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Making rain for Southern African women writers
South African Distributor
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African Books Collective distributes Modjaji Books internationally
MODJAJI BOOKS PO Box 385 Athlone, 7760 Cape Town, South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: +27 (0) 72 774 3546 Tel: +27 (0) 21 696 5503 Fax: +27 (0) 86 517 9066 blog: http://modjaji.book.co.za
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IN NORTH AMERICA Michigan State University Press, 1405 South Harrison Road 25 Manly Miles Building, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245 Tel: +1-517-355-9543 Fax: +1-517-432-2611 USA: 800-678-2120 Email: email@example.com www.msupress.msu.edu
Difficult Gifts Hemispheres Conduit Reclaiming the L-Word Go Tell the Sun Got No Secrets A Suitable Girl These are the Lies I told you Piece Work Missing removing Swimming with Cobras Words and Flesh Bom Boy Lambat Street I'll Tell the Judge Beyond the Delivery Room Woman Unfolding Book of African Names Small Publishers' Catalogue 2010 Burnt Offering Please, Take Photographs Strange Fruit Oleander Invisible Earthquake Whiplash Hester se Brood Undisciplined Heart The Bed Book of Short Stories This Place I Call Home The Everyday Wife The Thin Line Life in Translation Fourth Child
eBooks available from www.scribd.com
Dawn Garisch is a doctor who writes, a poet who walks, a researcher who dances. She lives in Cape Town near the mountain and the sea and has two grown sons. Her last novel, Trespass, was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize in Africa.
Most of the poems in this collection had earlier lives in New Coin, New Contrast, Scrutiny2, Carapace, Fidelities, Green Dragon and Ons Klytlie.
There is a balance of emotion and craft in Dawn Garisch’s poetry, a seamless welding of raw experience and self-observation, of music and thought. She writes the most personal spaces, always lit by her wry, focused understanding. – Ken
Dawn’s poems reveal a warm, keen eye for the intricacies, delicacies and difficulties of language and love. – Tania van Schalkwyk The motif of the body is central to Garisch’s work; it changes – it can leave. It is also a place of sustenance, and offers the possibility of transcending grief. The images stay with me: the pungent eroticism in the poem ‘The Proper Use of Flowers’, or love encountered as a “trout that breathes polluted water”. – Alan Finlay
56 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-32-6
Karen Lazar is an English educator at the Wits School of Education. Her MA and Phd, both from Wits, are in South African gender studies. This is Karen’s first volume of (first person) creative non-fiction. Karen had a stroke in 2001, from which she has partially recovered.
"Home is as old as one’s skin but as elusive as an object seen through the wrong end of a telescope.” It is this sense of a view, skewed, intangible, which echoes throughout Karen Lazar’s Hemispheres. Waking in hospital after a post-operative stroke, she finds one side of her body paralysed and her world knocked out of kilter. Spatial, perceptual and subjective changes force her to view her new life in facets. The fragmented view is made apparent by means of a triptych of clusters which charts Karen's experience from Metamorphosis, through Rehabilitation and Adaptation. Quietly reflective, deeply lyrical, Hemispheres is concerned with returning separated parts into a whole and coming home to the self.
“A filigree of finely-crafted pieces, Hemispheres narrates the journey of recomposing life, joy and love from a body made alien through stroke. Wry, ironic, comic, joyous, desolate, celebratory, surreal, the mosaic of text reconfigures love from loss; each subtle fragment a tessera against time. A book of desolation and consolation, I will return to it often.” Prof. Isabel Hofmeyr, African Literature, Wits “A collection of rare/nuanced and tender insights. Lazar takes us into the gyre of re-orientation post-stroke, sharing what is lost and what is claimed when what you’ve always been and known changes. A book that pulses with quiet courage and celebrates it in others.”Joanne Fedler
88 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-24-1
Sarah Frost is a single mother to a six year old boy. She works as an editor for Juta Legalbrief, Durban. She has completed an MA in English Literature, and also a module on Creative Writing, UKZN. She has been published in various SA journals, and also some in the US.
Conduit is a book of pared-down poems, graphically tracking a young woman's journey from the lonely spaces of childhood to the creative, powerful realm of womanhood. Restrained and earnest, these poems grapple with the experiences of being a daughter, a mother, and a lover. In ‘Bellwood’ the poet details her struggle for clarity: ‘She scrawls in her notebook as a swimmer, fearful, under water/ might search the opacity for a handhold, the roughness of rock./ She writes tentatively, as one standing up, walking to shore/ might feel mud and soft lake moss beneath her feet, yielding’. Sarah Frost’s is a new, but refreshingly mature poetic voice. "These are poems of drowning and coming up again. Of surviving with lungs that breathe water and sunlight. These are poems of longing and loss. Of searching for a foothold in a world where all slides and changes. Sarah Frost is a new voice in South African poetry. A clear and strong and exciting voice. Read her." Kobus
64 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-27-2
Alleyn Diesel taught Religious Studies at UKZN during the 90s, specialising in Hinduism in KZN. In 2007 Wits University Press published her anthology Shakti: Stories of Indian Women in South Africa. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow in Religious Studies. C o-publis hed w it h M a T hok o' s B ook s
Edited by Alleyn Diesel
“This brave and moving collection of stories by South African lesbian women from different backgrounds reminds us, again, that rights are never finally won in legislatures or in court rooms. They are won by people exercising them. The authors of the stories and poems in this book have done just that. They have stood up to celebrate the dignity of lesbian women in South Africa. Each contribution is different. And each intensely personal. And each one reminds us of the urgent need for us to stop hate crime and to create a safe society for all LGBT South Africans.” Kate O'Regan, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa "Moving lesbianism away from spectacle and the exotic, the collection emerges from the wellsprings of lived experience. It tells flesh and blood stories – stories of the values, loves, struggles and challenges of living in a society that continues to perpetuate many myths, mythologies and misconceptions about lesbians."
Dr Devarakshanam (Betty) Govinden
224 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-28-9
Wame Molefhe started writing short stories in 2005. She freelances for a number of publications and also writes for TV. Just Once, her children’s collection of short stories was published in 2009. Go Tell the Sun is her second short story collection.
Go Tell the Sun
“Wame Molefhe’s stories have a gentle, unassuming yet intimate and captivating feel to them. Set in Botswana, the stories trace the lives of characters whose paths cross and re-cross each others’, some times in and through love, at other times through tragedy. And through them the author brings to bear a woman’s perspective on the societal mores in which sexual abuse, homophobia and AIDS, among others, flourish and spread. The social content and views are never proclaimed as a loud agenda; instead, it forms a ‘natural’ backdrop to the lives of the characters, something that may raise a wry comment or thought in one character, while eliciting a mere shrug from another. Molefhe’s voice is, to some extent, a world-weary voice, weary of all she has seen of society’s failures, but never without the gentleness often absent and much needed in broken societies, and never without the hope and redemption that can be found in love and the imagination.” Rustum Kozain
128 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-03-6
Danila Botha was born in Johannesburg, and moved to Canada in her teens. She studied Creative Writing at York University and at Humber School for Writers, both in Toronto. She volunteered at two organizations benefitting the homeless, which inspired many of the stories. C o-publis hed w it h T ight rope B ook s ( CA N)
Got No Secrets
A startling and original new voice that owes as much to Black Flag and Bikini Kill as it does to J.D. Salinger and Heather O’Neill. A South African copywriter is transplanted to the urban jungle of Manhattan. A recovering rape victim tries to resume a normal life. A Toronto nurse cuts herself to fill her emptiness. In Got No Secrets, Danila Botha takes us into the private lives of twelve different women, with only one question in mind: What if these women were you? From addiction to abuse, from childhood to suicide, from Hillbrow, Johannesburg, to downtown Toronto, Botha’s prose is compassionate, provocative, often funny, and always fearless.
"These stories grab you by the throat and don't let you go, bearing witness to lives in which self-destruction and hope are like symbions, each feeding the other."
"Dark, relentless, and unflinching. Danila Botha's is a bold new voice." Julia Tausch
Born in Zimbabwe in 1974, Michelle McGrane spent her childhood in Malawi and moved to South Africa with her family when she was fourteen. She lives in Johannesburg and is the author of two previous collections. C o-publ is hed w it h P i ndrop P r es s ( UK )
“Every poem in The Suitable Girl grabs the reader immediately and then proceeds to take her, by a surprising route, to its strange conclusion, taking in much wit, irony, lyricism and sensual detail on the way. These are trips well worth the taking.” Joanne Limburg “Michelle McGrane’s The Suitable Girl shows a sophisticated range of reference together with a powerful and moving emotional address. There is great technical range here which includes prose poems alongside sinewy lyrics; elegy jostles with imaginative sci-fi, humour with horror in language which is often as gorgeous as it is precise.” Ian Duhig “Michelle McGrane uncovers that which is transitory and ephemeral and lays it before us in a poetry that is as assured as it is tentative, confident as it is exploratory. Images flash brightly, voices overlap and the world as we experience it is transformed by language into ‘something rich and strange’. Here is a poet who is sensitive to the thin membrane that separates us from each other and from the past. These remarkable poems act as a touchstone, a way of reassessing and remaking our perceptions of the world.” Ian Parks
50 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-26-5
Kerry Hammerton is a poet, writer and alternative health practitioner. Her poetry has been published in Carapace, New Contrast and New Coin, online at Litnet and Incwadi. She has also been a contributor to The Empty Tin Readings (May 2010) and The Poetry Project.
These are the Lies I told you
“Hammerton’s poetry tells stories we never tire of living and reliving especially when told new. Her light, sometimes witty, understated control of words, make this telling deliciously new.” Moira Richards, Cape Times “Kerry Hammerton is an anatomist of romantic love, from the rumpled hotel sheets of lust to the shared tattoos of intimacy. With its roller-coaster ride of erotica, sensuality, heartbreak and laugh out loud hilarity, These are the lies I told you is a debut volume destined to break sales records in this country. The Marian Keyes of poetry has arrived.” Finuala Dowling
76 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-22-7
Ingrid Andersen’s poetry has been widely published in local literary magazines. Her first collection of poems, Excision, was published in 2005. She is the founding editor of Incwadi, a South African online journal of poetry and photography.
“Andersen’s poems fuse the best of Imagism with a heartfelt compassion; with a few well-chosen words, she can turn the rawness and imprecision of emotion into poems that reach simultaneously for clarity and for the reader’s heart. She is generous, careful, passionate – all these qualities make her work profound and accessible. Each poem is a self-contained loveliness.” Fiona Zerbst “Ingrid Andersen writes poems for an ‘age of loneliness’. With words of powerful simplicity, this book cuts open the heart and mind of the reader, stitches and sometimes mends. Darting lightly in and out of life’s small and lonely spaces and places, her quiet truths offer respite from the world’s noise.” Tania van Schalkwyk “Meditations on love, loss, family and faith, the poems in Ingrid Andersen’s second collection gleam with humanity and insight. Like bevelled and burnished tesserae, each poem in Piece Work combines the vision and precision of dedicated craftsmanship, contributing to this mosaic of an attentive life.” Michelle McGrane
72 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-07-4
Beverly Rycroft is a graduate of UCT and Wits. She worked as a teacher before turning full time to writing and journalism. Her poems have been published in local literary magazines such as Carapace, New Coin and scrutiny2. Missing is her first collection of poems.
“From the first poem, I was drawn in and found myself devouring these poems hungrily. Rycroft takes the intimate nature of her life and shapes the experience into deeply-crafted works…Rycroft’s poetry is very accessible, vital and necessary: a fine debut.” Arja Salafranca, Tonight Online “This astonishingly moving debut collection reads compellingly as one complete story. Missing covers the archetypal journey from sickness and near-death transformation and hope. Rycroft wears her exquisite poetic technique lightly though rich in deftly-crafted images, the poems are profoundly inviting, readable, memorable. I could not put it down.” Finuala Dowling
80 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-06-7
Melissa Butler lives in Cape Town and Pittsburgh, PA. She has a Masters degree in Curriculum Theory from Penn State University and a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. removing is her first book of poetry.
“In these poems Melissa Butler has the unique ability to take almost anything that happens to catch her eye or to figure in her mind’s eye—these can range from a bowl to a hadeda, from the concept of edges to the cusp of a silence—and make it speak volumes not only about itself, but about us in our human lives. Such are her poetic gifts; and such is the quality of this remarkable debut.” Stephen Watson “The experience of reading the poems in removing is, wonderfully, one of a late-night conversation with a warm, imaginative, thoughtful, observant and compassionate friend. In pellucid language and deeply satisfying images of the real, Melissa Butler manages to talk about the great questions of humanity as lightly and easily as if she were tossing out a picnic blanket.” Finuala Dowling
48 pp ISBN 978-1-920397-19-7
Swimming with Cobras
Rosemary Smith could never have imagined the trajectory her life would take the day she met her husband. She would find herself in Grahamstown, at a crucial point in South Africa’s struggle. Joining the Black Sash, the white, women-led anti-apartheid organisation, of which she would one day become a national vice president, gave her the opportunity to engage with a country in, often violent, transition. Swimming with Cobras is a memoir about a journey to find a foothold in a foreign land grappling with it’s own identity, offering rare and important insight into a corner of South Africa’s past.
Rosemary Smith's life as an activist in the Eastern Cape began when she moved from England with her South African born husband in the mid 1960s. They made their home in Grahamstown where they raised four children. As a member of the Black Sash she participated in events spanning three decades in an intensely politicised and oppressed province. Through her involvement she made the transition to full integration in a country that at first struck her as alien and strange. ISBN 978-1-920397-37-1
Words and Flesh
As both a medical doctor and a writer, Dawn Garisch has lived a split life for many years. Finally, Words and Flesh: Travels in the Eloquent Body allows the two streams of her life to converge. Through exploring both the science and poetry of the body, she investigates how we can determine what to trust. She suggests ways of developing a partnership with oneself, which includes not abusing the very ground we live off and stand on. In an engaging manner, Words and Flesh offers a circumspect and quiet wisdom in response to the instinctual need to find out who we are and why we are.
Leke is a troubled young man living in the suburbs of Cape Town. He develops strange habits of stalking people, stealing small objects and going from doctor to doctor in search of companionship rather than cure. Through a series of letters written to him by his Nigerian father whom he has never met, Leke learns about a family curse; a curse which his father had unsuccessfully tried to remove. Bom Boy is a well-crafted, and complex narrative written with a sensitive understanding of both the smallness and magnitude of a single life.
Dawn Garisch is a doctor who writes, a poet who walks, a researcher who dances. She lives in Cape Town near the mountain and the sea and has two grown sons. Her last novel, Trespass, was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize in Africa. ISBN 978-1-920397-39-5
Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados and grew up in Nigeria with her Nigerian father, West Indian mother and two older brothers. She and her family moved to South Africa in 1992 and have lived there ever since. She is an architect; space and buildings being a passion of hers second only to words and literature. She currently lives in Cape Town working as a designer, freelance writer and novelist. ISBN 978-1-920397-35-7
Saaleha Bhamjee lives in Benoni. She juggles her time (rarely successfully) between five children, a bakery and her computer. Her first book, The Beautiful Names, was published by Muslim Writer's Publishing and is available from online booksellers. She's had short stories appear on the literary website, LitNet, as well as in the Many Voices, One Faith Anthology. She's written several articles for various Islamic publications. Lambat Street is her first novel.
I'll Tell the Judge
The detective says, ‘Just say what you saw. The judge won’t believe you if you say more.’ I know what he means, he means, Stella don’t lie. The entrance of Jerry into the lives of 12year old Stella and her family, changes everything. He brings with him laughter, music, excitement, and something far worse – a desire for revenge. After a series of brutal events, Stella finds herself in a position where her testimony is all that can convict Jerry and save her father from imprisonment. In I'll Tell The Judge, Stella rehearses her statement of what she saw, as well as what she didn’t see. Presented through the voice of a child, Tracey Farren is able to convey Stella’s naїveté as well as the traumatic loss of that innocence.
Tracey Farren lives in Cape Town with four dogs, a surfer and her three children. She has a psychology honours degree from UCT. She worked as a freelance journalist before turning to fiction. Her debut novel, Whiplash, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Awards 2009. ISBN 978-1-920397-40-1 ISBN 978-1-920397-38-8
Beyond the Delivery Room
Khadija Tracey Carmelita Heeger was born in Cape Town, South Africa, raised on the Cape Flats in the township of Hanover Park. She explores poetry as theatre. In 2010 she was commissioned to write a piece for the Wilvan Spanish and Ballet Dance school’s Theatrical dance piece called Dis!place which was performed over the human rights day weekend at the District Six Museum in Cape Town. She is currently part of a research team at District Six Museum around Reminiscence Theatre, where she is laying the foundations for the production of her piece Blood Words. Although she has been published in many publications, this will be Khadija’s first collection of poems.
Jenna Mervis is a poet and freelance writer living in Cape Town. Her work has been featured in several South African journals including Carapace, Green Dragon, New Contrast, New Coin and the 2009 PEN Studzinski Literary Award anthology New Writing From Africa. Born and schooled in Durban, Jenna studied Journalism at Rhodes University and obtained an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Find her online at http:// designwriting.withtank.com. This forthcoming book is a debut collection.
Book of African Names
Born in Mpumalanga, Phumzile SimelaneKalumba, graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1998 with a BCom degree. She lived in the North East of England with her family for 7 years. Whilst there, she developed interest in South African Bantu names. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in the Department of Xhosa, University of Western Cape with special interest in onomastics, which is part of African folklore.
Joan Metelerkamp is the author of seven books of poems: Towing the Line (1992), Stone No More (1995), Into the day breaking (2000), Floating Islands (2001), Requiem (2003), Carrying the Fire (2005), and Burnt Offering (2009).
The Small Publishers’ Catalogue (Africa) is an initiative that grew out of a meeting held in August 2009 where a number of Small Publishers met for two days in Johannesburg at Museum Africa as part of Khanya College’s Winter School. The Catalogue is intended to showcase the variety and extent of small publishing in Africa. Because the project was run on a shoe-string budget with no external funding apart from the advertising in the catalogue (for which we are very grateful) it is seen as a first step in developing an African Small Publishers’ initiative and will hopefully generate an online catalogue and further editions which will include more of the small publishers that surely must exist and thrive in Africa.
96 pp ISBN: 978-1-920397-01-2
Burnt Offering is Joan Metelerkamp’s seventh collection of poems. Like all of Metelerkamp’s work, these generous poems draw on the details of family and rural life, dreams, landscapes and journeys and weave together, with her distinctive energy and passion.
“Burnt Offering is compelling reading, it sweeps one away like a riptide does.“ Moira Richards, poet and reviewer “I loved Joan’s collection which I found at once immediately readable, dazzling, fragile, and formidable. Beautiful journeys into the need to love, to speak, to understand and simultaneously to travel beyond the boundaries that constrain language.” Stacy Hardy, poet and journalist
96 pp ISBN 978-0-9802729-4-9
Sindiwe Magona is a multi-award winning author of plays, essays, novels, memoirs, educational books for children and poetry. Please, Take Photographs is her first collection of poetry.
Helen Moffett is a freelance editor, author and academic. She has lectured as far afield as Trinidad and Alaska, but calls Cape Town home. Strange Fruit is her first collection of her own poems.
From the languid innocence of the poems about her village, to her shattering images of Africa at war, Magona leads you headlong into her fireside circle where archetypes flicker like shadows on a face that has seen, and been. Please, Take Photographs is defiant and tender, horrific and homely, at once irreverent, outspoken and beautiful.
“Sindiwe Magona has published everything but poetry – great novels, memoirs, essays, educational books for children. Now, at the peak of her form, she has unveiled her poems – the most difficult art form of all to get right, but like an arrow to the heart when they succeed.” Jane
Strange Fruit is a courageous debut with a remarkable range in theme and tone, from the nostalgic to the comedic and the bawdy, from the angry, the melancholic, the steadfast and the comforting. It will delight, shock, anger, induce laughter, shock more, delight more. And make you blush. It’s a full range. There are poems of brutally honest self-scrutiny – the heart of the collection being a series of poems on the ageing body, loss of love and infertility – and there are poems that capture landscapes with imagist skill and the botanist’s detail.
“Your voice sparkles with humour and passion and is blessed with intelligence, incredible clarity and verve.”
Yaba Badoe, writer and documentary film-maker, UK
80 pp ISBN 978-0-9802729-5-6 56 pp
Fiona Zerbst was born in Cape Town in 1969. She has travelled widely and currently works as a freelance journalist and lives in Rustenburg. Oleander is her fourth volume of poetry.
Durban born, Malika Ndlovu is a poet, performer, and playwright whose works have been performed both locally and internationally. She is a founder-member of the women writers’ collective, WEAVE and is currently curator of the Africa Centre’s poetry project, Badilisha!
Oleander explores life’s complexities, both beautiful and poisonous – love, death, art, the aftermath of war and genocide, travel, religion, revelation. More wideranging than Zerbst’s previous volumes, Oleander charts experiences through which the self may be transformed.
“In Oleander, Fiona Zerbst’s lyrical voice reveals itself – not for the first time, she has long been evident as an interpreter of her private and public worlds — but yet again strongly, freshly. Her continual reinvention of the self – and selfconsciousness about the frame and objects of the invention – is perhaps more fully present than in any other young contemporary poet in South Africa.” Peter Wilhelm
56 pp ISBN 978-0-9802729-7-0
This book breaks the silence around stillbirth, often seen as a non-event, something women are expected to “get over” as soon as possible. Invisible Earthquake is placed in the wider South African context by Sue Fawcus, who writes tenderly and expertly about stillbirth from the point of view of an obstetrician, and by Zubeida Bassadien and Muriel Johnstone, social workers who accompany women going through this shattering experience.
“Malika has created a piece of work that gives grief a voice. I know this will bring solace to all those who read it, anyone who has lost any loved one will see themselves in her words.” Joy McPherson, Founder Midwives Inc.
88 pp ISBN 978-0-9802729-3-2
Tracey Farren lives in Cape Town with four dogs, a surfer and her three children. She has a psychology honours degree from UCT. She worked as a freelance journalist before turning to fiction.
Recipient of White Ribbon Award in December 2008 from Women Demand Dignity Advocacy Group.
An unputdownable, gripping debut novel, a ‘Cinderella’ story about a Muizenberg (Cape Town) prostitute, Tess, who while being addicted to painkillers and selling her body on the street finds redemption in unexpected places. Her quirky humour, honesty and love of beauty save her when she faces tough choices. The book has heart and a feel-good factor in spite of its gritty and sometimes traumatic subject matter.
Selected as Book of the Month by Adele Hamilton for the www.women24.com Book Club, “Whiplash had me from page 1”. Every review so far has praised Whiplash, from describing it as “one of the best novels to come out of South Africa in several years” to “having the makings of a best seller” in The Weekender on 19/07/08. Farren is an important new voice, who has already completed her second novel. “Brave novel, well worth reading” Janet van Eeden in The Witness
ISBN 978-0-9802729-2-5 320 pp
“Ground-breaking novel” Arja Salafranca in The Star, Tonight
Na ‘n loopbaan in verpleegkunde en gesondheidsnavorsing vestig Hester van der Walt haar in McGregor waar sy deesdae brood bak vir die plaaslike mark. Sy skryf graag poësie en kortverhale. In 2009 het Hester se Brood verskyn.
Hester se Brood
Hester van der Walt
Hester se Brood is ’n eerlike (en heerlike) plat-op-die-aarde boek wat vertel van die skrywer, Hester van der Walt, se passie vir broodbak. Dit is gesetel in McGregor in die Klein Karoo – waar sy brood in ’n houtbakoond vir die plaaslike mark bak – en weerspieël die skrywer se intuïtiewe aanvoeling vir die konneksie tussen siel en kos, veral kos wat met sorg, volgens tradisionele beginsels en metodes, voorberei word. ’n Fyn sin vir humor, praktiese wenke en smul-lekker resepte, maak hierdie boek net so onweerstaanbaar soos die reuk van brood, kraakvars uit die oond.
ISBN 978-0-9802729-8-7 192 pp
Jane Katjavivi is a writer, publisher and influential book development activist. She was born in the UK, now a naturalised Namibian. She lives in Windhoek with her husband. N am i bian edit ion by T i gerey e P ublis hing
When Jane Katjavivi becomes involved in London in support of change in Southern Africa, she meets and marries a Namibian activist in exile. Moving with him to Namibia at the time of Independence in 1990, she faces a new life in a starkly beautiful country. Her husband is made Ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Union, and later Berlin, causing Jane to build a new identity as the wife of an ambassador, and come to terms with her own illhealth without her friends around her to support her. Set against the backdrop of the historical, political and social development of newly independent Namibia, Undisciplined Heart tells the story of Jane’s love for her family, friends and her adopted country.
“Jane Katjavivi’s frank and intimate memoir of love and politics, of survival and finding a way to make a home, shows that history is also what heals when it is filtered through a loving heart and an open mind.” Margie Orford “Undisciplined Heart is an uplifting and fascinating read. And while it is a detailed memoir of the birth of a nation on one hand, it is also a tender exploration of one woman’s personal journey towards enlightenment and wisdom.” Janet van Eeden,
ISBN 978-1-920397-04-3 320 pp
Joanne Hichens Lauri Kubuitsile
Sponsored by the
The Bed Book of Short Stories
Compiled by Lauri Kubuitsile; edited by Joanne Hichens
A collection of short stories by new and established Southern African women writers on the theme of Bed.
Megan Ross Joanne Hichens Pamela Newham Helen Walne Karabo Moleke Sylvia Schlettwein Marina Chichava Romaine Hil Sarah Lotz Joanne Fedler Rita Britz Margot Saffer Isabella Morris Jayne Bauling Liesl Jobson Rose Richards Ellen Banda-Aaku Ginny Swart
Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor Melissa Gardiner Anne Woodborne
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma Erika Coetzee Bronwyn McLennan
Luso Katali Mnthali Gothataone Moeng
Claudie Muchindi Lauri Kubuitsile
Lauri Kubuitsile is a full time writer who lives in Botswana. She has published children’s and youth books, as well as many short stories. She has won prizes for her adult short fiction and her youth books.
ISBN 978-1-920397-31-9 312 pp
Joanne Hichens is a crime fiction writer, editor and journalist. Her books have been published locally and abroad. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UCT.
Meg Vandermerwe was born in South Africa in 1978. She read English at Oxford University and is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She teaches at UWC and lives in Cape Town.
This Place I Call Home
In this thought-provoking collection we are drawn into the lives of others; ten diverse perspectives of what home has meant to South Africans during our country’s challenging history. From an old widower who feels that his world is unravelling in the new South Africa, to an immigrant who has fled persecution in 1930s Europe and now finds himself on a barren sheep farm in the Karoo, to a Polokwane teacher confronted with the moral dilemma of xenophobia, This Place I Call Home leaves the reader deeply aware of local realities.
“These brave imaginings take us into the heart-places of South Africans. Through Vandermerwe’s fine writing we are enabled to talk about home, come home and perhaps feel at home with(in) one another. ”Antjie Krog “This slim collection of stories packs a punch well above its weight. Humane, compassionate and uncompromising, glinting with spirit and beauty, and written with a rare combination of discipline and vivacity, it marks the debut of a gifted writer.”Ali Smith “It is rare when a writer accurately captures the hopes and anxieties of an entire nation but everything is here in This Place I Call Home … Besides her obvious versatility as a writer, Vandermerwe’s prose is deeply felt, compassionate and sincere.” Hannah Rappleye, Mail and Guardian
ISBN 978-1-920397-02-9 148 pp
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is a multi-award-winning writer, performer and editor. She lives in Johannesburg with an assortment of animals and her son.
The Everyday Wife
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
The Everyday Wife is poetry–to-go, a handy little book of practical poetry for any occasion. Mischievous and profound words recreate reflecting on everyday life in South Africa and other parts of the world. In this, her second volume of poetry, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers unravels the security blanket of workaday routines, exposing the soul of the quotidian.
“What treats are served up in this new book of poems by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers! Like the best of poets, she makes language do her bidding, wresting new sense from familiar images and situations,surprising us and ambushing our expectation. Phillippa Yaa de Villiers illuminates relationships of many kinds and many intensities – between lovers, children and parents, the politics of emotion shared and remembered and confronted, sustained across the distance of place or memory. Sometimes, as in ‘The Organ of Love’ - which manages that crucial combination of passion and humour – she makes meaning hold on to the last word of the poem like the last drop of a delicious drink.” Margaret Busby
ISBN 978-1-920397-05-0 92 pp
Arja Salafranca is an awardwinning, widely published writer of prose and poetry. She is the Arts and Lifestyle editor of The Sunday Independent. She lives in Johannesburg.
The Thin Line
The stories in The Thin Line hook the reader from the first one, and reel you in on that thin line. You will be haunted by the carefully drawn characters: by Corinna trapped in her huge teenage body, by Cleo in love with a married man after all these years, and poor skinny Mark, as he sees his love teeter away from him. Salafranca is an accomplished, award-winning writer, this longawaited collection is a box of jewels.
“Salafranca’s style in this collection is best described as cinematic. Each story plays out like a camera lingering on minutiae which, brought together, tell the reader a great deal about the characters and situations which form the subject matter… The most striking - and refreshing - aspect of this collection is that it bears no trace of the albatross that many South African writers find tethered to their neck: the burden of our past, the issue of “representation”, and the pitfalls of stereotyping and political correctness.” Tanya Farber, Tonight “The author tells the reader much about the human condition, about loneliness and the desperate search for fulfilment in relationships, about “body loneliness”, about how community dictates how we must look and love… For me the biggest bonus was that there is a strong consciousness of the structure of the short story and an implicit reaction to the tradition of the short story.” Joan Hambidge,
ISBN 978-1-920397-08-1 220 pp
Azila Talit Reisenberger
Azila Talit Reisenberger is an award winning author who has had poetry and short stories published internationally and in SA. She is a senior lecturer in Hebrew & Jewish Studies at UCT.
Megan Hall is a graduate of UCT. Her writings have been widely published in South African literary magazines. She works in the publishing industry.
Azila Talit Reisenberger is a Bible scholar, a rabbi, a mother, a wife, and a poet. In all these selves she grapples with translating her life from Hebrew to English and back again. Life in Translation is full of wry humour, longing, bitterness, sweetness, playfulness, and subversions of traditional meanings and texts – a delightful book that charms and surprises anew with each reading.
“Not to be heard. Not to be understood. Azila Reisenberger’s poetry makes us overwhelmingly aware how often we have to translate ourselves in order to matter.” Antjie Krog
The poems in Megan Hall's debut collection combine a dark humour and terrible grief with a lightness and restrained sensuality. Her language has the qualities of dance: uninhibited and polished, accomplished and vivid. Fourth Child shows a poet courageously facing deep feelings while being committed to accurate writing, making beautiful and living things out of the fabric of loss, grief, and emptiness.
“The tone of Fourth Child is cautious, carefully muted, but freighted with much emotion. A concealed sensitivity is unpeeled, poem by poem, until the reader is left with a knowledge not held before.” Fiona Zerbst in The Sunday
64 pp ISBN 978-0-9802729-1-8 56 pp
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