Thursday, May 29, 2014

Inside/Out with Zimbabwean novelist, Tendai Huchu

by Bev Clark on May 27, 2014 on
Describe yourself in five words?
Neurotic, funny, clumsy, thoughtful, determined.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I never take advice. Once I matured a bit and realised that (in the adult world at least) no one actually knew what they were doing in this life, that we were all just winging it, I thought, screw advice.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done?The thought that I could be an actual writer at a time when all I knew was that it was something faceless people with middle-class names did.
What is your most treasured possession?
My library.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Starvation and rejection, the two interlinked poles, simultaneously the source of motivation and misery in an author’s life.
Do you have any strange hobbies?Define strange.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I have acne on my face like I’m still going through puberty in my 30s!
What is your greatest extravagance?
My superhero t-shirt collection.
What have you got in your fridge?
Nothing but air pies at the moment. I emptied it out because I was going away for a writing residency for a month. Usually, though, it has a couple of beers, a random onion (peeled) and yellow slimy stuff in one corner.
What is your greatest fear?
What have you got in your pockets right now?
Tissues – hay fever is absolutely killing me.
What is your favourite journey?
That would have to be the mysterious, angst ridden journey from first page to publication.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom, who has guts, determination and tenderness. Sarah Ladipo-Manyika, one of the finest writers I know. Anyone who rises with dawn and has the courage to face another day.
When and where were you happiest?
Happiest when writing, wherever and whenever I may be.
What’s your biggest vice?
I’ve taken to using Indian chewing tobacco. I find the nicotine is a stimulant for the muse. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, it’s a disgusting habit and the graphic pictures of people with oral cancerous growths on their cheeks outside the packets should be enough to put any sane, rational person off.
What were you like at school?
Nerdy, group comedian, slightly above average academically, scared of girls, awkward, scruffy, mediocre sportsman, weird hair.
What are you doing next?
I’m working on my next novel The Maestro, The Magistrate, & The Mathematician which should be out through amaBooks later this year. Save your pocket money, kids.