W is for Witness

By Karen Lazar. Published by Quartz Press

Karen Lazar’s compact new novel, W is for Witness (Quartz Press 2023), is a mischievous hybrid of intertext, cyberstalker, contemporary social critique and a touch of Wordle. An unusual narrative team splice together their lively viewpoints in pursuit of a word at the heart of a suburb, whilst keeping a beady eye on the whereabouts of the author herself.

Praise for the Book

‘I read this wonderful contemporary satire with increasing glee. The writing is witty, the literary playfulness deft, the exhortation to look and listen constant. The narrative team’s depiction is infectiously exuberant, whilst the failures of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood in which the story and its keyword unfold are painfully familiar. This unique tale makes possible a spirited but sceptical claim: she who is tired of Linden is tired of life.’ Michael Titlestad (Professor of English, Wits University Johannesburg)

‘Lazar has imagined a quirky, animated world into existence. Mobilizing a narrative relay team of articulate objects and animals – and the occasional human – she brings a new fictional version of Johannesburg, and especially Linden, to life. A worldly-wise hadeda, providing a bird’s-eye view and threading everything together, steals the show.’ Ivan Vladislavić (award-winning author and Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing, Wits University)

W is for Witness by Karen Lazar. Published by Quartz Press