Blazingly original and steeped in darkly fantastical imagery, BLOOD TO POISON spins a mesmerising saga of preordained demise, South African witchcraft and apocalyptic rage through the suspenseful story of seventeen-year-old Savannah. It was published in April and has been met with fantastic praise.
Seventeen-year-old Savannah is cursed. It’s a sinister family heirloom; passed down through the bloodline for hundreds of years, with one woman in every generation destined to die young. The family call them Hella’s girls, named for their ancestor Hella; the enslaved woman with whom it all began. Hella’s girls are always angry, especially in the months before they die.
The anger is bursting from Savannah – at the men who cat-call her in the street, at her mother’s disingenuous fiancé, even at her own loving family. Each fit of rage is bringing her closer to the edge and now Savannah has to act to save herself. Or die trying. Because the key to survival lies in the underbelly of Cape Town, where the sinister veilwitches are waiting for just such a girl.
Watson grew up in Cape Town during the apartheid years and did a Master’s in creative writing with André Brink. She won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2006 and appeared on the Hay Festival’s Africa39 list of influential writers. Blood to Poison is her third novel for young adults and the first rooted in her South African heritage.
Watson is represented for books by Claire Wilson at RCW Literary Agency, and BLOOD TO POISON was published by Bloomsbury on 14th April 2022.