S8 E6 Jarred Thompson, Tyriek White & Khanya Mtshali: Debut Novels, Social Critique & Mortality
20 Jul 2023
Image credits: Jarred Thompson by Thango Ntwasa and Tyriek White by Zoraya Lua
Khanya Mtshali asks Jarred Thompson and Tyriek White about their novels The Institute for Creative Dying and We Are a Haunting. They share their experiences of publishing their first novels and muse about craft, literary influences, religion, death, transatlantic history and creative responses to infrastructural decay.
Khanya Mtshali is a writer and critic from Johannesburg. She has an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from New York University. She writes about literature, culture, politics, and fashion and she has been published in The New Yorker, Africa Is a Country, The Johannesburg Review of Books and other places. She is the author of It’s Not Inside, It’s On Top: Memorable Moments in South African Advertising (Tafelberg, 2021) and she has published an introduction to the book, Last Interview and Other Conversations: Billie Holiday (Melville House, 2019).
Jarred Thompson is a literary and cultural studies researcher and educator and works as a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Pretoria. He was the winner of the 2020 Afritondo Prize, the runner-up in the 2021 Dream Foundry Prize and a finalist in Frontier Poetry’s 2022 Global Poetry Prize for the Africa Region. He has been the recipient of several prestigious scholarships, including The Chris Van Wyk Creative Writing Scholarship. His debut novel, The Institute for Creative Dying, is published through Picador Africa and Afritondo UK.
Tyriek Rashawn White is a writer, musician, and educator from Brooklyn, where he served at-risk and marginalized youth, artists, and scholars in the classroom. He is currently the media director of Lampblack Lit, a literary foundation which seeks to provide mutual aid and various resources to Black writers across the diaspora. He has received fellowships from Callaloo Writing Workshop and the New York State Writer’s Institute, among other honours. He earned an MFA from the University of Mississippi. He is the author of the novel, We Are a Haunting (Astra House, 2023).
In this episode we are in solidarity with detained Chinese writer and journalist Dong Yuyu. We call for his freedom. You can read more about his case here. As tributes to him, Tyriek reads from “On My Way out I Passed over You and the Verrazano Bridge” by Audre Lorde, Jarred reads “Still at War with the Stoics” by Jacques Coetzee and Khanya reads “Twenty Questions for your Mother” by Mahtem Shiferraw.
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