Kwela Books, 2007
Once Two Islands
Populated by bizarre and eccentric characters, this charming novel tells the story of Gulai, a young girl who comes of age on an isolated island some distance south of Africa. When Gulai’s mother dies giving birth to her, her father—Dr. Orion Prosper, the only medical doctor on the island—blames himself. For days afterward, he locks himself in his room, leaving Gulai’s aunt no other option but to seek advice from Dr. Prosper’s archenemy, Sophia, the island’s midwife. Young Gulai allows herself to be comforted by Sophia, and thus begins Gulai’s life, in which she betrays her father merely 10 days after her birth. Gulai’s story explores these relationships, processes, and conflicts with warmth and humor in a way that appeals to the imagination.