Tag Archives: south african

The Folly by Ivan Vladislavic




& other stories brings us the work of Ivan Vladislavic, a celebrated South African writer. The Folly is an inventive tale of the unlikely friendship that blooms between two neighbours.

Mr and Mrs Malgas live simple lives, until a mysterious stranger appears on the unoccupied plot next door. Mr is keen to make acquaintance whereas Mrs remains sceptical and prefers to keep a distance from this suspicious creature.

Nieuwenhuizen arrives at his inherited acre with a headful of interesting ideas for a magnificent mansion. Father, as Nieuwenhuizen prefers to be called, makes tools and cutlery from any rubbish he can find – he is clearly resourceful. Soon he enlists the assistance of a trusting and willing Mr Malgas, who sets about clearing the land, prepping for the mansion he expects to see.

In this short fiction Ivan explores some interesting themes; ownership, trust, deceit and power. He highlights how easily a willing mind can be taken for a ride. In post-apartheid South Africa, should you love or fear your neighbour? Ivan’s characters are written with such depth, he explores their subtle mannerisms such that I feel I have walked with them. His command of language and attention to detail is exquisite, and has resulted in a mysteriously funny but serious novel.

The folly is an imaginative book for the sophisticated mind.

Written for Buzz Magazine Cardiff – Happy Reading ❤