Fiona Snyckers’ hilarious novel opens the gates on a world of private school privilege

10 June 2021 - 13:47
By Modjaji Books
Fiona Snyckers' latest novel hilariously skewers the world of private school privilege.
Image: Supplied Fiona Snyckers' latest novel hilariously skewers the world of private school privilege.

Modjaji Books is thrilled to announce the publication of The School Gates, a new novel by Fiona Snyckers. 

“Told with Fiona Snyckers’ usual razor-sharp wit, this book is both poignant and hilarious. I couldn't put it down.”
– Pamela Power

Burnt out after years as a professional dancer, Ella Burchell moves to a small town on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast hoping to rebuild her life. Things look up when she gets a job teaching dance to children at a for-profit private school.

But Ella hasn’t reckoned with the cabal of private-school mums who run the Pines Academy as their own personal fiefdom. Circling into cliques at the school gates every morning, the mums are a force to be reckoned with.

Soon Ella is too busy fielding their demands to concentrate on her own troubles. Distraction arrives in the form of an attractive cricket coach, but Ella hardly has time to pay attention.

Fun, fast-paced and hilarious, this novel by an award-winning author skewers the world of private-school privilege.

“Snyckers is one of the most talented writers South Africa has. I gobbled up The School Gates in a day because I couldn't put it down. If you're looking for your next book club read – you just found it.”
– Gail Schimmel

Author details

Snyckers has written eight novels across various genres. In 2020, she won the South African Literary Award for best novel and the NIHSS Humanities Award for best novel for Lacuna (Picador Africa 2019). She has been nominated five times for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Snyckers lives in Johannesburg with her family.