The Shouting in the Dark at the London Literature Festival

The Shouting in the Dark at the London Literature Festival

The Southbank discussion of Elleke Boehmer’s The Shouting in the Dark on 11 October 2015 formed part of the ‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’ festival, and explored the topic of toxic secrets and forbidden love within families – here, the teenage character Ella’s infatuation with her parents’ African gardener, Phineas. The lively conversation with the audience shed light on some of the unspoken and now nearly forgotten aspects of apartheid, such as the ban on relations ‘across the colour bar’. We also celebrated how stories, and not history, take us inside the skin of another.

Op de veranda at De Balie: summary and videos

Op de veranda at De Balie: summary and videos

Op de verandaThe inaugural discussion of the Dutch translation of The Shouting in the DarkOp de veranda – was wide-ranging and stimulating and paid tribute to Joost Poort’s accomplished and sensitive translation. As well as Elleke Boehmer, the participants were the novelist Karin Amatmoekrim and public intellectual Naomi Wolf, and the session was chaired by cultural commentator Wim Manuhutu. After a short but impassioned introduction to this ‘life-changing’ novel by Naomi Wolf, Elleke kicked off the discussion with a reading from two sections of the novel in Netherlands. The conversation then covered a range of topics including how the novel worked as ‘crafted fury’, on white guilt against black belonging, on the lure of apartheid for post-war Netherlands immigrants to settlers, on how literature works against authoritarian systems of power, and on the novel as bio-fiction.

Later in the evening, Boehmer and Wolf again appeared on De Balie stage together, now to talk about what was billed Feminism 4.0 and about women’s post-millennial self-expression on various different platforms.

Conversation with Elleke Boehmer and Zoë Wicomb

Conversation with Elleke Boehmer and Zoë Wicomb

Elleke will be in conversation with Zoë Wicomb about The Shouting in the Dark at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on 26 October 2015.

The event is hosted by the Centre for English Studies, SOAS with the Southern Africa Seminar Series, University of London.

Literary Salon: ‘Unlearning Childhoods’ with novelists Caryl Phillips and Elleke Boehmer

Literary Salon: ‘Unlearning Childhoods’ with novelists Caryl Phillips and Elleke Boehmer

Renowned authors Caryl Phillips and Elleke Boehmer read from their new novels, and discuss how they evoked troubled childhoods, race, the buried, unspoken violence of history.

Phillips’ The Lost Child (‘complex and compelling’ Independent) investigates Northern England’s slavery connections, reimagining the figure of Heathcliff.

Boehmer’s sixth novel, The Shouting in the Dark, described by J.M. Coetzee as ‘disturbing as it is enthralling,’ tells of a girl’s struggle against her father’s oppression while searching for a secure footing amidst the moral chaos of apartheid South Africa.

This event will be chaired by celebrated Leicestershire-based poet, editor and psychotherapist Mahendra Solanki.

Event – A childhood in South Africa (De Balie)

Event – A childhood in South Africa (De Balie)

Elleke Boehmer and Naomi Wolf on apartheid, family and literature

The 1970s. Apartheid South Africa. A situation of profound division, both in the country at large, and in many homes, as children turn against the values of their parents. For many writers, early memories powerfully shape their fiction. But what if the world of childhood is a house divided? What if the surrounding politics pose seemingly insurmountable questions — about power, freedom, love, survival from day to day?

Elleke Boehmer, novelist and critic, confronts these questions in her new novel, Op de Veranda (English title: The Shouting in the Dark’). For main character Ella and her family these divisions are further complicated by the Second World War nightmares of her Netherlands father Har. Elleke Boehmer explores the effect of political change on an immigrant family and asks about growing up during apartheid, in the dying days of a colonial system. How is a child impacted by racism? How does she throw off the dead hand of her father’s control?

The writer Karin Amatmoekrim and the writer and public intellectual Naomi Wolf will join the conversation about memory, family, resisting oppression and writing fiction.

Wim Manuhutu, historian and heritage professional, will moderate the programme.

Book tickets

Reading Matters podcast: 17/09/2015

Reading Matters podcast: 17/09/2015

Sue Grant Marshall interviewed Elleke about The Shouting in the Dark on Reading Matters (Radio Today) on 17 September.

Reading Matters hosted by Sue Grant-Marshall is broadcast on Thursdays from 10h00 to 10h30 (GMT+2) and repeated on Sundays at 16h00 (GMT+2). Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on DStv Audio Channel 869. Radio Today also streams on its website www.1485.org.za and on 1485.mobi.

Listen to the podcast here