Taty Went West
‘A hallucinogenic post-apocalyptic carnival ride – Nikhil Singh has a strange and intriguing mind.’ Lauren Beukes, author of Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Zoo City
‘Nikhil Singh writes a prose as lush and crocodile-infested as the rainforests in the Outzone.’ Mehul Gohil, winner of the 2010 Kwani? ‘The Kenya I Live In’ Short Story Prize
Travellers called the Zone ‘the Land of Strangers’: the place where anyone could escape anything, and where the lost things lay.
Taty is a troubled adolescent living with her equally troubled mother in the suburbs of the Lowlands. In a moment of uncontrolled anger she finds her life changed forever and, hiding a terrible secret, she becomes a runaway, heading West into the Outzone.
When she is captured by a malicious imp, befriended by an evangelising robotic nun and wooed by a transgender hoodlum, it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary adventure story.
With moustachioed wrestlers, marauding Buddhist Punks, a feline voodoo surgeon and the enigmatic presence of the disfigured Dr Dali, Nikhil Singh has created a unique universe and a heroine whose petulant nonchalance hides a mighty spirit.
As Taty navigates the collapse of an already chaotic society, struggling against present danger while confronting the demons of her own past, her story is narrated in prose that soars with elegance and swagger in equal measure.
Taty Went West is an introduction to an electrifying new talent – an imagination unfettered by any known convention.
Nikhil Singh is a Cape Town based artist, writer, musician and film-maker. He has fronted the critically acclaimed South African art-rock bands The Wild Eyes and Hi Spider, as well as releasing a plethora of solo albums under the moniker ‘Witchboy’ (released on Aural Sects). He has illustrated the graphic novels: The Ziggurat (Bell-Roberts 2003) by The Constructus Corporation (now Die Antwoord) and Salem Brownstone with writer John Harris Dunning (Walker Books 2009. His short fiction has been published by Jungle Jim and Chimurenga. Taty Went West is his first novel and was longlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013.