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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  125Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.