Die sneeuslaper (ePub) | General Fiction
Marlene van Niekerk
Human & Rousseau
University of Johannesburg Prize for Best Creative Writing in Afrikaans (2010)
How do stories begin and why? These are the questions which occupy a creative author. What is the condition for writing fiction? Need, compulsion, a listener, an opportunity, rhetoric.
In Die sneeuslaper the meaning of the art of storytelling is magically demonstrated through four interwoven stories on friendship. In each story the initial lack of understanding revealed by the narrator slowly changes to a new awareness and self-knowledge.
“Die swanefluisteraar” (The swan whisperer): A lecturer in creative writing gets a strange letter from a maverick student which ends up challenging her views on writing and brings new insights.
“Die slagwerker” (The percussionist): The nature of love unfolds when a clockmaker talks at his friend’s funeral about their friendship of forty years.
“Die sneeuslaper” (The snow sleeper): A fieldworker for a survey of homeless people gets more than she bargained for in her interview with a very articulate vagrant. (“I shall package my snow story for you nicely. The packaging is everything, isn’t it?”)
“Die vriend” (The friend): The friend of a photographer admits her blame for the tragic course of their relationship.
These eccentric characters are all alter egos linked together in a strange loop, one which draws the reader into its twists as well.