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R20 000 Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award Shortlist for 2008

After the PartyAround Africa on My BicycleIn Black and WhiteSome of My Best Friends are WhiteSpud - The Madness ContinuesThabo Mbeki

Andrew FeinsteinRiaan ManserJake and (Small) FanThe Author's AutographJohn van de RuitMark Gevisser

Alert! The shortlist for the 2008 Booksellers Choice Award has been announced – and no fewer than three of the six books are by BOOK SA account holders: Andrew Feinstein, Mark Gevisser and John van de Ruit.

The winner of the R20 000 award, who will be announced on 19 August at the annual PASA/SABA joint dinner (to be held this year in Cape Town), is determined by bookshop owners large and small, as they cast their gazes back over the SA titles that they most enjoyed reading, selling or promoting during 2007.

It was clearly a year for non-fiction, with only one novel making the final six – albeit by the only writer in the group to win the award before, John van de Ruit, who won for Spud in 2006. Another novelist, Shaun Johnson, won the prize last year, for The Native Commissioner. But it would seem that the non-fiction division at Jonathan Ball Publishers already has one hand on the 2008 trophy, given that the Feinstein, Manser and Gevisser books – the “money” contenders, according to conventional wisdom – all count in its stable.

Perhaps van de Ruit can do the double, however – or perhaps Jake White and Ndumiso Ncgobo will ride in on their cremello and smoky black horses (respectively) and sweep up.

Good luck to all, at any rate!

The Nielsen Book company is represented in South Africa by BookData/SAPnet – find their complete press release below.

Book Details


Press release: Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award Shortlist announced following record response from the book trade

Monday 30 June 2008, Woking, UK: Nielsen Book is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2008 Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award. Following a record response from the book trade, we would like to thank all the booksellers who submitted their title of choice. We have a fantastic selection of books on the shortlist:

• After the Party by Andrew Feinstein (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
• Around Africa on My Bicycle by Riaan Manser (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
• In Black and White: The Jake White Story by Jake White and Craig Ray (Zebra Press)
• Some of my Best Friends are White by Ndumiso Ngcobo (Two Dogs)
• Spud – The Madness Continues by John van de Ruit* (Penguin)
• Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred by Mark Gevisser (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

*previous winner of the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award 2006

Booksellers were asked to vote for the books that they most enjoyed reading, selling or promoting during 2007. “We have received nominations from across the trade – the most submissions we have ever received in the history of this award, which is extremely rewarding”, said Freda van Wyk, Managing Director of BookData/SAPnet (the company that represents and distributes Nielsen Book’s services in South Africa).

One of these titles will take its place alongside previous winners from: Shaun Johnson, Leigh Voigt, Greg Marinovich & Joao Silva, Jonathan Kaplan, Jonny Steinberg, Antjie Krog and Elbie Lotter. The winner will be announced at this year’s PASA/SABA Conference dinner which will be held on Tuesday 19 August at The Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. The PASA and SABA Annual Conference and Awards is a key event for the industry and one that promises to be a glittering affair.

Nielsen Book’s Sales Director, Simon Skinner, will present the award in August and had this to say about the shortlist: “We received an excellent response from booksellers this year and know that the supporting in-store promotion between now and the announcement of the winner will lead to increased sales across all 6 titles. We urge publishers and booksellers to get behind this promotion to make it a truly sensational year for South African writing. We would like to thank, PASA, SABA, Hargraves Library Services and BookData/SAPnet for their sterling work on this promotion”.

Nielsen Book is delighted to continue to sponsor the Booksellers’ Choice Award and the Sefika Awards – all are chosen and presented by the trade in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry. Nielsen Book sponsors similar awards in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Author biographies

Andrew Feinstein was an ANC MP in South Africa for more than seven years before resigning in protest at the party’s handling of the multibillion rand arms deal. After working in financial services, he now writes, lectures and consults on public policy issues. Andrew also chairs an HIV/Aids charity in London, where he now lives with his wife and two young children.

Riaan Manser was born in 1973 in Pretoria. He grew up in Zululand and attended John Ross College. After studying HR Management, he worked in the medical industry. He has been a lifesaver, a surfer and a rugby player. When he took his bike to ride around Africa it was as a commitment to do something extraordinary with his life.

Craig Ray is a Cape Town–based sports writer and broadcaster who regularly contributes on rugby issues for local and international publications and radio stations. He is the senior rugby writer for The Times newspaper and a regular contributor to The Weekender. He honed his skills at sports news agency MWP Media for seven years before embarking on a freelance career in 2006. Craig captained the Under-14C cricket team at Jeppe Boys High in Johannesburg when Jake White was coach.

Jake White started as a schoolboy coach in 1982 and went on to become one of the most successful rugby coaches in South African history. He worked as an assistant to the Springboks under Nick Mallet and Harry Viljoen, and coached the Baby Boks to victory in the 1999 SANZAR/UAR tournament and the inaugural IRB Under-21 World Cup in 2002. He was appointed senior Bok coach in 2004 and guided the team to its first Tri-Nations title since 1998 in his first year in charge. After a difficult 2006 season, in which Jake just clung to his job, his four-year plan came to fruition when the Springboks won the 2007 World Cup in France. In both 2004 and 2007, Jake was named world coach of the year, and the Springboks were named team of the year.

Ndumiso Ngcobo was born in Mpumalanga Township in KwaZulu-Natal. Raised on a rural diet of conservative Catholicism and Zulu traditionalism, he managed to successfully incorporate writing and beer drinking into his daily corporate life. Under the pseudonym Silwane kaNjila, he has become one of the most widely read bloggers on the Mail & Guardian-hosted site, and was the first blogger to receive official media accreditation for an ANC conference (in Polokwane). Ndumiso is married with three children.

John van de Ruit was born in Durban, South Africa and educated at Michaelhouse and the University of Natal where he completed a Masters degree in Drama and Performance. Since 1998 he has been a professional actor, playwright and producer. His first novel, Spud, won the 2006 Booksellers’ Choice Award.

Mark Gevisser is one of South Africa’s leading journalists. After graduating from Yale University in 1987 magna cum laude with a degree in comparative literature, he worked in New York, writing for Village Voice and The Nation before returning to South Africa in 1990. In South Africa, his work has appeared in the Mail & Guardian, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Times and many magazines and periodicals. Internationally, he has published widely on South African politics, culture and society, in publications ranging from Vogue and the New York Times to Foreign Affairs and Art in America. In 2001 he won a Mondi award for his series of articles in GQ on cities and space in South Africa.

Mark has previously published two books – Defiant Desire, Gay and Lesbian Lives In South Africa (Routledge, 1994), which he co-edited with Edwin Cameron, and Portraits of Power: Profiles in a Changing South Africa (David Philip, 1996), a collection of his celebrated political profiles from the Mail & Guardian. He has also published widely, in anthologies, on sexuality and on urbanism in South Africa. His essay, “Inheritance”, appears in the award-winning new anthology, Beautiful/Ugly (Duke/Kwela, 2006). His feature-length documentary, The Man Who Drove with Mandela, made with Greta Schiller, has been broadcast internationally, and won the Teddy Documentary Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999. The film is an excavation of the life of Cecil Williams, the South African gay communist theatre director. Mark has also written scripts for the South African drama series Zero Tolerance; his scripts were short-listed for SAFTA and iEmmy awards. Since 2002, Mark has also been involved in heritage development. He served on Education Minister Kader Asmal’s Ministerial Committee on History in 2002; he co-led the team that developed the heritage, education and tourism components of Constitution Hill, and co-curated the Hill’s permanent exhibitions. He is a founder and partner of trace, heritage research and design company; his clients include GALA, for whom he is currently curating an exhibition on the history of gay and lesbian people in Johannesburg. Mark lives in Johannesburg and in Cape Town with his partner.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    June 30th, 2008 @14:13 #

    Despite its chestnut/sorrel ancestry, the cremello horse looks like a white horse to me.


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