Will the passenger delaying flight

WILL, the Passenger Delaying Flight …

Barbara Adair

A man is travelling to Africa from Europe. And yet it is also about waiting – waiting for Africa.

PRINT VERSION Buy the print version (hard copy) from Modjaji Books directly      


DIGITAL VERSION Buy the eBook via Glassboxx (off-site)   









WILL, the Passenger Delaying Flight …

A man is travelling to Africa from Europe. And yet it is also about waiting – waiting for Africa.

Volker, a German, leaves his home in Frankfurt for Windhoek. He leaves a lover, he is leaving for a long time, and he does not have a return ticket. He does not know anything about Africa, to him it is one country, not a continent, neither does he really know where he is going to; he just knows that he wants to leave Europe.

Lufthansa, the airline that carries him stops at Charles de Gaulle airport and here he waits and waits and waits. And in the airport he observes and describes and thinks. The text is a stream of consciousness, Volker’s thoughts. Interspersed with this are stories of people he encounters in the airport; a murderer, a terrorist, a person with dwarfism, a trans woman, a porn star, a child trafficker, a paedophile. All are connected, with each other, with Volker and with us, the readers.

Adair’s novel is innovative in form, self-conscious and self-critical; it challenges conventional Western assumptions that all good novels have a clear story line, a good plot and fully rounded characters.

Barbara Adair

Barbara Adair is a writer with published experience in the following areas: fiction, both novels and short stories, travel articles, book reviews.

She writes, and also works part time at the University of the Witwatersrand Writing Centre and in Nairobi, Kenya, consulting and assisting students in critical thinking.

She previously practised as an attorney litigating on human rights issues, and thereafter taught constitutional law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Barbara is currently registered as a PhD student at the University of Pretoria.

Barbara Adair's author page

Read an excerpt in The Johannesburg Review of Books

‘Adair is an accomplished writer with the ability to transport her readers into seductive and, at times, dark worlds she skilfully conjures.’ Barbara Boswell, Professor of English University of cape Town and author of Grace, a novel.

‘Barbara Adair is one of South Africa’s most original writers. In WILL, the Passenger Delaying Flight, her voice is comical, dark and wittily allusive. Enigmatic from beginning to end, the novel (set in an airport) never goes where one expects. The narrative is tightly woven; yet still it soars, borne aloft by its own imaginative charge and linguistic richness.’ David Medalie – Writer and Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at University of Pretoria

‘In a dystopian world that has served up an imperfect future, Adair breathes life into the limbo and emotional baggage of her characters as they travel across the world.’ Karabo K. Kgoleng – broadcaster, public speaker, writer

“Barbara Adair’s latest novel is unique and what it lacks in length it makes up for in depth. […] With frankness and wry humour, these characters allow readers a glimpse of what lurks behind the stereotypes. Running beneath the tales are informative and entertaining footnotes that feed into the overall narrative. Adair has created a captivating journey in this quirky, wonderful read.” Tiah Beautement, the Sunday Times

“[A] literary experiment that is unique in structure and presentation. The thought-provoking, graphic, witty, and shocking is related in a nonchalant fashion that includes a skillful play of words. […] [A] respite from the ordinary, same old same old.” Puleng Hopper

“[A] prescient book in that it deals with characters who get stuck in an airport terminal, and it deals with what’s happening to them there. […] So it’s something that suits the moment we are in.” Ivan Vladislavic, VOA News