A gut wrenching story of a Muizenberg sex worker, Tess who pops painkillers by the handful and sells her body to strangers. When a condom breaks, Tess’s life swings one eighty degrees. She gives up her drugs until she can get to an abortion clinic. Her cold turkey opens up a window in her mind, whipping Tess into a shattering understanding of how she got here. Tess’s quirky humour, raw honesty and deep love of beauty lead her to find redemption in astonishing places. This book has a huge heart, like Tess, revealing that there is something in everyone that cannot be touched. Not by human hands. Not ever.
New edition of the novel that was first published as Whiplash in 2008.
Whiplash was published ahead of it’s time, it was ground breaking and initially was received with reservation. However nine years later the levels of sexual violence in South Africa and in the world continue to be an epidemic. Books like this resist that epidemic, and are an opportunity for society to examine itself and and to change for the better.
[Tess] digs its nails into you from the word go … raw, tender, and laugh-out-loud funny – a kickarse gem of a book. Told with startling poetry in the grittiest of emotional landscapes, [it] puts Farren on the map as a wordsmith of astonishing talent.
‘Farren shows that she has a true gift for getting into the hearts of very ordinary people while astutely setting the South African sociopolitical context.’
“The book is about digging through the surface crap to find that each of us, no matter how the outside world might define us, is special, unique and holy and that shouldn’t be set aside or forgotten.”
“Tess is an important story, a tale that unfortunately stands timeless and steadfast within the battleground of what it means to be a woman.”
When the book was published as Whiplash by an unknown debut author in 2008, it was short listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize in 2009, and the author received A White Ribbon Award from the Women Demand Dignity Advocacy Group