U.S. author speaks of SA heritage in debut novel 'What We Lose'
She recently launched her debut novel 'What We Lose' in South Africa following huge success in her native U.S and in the U.K.
In the book Zinzi Clemmons addresses issues surrounding gender, grief, loss and race.
Clemmons herself is the daughter of a mixed race couple.
Her late mother was a 'coloured' South African, her father is African American.
So what does that mean for the author's own sense of identity?
I find it much simpler here than in the States. But here [SA] I'm coloured and in the States there's no name for what I am. So I get questions more often when I say I'm black. The 'coloured' designation for me has never felt right.Zinzi Clemmons, author, What We Lose
The book's protagonist, Thandi, details her childhood and adolescence spent in both the US and South Africa.
Clemmons says she's aware of the criticism that may come her way in writing about a country she has never officially called 'home'.
I'm not here all the time, so there's some conversations that I miss, whereas in America I keep on top of things religiously.Zinzi Clemmons, author, What We Lose
It was really important to me that the book was sold here [SA]. It was one of the things I laid out specifically when it was being sold in the US.Zinzi Clemmons, author, What We Lose
You can follow Zinzi on Twitter @zinziclemmons
Listen to the full interview with Zinzi Clemmons here:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : U.S. author speaks of SA heritage in debut novel 'What We Lose'