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Beukes refutes theft claims

Cape Town - Acclaimed Cape Town author Lauren Beukes, whose latest novel Broken Monsters was released this month, took to Facebook yesterday to “wholly refute” claims made in an academic paper that she had “purloined” ideas from other writers for her previous bestseller, The Shining Girls.

Broken Monsters is Beukes’s fourth novel.

Lauren Beukes. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Her second, Zoo City, won her the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award.

The controversy centres around an article by academic Loren Kruger, which Beukes has linked from her Facebook page, which asserts: “The problem here is not the fact that Beukes purloined ideas from other writers, but that her appropriation in this novel is not inventive enough to make the theft her own.”

Kruger’s article appeared on the website of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research.

Beukes retorted on her Facebook page yesterday: “Oh blah. This is very tiresome. Academics. I am on Twitter, I am one click away via e-mail, you can ASK me stuff about my influences and intentions.”

Beukes, 38, rose to fame after her first book Moxyland was published in 2008.

She followed this with Zoo City in 2010, and The Shining Girls last year.

Continuing her Facebook response yesterday, Beukes denied that a “crack research team” had been hired by her “transnational publisher” to help her on her book The Shining Girls – claims made by Kruger in the paper.

“I wholly refute your absolute claims in your academic paper on The Shining Girls about my ‘unacknowledged influences’, ‘purloining’ anything from other writers or that my ‘transnational’ publisher paid for my researchers,” she wrote. - Weekend Argus reporter

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