Willing myself not to look away, I tried to make out her features and realised, with a jolt, that she looked exactly like me. Like me, but different. Something about how she held herself told me that this girl was as strong as steel. I knew instinctively that I should not look away. Then the Other Me smiled and said, ‘Don’t worry Lolly. I’ve got this.’
Who is Lolly, really? And who is the man who claims to love her? What happens when they drop their carefully constructed masks and allow their real selves to be seen?
Chillingly intriguing, Joy Watson’s debut novel paints a portrait of a woman who will do anything to escape the damage of her past, refusing to accept that she can’t have it all, no matter what the price. The moral ambiguities and shifting revelations of The Other Me create an ingenious page-turner that will draw you in and confound you at every turn.
‘I couldn’t stop reading The Other Me. It is so many things – funny, dark, complex, heart-breaking. It haunted me long after I was done. Not to be missed.’ — Qarnita Loxton
‘Some books speak to the times. The Other Me is both an artistic and ethical enterprise. In the face of such staggering rates of violence against women, Joy Watson accomplishes something that our society repeatedly fails to do, which is to listen well to survivors of domestic violence no matter who they are.’ — Bongani Kona
‘Twisting, turning and brimming with intrigue, The Other Me tells the story of a woman determined to reinvent herself, the man she meets, the lengths each will go to get what they want, and how they deal with the people who stand in their way. Joy Watson is a masterful storyteller and her novel wouldn’t let me sleep until I had turned the last page.’ — Máire Fisher
Publication date: March 2022
Also available on Kindle: The Other Me by Joy Watson
JOY WATSON is a feminist researcher and writer. Her areas of specialisation are analysing public policy and service delivery, as well as tracking funding flows from the perspective of building social equity. She has many years of experience in developing feminist responses to public policy and has worked on research initiatives in South Africa as well as internationally, including for the UN Habitat’s Safer Cities programme and UN Women initiatives. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Women on Farms Project and sits on the Coordinating Committee of the Coalition of Feminists for Social Change. Joy is also in the process of finalising her PhD on rape and public policy at the University of Stellenbosch. Together with Amanda Gouws, she has co-edited the book, Nasty Women Talk Back: A Collection of Feminist Essays on the Global Women’s Marches (Imbali, 2018). You can find her book reviews and reflections on life and its joys and sorrows on the pages of Daily Maverick Life.
Author photograph: Nazreen Essack