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Marlize Hobbs, Author of Flarde, Experiments with Online Publishing

FlardeMarlize Hobbs & Leandi Erasmus Her debut novel in 2005, Flarde, won three literary awards; the Eugene Marais prize, the University of Johannesburg Debut prize and the Jan Rabie/Rapport prize for innovative writing in Afrikaans.

Now, Marlize Hobbs is back, with the beginnings of another novel, Divine Prostitute / The Girl in the Birds Nest – the first 100 pages of which she has published on her blog, encouraging readers to give their feedback. A brave experiment in online publishing! Read an excerpt below.

In the haunted room, there is a book. She did not write it, it wrote her.

In this ghost room there is a child. She wears blue pajamas and has a frail body and curious eyes. She watches Mary, her every move, but she does not watch over Mary. She is half hidden behind the door, her eyes peering into the distance where she finds the face of the woman known by her full name: Mary Magdalene.

Mary is always aware of the child: her silences, her silent screams. Sometimes Mary knows the child’s dreams. Mary is aware of the way this child looks up at the stars and it reminds her of someone she used to know:

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