Monday, April 30, 2012

159. SHORT STORY MONDAY: Almost Cured of Sadness by Vuyo Seripe

Almost Cured of Sadness was published in the Caine Prize for African Writing 2010, A Life in Full and other stories.

Lisa is flirtatious. She lost her virginity at fourteen and at eighteen she had had an abortion. Later, she was raped by a man she couldn't identify because she was drugged. But Lisa, like most teenage girls who wouldn't listen to their parents and would shout back at every advice given, blamed her mother for turning out as she did. She hated her mother and so she moved out of her house to live on her own.

She entered a design school and the rape incident became the subject of all her designs: 
For lingerie assignment, Lisa designed padlocked panties and bras which would be made of a type of material which flattened the chest and hips to hide all feminine features. ... She had all the models wear masks from horror movies with all the outfits sewn up with a technique that made them look torn and the material was dyed to look bloody.
She failed all her design courses and passed the sewing courses. She met Hennie at the Gallery she worked for. Hennie was a painter who was not satisfied with his current work and want to quit and concentrate on painting. The two - Lisa, black; Hennie, white - were not loved by their friends. Lisa's friends considers Hennie to be dull, pessimistic and a sloth; they claimed she loved him because he is white. Hennie's white friends also regard Lisa as a different species, something that hurt Lisa so much that she decided not to attend any party that friend would organise. But the two loved each other regardless of their personal differences and incessant quarrels. Because Lisa kept two jobs, she allowed Hennie to move in, and concentrate on his paintings.
Almost Cured of Sadness is a young woman's attempt to cast away her demons and create a new life for herself. It is a bold attempt at starting all over a life that went off-course even before it started. It shows how sometimes a badly handled teen angst could lead to disaster and that it will take a conscious effort from the individual to get things back on track.
From the author's page: I am a writer and artist based in Johannesburg. I am a keen observer of South Africa’s emerging urban cultures with a focus on fiction writing, research, and content development for publications. My writing skills extend to suit corporate internal and external communication needs. I am currently working on a collection of short stories focused on urban themes to be published as soon as I find a capable publisher willing to invest in raw talent. (Source)


  1. I always follow up to the little biography and links you provide to the authors. When I did for this one, I reaslised I had read something about this author before who happens to be in Jo'burg.Thanks, Nana.


Help Improve the Blog with a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Featured post

Njoroge, Kihika, & Kamiti: Epochs of African Literature, A Reader's Perspective

Source Though Achebe's Things Fall Apart   (1958) is often cited and used as the beginning of the modern African novel written in E...