colr laugh crpd.Malla Nunn is the author of three Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper novels set at the beginning of the apartheid era in 1950’s South Africa.  A Beautiful Place to Die, Let the Dead Lie and Blessed Are the Dead have, between them, received two Edgar Award nominations, a RUSA Award for Best Mystery Novel and a Davitt Award for best crime novel by an Australian author. Blessed Are the Dead, a 2013 Publishers’ Weekly Top Ten Summer Crime Read, was short-listed for an Anthony Award and a Ned Kelly Award. The fourth book in the series, Present Darkness, will be published in 2014.

Born and raised in Swaziland on the far edges of the British Empire, Malla attended a boarding school specially set up for ‘mixed race’ children. The students at the school spent their time learning the bible, breaking the rules and then lying about it. In common with most colonial institutions, stealing, fighting and violence were common. It was in this charged atmosphere that Malla developed a fascination with bad behavior, crime and punishment.

After her family migrated to Australia to escape apartheid, Malla graduated with a double degree in English and History from the University of Western Australia and then earned a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from Villanova University. Faced with a life of chronic under-employment, she dabbled in acting and screenwriting. She wrote and directed three award-winning films including the Servant of The Ancestors, which won Best Documentary (Chicago Silver Screen Festival), Best Documentary (Los Angeles Pan African Film and Arts Festival), Best Documentary (Zanzibar Film Festival) and screened on national television in Australia. She married in a traditional Swazi ceremony. Her bride price was eighteen cows. She now lives and works in Sydney, Australia.



You can find Malla on Twitter: @MallaNunn


Photo credit: Darryl Robinson





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