Lauren Beukes: Where fiction and truth meet

Award-winning author Lauren Beukes talks about how using crazy ideas allows us to get at the truth in an interesting way.

From the Series

Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls, uses twisty fiction to explore who we are in the world right now. Beukes who wanted to be a writer since she was five years old hit with Zoo City, a science fiction novel, in 2010 that earned her the much-coveted Arthur C. Clarke Award. 

Here she talks about how she uses imaginative fiction to explore ways in which the 20th century has shaped us and how using crazy ideas allows us to get at the truth in an interesting way.

"I write imaginative fiction, I write fiction with a crazy twist there might be criminals with magical animals as a way of looking at crime and redemption or there might be a time travelling serial killer as a way exploring the way the 20th century shaped us and also about how be talk about violence against women."

I find using these crazy ideas allows us to get at the truth in an interesting way because you're look at it through a distorting lens which makes it fresh and new, she explains. 

Before becoming a fulltime writer, Beukes worked as a journalist and she credits this time working as a mayor influence on her work: "It gave me a backstage pass to the world. It was so inspiring to talk to interesting people from all walks of life; to be able to spend weeks at a time in the townships just walking around talking to people. It was a huge privilege to get to know all facets of this country and it really informed my writing. I get inspiration all around."

Her 2013 novel The Shining Girls has been option by Leonardo DiCapro's production company, Appian Way Productions that will turned to a TV series. The book also earned her a spot on the shortlist for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize of the 2014 Sunday Times Literary Awards. 

Beukes will also be releasing a new novel Broken Monsters in July 2014. Broken Monsters is a detective story set in Detroit and explores both the broken monsters that turn up as dead bodies and the broken monsters within. 

Watch the Talk with Lauren Beukes