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Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, internationally best-selling South African author who has gained a reputation for crossing genres and styles. Born in Johannesburg, Beukes currently lives in Cape Town, where she writes novels, comics, screenplays, TV shows and journalism. Her latest novel, Broken monsters, won Best Suspense Novel in the American Library Association’s 2015 Reading List and was recently recommended by George R.R. Martin on a list of nine books to read. Her previous novel, The shining girls, has won multiple awards, including the University of Johannesburg Prize and the Exclusive Books Bookseller’s Choice Award. Zoo City won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. I first met Beukes in early 2015 when she was doing research for her new novel at the National English Literary Museum in Grahamstown. The discussion in this interview focuses not on the ideas for her next project, but instead on the artistic motifs, philosophical issues and social themes that recur throughout her first four novels. This conversation was recorded on 13 August 2015, and took place at Beukes’s home in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town.

Original publication




Journal article




Taylor and Francis

Publication Date





44 - 54