Once, when asked by an interviewer why he was a writer, David replied: ‘To stave off boredom.’ The interviewer said she was shocked by that reply. So David tried to explain by saying that writing was the only thing that completely engaged his senses, his intellect, and his emotions, all three at once.
David published his first short story at age nineteen and his first book twenty-five years later. He came to travel writing gradually, after having begun with fiction. Travel writing allows him the freedom to deal with large themes in an intimate way, and his understanding of fiction enhances the travel narrative. For his first travel book he won a major South African literary prize. He has written extensively on South Africa and other places across the continent. In 2010 he received a SALA Lifetime Achievement Literary Award, and has recently completed a major travel project entitled Walking to Australia.’
David’s books are available for sale online via PorcupinePress.
Here are some titles to look at:
Private Excavations is superb travel writing with a profoundly important purpose. It is also a very necessary book for our rapidly polarising global village.
A journey through snow-clad northern Europe uncovers the fateful impact of a ‘one-truth’ vision of the world. By using as a platform important Scandinavians (writer August Strindberg and Advard Munch) the author explores absolutist thinking in its various religious and political guises. His fluid style blends evocative description with philosophy and history (especially art history) and persuades the reader towards a more humane understanding of existence. The extremists deny this point of view, content instead to seek salvation from an unacceptable world via their one-truth dogmas.
In April 1994, South Africa stepped back from the slough of endemic violence and danced its first bold dance with constitutional democracy. Millions of people entered into a state of euphoric rejoicing. The date marked the end of the apartheid past and the beginning of a brave new future.
This is how the first edition of this highly-praised examination of African democracy was introduced. The date of its release was 2004. Now
15 years on, the dance is well and truly over. Democracy at the southern end of Africa has been sorely tested by the world’s largest HIV/Aids epidemic, by deliberate attempt at ‘state capture’ that has relieved the national fiscus of several trillions of Rand, by poverty levels that have surpassed those under apartheid, and by steadily declining educational standards and massive youth unemployment. The value of this early work is that it so accurately pinpoints the cracks in the democratic façade. As the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, the author’s method and keen perceptions resonate far beyond the country he is describing.
The William Humphreys Art Gallery (WHAG) in Kimberley is South Africa’s smallest nationally funded gallery. It is also the country’s most dynamic and innovative in terms of its response to the changing socio-political terrain in which it has operated during its 60-year life. From its origins as a typical colonial repository of imported culture, WHAG now holds one of the finest collections of the diverse streams of South African art. It also runs unique projects which have transformed the gallery from an isolated cultural enclave into the nerve centre for thriving outreach in the most desolate and marginalised – and starkly beautiful – region of the country’s hinterland.
The story of this pioneering institution is told through the experiences of a team from the gallery as it journeys thousands of kilometres across the Northern Cape in search of what might constitute the significance of art in human development, and in the lives of frequently impoverished contemporary communities. This quest for possible answers sheds important light on the role and rationale of an art gallery, and of the arts in general, in a changed and changing South Africa.
Forty years after coming of age in South Africa in the 1960s, the author unearths a forgotten manuscript written at that time. Through rereading this early work, he revisits the political and religious falsehoods that had characterised the context of his genesis as a writer, particularly as revealed by the fictional characters that he then created.
Two women have been damaged by the realities of the time, one crushed by the withering world of Afrikaner urbanisation, the other by the devastating impact of racially defined morality. They bring tragedy and greater maturity to the central character, a young visual artist who falls in love with both these shattered individuals.
Tragic yet liberating, the multi-pronged narrative that unfolds is as innovative in style and concept as it is illuminating of emotional and intellectual imprisonment.
The conclusions are undeniably triumphant, however, suggestive as they are of the exhilaration of living life against a generally repressive and delusive stream.
‘A work of profound understanding and emotional intensity.’
David also has various titles listed on Amazon for purchase.
Popular titles available are:
Kite Flying at Worlds End
After the Dance
Walking to Australia
Exploring the roots of Dogma.
Memoirs of a manuscript propane.
The complete history of America.
The history of Columbia.
On the bridge of goodbye.
David and his wife – Gail run PorcupinePress – which is known as the he leading name in independent publishing and bookselling in South Africa. They focus on :
Writer Development & Guidance
Good and thought-provoking books, whatever the genre
High quality writing through professional editing and proofreading
Innovative market-related cover design and layout
Wide distribution streams, locally and internationally
Innovative brand promotion and title marketing