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Fiona Snyckers

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Trinity – Banned, Suppressed … Confiscated!

Some of you may know that in my pantheon of relatives (near and far and aangetroud) I am the proud possessor of a brother.

Also a Rhodes University alumnus, he blazed a trail through the Linguistics Department and pursued a career in literacy, while I blundered around in matters literary.

Today he consults all over the country, verifying, moderating, examining, and teaching teachers to teach. In his spare time, he is also very supportive of his sister’s writing career … such as it is.

So last week he was in the office of a certain head of department at Wits, when a blinding flash of pink caught his eye. “I noticed it immediately,” he says in his gripping, eye-witness account of this incident. “Because this HOD is not a pink person. Her office is lavishly supplied with weighty tomes, with not a pink dust jacket in sight. Well … not usually.”

My brother looked a little closer and discovered that the book in question was in fact “Trinity Rising”.

“Oh,” he said, with a casual wave of the hand. “I see you have my sister’s book there.”

“Your sister’s book, eh?” snapped the HOD, fixing him with a steely glare over the top of her horn-rimmed spectacles. “Well, tell her not to read it in class next time. She can have it back at the end of the term.”

There was a pause while my boet struggled to wrap his mind around this apparent change of subject.

“No,” he said at last. “I meant that it is her book because she wrote it. She is the author.”

“Is she indeed? Well, I caught a student reading it in class yesterday. She had it all propped up behind “The Hermeneutics of Representation” … the little slacker. So I confiscated it.”

“You need to give it back immediately,” my brother urged, with all the exigency at his command. “She had probably just got to the exciting part.”

“Oh, all right,” the HOD agreed grumpily. “She can have it back on Monday.”

Well … I couldn’t be more delighted. “Trinity Rising” has joined the ranks of Books That Get Confiscated In Class. I am in distinguished company. Harold Robbins, Judith Krantz, Eric van Lustbader … no doubt I’m showing my age, but those were the books that used to get yanked out of pupils’ hands and borne off to join the teacher’s collection of racy paperbacks when I was a kid. I remember that they all had a certain well-thumbed look about them, with spines rendered pliant by scores of youthful hands. They fell open naturally, I seem to recall, at certain crucial sections.

And now my book has joined their well-thumbed ranks. That’s worth a dozen good reviews.


Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    March 17th, 2010 @10:13 #

    Absolutely classic, Fiona!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">janetvaneeden</a>
    March 17th, 2010 @10:19 #

    No better news. Trinity has really made it now. Well done! :)

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Jassy</a>
    March 17th, 2010 @10:30 #

    Hehe! That's so funny. I'm sure the poor student will be eternally grateful to your brother for getting her book back to her before the end of term!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Ingrid Andersen</a>
    Ingrid Andersen
    March 17th, 2010 @10:46 #

    Trinity's Arrived!

    A friend tells a story of how she nearly ran over a student in Grahamstown, who stepped into oncoming traffic while reading the aforementioned Pink Book..

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    March 17th, 2010 @11:36 #


    Eric van Lustbader! I thought that was my dirty little secret. Just think, Fiona, you're badering the lust of a whole new generation.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    March 17th, 2010 @11:45 #

    Jeez, Fiona, well at least we know who to blame for our failing education system, and, now it seems, road accidents too.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    March 17th, 2010 @12:26 #

    I hope my own pink book achieves this distinguished status someday.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    March 17th, 2010 @16:14 #

    Fifi, I salute you. I think your publishers should make a little "contraband! will be confiscated!" sticker and put it on all your covers. This is worth a dozen of those dull literary prizes. (Except that there isn't any money attached. Dang.)

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Paige</a>
    March 18th, 2010 @10:19 #

    that's hysterical. the lecturer probably wanted to wait till monday before handing it back so she could finish it herself on the weekend.


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