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Byron Loker

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Byron Loker

New Swell by Byron Loker. Prescribed in South Africa in Grade 9 English Lit. The narrator of all the stories is a young aspirant writer (a surfer, a traveller), a character who shares little with Oom Schalk Lourens except a wry point of view, an appreciation of irony and an ability to observe the world in fine (and usually sardonic) detail. ‘Demands to be read … different to anything that has been written in English in South Africa … fresh, honest, off-the-wall, but simultaneously clear moments of everyday life.’ – Mike Nicol

The title story was longlisted in 2014 for the Twenty in 20 project, a Twenty Years of Freedom initiative whose aim is to identify the best South African short stories published in English during the past two decades of democracy.

Now also available in Kindle Edition.

‘New Swell is a highly accomplished debut collection, making for entertaining and engrossing reading … his stories have been likened to those of both Herman Charles Bosman and Hemingway. There is, that is to say, a distinct and distinctive voice lending unity to this collection… If the flat naturalism recalls Hemingway, other stories, in their deliberately straight-faced contemplation of horrors, recall Bosman. Hardly constitutes a reasoned rejoinder to the dark prognostications of, say, Disgrace: the stories do not pretend to reflect in any serious way on South African realities, and we would not want them to.’ – Michiel Heyns, Sunday Independent

‘Byron Loker is a particularly gifted and dedicated young writer’ – André Brink

‘Great: funny and melancholy and understated. I really liked “Hemingway” and “My Friend Carl”, the Darrington stories are amazing, and the whole thing works really well as a whole.’ – Henrietta Rose-Innes

‘… true to life, anecdotal, funny and poignant… a very perceptive eye for the nuances of everyday life. A relaxing, fun read that won’t disappoint.’ – The Book Lounge

‘I liked the voice of the narrator and I found these stories fresh and just different enough to be intriguing. – Valerie Borchardt ( – Elie Wiesel, John Ashbery, T.C Boyle, Andre Brink, Ian McEwan, David Guterson)

‘… an easy page-turner, rich with insight into what it means to be young, South African … carefree and conscious – alive with the unknown’ – Shape Magazine

”n kaliedoskoop van komieklike karakters en situasies en pleke … Byron Loker is ‘n kortverhaalskrywer om dop te hou … uitstekend … Dahlagtig’ – Dr. Abraham De Vries, Beeld

‘ … all SA surfers and students should read this, hilarious and real – beauty!’ – Bob Skinstad