BULAWAYO poet, critic and writer John Eppel is set to release two publications titled White Man Walking and O Suburbia before year-end.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
In an interview with Southern Eye Life & Style, Eppel said the book White Man Walking will be edited and published by Tendai Rinos Mwanika of Chitungwiza and distributed by a London-based company, while O Suburbia will be published by Weaver Press of Harare.
“White Man Walking is a collection of short stories I have been writing for many years. I have published them in small journals and magazines and also in a collection of short stories with other writers, so I thought it would be good to keep these short stories as a published book,” he said.
Eppel said the other book, O Suburbia, will be a collection of poems.
“The other book is called O Suburbia because the suburbs are between the town and the bush, which is a nice place to be. Weaver Press of Harare has agreed to publish the book and it should be out by end of the year too and that will be my 20th book,” he said.
In his writing, Eppel said he has faced challenges of race, from being white and his prize-writing satire which is mockery.
“The most significant challenge for me is race, being white, but most of my prize-writing is satire, which I use to mock, attack, but consider being bad behaviour like hypocrisy, self-righteousness and greed,” he said.
“I attack those concepts. I don’t attack the racism environment because all races can behave badly or well though I feel accused of being a racist, but I have chosen to stay here as a writer and many have left both black and white.”
Eppel’s other novels include The Giraffe Man, The Curse of the Ripe Tomato and The Holy Innocents.
His first novel, D.G.G. Berry’s The Great North Road, won the MNet prize in South Africa and was listed in the weekly Mail & Guardian as one of the best 20 South African books in English, published between 1948 and 1994.
His second novel, Hatchings, was shortlisted for the MNet prize and was chosen for the series in the Times Literary Supplement on the most significant books to have come out of Africa.