Lauren Beukes’ next two novels snapped up by US publisher

Local author Lauren Beukes is slowly but surely reaching global audiences. US publisher Mulholland Books has just acquired the North American rights for “The Shining Girls +1”, providing a platform for her work to cross over into the mainstream – while still retaining her signature “element of the strange”. By THERESA MALLINSON.

“There’s the sense that (Lauren) Beukes is poised on the cusp of fame. And not just the kind where you’re recognised as a remarkable writer in your own country or by people immersed in your genre,” Mandy de Waal wrote for Daily Maverick last year. Beukes’ latest novel, Zoo City, has been published in the US and the UK as well as South Africa, and won international acclaim when it was awarded the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award.

Now, with US publisher Mulholland Books’ acquisition of the North American rights for Beukes’ two next novels, the prospect of fame moves ever closer. Beukes didn’t give a precise figure when it comes to the advance she will be paid, but said: “It’s basically enough for me to live on for the time I’m allowed to write the book.” The deal includes two novels, one called The Shining Girls, and another that is yet to be titled.

“The Shining Girls is about a time-travelling serial killer,” said Beukes. “There’s a guy called Harpo, who is a drifter in 1930s/1940s US, and he’s able to time-travel and jump all over the place. One of his victims survives, and she starts trying to track him down…”

Understandably, Beukes isn’t talking about the next book right now, but said: “Whatever I write, there’s always going to be an element of the strange about my books; I’m not going to do anything conventional.” The Shining Girls is set for release in May 2013. We can’t wait. DM

Photo: Lauren Beukes