Magazine article New Internationalist

The Alphabet of Birds

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Alphabet of Birds

Article excerpt

The Alphabet of Birds by SJ Naudé (& Other Stories, ISBN 9781908276445)

In his introduction to this début collection of stories by the South African writer S J Naudé, Damon Galgut describes them as 'cool and intelligent, unsettling and deeply felt'. Certainly, there is a distanced, disquieting feel to the writing in these tales of love and exile. Many of the characters - some of whom appear in more than one narrative - ache with a half-understood desire to belong to something, anything, even while their actions cut the bonds that would make such belonging possible.

Only one story is set wholly within South Africa; Naudé's protagonists driftrestlessly through continents and cultures, but the homeland is a constantly present touchstone to these deracinated 'lapsed South Africans'. …

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