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Victor Dlamini

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Podcast with the Fiery Sindiwe Magona

Sindiwe Magona

Franschhoek is one of South Africa’s most elegantly tranquil villages, and it provided a most appropriate backdrop for my conversation with the writer Sindiwe Magona earlier this year. Magona is more than a writer, in fact: she is also a dynamic storyteller, which was quickly affirmed during our chat. Her techniques borrow from the traditions of village storytelling but she is at the same time a modern master, producing verbal vignettes that are at once accessible and complex.

Join me on the Victor Dlamini Literary Podcast as I speak to Magona about her life of writing, her stories and how her experiences have deepened her art.

It is a boon for the rest of us that she shares so generously parts of her own life that have fed her creative imagination. In the case of her latest book, Beauty’s Gift (Kwela, 2009), Magona is at pains to show how the sexual politics of HIV/AIDS have created uncomfortable moral entanglements for women who have seen friends suffer at the hands of the disease.

Sindiwe Magona

Magona belongs to that category of writers whose real-life experiences match their imaginations, and it adds to the authenticity of her writing that she can tap into her own vast reservoir of personal experiences to produce works that require little unnecessary artifice. She is a widely anthologized writer whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Sunday Times, Independent Group newspapers and many other publications.

Magona received an honourary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick College (USA) in 1993. She held a job for many years at the United Nations’ Department of Public Information, New York, before retiring in Cape Town, where she lives today.

She made her name as a writer with the autobiography, To My Children’s Children (David Philip), which was published in 1990; between that book and Beauty’s Gift, her fictionalized account of the Amy Biehl killing, 
Mother to Mother (David Philip, 1998), stands as her most highly-acclaimed work. Her other books include: Living, Loving and Lying Awake at Night (David Philip, 1991); 

Forced to Grow (Women’s Press & David Philip, 1992); and 

“Push-Push” and Other Stories (David Philip, 1996
).

Please enjoy this episode of the Victor Dlamini Literary Podcast:

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