Naidoo won the Carnegie Medal and Smarties Silver
Prize for ‘The Other Side of Truth’.
With its sequel, ‘Web of Lies’, it is
set in London not far from the National Gallery.
Her first novel, the award-winning ‘Journey
to Jo’burg’ was set in South Africa
where she grew up. It opened the eyes of many thousands
of readers around the world.
“The book was banned in South Africa until
the year after Nelson Mandela was freed from jail.
Imagine thinking that you can ban ideas! I wrote
a poem called ‘They tried to lock up freedom’!”
As a student Beverley became involved in the resistance
to apartheid, leading to arrest and exile in England.
“I was a late developer. In my whites-only
girls-only school no one challenged me to ask questions
about what was happening. I was very blinkered.
I had just accepted that apartheid and racism were
normal. Thank goodness, when I got to university,
I made friends with people who challenged me to
think and see what I had previously ignored.
I began to read books where authors invited me into
worlds very different from my own. That was when
I began to learn the power of reading to open us
to new worlds, new journeys of heart and mind. When
I write, I am my first reader. I want what I write
to take me on a journey and to grip my heart and
mind. If I am gripped, I hope that you will be too.”
Beverley has won many awards around the world for
her work. Her latest book ‘Burn My Heart’
is set in 1950s Kenya. The Guardian said:
“’Burn My Heart’ moves, enlightens
and reminds us about a time in British colonial
history, a time of African struggle, that helps
us to understand how things are now with a little
more insight. And, most of all, it is a fine story
of friendship, trust, betrayal and loss.”
Beverley is on the web at www.beverleynaidoo.com