Author(s): Yewande Omotoso
Hortensia and Marion are next door neighbours in a charming, bougainvillea-laden Cape Town suburb. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers behind them. Both have recently been widowed. Both are in their eighties. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility pruned with zeal. But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together.
Could long-held mutual loathing transform into friendship? Love thy neighbour? Easier said than done.
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist 2017
"Picked by the Times Literary Supplement's as one of the 'Best Books by Women Every Man Should Read" Times Literary Supplement
"Wit, charm and playful energy...An insightful and fascinating diptych of two women, with the history of colonialism and slavery lurking in the background". --Herald
"Cape Town's answer to Mapp and Lucia, a war of wits and witticisms amid the bougainvillea of an impossibly smug neighborhood. Yewande Omotoso's deft writing and subtle weaving in of difficult history will leave you in love with these two stubborn old women. Delightful" -- Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
"Yewande Omotoso's novel is an impressive achievement that carries echoes of Nadine Gordimer... It takes stock of the past in the present and examines the geographies of intimacies, which produce in miniature larger power dynamics" -- Julie Hakim Azzam Times Literary Supplement
"An intimate, frequently hilarious look at the lives of two extraordinary women in post-apartheid South Africa...Deeply satisfying...The vivid setting and intricate descriptions transport the reader to this very specific time and place, though the crackling dialog and lively, fiercely independent protagonists are universal" --Booklist
Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados and grew up in Nigeria, moving to South Africa with her family in 1992. She is the author of Bom Boy, published in South Africa in 2011. In 2012 she won the South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author and was shortlisted for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize. In 2013 she was a finalist in the inaugural, pan-African Etisalat Fiction Prize. She lives in Johannesburg, where she writes and has her own architectural practice.