Classy Bird | Penguin Books South Africa

Classy Bird Blog

Melissa Siebert discusses her debut novel, Garden of Dreams, with Jonathan Amid

"’I've wanted to write a novel for years – but have been living/working as a journalist for most of the past four decades. So when five years ago it came to writing a novel (as my thesis for the MA Creative Writing Programme at UCT), I’d already seen a lot of the world, reporting on conflicts in South Africa, the Middle East and the southern USA. Much of my reportage has dealt with human rights, so it was a natural segue to write a novel dealing with same. I wanted to write an issue-orientated novel; Le Carré’s The Constant Gardener, dealing with how the giant pharmaceuticals exploit, even murder, people in Africa, was an inspiration as well."