Zu Gast im LCB:
Niq Mhlongo, geboren 1973 in Soweto, Südafrika, ist Journalist und Schriftsteller. Er studierte Afrikanische Literatur und Politikwissenschaften an der University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Nach den Romanen »Dog eat Dog« und »After Years« erscheint mit »Way Back Home« (Verlag Das Wunderhorn, 2015) sein erster Roman auf deutsch. Mit freundlicher Unterstützung des Auswärtigen Amts.
»I’m more productive writing about home away from it«
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a novel that I’m yet to title. I have been working on it for the past five years since 2013, and it has been eluding me since then. It is a bigger project than any I’ve written before. It is set in rural and urban South Africa in the height of apartheid leading to the dawn of democracy in 1989. It focuses on some of the issues that are still topical today, including racism, landlessness, as well as culture and tradition.
How does your stay in the LCB affect you and your work?
The LCB is one of the best residencies I’ve been to. This space is very conducive for my writing as it is far away from all the noise and gleam of the city. I’m able to stay focus on this project, which is exactly what I needed all along to finish it. When I came here on the 15 November, my novel was only halfway through the first draft. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to complete my first draft of the novel. I’m now trying to do my second draft. All in all, LCB has brought back my writing inspiration, and I’m very grateful. I came to realize that I’m more productive writing about home away from it.
What experience would you take home?
My interaction with other LCB fellows and stuff has been educational. I was able to talk about writing, politics, economy, culture and so forth with them. This has increased and shaped my view of the world as manifested in some chapters of my manuscript. I also visited a number of museums here in Berlin to understand more about German life and experiences. From this I was able to compare with where I come from, and probably will be beneficial to my community.
This interview took place in December 2018.
Flying Visits: Niq Mhlongo
Lesung: Niq Mhlongo
Moderation: Cornelia Knoll