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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Interview with a librarian part 2

UK librarian Matt Imrie (@mattlibrarian) is investigating young adult fiction in South Africa for his blog teenlibrarian.co.uk

As part of the feature, Matt interviewed me, Lily Herne and Cat Hellisen.

In my interview I chat about writing for teens in South Africa, the writing process and also give a taste of things to come.

Matt: I read in a review that you “deliver a dystopian view of South African youth culture” why do you think that young people have such a rough time (not just in SA but globally)?

Sally: There is an urgency to being a teenager that we tend to forget about the older we get. High school is where we learn to interact with people socially, so if you think about it, it’s a little bit like the island in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. It’s about being the alpha dog, fitting in, finding your social status, impressing the girl, impressing the rest. It’s such an insular environment that isn’t really affected by the outside world and every problem seems more end of the world than it really is.

Matt: How do you think that YA writing is perceived in South Africa?

Sally: YA is incredibly popular in South Africa. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll see the floating displays of latest releases. There are also a lot of dedicated YA book blogs that build excitement for upcoming releases. For example, when Veronica Roth’s Insurgent came out, there was a huge buzz among local book bloggers on Twitter. They are also hugely supportive of local writers, which is awesome. There’s an incredible atmosphere of support and encouragement here.

Read the full interview at teenlibrarian.co.uk

 

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