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Gillian Slovo in conversation with Boyd Tonkin

Gillian Slovo, Boyd Tonkin

07/03/2005 12:00 pm
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Shortlisted for last year’s Orange Prize for her powerful portrayal of Stalinist Russia in Ice Road (2004), Gillian Slovo is a prolific author whose personal and professional history are equally remarkable. Born in South Africa, she is the daughter of the anti-apartheid activists Joe Slovo and Ruth First, who was assassinated. Whether writing fiction (The Betrayal, 1991), her turbulent childhood memoir (Every Secret Thing, 1997) or the documentary play Guantanamo, a hit both here and in New York, politics are rarely far beneath the surface.

In conversation with Boyd Tonkin, Gillian Slovo spoke about the passions and influences that inform her work and life.

Gillian Slovo

Gillian Slovo is a South African born novelist whose twelve published books include the Orange Prize short listed Ice Road, Red Dust, made into a film starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and a family memoir Every Secret Thing. Her two plays, Guantanamo and the 2011 The Riots, have also been performed in theatres worldwide.

Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin writes on books and arts for international media including The Economist, The Financial Times, The Times and Wall Street Journal. He chaired the Man Booker International Prize in 2016, and served as its Special Adviser. For many years he worked at The Independent as Literary Editor and then Senior Writer. His reader’s guide to global fiction, The Hundred Best Novels in Translation, appeared in 2018.