Book Talk: South Africa's Beukes revisits America in 'Broken Monsters'

Wed Aug 6, 2014 7:08pm EDT
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By Ed Stoddard

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Lauren Beukes returns to urban America and the hunt for a serial killer in her new novel, "Broken Monsters".

Her previous best-seller, "The Shining Girls", followed a time-traveling drifter from the Depression era who stalked women in Chicago as he jumped from decade to decade.

In "Broken Monsters", a killer with a macabre sense of 'art' who puts together part-human, part-animal bodies terrorizes Detroit, a city in the throes of post-industrial decay.

The novel's cast of characters includes a stressed-out female detective, her rebellious teenage daughter and a blogger on the prowl for a career-boosting scoop.

Beukes spoke to Reuters by phone from her Cape Town base about her work and future plans.

Q: It is still relatively rare for a novelist from Africa to set his work outside of the continent, but, of course, many non-Africans have used this region as their backdrop. Do you think you are part of a new trend of African writers?

A: Yes, I think there are other writers like Sarah Lotz who are doing this. I don't see why African writers should be restricted, and I think the world is ours to play with.

Q: Why the specific settings of Detroit and Chicago?   Continued...