Celebrity Do-Gooders

Ceridwen Dovey is a South African born novelist who now lives in New York. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Harvard in 2003, Dovey returned to South Africa to write a novel. Blood Kin, the result of that work, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim: the novel was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Informed by Dovey's South African roots, the novel tells the story of a fictional military coup from the perspective of the overthrown leader's portraitist, chef, and barber. Dovey is currently completing a PhD in Anthropology at New York University. Dovey doesn't see a conflict between her two passions. "Both anthropology and good fiction are full of thick description and a layering of detail," she says.

  • Transcript


Dovey: I mean you gotta hand it to, like, Angelina Jolie. You know she could just sit at home in a nice house. I sort of appreciate that she tries. I mean I’m not sure what I think about her adoption addiction, but you know. And Natalie Portman now, for example, is now really involved in African micro financing organizations. And I think that’s great, you know? I think . . . I think all African countries need as much help as . . . as they can get. And I’m not sure . . . You know, Bono and what he does . . . You know certainly there’s, you know, people who use it in ways that are just about a kind of ego boosting for themselves. But yeah.

Recorded on: 12/6/07