A story that seeks to explore what sets individual stories apart, how they converge and collide and ultimately, the dilemma of being alive in the world today, such as it is. A riveting tale about the struggle of a mental patient to wrestle hope from the deepest pit of despair.

The unnamed protagonist of Perfect Hlongwane’s second novel, Sanity Prevail, is admitted to the Psych Ward of a government hospital. Once there, his stay becomes a meditation on the concept of wellness and a critique of how we comprehend what and who constitutes the unwell, and a sometimes compassionate and often confused obsession with the stories of the patients he finds himself sharing space with.

What develops is a keen look at society and the values and beliefs that tend to shape it, all anchored in the main character’s refusal to place too much faith in his own scepticism and disgruntlement. The stories of his fellow patients lay bare the sordid humour and horror of life in this country called South Africa, and ultimately grapple with the intrusions of the past on the present, the future, and the tenacious struggle of a beleaguered people to hold on to the dregs of their humanity. Throughout, the writing wrestles with questions of what it means to write; the too often futile fulfilment of the thing, while challenging established literary forms and conventions. Book summary provided by BlackBird Books.

Listen to Perfect Hlongwane read an excerpt from his latest Novel – Sanity Prevail