mandela family are about to announce Nelson Mandela’s death. Gin grapples with all that Johannesburg represents for her. Amongst many other things, she needs to juggle the arrival of her ex-boyfriend, the search for the missing dog and the celebration which her mother is resisting.
Melrose writes from the heart and manages to convey her deep, complicated love for both the place and the vibrant characters who work and live in it. Through various eyes; an artist’s to a hunchback with no home, we experience the day of Mandela’s death in a modern city grappling to keep up with the many changes happening around it.
Melrose writes with deep insight and offers us a glimpse of this beautiful but unforgiving place, which represents so much of the country itself.
I was mesmerized from the first page and will watch out for Fiona Melrose’s next masterpiece!
I am a book cover snob! There I’ve said it! Have to be truthful, and the cover of Twist was not one that attracted me – neon pink, a portrait shot of a woman from the 50’s plus the subtitle: ‘stories inspired by tabloid headlines’. No not for me! Until I was stopped in my tracks by the names of the contributors: Sindiwe Magona, Maire Fisher, Jo-Anne Richards, Gabeba Baderoon, Marita van der Vyver, Rosamund Haden and many more of South Africa’s wonderful female authors! And they have written gems of short stories, stories of myth and legend and life. For instance, Petra Muller’s ‘Last eland of the mountain’ a bushman drawing on Table Mountain that comes to life and the story of lives from different worlds touching each other. Or ‘Man lands on the moon’ and Sindiwe Magona’s link to isiXhosa myths and Nongqawuse. Try Maire Fisher’s ‘I will not apologise!’ about a young teenager and her angry grandmother. Then the scary ‘My face belongs to a killer’ by Jo-Anne Richards about a face transplant…. but I can’t tell you more – you have to read it!