Ceridwen Dovey

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Ceridwen Dovey
Born 1980
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Occupation Novelist and graduate student in Social Anthropology at NYU
Nationality  South Africa,
Period 2008-present

Ceridwen Dovey (born 1980) is a South African and Australian social anthropologist and author.


Dovey was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and grew up between South Africa and Australia. Her parents derived her unusual name from one of the protagonists in Richard Llewellyn's 1939 Welsh novel, How Green Was My Valley. Dovey attended high school in Australia at North Sydney Girls High School before going to the United States in 1999 to study at Harvard University as an undergraduate where she completed a joint degree in Anthropology and Visual & Environmental Studies in 2003. During her time at Harvard, Dovey made documentaries that highlighted the relationships between farmers and rural laborers in post-apartheid South Africa. She made a documentary about wine farm labor relations in the Western Cape of South Africa, Aftertaste, as part of her Honors thesis, which is distributed by John Marshall's Documentary Educational Resources [1].

In 2004 Dovey worked briefly for the television programme NOW with Bill Moyers at Channel Thirteen in New York before returning to South Africa to study creative writing at the University of Cape Town. She wrote her first novel Blood Kin as her thesis for an MA in creative writing under the supervision of poet Stephen Watson. She now lives in New York City. Her parents live in Sydney and her sister, Lindiwe Dovey, is a lecturer in African Cinema at SOAS in London.


Dovey's first novel, Blood Kin was published by Atlantic Books (U.K.), Penguin (South Africa) and Penguin (Australia) in July 2007, and by Viking in North America in March 2008. It will be published in a total of fourteen countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Holland, and Sweden. It was shortlisted in 2007 for the U.K.'s John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for British/Commonwealth authors under the age of 35, and was shortlisted in 2008 for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa). It tells the story of a fictional military coup from the perspective of the overthrown leader’s portraitist, chef, and barber. The novel is deliberately ambiguous in its setting.

Dovey's second book, Only the Animals is a collection of ten short stories about the souls of ten animals caught up in human conflicts over the last century and tells their stories of life and death.[1]



  1. ^ Romei, Stephen. "Burden of the beasts". The Australian. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  • Ceridwen Dovey's author website [2] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • Bookforum review of Blood Kin [3] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • In conversation with Ceridwen Dovey, author of Blood Kin [4] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • Publishers Weekly New Fiction, New Worlds [5] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • Guardian review of Blood Kin [6] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • LitNet's review of Blood Kin [7] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • Graduate Student’s Debut Novel Knows No Cultural Bounds [8] Accessed 14 February 2008
  • Documentary Educational Resources [9] Accessed 14 February 2008
  • Mail & Guardian South Africa review [10] Accessed 21 February 2008
  • UCT News [11] Accessed 14 February 2008
  • Ceridwen Dovey: The darkness of my golden years [12] Accessed 14 February 2008

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