Tracey Farren

Snake is a tabloid tale told in a young girl’s voice; sincere, anxious and human.


When the luminous stranger arrives on the farm, twelve year old Stella is convinced that Jerry has come to heal her family. Now she tells the ‘terrible trouble’ to a tabloid journalist in an effort to save the little that is left. The stage contains a metal wash tub, a traumatised child and a hard-hearted journalist. The script veers between love and violence, shining a naked bulb on psychosis and the preposterous ways in which people express their shame. Snake is a tabloid tale told in a young girl’s voice; sincere, anxious and human.

Tracey Farren

Tracey Farren

Tracey Farren lives in Cape Town with four dogs, a surfer and her three children. She has a psychology honours degree from UCT. She worked as a freelance journalist before turning to fiction.

Mail & Guardian article

“This astonishing novel is related by 12-year-old Stella, with some asides and ­comments from her parents and the journalist from Truth, who has pitched up at the farm to get the whole gory story in a pre-trial scoop.”

“Farren’s creation of Stella’s voice never falters as she examines the evil consequences of old lies and temptations and sets them up in a balance with decency and goodness in this seemingly artless, yet absolutely ­riveting read.”
Read on

The Sunday Independent Review

“It doesn’t happen every day – that moment when you fall into a book and simultaneously fall in love with it.

I was nervous about reading Snake, just because I loved the author’s previous novel Whiplash so much. I needn’t have been. Once again, Farren uses a narrator’s unique voice to create another memorable character – one for whom we care quite desperately. This time she’s a child, telling her impoverished family’s horrific story to a hard-bitten tabloid journalist.

Stella is a wonderful character; her courage comes from her love and concern for her family. Her optimism is poignant, while her awakening to many ugly truths had my eyes smarting.

The story holds you all the way along, through emotion-charged scenes and acts of unspeakable brutality and horror. The final scenes are breath-stopping.

This is a story that tears at the heart. Unforgettable.”
Jayne Bauling, award winning author on Snake