The Folly (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Mr. and Mrs. Malgas live a contented, if bland, life until a stranger sets up shop in the abandoned lot next door. When he begins building… something… from detritus and scraps, the frailty of the Malgas’ (and our) assumptions of those around us begins to show. This absolutely brilliant parable can be read on many different levels. --Abe

— From Literature Holiday Picks


A vacant patch of South African veld next to the comfortable, complacent Malgas household has been taken over by a mysterious, eccentric figure with "a plan." Fashioning his tools out of recycled garbage, the stranger enlists Malgas's help in clearing the land and planning his mansion. Slowly but inevitably, the stranger's charm and the novel's richly inventive language draws Malgas into "the plan" and he sees, feels and moves into the new building. Then, just as remorselessly, all that seemed solid begins to melt back into air.

About the Author

Ivan Vladislavic was born in Pretoria in 1957 and lives in Johannesburg. His books include the novels The Restless Supermarket, The Exploded View and Double Negative, and a compendium of short stories titled Flashback Hotel. In 2006, he published "Portrait with Keys," a sequence of documentary texts on Johannesburg. He has edited books on architecture and art, and sometimes works with artists and photographers. TJ/Double Negative, a joint project with photographer David Goldblatt, received the 2011 Kraszna-Krausz Award for best photography book. His work has also won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the Alan Paton Award and the University of Johannesburg Prize. He is a Distinguished Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Wits University.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780914671374
ISBN-10: 0914671375
Publisher: Archipelago Books
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Pages: 160
Language: English