Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
Every city has an unspoken side. Cape Town, between the picture postcard mountain and sea, has its own shadow: a place of dislocation and uncertainty, dependence and desperation, destruction and survival, gangsters, pimps, pedophiles, hunger, hope, and moments of happiness. Living in this shadow is Azure, a thirteen-year-old who makes his living on the streets, a black teenager sought out by white men, beholden to gang leaders but determined to create some measure of independence in this dangerous world. Thirteen Cents is an extraordinary and unsparing account of a coming of age in Cape Town.
Reminiscent of some of the greatest child narrators in literature, Azure’s voice will stay with the reader long after this short novel is finished. Based on personal experiences, Thirteen Cents is Duiker’s debut novel, originally published in 2000.
This first edition to be published outside South Africa includes an introduction by Shaun Viljoen and a special glossary of South African words and phrases from the text translated into English.
Shaun Viljoen is a Professor in the English Department at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and the author of a forthcoming biography of the writer Richard Rive.