Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Win Caryl Férey's "Zulu"

Michael Stanley, who know a thing or two about African crime novels, chose Caryl Férey's South Africa-set thriller Zulu as one of the top ten such books.

The book has won a sheaf of prizes in its original French, including the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France's top award for crime fiction. Now you can see what the fuss is about, courtesy of the good people at Europa Editions, who have added an English translation of Zulu to their fine crime fiction list.

Five readers can win copies of Zulu by answering this simple question: The Zulu were one of the two principal antagonists as South African tribes fought for dominance in the run-up to democracy. Which tribe was their main opponent? (Hint: Nelson Mandela is a member.)

***
We have our winners! Five readers answered correctly that Nelson Mandela is a Xhosa. (Several knew he is a Thembu, one of several groups that make up the Xhosa. So I have learned something from this quiz.)

Congratuations to readers from the great states of Arkansas and Hawai'i and the great countries of Canada, England and Spain. Your books should be in the mail shortly. And, to Europa Editions for agreeing to donate the books, Ngiyabonga! Enkosi! Thanks!

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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23 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

I'm not playing because a.) I have access to this one, and b.) I already won a book prize over on Sean Patrick Reardon's blog today.

However, I did do a bit of research and was interested to see that Mandela's tribal name apparently means, "I am because you are". Which strikes me as a pretty nice tribal name to have.

September 08, 2010  
Anonymous adrian said...

needs a better title this book. everyone's going to think its a novelisation of the michael caine movie.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I found an article that says Mandela's tribal name, Rolihlahla, means "one who brings trouble upon himself." This might be apter name for him, if not as nice as the name you found.

Feel free to enter this contest, though, waiting for another 17 minutes to take you to a new day, if you feel funny about winning twice in a day. You could give the book to a derserving friend.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, you think people remember the movie?

If so, what would you suggest as an alternate title? "Pride and Prejudice and Bloodthirsty Gangsters and Drug Dealers and Racists" might be a good way to take advantage of a trend.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Thanks for remind me of this book Peter. I'm going to read it whatever the result of your give-away.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

It may have a generic title, but it's got an arresting cover and we've been selling it very well. Europa seems to have figured something out about getting their titles noticed lately.

Sorry, I meant his tribe's name, not his tribal name. It does seem to be an expressive language, though, judging by these two examples.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Rodolfo said...

And, as further proof that detectives (at least fictional ones) are without borders, my recently published novel "An Inconsequential Murder" http://www.untreedreads.com/?s=An+Inconsequential+Murder, about the "drug wars" in Mexico is another entry into international detective fiction; and, the novel I am currently writing takes place in Paris. Unfortunately, Mexico is providing a lot of material for those of us able to see it from up close when one travels there (I am a native Mexican although I live in France). France is also a land of plenty as far as crime fiction is concerned. I recently met the detective that was in charge of the Princess Diana accident investigation. Very interesting comments from him, not only on procedures of the French police but also on the "cooperation" with the police from the UK.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Jose, by now you may know that you were among the first three winners. Congratulations.

A large subset of current South African crime fiction describes nightmarish sides of South African life. The nightmare in this book is more comprehensive than most.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, Europa Editions have always published distinctively handsome books. This particular arresting cover is thematically relevant as well. And the publisher certainly seems to be making a promotional effort on behalf of Zulu -- this contest, for example.

The tribe's name is, indeed, most expressive, as is Mandela's own tribal name. But I wonder if familiarity and transparency blind us to the expressive power of our own language. If you've ever read one of those books that offer the original version and English translation on facing pages, you may have found that some English words we use every day express more than we realize.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Rodolfo, unfortunately the words "crime," "Mexico" and "borders" have considerable resonance in the United States these days. I am unlikely to plan a relaxing getaway in Ciudad Juarez any time soon.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Peter I'm most grateful, thank you.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome; enjoy the book.

The folks at Europa deserve thanks, too, for supplying the books.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Congrats everyone.

V word ominous:

nulfic

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, nulfic. Sounds postmodern. And French.

And one book remains to be awarded, so you'll have one more set of congratulations to hand out.

September 08, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I am surprised. This looks like a really good one, so people, get on it!

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The first four went quickly ... don't be the last on your block to read this searing tale of Africa!!!

September 08, 2010  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I sent you an answer but I got it through the Google, so if that's not kosher, fine.

September 09, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You are the fifth and final winner, I'm happy to report.

And if you did a search for the answer, so what? I feel I have encouraged your questing mind in its search for knowledge.

September 09, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, someone saw me carrying Zulu today and asked me if it had anything to do with the movie.

September 10, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I would not have particularly related to this post, if I had not have just finished the riveting "Thirteen Hours."

This has disrupted my plan to finish my self-imposed global book challenge and move on to Asia and Latin America, however, I got sidetracked in Southern Africa.

And now, will turn my plan upside down and read more of Meyer's books, as well as a few by Michael
Stanley, Malla Nunn and Margie Orford.

Will add "Zulu" to the pile.

And about Mandela, one of the greatest human beings who ever lived, he wouldn't have been in any trouble if not for the horrific system he lived under.

He could have lived a nice life with his job and family. He sacrificed 27 years of his life.

September 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

So, "one who brings trouble upon himself" is a name to which Mandela more than lived up.

Your South Africa pile could gronw larger. I want to read more my Jassy Mackenzie and Mike Nicol, and I've already written about Roger Smith here.

September 11, 2010  
Anonymous Denise R. said...

I don't usually read thrillers but I read this because a) I used to live in Cape Town b) the book won so many awards.
It has to be one of the bleakest books I've ever read. His grasp of the place is excellent, he must have lived there some time or had a lot of input from South Africans.

Cape Town always had a violent underbelly even when I lived there in 1976. I know people claim it's safe but we know of too many people who have been attacked and/or killed.

September 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, it is an exceedingly bleak book, just barely redeemed from despair at the very end. It speaks well of the book that it could hold the attention of someone who does not normally read thrillers.

Caryl Férey does have friends in Cape Town and lived there for a while, he says. He also spend a few years researching the book. He says he likes to stay among friends when he researches a book for precisely the reason you suggest -- so he can live like a resident of the country and get lots of input.

I had not heard so much that Cape Town is safe, but rather that there is such a gulf between the safety and beauty of some parts of the city on the one hand, and the squalor and violence of the Cape Town Flats on the other. Roger Smith paints a grim picture of the Flats in his novel Wake Up Dead.

And 1976 must have been a tense time to live in South Africa, with the Soweto riots.

September 26, 2010  

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