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Imran Garda's The Thunder That Roars Launched with John Maytham at The Book Lounge

Imran Garda

Well-known Al Jazeera journalist Imran Garda was at The Book Lounge to launch his debut novel, The Thunder That Roars, recently.

The Book Lounge owner Mervyn Sloman introduced Garda, saying: “From now on he will be known in esteemed literary circles as a very, very fine novelist too!

“It’s extremely well written, a book that delves into serious and substantive issues. Despite the fact that you can get your teeth into them, it is written in a quick and moreish style that allows you to sail along with the narrative.”

John Maytham and Imran GardaThe Thunder That RoarsSloman reflected on a new wave of South African fiction which has seen a number of local authors setting their novels in different parts of the world. “This seems like a new development, with a number of writers, including Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz, Damon Galgut, Steven Boykey Sidley, Zakes Mda’s latest and Michiel Heyns, to name a few.” Sloman sees this broadening of the horizons as an expanded fictional landscape, and says Garda’s thoroughly enjoyable novel fits right in.

The author was joined by local radio personality John Maytham, whose deep reading of the book and vast experience ensured a meaningful discussion took place. Those gathered thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating insights offered into the plot (though no spoilers were given!), the main character, the author’s process and the irresistible readability of the book.

Garda reflected on his main character, Yusuf, whose incredible confidence makes him think he can climb Mount Everest in his slippers! “Talking about new waves,” Garda said, “Yusuf is one of these journalists/commentators/bloggers in the US at the moment who have a bit of ‘colour’, or a hint of the exotic in their name, who tend to be given a platform that is not entirely deserved when commenting on things in the Middle East, for example the revolution in Egypt.”

He said he wanted to tell a story about post-apartheid South Africa “that was not Invictus, that was not everybody riding off into the sunset together, with everything ‘fine’. I wanted to explore the uncomfortable themes of race relations, power and identity, xenophobia and the emerging upper class, but from an Indian perspective, as there is not much written from that viewpoint.”

A multi-layered and intriguing conversation ensued that gave everyone present plenty of food for thought and inspired a number of fans to buy their copies of The Thunder That Roars, and wait patiently in line for the author’s signature.

Liesl Jobson tweeted the event using the hashtag #ThunderThatRoars

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