Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen." was hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.
Today, Robert Southam is reading from his novel The Snake and the Condor. Robert graduated from Oxford and has since worked as an actor, director, university teacher and film-maker in England and on the Continent of Europe. Writing is now his principal activity.
The Snake and the Condor is his second novel. It is a Romeo and Juliet story of love and adventure set in London and South America at the height of Pinochet's reign of terror in Chile at the end of the twentieth century.
Robert's main aim as a writer is to tell stories that his readers will enjoy. His books also shed light on the poverty and deprivation caused by colonization and economic exploitation. Royalties are used to finance medical, educational and other initiatives in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia.
Click on the soundcloud link below to experience an excerpt from The Snake and the Condor, as read by the author:
The word on The Snake and the Condor:
Santiago, Chile, at the height of Pinochet's reign of terror in the late twentieth century. Julieta, the Juliet of this Romeo and Juliet story, and the daughter of a senior government official, is to be married to the army officer of her father's choice. She attempts to escape with the boy she loves to the Peruvian Andes, but her father's tentacles reach across South America and even as far as England. The young lovers are caught up in a series of gripping adventures and narrow escapes. They are helped by a courageous priest, whose mission is to save opponents of Pinochet from the prisons, torture chambers and executions of the military régime.
The Snake and the Condor is more than a retelling of one of the great love stories of world literature. It also studies the cruel effects of coloization, forced conversion and economic exploitation on non-European civilizations. It evokes the fear, suspicion and uncertainty on which tyranny and dictatorship thrive.
Profoundly rich and transporting... This beautiful book plunged me into another world. From the first page I knew I was in the hands of a seriously good storyteller - every scene vivid, brimming full of life. Dr Andrea Ashworth, book critic for Harper's and Vogue, and author of the bestseller, Once in a House on Fire
The author writes with a tingling, heart-pounding tenderness of the lovers' growing awareness of and feelings for each other as they resist oppression and uncertainty together. The narrative and the detailed scenes through which it develops make this a compelling and emotional experience. Paul Simon, The Morning Star (London)
*lifted with love from goodreads.