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

PRIMARY COLOURED (article first published : 2007-12-9)

Brent Meersman, arts journalist for the Mail & Guardian, was formerly the campaign manager for the Independent Democrats and then served as Patricia de Lille’s Chief of Staff in her parliamentary office in 2004. He has now written a novel titled Primary Coloured which takes the reader behind the scenes in parliament and the corridors of power.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right – except in politics!” laughs Charlene Kennedy – the tough, charismatic woman leader of a new political party. As the country nears the 2004 general election, a major scandal involving a controversial mining magnate and the battle for the successor to the President threaten to rip the nation apart. Zandi – a young, female journalist – is on their trail. How will Kennedy’s fledgling party pit itself against the ruling ANC, and an official opposition who knows and uses every dirty trick in the book?

It’s the story of a band of young idealists – Terrance, the laidback tree-hugging environmentalist, Joel – the theatre producer turned campaign manager – in a struggle against their own human weakness, where politics brings out the worst in people – lies, greed, corruption and personal ambition. Will they survive with their integrity intact? What influence does Valentine, Kennedy’s opportunistic sidekick, wield? And Moira, the mysterious British volunteer Terrance falls in love with – who is she really? And what to make of the bizarre plot they uncover to kill the President?

Primary Coloured is “Possibly a first for South Africa…I have to confess of being a little jealous that Meersman has scooped me by producing this rather naughty book…It is witty and serious at once”, writes Donwald Pressly in 'Business Report'

“A compelling and very funny journey through the absurd democratic maze of our parliament," endorses Pieter-Dirk Uys.

Primary Coloured is available at all major book retailers (Exclusives/Wordsworths/CNA) and some independent bookstores. It is also available on-line at Kalahari.net and Loot.




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