Ingrid Winterbach in Little Star

This week in Little Star Weekly we return to the rich, various, demanding work of South African novelist Ingrid Winterbach, published on these shores by the intrepid Open Letter Books. Her recent novel The Road of Excess, so far appearing only in South Africa, returns to many of her preoccupations: tangled relations in adult families, the dark attraction of dissolution, envy and misanthropy, the braided energies of our emotions and our intellect.  Within these themes Winterbach’s work shows startling range: she follows a band of nomads skirting the Boer War in To Hell With Cronje, she inhabits the mind of a melancholy lexicographer in The Book of Happenstance, and in The Elusive Moth, she turns the magnifying glass on the erotic and morphological adventures of a wandering entomologist. Winterbach’s work often features headstrong, independent women bridling against straightened expectations and following contradictory internal directives; her unsentimental, sometimes brutal take on sexual impulse—a source of pleasure, relief, power—and family broadens the language of fictional representation deep into women’s experience. But in The Road of Excess, the protagonists are both men: a pair of brothers who wrestle with a conflicted family legacy and an affinity for absolute experience in, respectively, art and addiction.  This week we conclude the third of three parts from The Road of Excess in Little Star Weekly.  Here is a sampling of Little Star’s Ingrid Winterbach.

From The Book of Happenstance, Little Star #2 (2011) (available as PDF)
From To Hell with Cronje
From The Elusive Moth
From The Road of Excess

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