South African writer ZP Dala‘s new novel, ‘The Architecture of Loss‘ has just been acquired in a World English rights deal (excluding South Africa) by New-York based Pegasus Books. Maia Larson is the very excited editor behind this deal, together with Claiborne Hancock, who said: «What an absolutely beautiful book. I am always excited to find fiction that focuses on female perspectives, and the strong women in this novel were inspiring. It was heartbreaking to witness the magnitude of the disconnect between Afroze and Sylvie, and to realize that their relationship had been stolen for so many years by the fight to end the horrors of Apartheid. One always hears about the heroes and the big names in the movement (almost always men!), and it is tragic and fascinating to see the flip side of the coin, to give voices to those who gave their lives to the struggle and who have been forgotten. This book has an important and poignant message and deserves an audience, and I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to work on it with ZP Dala.»
The Architecture of Loss is a novel about the tender relationships between women, where a mother and a carer is not always the one who gave you birth. It brings forward tacit knowledge of the patriarchy of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in its climactic days before the release of Nelson Mandela, and highlights the oft-ignored plight of women in the struggle.
ZP Dala is one of the most strikingly original literary voices, and one of the most prominent new writers from South Africa. Furthermore, she’s one of the few writers being accepted into University of Iowa Fall Writers Residency in October 2016, which will be a great opportunity for her to meet her publishers and work on the line-edit of the novel.
Her debut novel, What About Meera, was published by Umuzi/Penguin Random House South Africa in 2014. It was longlisted to the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015 and won the Debut Prize in the Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Award. It was also highly praised by the press: «Fluent narrative that sparkles. (…) The writing is crisp and sparkles with fine descriptions, and the reader will root for Meera. (…) Meera’s story is an uncomfortable one, throwing up difficult questions, but Dala’s telling of it is thought-provoking and beautifully done.» Margaret von Klemperer, Books Live South Africa
Read this great article by ZP Dala recently published in The New York Times Magazine: Hunger Games in South Africa.
More information: Maria Cardona