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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Karin Schimke Talks to Deon Meyer at the Launch of 7 Days at Kalk Bay Books

Deon Meyer

On Monday night, a throng of eager fans made their way to Kalk Bay, waiting in the traffic in order to fill Kalk Bay Books to the rafters. They arrived in droves for the launch of Deon Meyer’s latest novel, 7 Days. This favourite author was joined by the Cape Times book editor, Karin Schimke, who congratulated him on publishing his eighth book. With her no-nonsense candour and delightful unpretentiousness, Schimke asked a series of questions that had the audience roaring with laughter all evening.

7 DaysIn reply to Schimke’s disarming question “Did you ever think you’d be famous?”, he looked dumbfounded. “Me, famous?” he asked. “Yes,” she said. “Look at all these people.”

Meyer said he was sure they had only come for the free wine and seemed rather relieved at his lack of recognisability in the supermarkets. “Only in book circles do people know my name. Most don’t recognise my face.” The audience was thrilled by the exchange.

Schimke quizzed Meyer on a range of fascinating topics, including the most recent languages into which his works have been translated – Icelandic and Mandarin. These latest translations takes the number of languages in which Meyer’s work has been translated up to 27. When asked about his popularity, apart from South Africa, he spoke about France as the number one country in terms of sales. He is also doing very well in the UK, US and Germany. “Holland has also really taken off,” he said.

Meyer, who finds it difficult to read fiction while he is writing it, nevertheless enjoys reading Afrikaans writers Karin Brynard, Etienne van Heerden and Marlene van Niekerk – who he believes deserves the Nobel prize for literature!

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Liesl Jobson tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:

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