As part of my resolution to read more contemporary African Fiction, I will be highlighting new book releases every month this year. At least those I am aware of. Since I know of only one book coming out this month, I will be making this post open to all. Mention the books you know will be released in February in the comments. I will be updating this post throughout the month.
Dancing The Death Drill by Fred Khumalo
Paris, 1958. An Algerian waiter at the famous restaurant La Tour d’Argent is convicted of the murder of two customers. As he is awaiting trial, his long-time friend Jerry Moloto helps an opportunistic and ambitious journalist build a case to defend him.
Through Jerry’s testimony the reader discovers that the waiter is actually Pitso Motaung, a mixed race South African drafted to fight in the First World War. He is also one of the few remaining survivors of the SS Mendi tragedy, which saw the formidable warship sink off the coast of the Isle of Wight, killing 646 people, including many black South African soldiers.
So how did a brave soldier become a criminal and will Pitso’s name be cleared before it is too late? Commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi. Dancing the Death Drill is a timely novel about life and the challenges it throws our way.
The book recounts the sinking of the SS Mendi, a passenger steamship that sank in the English Channel in 1917. Killing 646 people, most of whom were black South African troops heading for France to serve in World War I. February 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi off the Isle of Wight.
About the Author
Fred Khumalo is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction from Durban, South Africa. His books include Touch My Blood, (2005). Which was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize for Non-fiction and has been adapted for the stage. Khumalo’s book will be published in South Africa by Penguin Random House SA and Jacaranda Books.