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Home » News » Weekend Life » The Scattering wins big in United Arab Emirates

The Scattering wins big in United Arab Emirates

Publishing Date : 06 November, 2017

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

The Scattering a book by local Lauri Kubuitsile has won the prize for best international fiction at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair 2017​, the world’s third largest book fair, in the United Arab Emirates.


The news was announced on Wednesday by Umuzi online and the prize accepted by the author’s daughter at an opening ceremony in Sharjah the same day. First published in 2016 by Penguin Random House in South Africa, Kubuitsile’s The Scattering is a moving and intimate novel that brings to life the genocide of the Herero and Nama people in German South- West Africa in the early 1990’s. 


Against the backdrop of southern Africa’s colonial wars at the dawn of the twentieth century, the novel traces the fates of two remarkable women whose paths cross after each has suffered the devastation and dislocation of war.The Scattering has been described by Tendai Huchu as ‘an ambitious, powerful and poignant historical novel that brings to life a very important period’ and has subsequently been published in the Unites States by Waveland Press.

About the book

‘I, the great general of the German soldiers, send this letter to the Hereros... Any Herero found inside the German frontier, with or without a gun or cattle, will be executed. I shall spare neither women nor children. I shall give the order to drive them away and fire on them. Such are my words to the Herero people.’

South-West Africa, 1904: When German colonial authorities issue an extermination order, the Herero are forced to flee into the desert and seek safety in British Bechuanaland. Tjipuka, a young Herero mother, escapes the massacre with her baby, but is captured and put to work in the death camps in Lüderitz. There she has to find the courage – and the will – to survive against all odds.

The Transvaal, 1899: Riette’s nursing ambitions are crushed when she is forced into marriage with an older neighbor. When he is taken captive and their farm is set ablaze during the Second Anglo–Boer War, she and his daughters must face the horrors of the British concentration camps. Moving and intimate, Kubuitsile’s novel provides a fascinating glimpse into the indomitability of the human spirit.


Kubuitsile is the author of many works of fiction for children and adults, including the short- story collection In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories. She was the 2007 winner of the BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Competition and the recipient of the Botswana Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Orange Botswerere Award for Creative Writing in the same year. She has twice won the Golden Baobab Prize for children’s writing and was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize.

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