K. Sello Duiker was born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, and went on to study journalism at Rhodes University before moving to Cape Town. His varied experiences while living there form the basis of Thirteen Cents. He also wrote two other novels, The Quiet Violence of Dreams (2001) and The Hidden Star (published posthumously in 2006). Duiker was widely considered one of South Africa’s most promising young novelists before his untimely death in 2005 at the age of thirty.
Every city has an unspoken side. Cape Town, between the picture postcard mountain and sea, has its own shadow: a place of dislocation and uncertainty, dependence and desperation, destruction and survival, gangsters, pimps, pedophiles, hunger, hope, and moments of happiness.