Firepool: Experiences in an Abnormal World by Hedley Twidle
21 Jun 2017
Firepool is a chronicle of South Africa in the ‘second transition’ – one in which the foundations of the post-apartheid settlement are questioned in all kinds of ways. From the complex legacy of artists like JM Coetzee to the #FeesMustFall protests, and the uncertainty of our nuclear future, Hedley Twidle treats serious subjects with a sense of playfulness and imagination.
Deeply personal, and spanning culture, and ideas, Twidle gets under the skin of South Africa in unexpected ways.
About the author
Hedley Twidle is a writer, teacher and scholar based at the University of Cape Town. He was born in Johannesburg and studied in KwaZulu-Natal, Oxford and York before joining the English Department at UCT, where he is now senior lecturer in southern African, 20th-century and postcolonial literatures. Much of his current work concerns life-writing, non-fiction narrative and the essay in the 21st century. Between 2007 and 2012, he worked as primary researcher on (as well as contributor to) the Cambridge History of South African Literature, a multi-author collection published in 2012. In the same year, his work on literary non-fiction in South Africa gave rise to a special issue of the journal Safundi. He was the winner of the inaugural Bodley Head / Financial Times Essay Competition for a piece titled ‘Getting Past Coetzee’, which judge Simon Schama called ‘a tour de force of literary doppelgänger comedy’. Since then he has written regularly for the Financial Times, published cover stories for the New Statesman and placed a range of long-form journalism, cultural criticism and personal essays in the Sunday Times (South Africa), the Mail & Guardian, the PEN SA essay series and Public Books (New York).