Lauren Beukes

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Lauren Beukes
Lauren Beukes at dConstruct, 2012.
Lauren Beukes at dConstruct, 2012.
Born (1976-06-05) 5 June 1976 (age 45)
Johannesburg, South Africa
NationalitySouth African

Lauren Beukes (born 5 June 1976) is a South African novelist, short story writer, journalist and television scriptwriter.

Early life[edit]

Lauren Beukes was born 5 June 1976. She grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa.[1] She attended Roedean School in Johannesburg,[2] and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She worked as a freelance journalist for ten years, including two years in New York and Chicago.[3]



She is the author of The Shining Girls, a novel about a time-traveling serial killer and the survivor who turns the hunt around. It was published on 15 April 2013 by the Umuzi imprint of Random House Struik in South Africa,[4][5] on 25 April 2013 by HarperCollins in the United Kingdom,[6] and on 4 June 2013 by Mulholland Books in the United States.[7] HarperCollins had won the international rights to the book in a fierce bidding war with several other publishers.[8][9]

Beukes at the launch of Moxyland in 2008

The Shining Girls won The Strand Magazine Critic's Best Novel Award,[10] the RT Thriller of the Year,[11] Exclusive Books' Readers Choice Award,[12] and South Africa's most prestigious literary award, the University of Johannesburg Prize.[13] The TV rights for the novel have been acquired by MRC and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way according to The Hollywood Reporter.[14]

Her previous novel, Zoo City, a hardboiled thriller about crime, magic, the music industry, refugees and redemption set in a re-imagined Johannesburg won the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award,[15] and the 2010 Kitschies Red Tentacle for best novel.[16] It was short-listed for the 2010 BSFA Award for best novel,[17] the 2011 World Fantasy award for best novel,[18] the 2010–2011 University of Johannesburg Creative Writing Prize,[19] the M-Net Literary Awards,[20] the Nielsen's Booksellers' Choice Award 2011[21] and long-listed for South Africa's Sunday Times Fiction Prize 2011[22] and the 2012 International Dublin Literary Award.[23] The cover artwork received the 2010 BSFA award for best art.[24] The novel has also been short-listed for the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire in France for best foreign novel, best translation by Laurent Philibert-Caillat and best cover by Joey Hi-Fi.[25]

The film rights have been optioned by South African producer, Helena Spring.[26]

Her first novel was Moxyland, a cyberpunk novel set in a future Cape Town. Both books were first published in South Africa by Jacana Publishing and released internationally by Osprey Publishing's Angry Robot imprint.

Her first book, the non-fiction Maverick: Extraordinary Women from South Africa's Past (Oshun 2004) was long-listed for the 2006 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.

She has published short stories in several anthologies including "Further Conflicts" (NewCon Press 2011), Home Away (Zebra 2010), Touch: Stories of Contact (Zebra 2009), Open: Erotic Stories from South African Women Writers [27] (Oshun 2008), FAB (Umuzi 2007), African Road: New Writing from Southern Africa (New Africa Books 2005), 180 Degrees: New Fiction by South African Women Writers (Oshun 2006), and Urban 03 (New Africa Books 2005).

In July 2014, Beukes published a new novel called Broken Monsters, which is set in Detroit, Michigan.[28][29]

Her first short fiction collection, Slipping: Stories, Essays, and Other Writing (Tachyon Publications), was released in October 2016.[30]

Film and television[edit]

As head writer for Clockwork Zoo, she was part of the development team that created South Africa's first half-hour animated TV series, URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika. She also wrote 12 episodes of the Playhouse Disney show, Florrie's Dragons for Wish Films and episodes of the animated series Mouk for French production company Millimages.

She directed a feature-length documentary on Miss Gay Western Cape called Glitterboys & Ganglands. The film has shown at various festivals including the Atlanta Film Festival, Encounters,[31] Out in Africa and won best LGBT film at the San Diego Black Film Festival.[32]

She was also one of the writers, together with Ben Trovato and Tumiso Tsukudu on the pilot of controversial ZA News, a Spitting Image-style satire show with puppets based on the work of South African cartoonist, Zapiro. The pilot was commissioned by the SABC but never broadcast.[33]

Her novel, The Shining Girls, is being adapted into a television series by MRC and Appian Way Productions.[34]


As a journalist, her articles have been published in a wide range of local and international magazines including The Hollywood Reporter, Nature Medicine and Colors as well as The Sunday Times Lifestyle, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and SL Magazine.

She won "Best Columnist Western Cape" in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards in 2007 and 2008.[35][36]


Beukes made her comics writing debut with "All The Pretty Ponies" in Vertigo's Strange Adventures one-shot.[37] She also wrote "The Hidden Kingdom", an arc of Fairest (issues #8–13), a spin-off of Bill Willingham's Eisner Award-winning Fables series,[38] and a Durham Red story for 2000 AD's 40th anniversary special issue.

Personal life[edit]

Beukes currently lives in Cape Town.[1]


Short fiction[edit]

Beukes has published short fiction in various collections:

  • Urban '03 (2004)
  • African Road: New Writing from South Africa (2005)
  • 180 Degrees: New Fiction by South African Women Writers (2006)
  • FAB (2007)
  • Open: Erotic Stories from South African Women Writers (2008)
  • Touch: Stories of Contact (2009)
  • Home Away: 24 Hours, 24 Cities, 24 Authors (2010)
  • Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse (2011)



  1. ^ a b "Lauren Beukes the writer who is inspired by the world". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Lauren Beukes – Matric Class 1993". South African Old Roedeanian Association. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ Jakola, Kaitlyn (13 August 2013). "The Shining Girls Author Tells Why Everyone's Favorite Summer Novel Is Set in Chicago". Chicago. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  4. ^ "The Shining Girls". Random House Struik. Archived from the original on 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  5. ^ "The Shining Girls". Exclusive Books. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  6. ^ "The Shining Girls : Lauren Beukes". HarperCollins. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013.
  7. ^ "The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes to be Adapted for TV by MRC and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way". Mulholland Books. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  8. ^ Williams, Charlotte (7 October 2011). "Bidding frantic for Beukes' thriller". The Bookseller. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b Williams, Charlotte (21 October 2011). "Shining Girl Beukes lands at HC". The Bookseller. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  10. ^ Gulli, Andrew (11 July 2014). "Lauren Beukes Wins the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel, R.L. Stine and Peter Lovesey Honored". PRWeb. Cision. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  11. ^ "RT Award Nominees & Winners". RT Book Reviews. 2013. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  12. ^ Carolyn (29 October 2013). "Lauren Beukes' The Shining Girls Receives Exclusive Books Book of the Year: Reader's Choice Award". BooksLive. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  13. ^ Frenkel, Ronit; MacKenzie, Craig (6 June 2014). "Sparkle and flair from UJ Prize winners". Mail & Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 June 2014.
  14. ^ Kit, Borys; Lewis, Andy (31 May 2013). "Hot Book 'The Shining Girls' Acquired by MRC, DiCaprio's Appian Way (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Arthur C. Clarke Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  16. ^ Shurin, Jared (2 February 2011). "The Kitschies: 2010 Red Tentacle Winner". Pornokitsch. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011.
  17. ^ "BSFA Awards". Locus. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  18. ^ "World Fantasy Nominees and Lifetime Achievement Winners". Locus. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  19. ^ Ben, ed. (14 April 2011). "The 2010/2011 University of Johannesburg Creative Writing Prize Shortlists (English)". BooksLive. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012.
  20. ^ "M-Net Literary Awards Shortlists 2011" (Press release). M-Net. 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 9 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Nielsen Announces The Booksellers' Choice Award 2011 shortlist" (Press release). Nielsen BookScan. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011.
  22. ^ Smith, Tymon (7 May 2011). "Longlist: The Fiction Prize". The Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013.
  23. ^ "2012 Longlist". International Dublin Literary Award. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  24. ^ Del (26 April 2011). "BSFA Award 2010 – Winners". Matrix. British Science Fiction Association. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  25. ^ Sophy (2 April 2012). "Zoo City Nominated for Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire (Plus: Interview with Joey Hi-Fi and Lauren Beukes)". BooksLive. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013.
  26. ^ Akitobi, Emmanuel (30 November 2011). "South African Sci-Fi Novelist Lauren Beukes' "Zoo City" To Get Film Adaptation". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 2 December 2011.
  27. ^ Schimke, Karin (2 April 2008). "SA women dip their pens in saucy ink". Mail & Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008.
  28. ^ Jamal, Ashraf (1 March 2013). "Lauren Beukes: At the forefront of the global invasion". Mail & Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013.
  29. ^ "Broken Monsters". Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  30. ^ DeNardo, John (16 February 2016). "Coming in August: SLIPPING, a Collection by Lauren Beukes". SF Signal. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  31. ^ Brodie, Nechama (10 June 2011). "What's behind sashaying for the sash". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  32. ^ Carpenter, Avery (17 February 2012). "City documentary glitters at film festival – Cape Times". Cape Times. Independent Online. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  33. ^ Burbidge, Matthew (27 May 2009). "The show the SABC wouldn't let you see". Mail & Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009.
  34. ^ "Lauren Beukes novel coming to TV". Channel24. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  35. ^ "Who will be Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2007?". Bizcommunity. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  36. ^ "Regional Vodacom Journalist of the Year winners so far". Bizcommunity. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  37. ^ Johnston, Rich (24 April 2011). "Lauren Beukes Joins Vertigo's Strange Adventures". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  38. ^ Campbell, Josie (20 January 2012). "Willingham Picks the "Fairest" for "Fables" Spinoff". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Giveaway : Jeff Noon – Vurt (20th anniversary edition)". 16 April 2013. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  42. ^ Armitage, Hugh (20 January 2013). "Alan Moore's 'The Ballad of Halo Jones' gets new edition". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 May 2013.

External links[edit]