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Tracey Farren

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Durban Launch

We launched Whiplash in Durban last Thursday night at Adams bookshop, Musgrave Centre. I read extracts of the book, choosing a funny piece, a sad piece and, at the end, an unapologetically spiritual piece.

The humorous extract was taken from the scene where Tess and her prostitute friend Annie go to a banking tent at the Met – one of the premier horse races of the year. The men who gave them the tickets were drunk at the time on noble red wine and had forgotten about their generosity. They are horrified when the two women pitch up. Tess and Annie refuse to leave despite the men’s pleas, precipitating an embarrassing collision of mismatched worlds. The audience at the launch laughed at the stir caused by the unwanted guests.

The audience were probably curious about the contrasting emotional tones of the extracts. Bernice Stott, Anglican minister, visual artist and chairperson of Umthombo Street Children, South Africa, interviewed me afterwards, asking deeply analytical questions about my process and my motive for writing the book. Bernice gave me the opportunity to explain my fictional first person narrator in detail. I was able to tell of her cynicism, her yearnings, and her survival quest. Cedric Sissing of Adams Bookstores commented later, ‘I watched the audience warm to Tracey especially during Bernice’s questions and questions from the floor, and she scored brownie points as she answered what were some tough questions.’ Cedric closed the launch by saying that he was impatient to get home and finish reading Whiplash. Tess had already won him over and he was desperate to know how she would emerge from her last gruelling trial on the street.

Thanks to everyone at Adams for a lively, lovely evening!

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