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THE STAR CHILD by Unathi Magubeni


Nwelezelanga is born with albinism. Convinced by the midwife that an albino child is a curse, her mother places her in a river to drown.

However, fate has other plans and the baby is rescued and raised by a traditional healer. She grows into an old soul with mystic abilities and her story unfolds as she lives a rural life, connected to the earth and ancient rituals.

The Star Child is magical and poetic with an assured voice and eloquent prose, Magubeni invites us into the life of this extraordinary being, Nwelezelanga, the child who should not have been.

**Longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature**

**Longlisted for The Sunday Times SA Fiction Prize**

‘Lyrical… Nuggets of wisdom glisten throughout the story’ Sarah Key

'With the patterns of a praise singer, and the lyricism of a born poet, debut novelist Unathi Magubeni catches you in the rhythm of his story and doesn't let you go until it is spent' Jacqui L'Ange

The Star Child high res cover.jpg

ISBN (Paperback): 9781915643148

ISBN (Ebook): 9781915643155

Published: 16th July 2021
Price: £9.99 (Paperback) £5.99 (Ebook) Extent: 288 pages
Format: 198x129mm
Rights Held: World (excl. SADC, North America) 


Unathi Magubeni’s debut novel, Nwelezelanga, The Star Child (BlackBird Books) was published in South Africa in 2016 and was long-listed for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature and the 2017 Sunday Times Fiction Prize. A South African bestseller, the novel was chosen for the ‘English Book Review Category’ in the 2017 National Book Week for Nelson Mandela Bay schools and was also chosen for the 2019 National Funda Mzantsi Championship, organized by the National Library of South Africa. Unathi was selected as the 2019 Eastern Cape National Book Week Ambassador. His work encourages reading and writing in different schools in the rural heartland of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Unathi is one of the founding directors of the Novulakuvaliwe Library, a community library based in the village of Gwexitaba. The library seeks to be the centre for knowledge to uplift, develop and empower the rural community.

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