On That Wave of Gulls

The book is set up in a rhythm, much like the tide. The world, and the coast and indeed Cape Town, seen from three points of view: through the eyes of a seagull named Calypso, who needs to lay an egg to pass on some sort of legacy that is her identity and in many ways her past; through the eyes of Pooi, a homeless man who thinks he is the moon, and who needs to teach himself to swim in the sea; through the eyes of Hieronymus, a fat and greasy, once successful white architect, married to a beautiful, black British woman. 

On That Wave of Gulls is an overwhelming, poetic and philosophical investigation into the abuse of a boy, a search for commonality at the edge of love and sexuality, and the resultant relationships that live in between men and women.


Combining Faulknerian style with his notable lyrical prose style, Head guides us across the Cape coast from three, entirely new, perspectives. His engagement with the natural world makes his writing extremely powerful for the current day, and his innovative combination of viewpoints demonstrates an awareness of the interconnected threads of life. Throughout his career he has been compared to Faulkner and Nabokov for his masterful use of language and observational plot-lines – guided no doubt by his ability to sit for hours in silence, waiting for the birds to arrive. As his most recent novel, On That Wave of Gulls brings together all this, and more.


Author: Vernon Head
Genre: (Lyrical) Prose, Literary Fiction
Status: Edited manuscript
Rights: World rights, excl. South African English
Words: 80,000 +

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