The best books for Christmas: Our pick of 2010 -
26 November 2010, Boyd Tonkin introduces our pick of the year, The Independent
"What a worthy winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers. This is an exuberant, tender and often humorous love story... Irene Sabatini is a born writer, and she has told a completely engrossing story which combines brilliantly realised fictional characters as well as evoking the only too real sad degradation of a once-
2 July 2010 -
""Two days after I turned 14 the son of our neighbour set his stepmother alight", begins one of the most engaging novels about inter-
29 June 2010 -
"Last month Irene Sabatini won the Orange Award for New Writers, with this, her debut novel. It is a brilliant read.... I admire the way that Sabatini shows her love of the country through her tense characters and the descriptions of the countryside and the cities are stunning, "
July 2010 -
"Irene Sabatini's remarkable debut novel about Zimbabwe is a kaleidoscopic blend of elements encompassing everything from coming of age and first love to race, nationalism and the rapid degradation of a once-
A sprawling, ambitious and utterly compelling first novel about Zimbabwe that blends an unusual love story with political upheaval and national tragedy. (Shelf Talker)
"...Sabatini, who grew up in Harare and Bulawayo, offers a beautifully written first novel that explores the complexities of post-
"Irene Sabatini's captivating new first novel, THE BOY NEXT DOOR, offers readers a rare and often painfully honest glimpse into life in post-
"Irene Sabatini’s deceptive narration in this haunting novel lures the reader in slowly, slowly—coiling like a snake about to spring. By the time you realize that she’s mesmerized you, it’s too late. You’re hooked on Sabatini’s superb narrative skills and there’s nothing to do but read faster and faster. The Boy Next Door is unlike any other novel that I have read about Southern Africa, let alone Zimbabwe the story’s setting..... The Boy Next Door is an intellectual puzzle disguised as a detective story. When everything is finally revealed, it’s impossible not to be impressed by Sabatini’s flawless first novel. May she write many more."
Charles R. Larson, Professor of Literature at American University, Washington D.C., in Counterpunch
"Irene Sabatini. The Boy Next Door... a book of the decade and quite possibly of the century"
Professor R L Widmann, Colorado University