The Shining Girls
Lauren Beukes, 2013
Little, Brown & Co.
The girl who wouldn't die...hunts the killer who shouldn't exist.
The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.
Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.
Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.
At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.
Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . .
The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal. (From the publisher.)
• Birth—June 5, 1976
• Where—Johannesburg, South Africa
• Education—M.A., University of Cape Town
• Awards—Arthur C. Clarke Award; Kitschies Red
Tentacle Award (Best Novel)
• Currently—lives in Cape Town, South Africa
Lauren Beukes is a South African novelist, short story writer, journalist and TV scriptwriter. She was born and raised in South Africa and is of French and Dutch descent. Beukes has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town and subsequently worked as a freelance journalist for ten years, including two years in New York. She currently lives in Cape Town with her husband, television director Matthew Brown, and their daughter.
Beukes is most recently the author of The Shining Girls (2013), a novel about a time-traveling serial-killer and the survivor who turns the hunt around. The TV rights have been acquired by MRC and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Her previous novel, Zoo City (2010), a hardboiled thriller about crime, magic, the music industry, refugees and redemption set in a re-imagined Johannesburg won the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the 2010 Kitschies Red Tentacle for best novel. The book was short- and long-listed for a host of other literary awards.The film rights have been optioned by South African producer, Helena Spring.
Her first novel was Moxyland (2008), a cyberpunk novel set in a future Cape Town. Her first nonfiction work, Maverick: Extraordinary Women From South Africa's Past (2005), was long-listed for the 2006 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.
She has published short stories in several anthologies including Further Conflicts, Home Away, Touch: Stories of Contact, Open: Erotic Stories from South African Women Writers, FAB, African Road: New Writing from Southern Africa, 180 Degrees: New Fiction By South African Women Writers, and Urban 03.
Beukes is currently working on a novel called Broken Monsters, which is set in Detroit, Michigan.
Film and television
As head writer for Clockwork Zoo, she was part of the development team that created South Africa's first half-hour animated TV series, URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika. She also wrote 12 episodes of the Disney Playhouse show, Florrie's Dragons for Wish Films and episodes of the animated series Mouk for the French production company Millimages.
She directed a feature-length documentary on Miss Gay Western Cape called Glitterboys & Ganglands. The film has shown at various festivals including The Atlanta Film Festival, Encounters, Out in Africa and won best LGBT film at the San Diego Black Film Festival.
Beuke was also one of the writers, together with Ben Trovato and Tumiso Tsukudu on the pilot of controversial ZA News, a Spitting Image-style satire show with puppets based on the work of South African cartoonist, Zapiro. The pilot was commissioned but never broadcast.
As a journalist, her articles have been published in a wide range of local and international magazines including The Hollywood Reporter, Nature Medicine, and Colors, as well as The Sunday Times Lifestyle, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and SL Magazine.
She won "Best Columnist Western Cape" in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards in 2007 and 2008.
Beukes made her comic-writing debut with "All The Pretty Ponies" in Vertigo's Strange Adventures. She also wrote "The Hidden Kingdom," an arc of Fairest (issues #8-13), a spin-off of Bill Willingham's Eisner Award-winning Fables series. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 12/4/13.)
A triumph ... [T]he smart and spunky Kirby Mizrachi is as exciting to follow as any in recent genre fiction ... [E]ach chapter in which [Harper] appears holds a reader's attention, especially the sharply described murder scenes - some of which read as much like starkly rendered battlefield deaths out of Homer as forensic reconstructions of terrible crimes ... This book means business.
[Beukes is] so profusely talented—capable of wit, darkness, and emotion on a single page—that a blockbuster seems inevitable.... The Shining Girls marks her arrival as a major writer of popular fiction.
The premise is pure Stephen King, but Beukes gives it an intricate, lyrical treatment all her own.
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