Craig Higginson wins UJ Main Prize

Market Theatre Foundation
06/11/2012 09:10:01

Craig Higginson wins the University of Johannesburg Main Prize for South African Writing in English 2011 for his novel The Landscape Painter.

There are two prizes given by the University of Johannesburg annually – the main prize of R65 000, this year won by Craig Higginson, and the debut prize of R25 000, this year awarded to Terry Westby-Nunn for The Sea of Wise Insects.

These prizes are not linked to any specific genre and the prize is open to as many forms of creative writing as possible – including fiction, poetry, biography and other forms of non-fiction. Approximately 70 published works were submitted this year. The main prize and debut prize will be awarded at a prize-giving ceremony in August.

The Market Theatre will be opening Craig’s new play, Little Foot, at the Market Theatre on 13 July 2012, following its world premiere at the Grahamstown Festival at the Rhodes Theatre, running from 6-8 July. Craig was one of ten writers from around the world to be commissioned by the National Theatre, London, to write a play for their Connections Festival. The National Theatre gave the Market Theatre generous permission to produce an extended version of Craig’s play. Directed by theatre stalwart Malcolm Purkey and designed by Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award-winner Neil Coppen, this multi-media play, set at The Cradle of Humankind, promises to be a stunning and memorable experience.

South African Reviews of THE LANDSCAPE PAINTER

“Craig Higginson is one of the most exciting and talented younger writers in the country, bringing with him a remarkable blend of free-ranging imagination and superlative narrative control. His sense of time and place is stunning and with his story-telling sleight of hand he is set to conquer the world of fiction.” Andre Brink

“The landscape of this novel … is captured in a synthesis that is surely life itself – our personal landscape of entangled relationships, work, the power of sexuality and the external power of circumstance.’ Nadine Gordimer

“It is in The Landscape Painter that Higginson unfolds the mastery of his craft on all fronts. Moving smoothly between two countries and periods, post-war Britain and South Africa at the time leading up to and during the Anglo-Boer War, it is a highly accomplished novel about obsession and damage … Haunting long after the last page is turned, The Landscape Painter is one of those rare gems which allows readers to rediscover themselves. Higginson is already one of the finest South African writers around, but his star is surely and steadily on the rise. It is just a matter of time before he reaches his zenith.” Karina Magdalena Szczurek, Independent on Sunday

“A powerful, haunting story that … inhabits the sinister byways of the human heart, illuminating the mystery of evil and the sensuous torments of beauty, youth and love. It is a fascinating and compelling read. I highly recommend it.” Hamilton Wende, CNN correspondent

“Wide as horizons, lyrical, intense and compelling … It’s hard to resist the novel’s magical pull.” Karin Schimke, Cape Times, April 2011

“richly descriptive and emotive … a remarkably good read.” Jackie May, The Times, April 2011

“a vivid historical and mesmerisingly sensual book.” Sue Grant-Marshall, Business Day, April 2011

“a fascinating read by a writer highly skilled at dialogue and narrative.” Caroline Smart, Artsmart, April 2011

“The Landscape Painter represents a new turn in South African fiction. It is ambitious in scope, unfettered in theme and experimental in form and voice. This will be a novel that endures because its insights, its epic quality and its offbeat humour will speak to a range of readers, now and in the future.” Michael Titlestad, literary critic

“Higginson has created a character who fascinates and repels by turns, but who, through the juxtaposed narratives, never entirely forfeits our sympathy … a profound and disturbing look at love and lust and their effects.” Margaret Von Klemperer, Witness, May 2011

“Craig Higginson continues to make a notable impression on South African arts and literature with his new book. He’s an interesting writer – as capable with language as the heavyweights of local literature (Gordimer, Brink, Coetzee, etc) but able, unlike many of those talents, to weave an intellectual approach accessible to a wide range of readers.” Bruce Denhill, Citizen, July 2011

“elegant, stark and profoundly moving.” Gwen Podbury, SA Jewish Report, July 2011

“Taut, mannered and lyrical … If there were a list of young South African writers to watch, [Craig Higginson] would be vying for a top position.” Michele Magwood, Magwood on Books, July 2011

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Account:
Lusanda Zokufa

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