WHEN Sarah Lotz heard that Pompidou Posse, which she wrote as part of her MA in creative writing at the University of Cape Town, was to be published, she gave a copy of the manuscript to her parents and told them they had better read it. Then she sat her 17-year-old daughter Savannah down and had a long chat. Although Lotz says the book is not a memoir, she does admit that the “experiences” of the main characters, British teenagers Vicki and Sage, are based on what she and her friend Parsley got up to when they ran away to France after getting into a bit of trouble with the law in the UK. A wonderful parade of weird people threads its way through Pompidou Posse, which provides a harrowing yet fascinating and darkly humorous look at the underbelly of the world’s most romantic city. I’m glad that Lotz survived to tell the tale and I look forward to her next book.