Sunday, September 28, 2014

Karen Jennings Stranded on a Desert Island!

Please welcome Karen Jennings, author of Away From The Dead, as she tackles our Desert Island Interview!

About Karen:

Karen Jennings is a wonderful story writer. In just a few sentences she is able to paint a picture of a community, frame a life, and to make you see and even almost smell a place.

Many of the stories have been published in magazines or anthologies. From Dark won the Africa Region prize in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2010 and The Shark won the English section of the Maskew Miller Longman short story competition in 2009.

Connect with Karen Jennings:

Karen Jennnings Stranded on a Desert Island

If you could only have one book with you, what would it be?

It may sound contrived, but I would have to choose the Complete Works of Shakespeare. It would last ages… and you could act out the different parts from the plays with seashells and coconuts.

What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with?

Sunscreen. I have very fair skin. I go bright pink as soon as the sun even touches me for a second.

What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use?

Hairbrush! I have wild, wild hair that twists into knots at the drop of a hat. I want to look human when I am rescued, not like a sasquatch!

Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy?
I am a loner by nature, so I would probably be fine for a week or two. After that I would get sad.

If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?

That has to be a trick question! Because what kind of a person am I if I don’t say that I choose my fiancĂ©?

What modern technology would you miss the most?

Kettle. I love tea.

What food or beverage would you miss the most?

As I said above, I love tea. Rooibos tea to be specific. I cannot live without it.

How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?

About a month. After that I will have gone through all of Shakespeare’s plays and have used up my sunscreen. My hairbrush will probably be full of sand by then too.

What is the first thing you would do when rescued?

Have a shower.

What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?

“Life’s too short for Facebook, so I am closing my account. If you want to hear about my desert island adventures, take me out to tea instead!”

Away From The Dead

Together the stories highlight facets of African society and in particular South Africa. Karen Jennings has a touching way of writing about the lives of the underdogs. The distinctions between the different layers in society are beautifully captured.

From Dark is a rallying call to remember that illegal mining causes the deaths of hundreds every year.  Zama-zamas (Zulu for ‘chancers’) live underground for months at a time, dying in police raids, fires, cave-ins and poor conditions.


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