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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Podcast: Jonny Steinberg Discusses A Man of Good Hope and the Complexities of Writing Someone Else’s Story

A Man of Good HopeA Man of Good Hope is award-winning author Jonny Steinberg’s latest book – the story of Asad Abdullahi’s life, following him from war-stricken Somalia down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Steinberg joined Eusebius McKaiser in the Power FM studio to discuss this epic work. He explains the complex nature of writing the stories he feels drawn to telling, discussing the power connected to them and how he goes about setting up a relationship where the other party is able to open up and share their life story.

“I wander around and I attract people who need to speak, and really it is not a question of skill or tactic – it’s a question of time. Asad and I spent many a hundreds of hours in my car, in this very intimate space, talking. And for whatever reasons, he may not even understand the reasons completely, he wanted to talk and he did. And I was grateful,” Steinberg says.

Listen to the podcast to find out more about A Man of Good Hope; the sincerity of memory, which is essentially always reconstructed, according to the author; and Steinberg’s plans for the future (which involve a full professorship at Wits):

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