Presenting Andrew Miller’s 2015 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award-winning Debut Novel, Dub Steps
Jacana Media is proud to present Dub Steps by Andrew Miller – the winner of the 2015 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award:
The plants were pushing the houses back, each millimetre of growth adding to each tendril a new triumph of organic force. In the townships progress was slower but still real, clusters reaching up and over the roofs, sporadic grass patches spiralling upwards and sideways simultaneously.
‘We’re just starting summer rains, right?’ Babalwa asked rhetorically. ‘It’s October, right? And it rains hard up here?’ We were driving through the matchbox houses of Katlehong.
‘What you reckon – two years? Three? Before everything is gone?’
About the book
Dub Steps has a strange long aftertaste. It is science fiction with ordinary characters trying to understand what it is to be alive. People have gone, suddenly, inexplicably, and the remaining handful have to find each other and start again. In that new beginning they wrestle with identity, race, sex, art, religion and time, in a remarkably realistic, step-by-step way. Nature comes back, Johannesburg becomes wonderfully overgrown, designer pigs watch from the periphery walls, and the small group of survivors have to find ways of living with their own flaws and the flaws of each other. The aftertaste comes from the surprisingly real meditations in the middle of the end: after all simulated reality has gone, what human reality is left? There are no clichés in this book, but there is plenty of humour, originality and a gripping, unusual interrogation of the ordinary but really extraordinary fact of being alive.
About the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award
The Dinaane* replaces the European Union Literary Award and as before celebrates an outstanding fiction manuscript from a debut writer. The winning manuscript is published by Jacana Media and the winner awarded a R35 000 cash prize. The Dinaane is supported by Exclusive Books’ Homebru campaign. This year, the first runner-up will also receive a significant prize: a writing bursary to the value of R20 000, in memory of Gerald Kraak, who was instrumental in the successful running of the Jacana Literary Foundation until his passing away in 2014.
The inaugural Dinaane was judged by a panel of three judges: Maureen Isaacson, Fred Khumalo and head judge Pamela Nichols. 31 manuscripts were eligible for the prize, and the judges stressed the variety of the entries received, which gave them a privileged insight into South African society and how people conceive the contemporary.
*The word ‘dinaane’ in Setswana means ‘telling our stories to one another’.
Read: Andrew Miller Wins the 2015 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for Dub Steps
Andrew Miller is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer. He has worked extensively in the city arts scene over the last decade, and has helped a wide range of emerging artists to develop their careers. Andrew is also a public speaker and performance poet, and has appeared on many stages across Gauteng, from business schools to the Daily Maverick Gatherings, where he discusses ideas such as urban culture, disability, death and the challenges of being South African.