Deon Meyer, king of detective novels in an imperfect South Africa

By Nerea González

Johannesburg, Oct 5 (EFE) – Deon Meyer, the king of the South African detective story, has said he doesn’t pay much attention to his global success, but instead presents an honest picture of the country who does not succumb to the worst fears.

“I love this country so much,” he said in an interview with Efe from his home in the town of Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape Province, known for its wine.

“For me it is very important to be clear about what is going on in South Africa, and also to be positive. And also to try in the books to paint a fair, truthful and honest picture, ”he said.

“Over the past 50 years, there were so many fears of what might happen (in South Africa), and also so many hopes of what might happen.

And if you look at what we have achieved during this time, it has never been as bad as our worst fears and it has never been as good as our highest hopes. And I think it will always be that way, ”he added.

After addressing political and police corruption in his previous novel The Last Hunt, Meyer’s latest book The Dark Flood, which was published in Afrikaans in 2020, will be available in English among other languages ​​from the end of this year.

“I think not all corrupt politicians read fiction,” he said when asked whether or not he was pressured as he places many of his stories in storylines that reflect the evils that beset South Africa.

Meyer, whose novels have been translated into 27 languages, doesn’t think readers realize how many of his books parallel South African reality.

So, for him, the most important thing is to tell stories that intrigue them.


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