CityLife Arts

Celebrated South African author Mandla pens new book about the struggle for freedom

By Edward Tsumele

Mandla Langa a celebrated South African novelist will in September release his latest novel, his publishers Pan MacMillan confirmed yesterday, August 5, 2021. The novel titled The Lost Language of the Soul, will be available in bookstores from September 2021 and will retail at R310.00.

This novel by Langa follows another novel in recent yearsfrom , The Texture of Shadows which he published 2014, and the book received critical acclaim from critics. The author is well respected in South African literary circles for his perceptive writing, and for his contribution to the country’s literary heritage going as far back as pre-1994. Before freedom Langa produced a body of literary works while he was in exile in London, that was well received. In a free South Africa, he is one of the few authors who has managed to juggle seemingly with ease, demanding corporate roles  as a board member of some of the country’s big business entities with his literary endeavours.

Among his recent literary accomplishments is being commissioned to complete the late former President nelson Mandela’s book Presidential Memoir Dare Not Linger. The fomer President when he died he had substantially written his memoir, but unfortunately died before he completed it.

The author was born in Durban, grew up in KwaMashu, and holds an Masters of Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1991 he was awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for creative writing, the first for a South African. Langa’s published works include the award-winning The Lost Colours of the Chameleon (2008).

“Pan Macmillan SA is proud to be releasing The Lost Language of the Soul, a new novel by Mandla Langa,’ the publisher said yesterday, confirming the book’s publishing and went further to lift a quotation from the new novel: ‘If I disappeared, I’d expect my children to search for me high and low. A mother disappearing goes against the laws of nature. Fathers disappear all the time; it’s their speciality.’

“Langa captures with poignancy the perspective of a vulnerable yet determined child and the clashing emotions within him as he seeks to reunite his family. Joseph Mabaso is used to his father Sobhuza’s long absences from the familyhome in Lusaka. Sobhuza is a freedom fighter and doing important work, andJoseph has learned not to ask questions. But when Chanda, his mother,disappears without a trace, leaving him and his siblings alone, Joseph knowsthat something is terribly wrong. And so begins a journey, physically arduous, dangerous and emotionally fraught, that no 14-year-old boy should have to undertake alone. As Joseph navigates unfamiliar and often hostile territory in his search for his parents, he is on a parallel journey of discovery – one of identity and belonging – as he attempts to find a safe house that is truly safe, a language that understands all languages, and a place in his soul that feels like home,” a media release from the publisher reads.

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