Award winning author to launch new historical fiction novel
Bookworms are in for a treat as award winning writer, Lauri Kubuitsile will be releasing her second historical novel called But Deliver Us from Evil, which will be released by end of May. Published by Penguin South Africa Kubuitsile’s new work of historical fiction explores witchcraft and trust through the story of two young women whose lives converge at a crucial juncture. In Gaborone the novel will be launched at the June Book Night at the The Gaborone Book Fair slated for 6th of June 2019. Prior to its launch, Kubuitsile will be attending the Franschhoek Literary Festival in the Western Cape, South Africa from 17th to the 19th May and it’s Johannesburg launch is set for the 22nd May 2019.
Speaking about the inspiration behind her new novel Kubuitsile said that during research for her first historical novel, The Scattering she came across a letter written by Kgosi Sechele I from December 1882. There was a Setswana newspaper at that time that was published at the mission in Kuruman and there was a section of the paper for letters to the editor. Kgosi Sechele I was a big Christian, and a friend to David Livingstone. There was a letter from a person saying that Kgosi Sechele could not be a real Christian because he’d sentenced 25 witches to death in his kgotla and witchcraft was not something a real Christian believed in. After some time, Kgosi Sechele wrote back responding to the allegation saying that he only executed five witches. He also said that the five were well-known to be witches in any case.
“I read that letter and I could not stop thinking about that girl. What was her story? I looked and looked but nothing was written anywhere. History has so many holes, especially our history here in Botswana. But I kept thinking about her. I knew she would not leave me until I attended to her story. And, Nthebolang, one of the two main characters of the book was created, completely a fabrication of my mind but stemming from a real thing that happened,” Kubuitsile revealed.
In her latest work the story opens in 1871, when Nthebolang and her mother must flee their home because her father has been accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. After he has been ritually thrown off a high cliff, for months they walk, sleeping in the open, living off the veld, until they are offered shelter in Ntsweng in the kingdom of Kgosi Sechele I.
It is there, years later, that Nthebolang meets Beatrice, the wife of a cruel English missionary, and a woman who has had her share of perilous escapes. As a young girl, this light-skinned Koranna woman was mistaken for a kidnapped white child and bundled off to a mission station. After all this time, Beatrice still carries her father’s gift, a hunting knife, concealed under her clothing. But things are not settled in Ntsweng, where traditional beliefs and Christianity clash. The turmoil of Nthebolang’s childhood repeats itself when her beloved Motsumi is suspected of witchcraft. Will she be able to save him, or will he meet the same fate as her father? And is Beatrice a friend in whom she should place her trust?
“But Deliver Us from Evil is at once a sensitive human drama and a chilling tale of evil power plays, bringing to life a little-known yet fascinating pocket of Botswana’s colonial history. It is a story of struggle and belief, hatred and love,” she remarked.
Kubuitsile who has published several books will be in Gaborone on Saturday 13th April to attend the Gaborone Book Fair’s Book Club where they will be discussing her book, The Scattering published in May 2016.