From da kokroach point of view, humans are irrelvant. Kokroaches no like em. Doan want em. Do not even tink bout em. Doan care for deh conversations. Books we like to eat, not read. We wish humans dead so we can eat em too.
– Sizwe Bantu, The Cockroach Whisperer, 2010.
Sizwe Bantu is the Greatest African Writer of All Time – according to Timothy Turner, Australia’s most failed academic and lover, who not only lives by Bantu’s words but keeps a giant rubber cockroach in homage to the writer of the renowned ‘cockroach stories’.
Inspired to travel to Bantu country, Timothy takes up a position at a South African university near the place rumoured to be the reclusive writer’s residence in the misty Zululand hills. Instead of drawing closer to his source of inspiration, Timothy is drawn into a steamy world of campus politics and suppressed desire.
As Timothy grapples with the mystery surrounding Makaya, the academic he has replaced, and the demands of his students, particularly the attractive Tracey, he must confront his own paranoia, prejudice and insecurity in a search for the shocking truth.
Cokcraco is an exhilarating, playful and witty novel that explores writing, identity and politics.
Paul Williams has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, USA, and is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. He has published fiction, young adult novels, a memoir, educational readers, short stories and articles, and his books have been set in schools across Africa. The Secret of Old Mukiwa won the Zimbabwe International Book Fair award for Young Adults in 2001 and Soldier Blue won Book of the Year in South Africa, 2008. His latest novel Cokcraco is available now.