Promising debut novella

2008-12-31 00:00

Nthikeng Mohlele has written a novella which shows much promise. It follows the life of Q, a lecturer in English at Good Hope University in the fictional town of Lumumbaville.

Q is introspective and searching for a sense of meaning, especially as he doesn’t believe his mother told him the truth about his real father.

He finds his muse in a butchery which was once a jazz record store called My Kind of Jazz. Bernice works among the carcasses and her inscrutability keeps Q spellbound. She captivates him with her elusiveness as surely as the butterflies he likes to hunt.

When she disappears suddenly, his life is changed irrevocably. Just before she left, though, she told him she was carrying his child. Five years later he finds Bernice again, as well as the grave of his daughter who’d been adored by all. But Bernice still eludes him. His emotional search for meaning culminates in a physical collapse which is finally defined as manic depression. The future holds little hope, except for a possibility of comfort from an unlikely source.

Mohlele writes intelligently with an original turn of phrase. His studies in literature have paid off. The story moves along with broad strokes however. Five years are covered in a short phrase. A crucial character’s death warrants only a few sentences. His next novel needs to dig deeper into the events which affect his central character, but The Scent of Bliss is a promising start.

Janet van Eeden

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.