By the Book: Q&A with Elsa Joubert

Cul-de-sac by Elsa Joubert, published by NB Publishers.
Cul-de-sac by Elsa Joubert, published by NB Publishers.

A good work of literature is that which is authentic and unpretentious, says author Elsa Joubert.

What’s your favourite thing to read? And what do you avoid reading?

I love reading crime mysteries. And I avoid reading pep talk books.

What books are on your nightstand?

Emma by Jane Austen – she is so witty; and The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald.

What was the last truly great book you read?

Another Country by Karel Schoeman and translated by David Schalkwyk – I liked the English translation even more than the original Afrikaans.

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

My crime thrillers.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I was an avid reader. I loved adventure books and school stories. My favourite was Angela Brazil and her school stories; the fifth form and upper sixth, and such strange phrases we didn’t know.

Whom would you want to write your life story?

I’ve written it myself.

What moves you most in a work of literature?

That which is authentic and unpretentious.

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