A virus inflames a woman with mortal desire; a colonial naturalist seeks an impossible specimen; invisible violence stalks a safari and a man out walking enters into a strange shadow dance with a prizefighter. Ranging from taut human drama to phantasmagoria, these stories make rich and strange connections – between ancient and new, human and animal, Africa and Europe, reality and dream. Taken together, in prose of great precision and beauty, the stories in Animalia Paradoxa map the complexities of the human specimen, in all its troubling glory. This is fiction of the highest quality, from one of South Africa’s foremost novelists.
‘Henrietta Rose-Innes writes an admirably taut clean prose... A welcome addition to the new South African literature.’ – J. M. Coetzee
“Rose-Innes is a pleasure to read – inventive, intelligent and entertaining. She has a gift for precise, revelatory description that remakes familiar things in astonishing ways.” – Ivan Vladislavić
‘Rose-Innes’ writing is as entertaining as it is subtle – a rare combination.’ – Steven Amsterdam, author of What The Family Needed
‘I love Henrietta Rose-Innes’s work. With plotlines that are wittily subversive and language that is whippet-lean, it is long overdue for discovery by a wider readership.’ – Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition
‘Rose-Innes writes with a dreamlike, lyrical beauty, but she has the ability to keep a tight hold on her plot. Each of her works is a finely wrought delight.’ – Jennifer Crocker, Cape Times
‘Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.’ – Sunday Times
‘If there is an inner lion in us all, as Rose-Innes seems to suggest, her prose – weaving between muscular and lyrical – is well-equipped to capture what this might feel like.’ – Lara Feigel, The Telegraph (5-star review, Nineveh)
Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African novelist and short story writer. She is the author of four novels, including Nineveh and Green Lion, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and won the 2015 Prix François Sommer. Homing, a short story collection, was published in South Africa in 2010. She was the 2008 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and runner–up in the BBC International Short Story Award in 2012.
Animalia Paradoxa by Henrietta Rose-Innes