- Category: TOW 2011
Versatile literary talent, LAUREN BEUKES is a South African author, short story writer, TV scriptwriter and freelance journalist based in Cape Town. While Beukes’ formal learning was undertaken at the University of Cape Town, where she obtained her Masters in Creative Writing, it could be said that her ‘real’ education was her twelve years spent in freelance journalism. She maintains: “Journalism has given me an eye for detail”.
As a journalist, Beukes has written for such publications as the Sunday Times, Elle, Cosmopolitan, The Hollywood Reporter and Marie Claire. She won Best Columnist Western Cape in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards in 2007 and 2008.
Beukes has published short stories in various anthologies and literary journals including in German and Italian translation.
Beukes’ first book, the non-fiction Maverick: Extraordinary Women From South Africa's Past was long-listed for the 2006 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and in 2010, she was named Book SA’s Author of the Year.
Moxyland is Beukes’ second novel that sees the intersection between culture and high-technology in contemporary South African society. Making reference to historical apartheid South Africa, Moxyland delves into what Beukes terms ‘corporate apartheid’, in which the exponentially-growing rifts between the rich and the poor are navigated.
In 2010, Beukes’ critically-acclaimed muti noir Zoo City was published. A novel about magic, music, refugees and the possibility of redemption, Zoo City (2010) was a finalist in the 2010 British Science Fiction Awards.
Of Zoo City, independent writing and editing professional, Andreas Spath says, “This is intelligent and witty urban writing for the 21st century: unashamedly South African yet thoroughly metropolitan; wildly entertaining, yet richly nuance.” He continues to assert that Zoo Lake “reaffirms Beukes as one of South Africa’s most imaginative new literary voices.”
Beukes is currently working on her new novel, an apartheid thriller loosely based around the real-life Occult Crimes Unit.
Lauren Beukes (South Africa)
Zoo City, Jacana Publishing, 2010
Touch: Stories of Contact, Zebra, 2009
Moxyland, Jacana Publishing, 2008
Maverick: Extraordinary Women From South Africa's Past, Oshun, 2005