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Richard de Nooy

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Short Stories, Interviews & New Cover for Zacht als Staal

The joyous cacophony of the World Cup seems to have inspired a rush of interest in my writing. Now that the orange sun has set and a disappointed hush has descended on Amsterdam, the time has come to blow my own vuvuzela. Here are some snippets and links:

My short story And the Hippo? here on Book SA:

“She followed him round the ring at first. Later, he would hop on her back. His feet dragged on the ground. That made people happy. They came from far and wide. We put on extra morning shows in summer. But people didn’t only come to see ‘The Hutu and his Hippo’. There were other wonders to behold.”

Annemarié van Niekerk’s interview with me on LitNet (in Afrikaans):

“Om die waarheid te sê, ek het nog nooit regtig baie gedink oor wie en wat ek nou eintlik is nie. Waarskynlik omdat ek te betrokke is in die wêreld buite myself, maar ook omdat ek oopkop oor dinge probeer bly, ook oor myself.”

My short story Chockie on LitNet:

“Chockie’s three younger brothers were sitting in the sharp grass. The powder dust off the road stuck to their bare feet, as if they were wearing beige bobby socks. You greeted each other cool as can be. As if it was an everyday occurrence – two white teenagers attending an all-black soccer match.”

The Dutch version of the above story, Tjokkie, on Multicultureel Haarlem:

“Tjokkies drie jongere broertjes zaten naast elkaar in het dorre gras. Het fijne stof van de zandweg kleefde aan hun blote voeten alsof ze korte beige sokjes aanhadden. Jullie begroetten elkaar zo koel mogelijk, alsof het doodnormaal was dat twee blanke tieners een all black voetbalwedstrijd bijwoonden.”

Pre-Emptive Letters of Rejection in ITCH Magazine, which will be publishing an interview with me in the not too distant future:

“Dear Granta – Your junior editor, Michael Basildone (according to the passport I confiscated along with his clothes), has been curled up naked on my doorstep for the past four days. I ordered my wife to stop feeding him on Wednesday, but he seems undeterred and has taken to intercepting my mail in the hope of finding something useful to publish in your magazine.”

And then there’s the new cover design for my latest novel Zacht als Staal, which will be out in August. A reversible image, whose symbolism coincides more closely with the content than the previous design. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this design and the stories. Enjoy!

Zacht als Staal - cover

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    July 12th, 2010 @14:49 #
     
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    Some thoughts about the cover. First of all, I love it. I think it's great. As one who hasn't read the book, except for certain extracts, here's what it makes me think:

    I think of a diver, about to plunge into the unknown. I think of a Christ-figure, and also of St Peter, crucified upside down in Rome because he himself chose to suffer. I think of inversions and divergences from the norm. I think of things being other than what they seem, and things that can be viewed differently depending on your perspective.

    It's a compelling cover. You must be very pleased with it, Richard.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 12th, 2010 @15:26 #
     
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    Thanks for your comments, Ms. Fifi. I've been getting mixed responses to the cover. I love the image and its many possible representations, but I hope its gentle voice is heard above the onslaught of its louder brothers and sisters in the bookstore.

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    July 12th, 2010 @15:53 #
     
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    It looks literary and intriguing. What does the spine look like? Have you seen it?

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 12th, 2010 @16:18 #
     
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    The spine is a very simple, soft brown with the same lettering as the cover. The entire back cover is taken up by this photo of me (http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=31085687&id=1309269198), with the blurb superimposed in white.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    July 12th, 2010 @18:41 #
     
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    I feel skaam to comment because I haven't taken the time to read Richard's extracts. But I too like the cover, and I'm looking forward to reading the whole thing.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 12th, 2010 @21:33 #
     
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    I tried to come up with something witty, Louis, but I'm really sad and disappointed. I shall have to make do with your likage of the cover and your forwardlookingness to reading the whole thing.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    July 12th, 2010 @21:51 #
     
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    Don't be sad and disappointed, Richard. I dislike extracts and love novels and I heartily look forward to reading yours.
    (You can be sad and disappointed about the soccer, but that's another matter.)

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    July 12th, 2010 @23:54 #
     
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    Mmm, interesting. Curious mix of retiring and arresting. I love the grainy texture, the mystery of it, the falling feeling. Very different to the local 6 fangs cover.

    I have read all your bits and bobs except the Chockie story (getting there), which is not bad for a woman who was sans internet for five weeks. Good people, you must read the Litnet interview, if nothing else. It's both very good and very funny, not always intentionally. It's written as if the interviewer is on the verge of a swoon throughout.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    July 13th, 2010 @00:14 #
     
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    Indeed, Helen, it is very different, because 'verstild en artistiek' are the keywords when attracting readers of literature in Holland, who apparently tend to steer clear of louder covers.

    Glad and proud that you've been blowing bandwidth on my writings. Annemarié and I had a wonderful chat and I can assure you there was no swooning going on. Or vergence thereupon.

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    July 13th, 2010 @09:07 #
     
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    Can someone please translate the Litnet interview for me? (I'm Afrikaans-challenged).
    That cover is stunning. And the Hippo story - a bit mental but brilliant.

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