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Lauren Beukes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Zoo City Original Art – ZOMG! (Oh yeah, and some cool reviews)

If writing is telepathy, Zoo City seems to have opened a can of brain worms in the heads of several crazily talented illustrators.

There’s been a spate of reviews recently that just so happen to feature original artwork inspired by the novel and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

As an author, seeing these is like getting a shot of pure, A-grade joy injected into my week. They’re inspired and inspiring and make me wish, desperately, that I could draw with more than words.

Over on his blog, illustrator and designer Werner Diedericks writes “Lauren Beukes tells us a bed time story that hits too close to home and is sure to keep you awake until you read the very last punctuation mark.”

The illustration is of Dehqan Baiyat, the Afghan warlord in question in this quote from the book: “All it takes is one Afghan warlord to show up with a Penguin in a bulletproof vest, and everything science and religion thought they knew goes right out the window”.

Cape Town artist and writer Masha du Toit really enjoyed the book and particularly “tough girl” Zinzi who she was inspired to draw.

Mmmm. Shoulder… tasty! Over at That’s How It Is, Liam Kruger writes: “It’s a difficult novel to place, genre-wise, which is a mark in it’s favor, as far as I’m concerned; Beukes could very easily have written a perfectly competent South African crime novel, or an ambiguous slice of ‘magical realism.’ Instead, she has fused the two genres – and more besides – into what I will call Magical Sloth Noir, and it is wonderful… The book is politically charged, but not heavy handed; it shows a distorted and corrupt city that is not so different from reality as we would like.” (Illustration by Kirby Kruger)

(Disclaimer: Liam and Kirby have both interned with Script Team at Clockwork Zoo, but Liam claims he wrote this review of his own free will. But then he also denies having spiked our coffee with Warren Ellis’s toejam that he procured on eBay)

And one I’ve posted before, but is so worth showing off again, the original review with artwork by illustrator Jonno Cohen.

Over at MiniMonologues, he writes: “In Zoo City [Beukes'] characters ooze attitude, their dialogue is snappy, and her vivid imagery is both original and arresting. What’s more, with an inspired blend of pop-culture savvy and fantasy (just enough, not too much), her depiction of Johannesburg, magical charms and all, feels eerily real… It’s gritty, it’s tangled and it’s flawed; nothing is polished, nothing perfect. That’s what makes Zoo City so disturbingly, hauntingly, uncompromisingly brilliant.”


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    September 5th, 2010 @22:00 #

    These are great -- must be a wonderful feeling knowing that something you've written is so visual in a reader's head. I like Jonno Cohen's best, but they're all good.


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