“Brutal, heartbreaking, and undoubtedly brilliant.”Sanet Oberholzer, Sunday Times
I’m very happy to announce the release of my debut novel, It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, published by Kwela Books. It’s available as a paperback in all good bookstores across South Africa, and as an ebook anywhere in the world.
“Revolutionary. Vulnerable. Chilling in its relevance.”Mia Arderne, author of Mermaid Fillet
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way tells the story of three queer friends trying to navigate an increasingly fractured, violent and unstable world.
Within a few short years, climate collapse leaves Cape Town an arid slum. Those who can afford to leave have fled to the New Temperate Zones, and to The Citadel on Signal Hill, ensconced in a climate-controlled dome behind The Wall. But at what cost? Here, residents pass their days lost in virtual reality, courtesy of a biotech implant connected to their minds, refusing to see what goes on all around them.
In the present day, before the Change, Luthando sees the way the world is headed and tries to avert disaster, but his activism leads to clashes with the government. As their lives begin to unravel, his life partner, Viwe, becomes embroiled in the religious end-of-days fanaticism sweeping the city. And their friend Malcolm fears that his work developing mental and emotional software is being used for sinister purposes.
A profoundly moving story of resilience and tenderness, and our capacity for love in the face of fear.
“An early frontrunner for the best local fiction debut of the year.”Jonathan Amid, News 24