Interview with McIntosh Polela Ahead of the Sunday Times Literary Awards
In an interview for Business Day, Sue Grant-Marshall speaks to McIntosh Polela ahead of the announcement of the winner of the 2012 Alan Paton Award in Johannesburg tomorrow night. Polela is shortlisted for the award for his heart-breaking memoir, My Father, My Monster.
The life of McIntosh Polela can be summed up in two words: the ones that make up his name. Behind them lie the cruelty and abuse of a childhood he was determined to survive. He was not born with his name. He created it, and therein lies his story as told in My Father, My Monster (Jacana).
Today he can walk into a crowded room and discuss his harrowing early life with a self-confidence and ease that give the lie to a life that might have defeated others. Yet he’s not arrogant or supercilious, mechanisms used by many to cover a deep-seated hurt that will never entirely be salved.