Zakes Mda’s new novel, a work of historical fiction titled Little Suns, will be published by Umuzi in 2015.
In the novel, to be released in December, Malangana (‘Little Suns’) searches for his beloved Mthwakazi. They were parted after the assassination of Hamilton Hope, a British magistrate in the 19th Century Cape Colony, and their love story weaves itself into the true history of Hope’s assassination and into the exile of members of the author’s family from Qumbu to Lesotho, and later to Herschel on the Cape Colony side of the Lesotho border.
The novel also opposes the findings of the Nhlapho Commission, which in 2010 rejected the kingship of the amaMpondomise, whose kingship was taken from them after the murder of Hope.
Fourie Botha, publisher of local fiction for Penguin Random House, says: ‘A new novel by Zakes Mda is a brilliant event. We are honoured that Prof. Mda chose Umuzi to publish this very important book. Little Suns is a love story and a deeply human story set in a brutal history.’
A recipient of the Order of Ikhamanga, Prof. Mda was born in the Eastern Cape in 1948. He is the author of the famous novels Ways of Dying and The Heart of Redness, among many others, and his work has been translated into 20 languages. He spent his early childhood in Soweto, and finished his school education in Lesotho, where he joined his father in exile. Mda has studied and worked in South Africa, Lesotho, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and is a prolific writer, not only of novels, but also of plays, poems, and articles for academic journals and newspapers. His creative work includes paintings, and theatre and film productions. He is based in Athens, Ohio, in the United States, where he spends his time writing and teaching. His memoir, Sometimes There Is a Void, was published in 2011.
The publishing deal was brokered by Mda’s agent Isobel Dixon of the Blake Friedmann Literary, TV and Film Agency.
* Press release issued by Penguin Random House SA.