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Edition details


eBook ISBN

Publication date
28th July 2017


Gallic Books

PB b

Extent (number of pages)


UK & BC EX CAN and Southern Africa

BIC category


Green Lion


Of course, you’re never expecting the lion, are you? Like something coming up in the rear-view mirror. Much closer than it appears.


This title is not yet published, but can be pre-ordered


In the shadow of Table Mountain, a zookeeper grows obsessed with a lioness – the last of her kind – in a story about species loss, bereavement, animal magic and the human desire for connection.
Of course, you’re never expecting the lion, are you? Like something coming up in the rear-view mirror. Much closer than it appears.
When a lion at a breeding park mauls an old school friend of his, Con must step in as the keeper of Sekhmet, the last remaining black-maned lioness in the world.
In a Cape Town where fences keep people and wildlife apart, park officials and investors fret about their flagship big-cat project. And while Con grows steadily more bonded to his enigmatic charge, a cult of animal lovers seek to claim her as their own.
‘Muscular and lyrical’— The Telegraph. 5 starred review
‘It raises vital issues about our relationship with the natural world, this is above all an immersive and compelling story. Great characters … superb lyrical writing.’ The Literary Sofa
Green Lion is a novel that bridges the gap between the past and present so that there are no loose ends, only the hope that in the future humanity will do a better job of conserving what is not yet lost.’ Paul Dawson
‘Beautifully written, with prose that is mixed with poetry and power, Green Lion has sent me off looking for more work by Henrietta Rose-Innes’ Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son
‘Rose-Innes’ animals have a liquid quality, slipping between boundaries, often unseen but felt or heard, frequently doing the unexpected.’ The Bookbag
Praise for Henrietta Rose-Innes
‘I love Henrietta Rose-Innes’ work. With plotlines that are wittily subversive and language that is whippet-lean, it is long overdue for discovery by a wider readership.’ Patrick Gale
‘Henrietta Rose-Innes writes an admirably taut, clean prose. … A welcome addition to the new South African literature.’ J M Coetzee
 ‘Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.’ Sunday Times (SA)
‘A compellingly enigmatic story, [2008 Caine Prize winner] Poison’s few pages are also an eloquent vignette of the “new” South Africa.’ The Guardian
‘A gripping, thrilling allegory of a troubled nation, Nineveh is executed with wit, panache, precision and something that I can only call wounded love for the country the author calls her home.’ Neel Mukherjee
Praise for Nineveh
‘A beautiful and precisely written book. Nineveh not only feels relevant but is an insightful exploration of character and place.’ The Book Bag
‘A persuasive, witty exploration of a tough and unconventional young woman—and a consistently lively account of the entanglements of cultural politics, class, and architecture in contemporary South Africa.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘A weird, elusive tale involving insects, gentrification and repressed domestic trauma, it’s a kind of haunted-house novel that doubles as a state-of-the-nation narrative but without losing the laser-like focus of an intimate psychological thriller … Nineveh is a shrewd narrative tease that invites you above all to think. Try pinning it down; it scuttles away. ‘ Sunday Telegraph
‘Her pests are persistent and ultimately powerful – an effective metaphor to argue for a more permeable, equal city.’ The Guardian
Bonus Material
Henrietta Rose-Innes on The Book Trail: Cape Town
on ‘Green Lion’, Cape Town and the Natural World
The Tremors Through South African Literature
Henrietta’s Top 10 human-animal relationships in literature
10 Things I’d Like My Readers to Know About Me
Henrietta Rose-Innes

Meet the author

Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African author of four novels and a short-story collection, and a contributing editor at the Johannesburg Review of Books. Her novel Nineveh was published in the UK and US in 2016, and Green Lion appeared in the UK in 2017. Both books were shortlisted for the Sunday T…

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