Gail Louw

Rika’s Rooms (2022)


Freedom fighter, Coloniser, Housewife, Terrorist, Victim, Oppressor?

Rika doesn’t even know what room she’s in…

Gail Louw was born in South Africa, lived in Israel and moved to England in 1976. She is is a multi-award winning playwright with many productions performed worldwide. In Rika’s Rooms, inspired by her own mother’s life, Gail Louw explores the experiences of an ordinary woman caught up in intense love and loss during extraordinary times.

Moving from Nazi Germany, to Palestine, and then into the midst of Apartheid, Rika becomes a victim of war and a freedom fighter. But instead of committing herself to the cause, she decides to live the good life. Now, aged seventy-six, living in England with dementia, Rika inhabits two worlds: the present, which makes no sense, and the past peopled by ghosts.

Waterloo Press is delighted to be publishing Rika’s Rooms, Louw’s debut novel.



ISBN: 978-1-906742-96-6 Category: Tags: , , ,

Praise and Poems


‘Memory isn’t always
                                            what you think it is…

‘In actual fact, I might want to be a socialist, if I understood what it meant, but I don’t want to live on the kibbutz and not have my own stuff. I mean, I really don’t want to wear big fat Yudit’s knickers.’

‘Let them look at someone else for a change, not us. Keep schtum, close your mouth, close your eyes and enjoy the sunshine and the milk and the honey!’

‘So a Jew must only ever do what is right for other Jews, not other human beings?’ I ask. ‘Go to sleep, Rika, do me a favour.’

‘What!’ he says.

‘Why don’t we have sexual intercourse anymore?’ I say.

‘Ma!’ he says, ‘I’m your daughter for Christ’s sake!’

‘Yes,’ I say, ‘that’s what you always say.’


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