Getting to know you… #3

We’re honoured to get to know South African Sci-Fi author, Lauren Beukes, (@laurenbeukes) a bit better. Especially because she’s managed to find a gap in her hectic post-award-winning schedule to answer our questions using her brilliant wordsmithing skills!

Lauren recently won Britain’s premier award for science fiction literature, the Arthur C Clarke Award, for her latest novel, Zoo City.

Following her on Twitter is a treat and we just love her profile description “Writer (aka glorified typist) of novels, including Zoo City and Moxyland, short stories, screenplays and magazine articles”.

Read on and find out about her interesting food and music tastes and see her this weekend at the Franschhoek Literary Festival (13-15 May 2011)

Lauren Beukes

Claim to Fame:
Author of Arthur C Clarke Award-winning novel, Zoo City and Moxyland, TV scriptwriter, Twitter fiend and occasional journalist.

Favourite restaurant?
Addis in Cape: amazing Ethiopian food over three floors and honey wine. (+27 21 424 5722)

Favourite getaway spot?
The grey and rockstar pink windowseat my husband had built into the bay window of our bedroom, overlooking Table Mountain, immersed in a book. Ideally with my two year old daughter tucked under my arm reading her own book.

Favourite music at the moment?
Spoek Mathambo’s twisty and electrifying Mshini Wam

What book(s) are you reading?
I’ve just finished Kim Newman’s fantastic dark literary romp through Victorian London under Vlad the Impaler, Anno Dracula and now reading Jennifer Egan’s wondrous, wonderful A Visit From The Goon Squad, which should win the Booker.

Sweet or Savoury?
Both. Strawberries and black pepper, chicken skewers in plum sauce, chocolate chilli steak, inventive, interesting, surprising things. But not too surprising. Ostrich testicles in custard would be a bit much.

Favourite celebration?
Spontaneous get-togethers that aren’t tethered to any commercialised holiday like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

What do you never go to a party without?
An awesome dress.

Do you remember your first sip of champagne?
I have hazy memories of a matric dance, perhaps? JC Le Roux or maybe Fifth Avenue Cold Duck, which they used to advertise in the movies, because I think they knew only teenagers would drink it.

When do you usually drink champagne?
When I’m at a bar or having a dinner party. I drink mostly red wine and cap classiques, although I won’t turn down good scotch (by which I mean Laphroaig or Glen Livet not Johnny Walker anything). I love doing wine tastings and discovering new things, especially if there’s a wild story behind it.

Do you keep champagne corks from special occasions?
Only so we can soak them in paraffin as cheap and effective DIY firelighters for winter nights.

The perfect accompaniment to bubbly?
Good friends. Strawberries. Interesting tapas.

Most memorable champagne moment?
Sitting shell-shocked and glowing at the after-party for the Arthur C Clarke Awards in a booth at some dark and lavish club near the Apollo Theatre with a bottle that my publisher had bought for the table.

You’re sitting at your favourite restaurant with chilled Genevieve MCC on the table. Who is joining you?
A stranger in a fedora and an olive green pinstripe suit. Uninvited. The cut of the suit is peculiar. Retro. Ill-fitting.

He pushes a roll of microfiche across the table towards me. He whispers something I can’t quite make out and then the world collapses, the tables and chairs melting together as the glittering guests at the party reveal themselves to be monstrous things made out of shadows and plastic who rend the man in the fedora apart, leaving only shreds of paper that whirl and dance beneath the chandeliers.

And I know it’s all up to me now.

Have you read her books? Comment below and let us know what you thought.

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