Bantubonke is an accomplished and revered jazz trumpeter, composer and band leader in decline – an absent present and inadequate spouse. He lives for art at the expense of all else, an imbalance that derails his life and propels him to the brink of madness and despair. Here, Nthikeng Mohlele shares about the idea behind writing Illumination.

Nthikeng Mohlele on finding inspiration and writing Illumination
The love of music. And people. And life. 

The writing process, how long it took you to write the book?
Illumination was thought about for eight years or so - took just over three years to write and complete, and a further year or so to refine. It was, in fact, written before Michael K

Where did the idea from Illumination come from?
Books are, for me, never a single idea. The lowest common ‘denominators’ for Illumination has been love and music. 

Nthikeng Mohlele on his characters...
I am connected to and can relate to all the characters in the book. I don’t have a hierarchical view of any of them, for there are no minor characters in narrative. 


Watch the book trailer.