The Monitor :: Kubuitsile Wins International Book Award
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Last Updated
Friday 24 November 2017, 17:23 pm.
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Kubuitsile Wins International Book Award

Author, Lauri Kubuitsile’s novel The Scattering has won Best International Fiction at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair, which is considered the third largest book fair in the United Arab Emirates.
By Staff Writer Mon 06 Nov 2017, 12:06 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Kubuitsile Wins International Book Award








The author’s daughter accepted the prize during the opening ceremony held in Sharjah on November 1, 2017. The 36th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair saw the participation of 1,650 publishing houses from 60 countries in an 11-day celebration of literature, knowledge and culture.

The author, whose other literary works have won prizes before, expressed gratitude to a number of key players including the organisers of the book fair and judges amongst others.

“I’d also like to thank my publisher, Penguin South Africa, for submitting my novel for this prize. They have been supportive from the very beginning and I’m grateful for that,” the elated Kubuitsile said.

First published in 2016 by Penguin Random House in South Africa, Kubuitsile’s The Scattering is a moving and intimate novel that brings to life the genocide of the Herero and Nama people in German South-West Africa in the early 1900s.

Against the backdrop of southern Africa’s colonial wars at the dawn of the 20th century, the novel traces the fates of two remarkable women whose paths cross after each has suffered the devastation and dislocation of war.

“History is too often told in men’s voices and too often those stories depict the battlefield as the scene for heroic acts, where men rise to meet their fears and destinies.

Women are so often merely the victims of war, with no agency of their own

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- with no voice, no story, and no heroism. 

But in The Scattering, Riette and Tjipuka are not victims. Their stories, alone and eventually entwined, tell another side of war.  For women, war is yet another cleaning-up. When the battles are over, when the dead are carried off, it is the time for the women to begin their work. They try to heal the wounds, both external and internal; they rebuild the homes as best they can from the broken pieces that remain. In this work, work so difficult and often unsuccessful, the futility of war is laid bare. The black and white, good and bad, right and wrong, become grey indecipherable places with only hard unending answers. 

“In The Scattering I wanted to show war, to shed light on these two colonial wars many outside of Southern Africa may not be so familiar with, in the hope of encouraging peace. Sadly, Tjipuka and Riette’s stories can be told again and again by millions of women from the past and, sadly, from the present. The hope is that one day this will no longer be the case. 

“The Scattering has been described by Tendai Huchu as ‘an ambitious, powerful and poignant historical novel that brings to life a very important period’ and has subsequently been published in the Unites States by Waveland Press,” she highlighted.

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