The Sculptors of Mapungubwe | General Fiction
Sunday Times Fiction Prize Longlist
The Sculptors of Mapungubwe is Mda’s first novel since 2009’s bestselling Black Diamond. The narrative centres on the timeless kingdom of Mapungubwe where the royal sculptor has two heirs, Chata and Rendani. As they grow, so grows their rivalry – and their extraordinary talents.
But while Rendani becomes a master sculptor of the animals that run in the wild hills and lush valleys of the land, Chata learns to carve fantastic beings from his dreams, creatures never before seen on the Earth. From this natural rivalry between brothers, Zakes Mda crafts an irresistibly rich fable of love and family.
What makes the better art, perfect mimicry or inspiration? Who makes the better wife, a princess or a mysterious dancer? Ageless and contemporary, deceptive in its simplicity and mythical in its scope, The Sculptors of Mapungubwe encompasses all we know of love, envy and the artist's primal power to forge art from nature and nature into art.