Hurray for Ivan Vladislavić


Hurray hurray for Ivan  Vladislavić , who has just won the 2015 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction, an unrestricted grant of $150,000 to allow a writer time to work free of financial concerns.

Vladislavić’s The Restless Supermarket, the story of proof-reader extraordinaire Aubrey Tearle, European manqué, lover of Johannesburg in all its sleaze and catastrophe, on the cusp of the 1990’s when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, is an utterly bewitching creation. Vladislavić is a surreal realist, committed to the idea of art as operating by its own rules even as it engages with the politics of its time. Aubrey Tearle is a character reminiscent of Gulley Jimson in The Horse’s Mouth. In some ways they couldn’t be more different – Aubrey is pedantic, prissy, unworldly – but  both of them are fanatics for their art, and both of them have the sounds, sights, smells, the history and the fate of their city running in their veins.
A new collection  of short stories by Vladislavić, 101 Detectives, will be published under the Umuzi imprint in April.  We will certainly be reading it.

2 thoughts on “Hurray for Ivan Vladislavić

  1. I heard some very good reports about another of this author’s books, Double Negative. And Other Stories have a keen eye, their list always seems to have something interesting to offer.

    1. Yes, I’ve read a review of this one. It seems to have the same interest in the ways we try to capture or tame the chaos of reality through forms of art. That can be a bit of a ho-hum idea these days but he has a way of drawing you in so it all becomes alive.

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