Charlotte Sometimes

I’ve been invited to do an author talk and book signing at ‘The Art of Goth’, a first-of-its-kind event in South Africa, in celebration of #WorldGothDay.

As a self-professed ‘old skool goth’, I was super excited to see an initiative like this happening on home soil.

The main objective of the event is to raise public awareness of the much-maligned and misunderstood goth sub-culture (not directly related to the Gothic art and architecture of the Middle Ages, nor the marauding Goth tribes of the 5th Century – just in case you were wondering). And to highlight the enduring impact of a once-underground scene on contemporary mainstream society – across literature, music, fashion, film, visual art, performance art, and entertainment.

Because Umbilicus is an autobiographical novel, and the protagonist Charlotte is based on the 21-year-old me, I deliberately wove in lots of little details about my lived experience as a self-identified young goth back in the early-to-mid-90s. My journey didn’t end there though. And in my talk, I will explore how the goth sub-culture continued to influence and shape my life over the following two-and-a-half decades, right up to the present day.

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When it comes to venues, this is definitely one to write home about. ‘The Art of Goth’ is being hosted at Melrose House, a beautiful (and purportedly haunted) Victorian mansion in Pretoria, built in 1886.

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Festivities will include guest speakers, a high tea, Victorian-style games, and stalls selling wares catering to those of us with a penchant for the dark and unusual.

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