A Road Less Traveled

As the year 2020 rolls into a new season, we at Ananke Press are thrilled to welcome a new author to our family. Roberta-Leigh Boud joins our publishing house with her debut novel, Jesus The Time Traveller — a courageous, thought-provoking and elegant work that challenges the boundaries of genre.

Roberta-Leigh BoudRoberta, a Capetonian herself, has been compared in her cerebrally visceral delivery to another illustrious South African, J.M. Coetzee. There is a certain poetic continuity between Boud’s deeply allegorical and provocative novel and Coetzee’s Jesus trilogy, which is no wonder since Roberta has studied creative writing under him.

Roberta lives close to the ocean in Cape Town with her husband (her childhood sweetheart), their young son, and their big dog. In Roberta’s own words, the sea has almost always been part of what has framed her experiences, a constant soothing backdrop to the vagaries of life. Cape Town is a conflicted space – it has crushing poverty and sublime beauty all rolled into one. This unsettling and inspiring contrast is uniquely reflected in the narrative structure of the novel that takes the reader across the expanse of as much a physical desert as the hero’s mental and emotional landscape—the ultimate “desert of the real.”

Roberta teaches English and photography, finding in both some meeting of the Buddhist precept of right livelihood. In addition, teaching helps Roberta to find meaning in, and make sense of, the world. Seeing others make progress in their learning and in their ability to create a response to the world is something which she finds both deeply humbling and deeply gratifying.

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