Malla Nunn Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Malla Nunn

Malla Nunn

An interview with Malla Nunn

Malla Nunn Revealed

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. A chaotic juggling act. Writing, children, dreaming, cooking.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Ubuntu: We are people through other people.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Being happy with what I have; right here, right now.

Q. What's your greatest fear?
A. Loss of a loved one, closely followed by bad reviews!

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Walking through the African bush, the smell of fresh rain in the air.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. The women who wash the laundry and heat the baby bottles while the bombs drop. They are the life force.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. My parents. They have survived hard lives with their humanity intact.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Honestly, really, the thing is...

Q. What do you regret most?
A. Letting fear of failure hold me back.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. The ability to play a musical instrument and speak multiple languages.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My family. Being a writer.

Q. What's your greatest flaw?
A. Impatience.

Q. What's your best quality?
A. My third world appreciation for every great thing in my life.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. A shape shifter/ time traveler.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. My very curly hair.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. One! Impossible. Georgina "call me George" from Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Mosley's Easy Rawlins, the father in McCarthy's The Road. The list goes on!

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Every one of Charles Dickens villains are gems. Agatha Trunchbull in Dahl's Matilda. Lucifer in the Good Book. Too many to list.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I'd like to meet Shaka Zulu, founder of the Zulu nation. I'd ask him "Why don't you name an heir for the good of your Kingdom? It will save a lot of bloodshed later on."

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Lack of manners. General rudeness.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you're not writing?
A. Planning travel adventures.

Q. What's your fantasy profession?
A. Wildlife photographer

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Kindness, humor and a desire to learn

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. mangoes.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Whoza Mtwana by Abdullah Ibrahim, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, Plain Gold Ring by Nina Simone, Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi, Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba and the other 200 songs on my ipod!

Q. How did you come to write A Beautiful Place to Die?
A. I wanted to explore, through crime fiction, the crippling racial segregation laws that forced my parents out of Southern Africa. Any society that elevates a "pure" minority to the pinnacle has a dark underbelly. My book explores the unlit spaces in 1950's South African society.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

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