Is our digital addiction getting in the way of great stories?

After speaking at the Digital Edge 2015, Rahla was interviewed by Adlip South Africa and Jessica Hubbard wrote:

 "At the [recent] Digital Edge Live conference held in Johannesburg and hosted by NativeVML, guest speakers explored the concept of storytelling. Author Rahla Xenopoulos was among them, and she implored the audience to find ways to disconnect from the virtual world in order to rediscover the art of telling great stories. "

Watch the interview below and for the full feature of Rahla's interview on Adlip South Africa, click here.





Review | “Tribe” is a brilliant novel about extraordinary friendships

"The book is a testament of to extraordinary writing; the descriptions of its characters are rich, with an unusual and beautiful turn of phrase. In addition, the story is uniquely set against a soundtrack (yes, it’s not only movies that can do this). Coldplay’s “Yellow”, Faithless’ “Insomnia”, Jeff Buckley’s “Halleluja”, Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life”, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”; these are just some of the songs that create a visceral response in the reader. I could hear each track in my head as I read the words. The novel is overwhelming and exhilarating...

Tribe is a story about confronting the darkest parts of oneself, about the rarest of relationships – real friendship. It’s not only the characters who are forced to confront their painful mistakes; the reader inevitably has to do the same. Despite its comparison to Less Than Zero, this novel is fresh, uniquely engaging, and unlike any I’ve read before."

Read Andrea van Wyk's full review on Rant and Rave Reviews.


Tribe Review by Jan's Book Buzz

"With Tribe, Xenopoulos has produced an iconic work that defines a generation … MY generation. I can already feel myself getting quite irate at the numerous young upstarts who will undoubtedly do their damndest to claim it as the literary representative of their own generations!

The tribe in question is BENJYOLIVIAPIERREHANNESTSELANEJUDE, for they are forever intertwined, and therein lies both their destruction and their salvation. They are so tightly locked together– ‘No Trespassers Allowed’ – that they battle to come to terms with a world outside of themselves, even when they have to go out into that world and attempt to make lives for themselves and do the inevitable growing up that is a rite of passage for most people."

Read the full review on Jan's Book Buzz.


Tribe Review by Rachel Zadok

A group of friends that haven't seen each other for twelve years get together on a luxury game farm in South Africa to try and save Jude, one of their clan. Most of the tribe are wealthy, with access to the kind of privilege most of us can only dream of. Theirs was a life of excess and hedonism, but in middle age, they are facing the same demons most of us do, albeit with fewer of the financial worries. Jude and Tselane, his wife, are the only two who are middle class and struggling financially. 

In spite of having the kind of wealth I can only imagine, I found each of Xenopolous' deeply flawed characters to be beautifully drawn and recognisable. Olivia, a gorgeous aging IT girl, obsesses about losing her looks and wonders what value she will have in the world once she does. She tries to limit her five year old twin boys iPad time, while being addicted to screen herself. Tselane, the daughter of a struggle hero living in exile, searches for identity while refusing to acknowledge the land of her birth. Benjy, Olivia's emasculated investment banker husband, fears the day he is fired and will no longer be able to keep Olivia in the style she is accustomed to. While these concerns may seem far away from most of us, we all worry about our finances, have had our expectations of our bodies warped by the media and who in the modern world does not struggle with addiction, whether it be drugs, yoga or social media?

Through her characters, Xenopolous taps into the zeitgeist of the developed world, a wasteful society where the gaps between the rich and the poor are growing. She questions privilege, and asks what responsibility, if any, those with it have towards the less fortunate. She asks the reader to examine the things we value and consider whether the way we are living is the way we want to live. And she comes at it from all sides. All this, however, is wrapped up in an absorbing read about a group of fallible people whose love for each other has the power to both destroy and save them. It's a book you can kick back and relax with while having your mind tweaked. It reminded me of Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children. I read it too quickly, while trying to slow down because I didn't want it to end.

via Goodreads


INTERVIEW with Kate Sidley for the Sunday Times

The glam, good-looking cast and the multiple glamourous settings – the game farm, Glastonbury, Notting Hill, Ibiza, Cape Town – suggest a frivolous read, but the novel’s key concerns are deeper. Xenopoulos delves into depression and addiction, not just to alcohol and drugs, but also to screens and connectivity. “That digital addition is in all of us, I think. It’s so hard to disconnect, but I really think we have to, particularly us writers. You find your stories in contact with other human beings.”

– Excerpt from "The Darkness Behind the Light: Kate Sidley Talks to Rahla Xenopoulos About Her New Novel, Tribe" 

 Read the full interview on BooksLive.

REVIEW: Big questions asked in spellbinder

"In fact almost every human frailty is put under the microscope in Tribe. But, it is done so in the most readable manner. Under the beauty of the African sky, ugly truths unfold and the characters are steered through a series of events that almost every reader will identify with on some level.

There are big questions asked in Tribe: Can we fix time in one place? Is it possible to change in a week? Why is it that the weakest link is often the strongest bond? And these are just some of the probing concerns presented to the reader in a fantastically readable passage."

– Jennifer Crocker for the Cape Times.

Read the full review on PressReader.