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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE PUPPETEERS (article first published : 2007-01-26)

Due to be released in February by Adams Booksellers of Musgrave in association with New Africa Books is Renesh Lakhan’s first novel, The Puppeteers.

The Puppeteers is the vividly told story of Sunny, a child of a mixed marriage growing up during the 1940s in Doringsveld, a small Platteland town steeped in bitter Afrikaner nationalism. By special dispensation he is allowed for a time to attend a white school. Here he meets the vivacious drama teacher, Miss Lindsay, and the enigmatic Jennie van Wyk who becomes the love of his life.

However, larger forces are at work and Jennie and Sunny are forced to leave Doringsveld. The story then shifts from the rural life of the Platteland to the underworld of Johannesburg, where the couple is plunged into a world of crime and prostitution.

Sunny hungers for power in his life and over the forces that control him, but eventually he too becomes a puppeteer.

Renesh Lakhan was born in the northern KZN town of Dannhauser and spent much of his career teaching at an FET College. He has been writing for a period of 20 years, in the form of short stories, developed while being a member of the SA Writer’s Circle, and being influenced in his early writing by John Steinbeck. One of his short stories was a winning entry in a Short-Story Writing Competition judged by J.M.Coetzee. He has a particular interest in the fascinating mix of characters in pre-apartheid rural South Africa, and in how their relationships shaped future generations of families.

The Puppeteers will retail at R115.




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