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Reliving the Past: Janet van Eeden Interviews McIntosh Polela

My Father, My MonsterIn the following interview with LitNet’s Janet van Eeden, McIntosh Polela notes that, although writing and speaking about his past has helped to heal some of the wounds, it has also “made it all very fresh”.

In his memoir My Father, My Monster, Polela recounts the horrific story of his mother’s death at the hands of his father:

McIntosh, ever since we sat next to each other on a plane, flying to Sithengi’s Film Market in Cape Town as we were both recipients of a bursary from SASWA to pitch our films there, you’ve spoken about the story you wanted to write about your past. I was moved then, and when I read the rough draft of your novel I was moved even more. It’s beautifully polished and published now, and your gruelling story is out there for the world to read. Has this changed the way you feel about life now? Are you more settled in the present now that you’ve put the past to rest?

I thought that writing my story was going to help me put the past behind me. But it made it all very fresh. It’s almost as if it happened just the previous day. But at the same time I found that writing my story gave me some release. It heals me having to talk about it so often to so many people since the book came out.

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