The Sea of Wise Insects
Terry Westby-Nunn

Jacana Media is thrilled to announce that Terry Westby-Nunn has won the prestigious University of Johannesburg Debut Prize for South African Writing in English for her first novel The Sea of Wise Insects.

I am utterly delighted with the news, and am honoured that the judges chose this quirky contender. Novels do not happen in isolation, big thanks to my agent, to Jacana and to my editor. Special thanks to the University of Johannesburg for their valuable support of literature.
– Author Terry Westby-Nunn

Zany, richly textured and bizarrely believable, Westby-Nunn’s novel prompts the reader to think afresh about what it is to commit a crime against another human being. The three-part narrative structure of The Sea of Wise Insects is inspired. A consummate debut.
Mail & Guardian, 08 June 2012

A remarkable and gripping tale, Terry Westby-Nunn is to crime what Lauren Beukes is to science fiction. The Sea of Wise Insects’ exquisite prose is a delight.

Following the death of her brother’s beautiful, superficial fiancée, Veronica, in a sinister car accident on Table Mountain, Alice is arrested. As the trial hurtles towards her, Alice interrogates her past.

What could her memories of the macabre Hotel Tisca in london, where she fell in love with her enigmatic ex-fiancé Ralph, have to do with Veronica’s death? What is Alice’s family hiding? Where are Ralph and her brother Andrew – and what really happened to her dog Pluto? Do the answers lie in a chilling, badly-written novella, ‘The Sea of Wise Insects’, which Alice is convinced Ralph wrote? Or will Alice’s journey through her warped memory world – an offbeat landscape of betrayal, love, luck, secrets, mutilation and death – really be able to shed any light on her dark past?

Previous UJ Debut Prize winners include:
•          Shaida Ali (2010/2011) Not a Fairy Tale – Random House Struik
•          Jacob Dlamini (2009/2010) Native Nostalgia – Jacana Media

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