University of Johannesburg Debut Prize (2008)
Jan Rabie/Rapport Prize for innovative literature (2008)
Siegfried Landman is a thirty-something mentally retarded man who has lived his entire life with his father on a desolate farm in the Karoo. Siegfried, with his webbed hands and feet, believes that his mother is a mermaid, and that his only other living relative, his uncle, Ben Fischer, lives in an Atlantean world beneath the waves of Cape Town. But then Siegfried’s father dies, and he travels to Cape Town in search of his uncle, accompanied by Wilhelm Smit, a middle-aged drunk. But the pair are separated on the train, and Siegfried has to find his own way to his destination …
Peppered with colourful characters and a bizarre chain of events, Siegfried is a strong debut from a promising South African author.