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15 South African Debut Novels from 2015

15 South African Debut Novels from 2015

With new books from Ivan Vladislavić, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Finuala Dowling, Christopher Hope, among others, there’s no denying some great South African fiction was produced in 2015 from established names. However, it’s the debut authors that ignite our hopes for the future of South African literature.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered together the notable South African first novels published this year.

Take a look:

Bev RycroftA Slim, Green SilenceA Slim, Green Silence by Beverly Rycroft
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Rycroft’s poetry collection, Missing, won the Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize in 2012, and in 2011 she was awarded second prize in the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Competition.

Set in the small Eastern Cape town of Scheeperstown, A Slim, Green Silence describes a dead woman’s return to her home to fulfil an unknown purpose.

Andrew MillerDub StepsDub Steps by Andrew Miller
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Miller’s debut novel won the 2015 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award in manuscript form, and was subsequently published by Jacana Media.

Dub Steps is set in Johannesburg in an alternative future where most of the inhabitants have disappeared, suddenly, inexplicably, and the remaining handful have to find each other and start again. Dinaane judge Fred Khumalo called it “a dystopian novel that gave me hope”.

Miller is a freelance writer, public speaker and performance poet based in Cape Town.

nullGlowfly DanceGlowfly Dance by Jade Gibson
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Gibson is an academic, writer and visual artist based at the University of the Western Cape, who has lived in the United Kingdom, Africa, the South Pacific and the Caribbean.

Glowfly Dance travels across three continents, narrated by a child, focusing on issues of migration, identity, women and child abuse, and the inability of authorities to protect vulnerable people.

The manuscript was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and the Virginia Prize for Fiction.

nullHunger Eats a ManHunger Eats a Man by Nkosinathi Sithole
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Sithole grew up in Hlathikhulu near Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal, studied at Wits University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and currently teaches English at the University of Zululand.

Hunger Eats a Man is the story of Father Gumede, also known as Priest, who loses his job as a farmhand and, enraged, decided that he will have to earn a living at whatever cost.

Sithole’s first novel highlights the desperation of many South Africans, but his tale is told with a deft touch, humour and wit.

Nakhane TourePiggy Boy's BluesPiggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure
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Touré is a SAMA award-winning musician for his debut album Brave Confusion, his latest release being The Laughing Son. His first book, Piggy Boy’s Blues, centres on a young man’s return to Alice, the town of his birth, and the decline of a Xhosa royal family.

Piggy Boy’s Blues was the first novel to be released by BlackBird Books, Jacana Media’s new imprint. Pumla Dineo Gqola, Professor of African Literature at Wits University, calls it a “tour de force”.

Sally AndrewRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysteryRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew
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Recipes for Love and Murder was a global success before it had even gone to print. Last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair set off a bidding war for the manuscript, with rights being sold to three countries (UK, ANZ and SA) with a preempt in Canada as well. By 2016, the book will be available in 17 countries – and counting!

The book is a murder mystery with a difference, the lead character being Tannie Maria, an agony aunt from the Little Karoo whose life takes a sinister turn. Alexander McCall Smith calls it: “Vivid, amusing and immensely enjoyable … a triumph.”

nullSweet MedicineSweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
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Chigumadzi is a young and upcoming media executive, and the founder and editor of Vanguard Magazine, a platform for young black women. She is a 2015 Ruth First Fellow at Wits University, and created waves with her inaugural lecture earlier this year.

Sweet Medicine, published by BlackBird Books, follows the life of a young woman, Tsitsi, in 2008 Harare, at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes, but the author insists she steers well clear of “poverty porn”.

Dalena TheronThe Paper HouseThe Paper House by Dalena Theron
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Born in KwaZulu-Natal, Theron is an award-winning journalist who holds degrees in journalism and social anthropology from the University of Pretoria. She writes short stories in her spare time, and currently lives in Cape Town.

The Paper House involves 22-year-old Anna and her unconventional family: she lives with two eccentric dads in a small town in rural KwaZulu-Natal. The novel explores the different dynamics of family and asks how you can remain a supportive daughter and still live your own life.

The Paper House is also available in Afrikaans as Huisies van papier.

Fred StrydomThe RaftThe Raft by Fred Strydom
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The Raft was published by Umuzi in South Africa at the beginning of April, but the manuscript was the subject of a multi-party auction just ahead of the London Book Fair, with United States publisher SkyHorse Publishing ultimately securing the rights, with publishing editor Cory Allyn described the novel as “Lost meets Life of Pi meets The Road“. The cover for the North American edition was recently revealed.

The Raft is set in a world where humankind has lost its memory, and for the novel’s main character, Kayle Jenner, all that is left of his past are the haunting visions of a boy he believes to be his son, leading him to embark on a voyage across a broken world to find the boy.

Jacqui l'AngeThe Seed ThiefThe Seed Thief by Jacqui L’Ange
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Durban-born L’Ange is an award winning journalist and book reviewer, with an MA in Creative Writing from UCT, and her debut novel was eagerly anticipated.

The Seed Thief is a striking and richly imagined novel, moving from Table Mountain to the heart of Afro-Brazilian spiritualism, and the playlist that inspired L’Ange is well worth a listen.

At the launch of the novel, Henrietta Rose-Innes said: “It’s an eco-thriller about sea piracy and the preservation of our natural heritage; it’s also a personal story about a woman who is pursued by her own demons …”

John HuntThe Space Between the Space BetweenThe Space Between the Space Between by John Hunt
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Hunt is the co-founder of legendary advertising company TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, which worked closely on Nelson Mandela’s first ANC election campaign. In 2003 he became the creative director of TBWA Worldwide. He is the author of The Art of the Idea: And How It Can Change Your Life, but The Space Between the Space Between is his debut novel.

Set in the turbulence of South Africa right now, the novel tells the story of a young man trying to stay afloat as he’s assaulted by life’s cross-currents.

Alex van TonderThis One TimeThis One Time by Alex van Tonder
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Van Tonder is a Cape Town-based copywriter and marketer, was well known for her satirical blogs, including My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl. She was named one of South Africa’s most influential women on Twitter (@alex_vantonder) in 2011 by Memeburn.

Her debut novel is about Jacob Lynch, a New York blogger who creates an outrageous and offensive alter-ago called Brodie Lomax, and “a bit of a social media Frankenstein story”, according to the author.

nullTracerTracer by Rob Boffard
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Boffard was born in Johannesburg in 1984 and studied journalism at Rhodes University. He has written for The Guardian, Wired Magazine and the BBC, and io9, and has worked on corporate copy for Google and Microsoft. He also has a rap album to his name, African, and a successful second career as a sound engineer.

His debut is a science fiction thriller, which Sarah Lotz describes as: “Fast, exhilarating and unforgettable, and once you start it you can’t stop.”

Orbit Books bought the rights to a trilogy of novels, with Jonathan Ball distributing the books locally.

ZP DalaWhat About MeeraWhat About Meera by ZP Dala
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Dala is a Durban-based freelance writer and psychologist at a school for autistic children. Her short stories has been nominated for many awards, while What About Meera was recently announced as the winner of the inaugural Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Award: Debut Category and has been longlisted for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

The launch of Dala’s novel was put on hold earlier this year after she was targeted in a religiously motivated attack at the Time of the Writer Festival in Durban, but the author has bounced back and recently appeared at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town.

Rehana RossouwWhat Will People SayWhat Will People Say by Rehana Rossouw
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Rossouw was born in Cape Town, but currently works as a journalist in “self-imposed exile” in Johannesburg.

What Will People Say earned Rossouw a shortlisting for this year’s Mbokodo Awards, and she was also recently longlisted for the Etisalat Prize.

The novel tells the story of a family living in Hanover Park in 1986, during the height of the struggle era, and formed part of her MA in Creative Writing at Wits.

Do you have any other debut novels in mind? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter

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Google Doodle Celebrates Nadine Gordimer’s 92nd Birthday

Google Doodle Celebrates Nadine Gordimer’s 92nd Birthday
July's PeopleNone to Accompany MeLife TimesLying DaysOn the MinesTelling TimesNo Time Like the Present

South Africa woke up this morning to a Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of one of the world’s most beloved authors, Nadine Gordimer.

Gordimer, who passed away in 2014, would have been 92 today, 20 November, 2015.

Read Google’s write-up on the Doodle:

Today’s Doodle features Nobel Prize winning author Nadine Gordimer laboring in her study, where she typically worked from early morning into the late afternoon. A dear friend of Nelson Mandela’s and a powerful voice for change in South African politics, Gordimer moved untold thousands with the pathos of her sparse, penetrating narratives.

In a style befitting Gordimer’s prose, Doodler Lydia Nichols exercised restraint by using only three colors, which she has layered to create texture and subtle variation. Gordimer, who attended just one year of university, died in July of last year. She was once asked how she developed such a sophisticated command of the language in the absence of any formal training. “From reading,” she said. “And living, of course.” Today marks her 92nd birthday.

Related stories:

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Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho is Sharing His Tshivenda Novel, A Thi Nga Tendi, on Facebook – and the Likes Are Pouring In

Tshifhiwa Given MukwevhoA Traumatic RevengeThe Violent Gestures of LifeTshifhiwa Given Mukwevho, author of A Traumatic Revenge and The Violent Gestures of Life, has started serialising his Tshivenda novel, A Thi Nga Tendi, on Facebook – and the response from readers has been overwhelming.

Mukwevho shares an excerpt on the A Thi Nga Tendi Facebook page every morning, and has amassed over 1 300 fans in quite a short period of time. Initially he posted extracts of 600 words, but had to increase them to 1 000 words, by popular demand.

The Limpopo-born author is an inspiration; a former streetkid and ex-prisoner who has turned his life around through writing. Books LIVE’s Jennifer Malec chatted to him about his new project, ‪#‎LetsReadOurOwnBooks‬.

Books LIVE: What prompted you to start a Facebook novel? Was it the ease of publishing the story, or is it an experiment in how free literature could work? Or was there a different reason?

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho: As a writer, the whisperings and chief voice follow me wherever I go. At times I may try to ignore the voice or else postpone writing due to some pressing work but the voice keeps singing in the backroom of my mind. And when I can no longer contain the loudness of the voice, all other matters have to stop and I sit down to write.

So the novel was prompted by the urgency I felt to share the story with hundreds or even thousands of Tshivenda readers, who would not have accessed and enjoyed this novel had we had to wait for publishers to accept the manuscript, print it and make it available to prospective readers.

At some stage I was made to believe that no young people like me could write literary matters in Tshivenda because it is not easy to do. I received discouragement such as only the old could write; youths lacked the knowledge and writing tools to produce passable, publishable writings.

And I say that has been proved wrong. When I was awarded second prize at the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards 2014 in November last year, I knew then that I was moving on the right track. Making a novel available to Tshivenda readers on the platform of Facebook is another way of testing the readership.

So, with the page A Thi Nga Tendi, well, I knew both teenagers and adults needed to read the story and so after writing the full-length novel, I decided to share it with readers on Facebook. I have never published anything in Tshivenda before, I mean the kind of work which received any honest criticism.

For non-Tshivenda speakers, can you explain what the story is about?

A Thi Nga Tendi tells the story of a 17-year-old girl named Portia who gives birth to a baby boy and throws him into a pit toilet. Unfortunately the child dies, Portia gets arrested and sentenced to jail for some time. Her reason for committing such a dastardly sin is that her boyfriend had denied paternity. Portia’s mother, who had seven children from seven different fathers and never killed any of her paternally rejected kids, is disappointed at Portia. She rejects her for life, reminding her that she had supported and advised her throughout her pregnancy to be a good mother.

In this novel, I am by no means trying to paint men as monsters who reject their children. But I’m looking at questions such as what happens to children born from extra-marital affairs? Do the fathers, in all cases, properly get involved in raising the kids – don’t some of them run away and seek pleasure in other women?

Was the novel inspired by any real event?

I am a freelance journalism on the community level. The novel was inspired by endless, disturbing incidents of “murders” of babies by mothers who throw them in the dustbins, drop them by the roadside or throw them into pit toilets. This is heartlessness – and it’s happening among us …

Maybe this is another The Violent Gestures of Life from a woman’s side, because Portia also meets other women in jail who have committed serious, disturbing crimes …

Did you plan the plot before starting the Facebook page or are you creating the story as you go along?

The novel is about 93 percent complete, if that makes sense. And the pressure is seemingly on me to continue writing and posting a chapter or half a chapter each morning, as if it were a soapie series. And that in itself is not going to happen. This novel will eventually come to an end like when you read any hardcopy novel. And this is going to anger a lot of A Thi Nga Tendi followers.

What kind of reaction/messages have you had from readers?

Readers love literature that speaks directly to and with them in their language. They give honest praise, criticism and comment on the plot and some events within the storyline. Their comments taught me that writers need not underestimate readers.

Do you have a lot of experience writing in Tshivenda? How is it different, for you, from writing in English?

I had written some work in Tshivenda before, but had not published anything. However, readers comment that my Tshivenda is excellent and accessible. So, today I am confident to say that I am becoming more of a writer the more I continue to write in Tshivenda. I am not sure about the difference or quality parity between my Tshivenda writings and English writings … only time will tell.

Is writing in Tshivenda technically different from English?

It’s not that much different. But then if you have ever published something in English before, like I have, you may find it hard to deal with Tshivenda editors who will be mixing up your dialogue with prose in a way that messes up your work.

What are your favourite Tshivenda novels?

There are a number of contemporary novels and plays I have enjoyed so far: U Nembelela Ha Shamba by ET Mudau, Vhuanzwo by Rudzani Tshianane, and many more. Somehow I am deeply intrigued by Xitsonga literature; there’s hardly euphemism in their writing.

Have you had any contact from publishers or the media (apart from us) about the project?

Nope. But then my aim in creating the A Thi Nga Tendi page was not to make my voice heard by publishers or the media out there. I am writing for my people. And the fact of the matter is that after the novel has reached its end on Facebook, I will consider all comments and criticism from my readers and further develop the manuscript with the aim of publishing and making it available in print format. And I am, again, confident that the very people who read A Thi Nga Tendi on Facebook will also buy and read the hardcopy …

The writing continues …

Related stories:

Book details

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho

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Philip Joseph, Founder of Exclusive Books, Dies Aged 94

Tim Hely-Hutchinson, Philip Joseph, Jonathan Ball

Philip Joseph (pictured centre), the founder of Exclusive Books, which grew from a single shop in Johannesburg to the leading bookstore chain in South Africa, has passed away at the age of 94.

He and his wife Pamela started the first Exclusive Books as a second-hand bookshop in King George Street, Johannesburg in 1951. The chain now runs close to 50 stores, including one in Botswana.

In 1954, the Josephs opened a new Exclusive Books in Kotze Street, Hillbrow, Johannseburg, selling second-hand and antiquarian books, as well as new titles. On New Year’s Day 1955, the national publicity from a “spectacular explosion” in a nearby store shot the fledgling bookshop to fame.

In 1973, they moved the shop to Pretoria Street, also in Hillbrow, and its legendary status moved with it. The shop was known not just for its wide range of titles, but also, it was whispered, as a backdoor source of literature then banned by the apartheid state. The location closed in 1993 and the shop was moved to Hyde Park, on where it became largest bookshop in Southern Africa.

Charlie Redmayne, Tim Hely-Hutchinson, Philip Joseph, Jonathan Ball, Nigel NewtonJoseph was known for his passion for books and bookselling, and Exclusive Books was renowned for being run by people who knew their stuff. “So much success in a business depends on the people running it. You require committed maniacs to run any business, and if there’s a shortage of committed maniacs then the businesses that don’t have them will suffer, whether they are large or small,” Joseph said in an interview in The Bookseller in 2000.

In the same interview, Joseph emphasised that Exclusive Books was founded as a shop “for Mr Everyman”.

“There was no specialisation at all, and we abhorred the intellectual snobbery that was being practised in one or two bookshops in Johannesburg at that time,” he said. “We felt that if anyone came in for a western or a romance, we should first of all thank God that a customer had crossed our threshold, and that, second, we had to treat the customer with the respect we would treat someone who came in for a novel by Anthony Powell. The intellectual snobbery of some bookshops in Johannesburg was awful. It put a lot of people off.

“We ran the bookshop on very strict business principles. There was no question of stocking a book just because any good bookshop had to stock that book. We stocked what people wanted. And, if we believed in a book, the entire staff got behind it. We beat the drum, and that is the only way to sell a book, with total conviction.”

Read the interview, in which Joseph also talks about the censorship of the apartheid regime: “It was like a dirty blanket over you that you could never get rid of.”

When Philip Joseph, with his son Richard, sold Books Etc to Borders in the autumn of 1997, it was the third sale of a family business Joseph the Elder had been involved in.

Born in London into a family engaged in motor tyre factoring (the sale of which was his first), he joined the Royal Air Force as air crew during the Second World War, and was sent to South Africa to be taught to fly. He spent 18 months being trained, “a ridiculously long time by today’s standards”.

His training took him first to Pretoria, then to various other locations before he fetched up in Kimberley, where he met his wife-to-be, Pam. He served in various theatres of war, including North Africa, before returning after VE Day to London, where he was joined by his wife. But within two years the couple were back in South Africa.

There he went first into the chemical manufacturing business. This activity came to an end when the price of copper went through the roof. Meanwhile, Pam Joseph and his mother Pauline had, in 1951, bought a small secondhand bookshop in King George Street in the heart of Johannesburg. It was called Exclusive Books.

Joseph went on to establish the successful Books Etc. chain in the United Kingdom (not to be confused with a current UK online book business).

Jonathan Ball, founder of Jonathan Ball Publishers, remembers Joseph as a “remarkable fellow”.

“Exclusive Books was actually started by Philip’s wife Pamela – the first, legendary shop was in Hillbrow – and Philip joined the business after a few years, opening a second branch in Cape Town,” Balls says.

“I met him in the 1970s when I worked at Macmillan and would see him fairly regularly. He was a remarkable fellow who made a great contribution to the book business in SA and the UK, and he had the wisdom to sell his UK business before the advent of Amazon.”

Fred Withers, former managing director of Exclusive Books, says: “Philip was quietly spoken but had very strong and well-thought-out views of the publishing and bookselling businesses. He introduced me to the Seattle Coffee people, with whom Exclusive Books had a good, long relationship.

“He was a genteel man. When I was in London, we always has breakfast at the Mandarin Orient Hotel overlooking Hyde Park. He always followed from a distance the progress of Exclusive Books and was warmly complimentary of how it developed in South Africa.”

Rest in peace, Philip Joseph.

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Sunday Read: Explore the Genre-bending Work of Dubravka Ugresic, Winner of the 2016 Neustadt International Prize

Europe in SepiaBaba Yaga Laid an EggKaraoke CultureThank You For Not Reading

Novelist and essayist Dubravka Ugrešić has been announced as the winner of the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. This Sunday, read a selection of excerpts from her work, peruse some interviews, and watch a video of the author at Boston University.

The biennial Neustadt Prize recognises outstanding literary merit in literature worldwide, and is often referred to as the “American Nobel”. It is one of the few international prizes for which poets, novelists and playwrights are all eligible. Winners are awarded $50 000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver and a certificate. The prize is awarded in alternating years with the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.

This year’s Neustadt Prize finalists were Can Xue, Caryl Churchill, Carolyn Forché, Aminatta Forna, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Guadalupe Nettel, Don Paterson and Ghassan Zaqtan. For the first time, female authors made up the majority of the finalists.

From The Neustadt Prize:

Born in the former Yugoslavia and now residing in Amsterdam, Ugrešić is considered one of Europe’s most distinctive novelists and essayists. Marked by a combination of irony and compassion, her books have been translated into more than 20 languages, and she is the winner of several other major literary prizes, including the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (1998) and Jean Améry Essay Prize (2012). She was also a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009, and her work Karaoke Culture (2011) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.

Mozambique author Mia Couto received the 2014 Neustadt Prize, becoming the first Mozambican author to be honoured with the prestigious title.

Neustadt Prize juror Allison Anderson, who nominated Ugrešić for the award, says: “Dubravka’s win is a double win for me because she is a non-[native] English speaker and a woman. I came across her work back in 1997 when I was on contract to teach English in Croatia and fell in love with her essays.

“As someone who voluntarily went into exile, she describes the shared experience of solitude with her stories of refugees. She covers injustice, corruption and everything that’s wrong in the world, but in a quiet way.”

Ugrešić was notified of her win ahead of the prize announcement on Friday, and said: “I’m delighted to win the prize, especially in light of such strong competition. I am already looking forward to being there with World Literature Today for the festival in 2016.”

Read an excerpt from Ugrešić’s 2014 book, Europe in Sepia, which hurtles “between Weltschmerz and wit, drollness and diatribe, entropy and enchantment”:

“Jumping off the Bridge”

I was glued to reports on the recent riots in the London boroughs of Tottenham, Hackney, and Brixton, stunned by the images of seething youth smashing shop windows and making their grab for street wear and electronics. Expensive mobile phones apparently topped their consumer desires, a detail that disappointed many commentators (If only they’d stolen bread and milk, we’d understand!). I became fixated on something else though: a Waterstones’ bookstore the kids passed by might as well have been an undertaker’s. But they didn’t miss a beat in cleaning out the backpack of another dazed and confused kid who obviously needed medical attention, leaving him bloodied and lost in the street. On our television screens, we shocked viewers saw what we were given to see. Each of us projected our own fears onto the Rorscharchian stain of the London riots.

From The Paris Review, an essay on the philosophy of minibars from Karaoke Culture (2011):

And this is actually the point: love. Minibars are all about love. Let’s think about it: What is, in actual fact, a minibar? A minibar is designed as a dollhouse for grown men. Men love their “kiddies.” A hip flask, the teenage dream of today’s seventy-year-old, was known as a “buddy.” Kiddie, buddy, minibar—they’re all diminutives for a guilty something. Guilt in the diminutive is not guilt; it’s the simulation of guilt. And therein lies the unique effect of the minibar.

For many a lonely businessman, the minibar is a symbolic substitute for home. Getting back to your room, opening the little fridge door, popping open a bottle of beer, flopping down into an armchair and putting one’s feet up on the table—it’s a ritual deeply ingrained in the imaginary, even of those who don’t come home, open the fridge, and take a beer.

The minibar is also designed as a first-aid kit. Even if you’ve never used it, the thought of your home first-aid kit makes you feel safe and protected. That’s why some minibars also have condoms. “Buddies” to protect you from “kiddies.”

The minibar is also a kind of temple, a place where we come face-to-face with the metaphysical.

Finally, read an excerpt from Baba Yaga Laid an Egg (2009), in which Ugrešić “explores the issues of women and aging through three different retellings of the Baba Yaga story”:

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This excerpt contains language some might find offensive.

Chapter 1: Birds in the Treetops Growing by My Mother’s Window

The air in the New Zagreb neighbourhood where my mother lives smells of bird droppings in summer. In the leaves of the trees out in front of her apartment building jostle thousands and thousands of birds. Starlings, people say. The birds are especially raucous during humid afternoons, before it rains. Occasionally a neighbour takes up an airgun and chases them off with a volley of shots. The birds clamour skywards in dense flocks, they zigzag up and down, exactly as if they are combing the sky, and then with hysterical chirruping, like a summer hailstorm, they drop into the dense leaves. It is as noisy as a jungle. All day long a sound curtain is drawn, as if rain is drumming outside. Light feathers borne by air currents waft in through the open windows. Mum takes up her duster, and, muttering, she sweeps up the feathers and drops them into the bin.

‘My turtledoves are gone,’ she sighs. ‘Remember my turtledoves?’

‘I do,’ I say.

I vaguely recall her fondness for two turtledoves that came to her windowsill. Pigeons she hated. Their muffled cooing in the morning infuriated her.

‘Those repulsive, repulsive fat birds!’ she said. ‘Have you noticed that even they have gone?’


‘The pigeons!’

I hadn’t noticed, but sure enough, it seemed that the pigeons had fled.

Ugrešić’s 2003 book Thank You For Not Reading is an inflammatory series of essays on the state of the publishing industry. In an interview with Bookslut, she speaks about her views:

The New York Times has just announced they’ll be reviewing less literary fiction in order to focus on “airport” fiction. Do you think this is a surprising move? How do you think this will affect publishing?

An airport is the most common metaphor for our contemporary world, for its mobile part. Airports are becoming big shopping malls. And more: on Dutch Shipol Airport you can find many things, even a small mosque in case you get an urge to leave a message on Allah’s answering machine.

A dream (or nightmare) of many writers is to see their books in the airport bookstores. NYT’s announcement sounds as a realization of that airport-metaphor. Airport people are supposed to buy NYT in the airport newspaper stands, to read book reviews on airport fiction, and then buy that fiction in the airport bookstores.

All in all, it’s not a surprising move. The publishing industry behaves like any other industry, and the book is treated like any other product.

Within that reality there are some exit-options. There is a small airport in North Carolina, Raleigh-Durham, with a secondhand bookstore. A couple of years ago I found there a good books for a small price. I hope that this secondhand bookstore is still there.

In an interview with Music and Literature, Ugrešić chats about her “literary apprenticeship”, which consisted of reading, studying, collecting and translating:

One has to earn the right to write, the right to “a voice.” I propagated an old-fashioned apprenticeship. I was a passionate reader from an early age. I studied comparative literature. I wrote about other writers. I translated them, too, from Russian to Croatian. I assembled anthologies. I edited, selected, and collected works of classical writers (Chekhov and Gogol, for example). I edited scholarly editions. I did a bit of literary history, criticism, and theory. I rediscovered some forgotten Russian writers (such as Leonid Dobychin and Konstantin Vaginov) and wrote about them. I think that the notion of a literary work ethic is extremely important, especially today when practically anybody can write, produce, and distribute his or her own work. This work ethic presupposes knowledge and a deep respect toward—and compassion for—your ancestors and contemporaries, toward your trade. It also assumes a deep awareness of what one is doing, why one is doing what one is doing, what the sense of the work is, what it brings to the cultural context, what it brings to the reader, and so on and so forth.

Watch a reading and conversation with Ugrešić, taken from Boston University’s “European Voices” series:

YouTube Preview Image

Dubravka Ugresic, one of Europe’s most distinctive novelists and essayists joined us for a reading. From her early postmodernist excursions, to her elegiac reckonings in fiction and the essay with the disintegration of her Yugoslav homeland and the fall of the Berlin Wall, through to her more recent writings on popular and literary culture, Ugresic’s work is marked by a rare combination of irony, polemic, and compassion. The event will be moderated by Igor Lukes, Professor of International Relations and History.
Following degrees in Comparative and Russian Literature, Dubravka Ugresic worked for many years at the University of Zagreb’s Institute for Theory of Literature, successfully pursuing parallel careers as both a writer and as a scholar. In 1991, when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Ugresic took a firm anti-war stance, critically dissecting retrograde Croatian and Serbian nationalism, the stupidity and criminality of war, becoming a target for nationalist journalists, politicians, and fellow writers in the process. Subjected to prolonged public ostracization and persistent media harassment, she left Croatia in 1993. In a voluntary exile that has in time become emigration, her books have been translated into over twenty languages. She lives and works in Amsterdam.
This event takes place as part of our “European Voices” series — an ongoing series of conversations with artists and writers, activists and intellectuals exploring questions at the intersection of politics and culture. Co-sponsored by the literary journal AGNI. Funded in part by the European Commission Delegation in Washington DC.
This event is brought to you by the Center for the Study of Europe, as part of International Education Week, a university-wide celebration of BU’s global engagement.

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Have Words, Will Travel: A Round-up of South African Authors in Translation

To celebrate International Translation Day today, Books LIVE has compiled a list of some of the most recent South African novels that have been translated into other languages.

International Translation Day is celebrated every year on 30 September; on the feast of St Jerome, the patron saint of translators.

South African authors are in high demand overseas, especially in Europe but also increasingly in China and Japan. Books LIVE recently reported on the upcoming Chinese edition of Mandla Langa’s The Texture of Shadows and the Japanese edition of Zelda la Grange’s Good Morning, Mr Mandela, as well as the French translations of Craig Higginson’s first and third novels, Last Summer and The Dream House.

Have a look at some of our most recent exports (local cover left, international cover right).

Shockingly, International Translation Day kind of sneaked up on us this year, so let us know of any interesting translations we may have missed on Facebook or Twitter – or in the comments below!

Young Blood

Sifiso Mzobe’s award-winning novel Young Blood (Kwela) was recently published by Peter Hammer Verlag, a prominent independent publisher in Germany. Young Blood won the Sunday Times Literary Award, the Herman Charles Bosman Prize, the SALA Award for a debut work, and the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.


Deon Meyer’s books have been translated into 28 languages. His latest Benny Griessel novel, Ikarus (Human & Rousseau) (recently released in English as Icarus [Jonathan Ball]), will be launched by AW Bruna Uitgevers in The Netherlands on 6 October.

Imperfect Solo

Steven Boykey Sidley’s most recent novel, Imperfect Solo (Pan Macmillan) is being released in French this month by Belfond as Meyer et la catastrophe.

Room 207

Kgebetli Moele’s Room 207 (Kwela) was recently published in Danish by Jensen & Dalgaard. Plans are underway to translate Moele’s other novels, Untitled and The Book of the Dead, into Danish as well, depending on the success of Room 207. The novel has also been translated into Italian and French.


Zoë Wicomb’s most recent novel, October (Umuzi), was translated into French by Éditions Mercure de France as Octobre in August. October was shortlisted for the 2015 Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.

Way Back Home

Niq Mhlongo’s latest novel, Way Back Home (Kwela), has been published in Germany by Wunderhorn Verlag as part of its AfrikAWunderhorn collection. Mhlongo’s books have previously been published in the United States, Spain, Italy and France.

Die kremetartekspedisie

The English version of Wilma Stockenström’s Die kremetartekspedisie (Human & Rousseau), translated from the Afrikaans by JM Coetzee, was recently published by Archipelago Books in the United States.

Hierdie Lewe

Archipelago Books has also published a North American edition of Karel Schoeman’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger-winning book Hierdie lewe (Human & Rousseau), translated from the Afrikaans by Else Silke.


Henrietta Rose-Innes recently revealed the cover for Nínive, the Spanish translation of her third novel, Nineveh (Umuzi). Nínive is to be published by Mexican publisher Almadia, and Rose-Innes will be at the Oaxaca International Book Fair to launch the book in October. Ninive, the French translation of Nineveh, recently won the François Sommer Literary Prize.



In May, French publishing house Actes Sud released Kopano Matlwa’s Wole Soyinka Prize-winning novel, Coconut (Jacana), translated by Georges Lory. Coconut was Matlwa’s debut novel and winner of the 2007 European Literary Award. It has been published in Sweden by Tranan, and in Italy by Ediozioni Sonda.

Of Cops and Robbers

The German translation of Black Heart (Umuzi), the third book in Mike Nicol‘s Revenge Trilogy, was voted as one of German weekly magazine Die Zeit’s top 10 crime novels published in Germany in 2014. Of Cops and Robbers (Umuzi), published in German as Bad Cop, was voted one of the best thrillers published in that country in March. Killer Country, the second book in the Revenge Trilogy, was published in French in September 2014 by Ombres Noires, receiving a number of very positive reviews.


Small Things

Nthikeng Mohlele was in Stockholm last October to launch the Sweden edition of Small Things (UKZN Press), Joburg Blues, at the Stockholm Literature Festival.


The Elusive Moth

Au café du rendez-vous, the French edition of multi-award-winning author Ingrid Winterbach‘s novel The Elusive Moth (Human & Rousseau), was recently published by Editions Phébus. A number of Winterbach’s other novels have already been published in the US and the Netherlands.

Apocalypse Now Now

鋼鉄の黙示録, the Japanese edition of Charlie Human’s debut novel Apocalypse Now Now (Umuzi), was published by Tokyo Sogensha in March. Apocalypse Now Now has been translated into Afrikaans, as Bokveld binnekort, as well as Turkish and Italian.

Broken Monsters

And finally, Lauren Beukes’ novels have been translated all over the world, but most recently the award-winning author introduced French readers to Broken Monsters (Umuzi), published in France as Les monsters.

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“I Wanted People to Hate Me!” – Nakhane Toure Chats about Killing off His Characters at the Open Book Festival

Nakhane Toure

Piggy Boy's BluesNakhane Touré and his publisher Thabiso Mahlape chatted to Mervyn Sloman about Touré’s new novel, Piggy Boy’s Blues, at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town recently.

Piggy Boy’s Blues is the first novel to be published under Jacana Media’s new imprint BlackBird Books, which, as Mahlape explained, will focus on black writers and black stories.

“I have got questions from a lot of people asking, ‘Why only black narratives?’,” Mahlape said, “but, as I said to a journalist from the Financial Times in New York, I don’t think that’s a valid question. But that article never saw the light of day.

“Anyone that knows the history of our country, anyone that knows the history of our literary landscape – something that’s been heatedly contested this year alone – will know that we don’t have enough black writers, and that is what we inherited as a country.”

Mahlape says Piggy Boy’s Blues exemplifies the work she is hoping to do. “Nakhane was turned down by other publishers, but aspects of his story resonated with me, so for me it was a ‘yes’ from the beginning.”

Touré’s debut album Brave Confusion won a South African Music Award for Best Alternative Album last year, but he started writing long before his music career took off. “It’s just that music happened to become more successful!” he said.

On the different creative processes, Touré said he finds music more collaborative and more conducive to the exchange of ideas, while writing is much more solitary.

“With writing, you spend so much time alone”, he said. “And you have to understand your characters as individuals. It’s almost like method acting, where you have to go back and remember something awful that happened to you when you were seven years old, and how it made you feel, which is not necessarily healthy.”

Touré mentioned an early conversation he had with Mahlape about the dialogue in the novel. “We said the dialogue was too normal for prose that was so lyrical,” Mahlape agreed.

But the clash between lyricism and realism is what Touré insists he set out to achieve: “I personally do not believe it when I’m reading a novel and someone is speaking in such considered dialogue. Who speaks like that? So I was going for some form of … postmodern realism, if that makes any sense.”

Touré says he was tempted to kill off his main character Davide, which was another thing he and Mahlape had a number of 2 AM conversations about.

“I had no real good reason to kill Davide except the I wanted to affect the reader,” he said. “That’s how it is when you write, sometimes. You make a decision because you want to make people cry and hate you.

“When I was in my first band we had a rule: The song comes first. And I realised that that rule is similar to writing a book. The character comes first, the storyline comes first. Not your shock tactics. But my decision to kill my character had nothing to do with the character, it had nothing to do with the story, it had everything to do with me, as Nakhane. And that’s something my editor, Alison Lowry, has helped me with.”

Sloman pointed out the delicate way Touré treated his characters. “Homosexuality is at the centre of everything that happens in the book,” he said, “and the thing that isn’t there is the reaction against that. At no point are any of the characters dealing with homophobia.”

Touré says Njabulo Ndebele’s landmark 1991 essay “The Rediscovery of the Ordinary” was an influence on this aspect of the novel.

“I wanted to normalise homosexuality without going, ‘Hey! I’m normalising it.’ Because the moment you say that, you are not normalising it. You’re othering it.”

“The three main characters have a very strange relationship, but it’s not strange because they’re gay,” Sloman said.

“Exactly,” Touré replied.

Touré also commented on the fact that some readers’ reports, before the book was published, categorised it as “queer literature”. “I honour the fact that there are queer characters in this novel, but when does something become queer literature, when the writer is queer, or when the characters are queer? Usually when the writer is queer, bookshops put it in a corner behind the business section where nobody will see it.

“When I was finishing this novel I read a lot of supposedly queer literature. I’ve read A Single Man, I’ve read Giovanni’s Room, and many others, so I understand the tradition. But to rebel against this tradition.”

Touré says he did not want to write another story about a young gay man rejected by his family who ends up living on the street and working as a prostitute.

“Not that I don’t think those stories are important, they are, and they helped me,” he said. “But I did want to make homosexuality a central theme in the novel, but just in a different way. I wanted my characters to be complex.”

Touré also revealed how an earlier draft of the novel was slated in a reader’s report, which contained the line: “If it was up to me I wouldn’t publish this.”

“Being me, I thought ‘I’ll show you!’,” Touré said. He cut the novel down significantly and, among other things, shortened the chapter length. “I wanted it to be more punchy and accessible,” he says.

“Well I think it achieves that, absolutely,” Sloman said.


* * * * * * * *


Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer) tweeted from the event:



Photographs from Open Book 2015:

Photos from the third day of the 2015 Open Book Festival, happening in Cape Town from 9 – 13 SeptemberBooks LIVE…

Posted by Books LIVE on Saturday, 12 September 2015

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“I Don’t Bite My Tongue in this Book” – Hugh Masekela Signs with Jacana for the Local Release of His “Lost” Memoir

Hugh Masekela and his daughter and manager

Jazz legend Hugh Masekela was in the Jacana Media offices this afternoon to sign the contract for the local publication of his memoir, Still Grazing, which came out internationally in 2004 but was never released in South Africa.

Hugh Masekela and Jacana MD Bridget ImpeyMasekela said he believes South African society has become complacent since the time of Steve Biko and other young intellectuals of the apartheid era, and hopes that his book can stand as an example of the forthrightness needed to turn the country around.

“In 1990, when all the apartheid laws were dropped, we were probably one of the most intelligent societies in the world,” he said. “Since then, I think we have become dumbed down, not by freedom itself but by the hype that we are free now.

“I don’t bite my tongue in this book,” he said, adding to Impey: “I hope you have some bail money for me …”

“We’ll sell loads of copies of the book, and use that money,” she joked.

The book was first released in 2004, but disappeared more or less without a trace, much to the consternation of Masekela’s fans.

The mock-ups for the cover of Still Grazing by Hugh Masekela“The way it came to South Africa, which is the only country where it went out of print, is because when I was signed to Sony Records, the head of Sony at the time was smart enough to agree to buy a whole consignment from Random House, and I twisted Exclusive Books’ arm to bring it into the country,” Masekela explained. “So they brought in a limited amount, but you can’t find it now anywhere. In the States, they just put it out there, they didn’t do anything else. So it’s one of the world’s biggest secrets outside of South Africa – and in South Africa.

“But no matter where we go, people ask ‘Where can I buy the book? I’ve tried Amazon, I’ve tried Mississippi, I’ve tried the Nile River …’

“So we’re happy that Jacana elected to release it.”

Masekela is currently writing an update to the book, as the original version ended in 2002. However, he explained how a large chunk was recently stolen from a train – in Europe.

“I had about 56 pages of what I’ve been writing,” he said. “But I just came back yesterday from a European tour, and we were on a train after a concert in Frankfurt, in first class, eight of us, and we were very relaxed – this was a luxury train – but when we got to Paris my suitcase was not there. I got very homesick right away,” he joked.

“I lost 56 pages, my expensive pairs of shoes, three of my favourite ties, my lint remover – the things I miss most!

“So my advice to you is when you travel, don’t use an expensive suitcase. This is what I discovered after 60 years of travelling.”

Despite the setback, Jacana MD Bridget Impey is confident of a late October publication date.

All copies of the first print run will include Masekela’s latest CD, Playing @ Work.

Hugh Masekela with employees of Jacana Media, friends and business associates

About the book

Hugh Masekela is a prodigiously talented giant of jazz and world music, and a pioneer in sharing the voice and spirit of South Africa with the rest of the world, but his globetrotting tale transcends music.

First published in the USA in 2004, this autobiography shares with rich detail Masekela’s life, infused with love and loss, sex and drugs, exile and revolution. He survived it all, with wit, passion, abundant talent and wisdom, and is now bringing his story back home!

A new foreword and afterword to his autobiography will add fresh insights into the life of one of today’s few living world-class artists and rare spirits.

Still Grazing narrates a magical journey around the world in this epic, music-soaked tale of love, excess, exile and home.

Masekela’s life began in a South Africa haunted by violence, but redeemed by the consolations of family, music and adventure. As the grip of apartheid tightened, he was driven into exile and embarked on what would become a 30-year pilgrimage around the world. His first stop was New York City, where he was adopted by legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Harry Belafonte. Masekela lived through some of the most vital and colourful music scenes of our time: blowing with bebop greats in New York, playing with a young Bob Marley in Jamaica, hanging out with Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone in the 60s, and getting lost in the madness of Fela’s Afropop explosion in Lagos. He loved extravagantly, and was married to Miriam Makeba for some time, experimented wildly with drugs and alcohol, and stumbled into adventure after adventure. And through the hit musical Sarafina (which he conceived with Mbongeni Ngema), the Graceland tour he spearheaded with Paul Simon, and his fearless on-the-ground activism, he worked tirelessly to add his voice to the anti-apartheid movement. When he eventually returned to South Africa, he at last found the strength to confront the personal demons that had tracked him around the world, and attained a new measure of peace at home.

Unfolding against the backbeat of the most revolutionary musical movements of the last forty years and one of the most inspiring political transformations of the twentieth century, this is the utterly engrossing and deeply effecting chronicle of a remarkable, one-of-a-kind life.

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7 Sunday Reads, Including 17 Novels You Can Read in One Sitting

1. Haruki Murakami: the moment I knew I would be a novelist

From The Telegraph: As Haruki Murakami’s early ‘kitchen-table novels’ are published in English for the first time, he reveals how a baseball game – and a wounded pigeon – changed the course of his life.

2. 17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting

From Electric Literature: It’s immensely satisfying to finish a book in a single day, so in the spirit of celebrating quick reads here are some of my favorite short novels. I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious titles that are regularly assigned in school (The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Mrs Dalloway, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, The Crying of Lot 49, etc.). Hopefully you’ll find some titles here you haven’t read before.

3. Weekend magazine short story special 2015

From The Guardian: Seven new stories from writers including Will Self, Dave Eggers and Sheila Heti.

5. The Art of Fiction No. 94, EL Doctorow interviewed by George Plimpton

From The Paris Review: At first meeting, Doctorow gives the impression of being somewhat retiring in manner. Yet, though his voice is soft, it is distinctive and demands attention.

6. Monkeys by Clarice Lispector

Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, who died in 1977, has been described as the most important Jewish writer since Franz Kafka. Read a newly translated story from the Guernica/PEN Flash series.

7. Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Should Not Have Been Published by William Giraldi

From The New Republic: Ponderous and lurching, haltingly confected, the novel plods along in search of a plot, tranquilizes you with vast fallow patches, with deadening dead zones, with onslaughts of cliché and dialogue made of pamphleteering monologue or else eye-rolling chitchat.

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The Local Books to Look Forward to in 2015 (July – December)

The Local Books to Look Forward to in 2015 (July – Dec)

The second half of the year is well underway, so take a look at what lies in store, books-wise, until December.

Fiction fans have a lot to look forward to, with new novels from Fiona Snyckers, Deon Meyer, Wilbur Smith, Kathryn White, Alexander McCall Smith, Justin Cartwright and Zakes Mda, as well as eagerly anticipated second novels from Claire Robertson and HJ Golakai.

Fans of speculative fiction should look out for Tracer, the debut novel from Rob Boffard, and the new SL Grey, Under Ground.

There’s also quite a lot happening on the poetry front, with a new collection from Lesego Rampolokeng and the launch of the uHlanga New Poets series, starting with collections by Genna Gardini and Thabo Jijana.

Herman Mashaba’s Capitalist Crusader, the follow-up to his bestselling Black Like You, is out in August, and there are exciting new books by Breyten Breytenbach and Moeletsi Mbeki, as well as a collection of never-before-seen letters between André Brink and Ingrid Jonker that is sure to cause some hearts to flutter.

If you think we’ve left something out, feel free to let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Take a look at equivalent story from earlier this year to see if there was anything you missed:


Note: Covers are subject to change, and information was provided by the publishers


The Unknown Van GoghThe Unknown Van Gogh, by Chris Schoeman
Zebra Press

Much has been written about Vincent van Gogh and his tempestuous relationship with his brother Theo. But few people know that there was a third Van Gogh brother, Cornelis, who was raised in the Netherlands, but worked, married and died in South Africa.

Chris Schoeman’s biography of Cor van Gogh recreates South Africa in the last decade of the nineteenth century, tells the personal story of this young uitlander, as revealed in his letters, and describes his relationship with his famous brother Vincent. With new insights based on original research, this book is an important addition to South African and world history.

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Incredible JourneyIncredible Journey: Stories that Move You edited by Joanne Hichens
Jacana Media/Burnet Media
Fiction (Short Stories)

The new Short.Sharp.Stories anthology, Incredible Journey, is out now – containing the winning short stories from this year’s Short.Sharp.Stories competition, which were announced in July.

Two Dogs/Mercury will be doing a series of interviews with the winning authors on Books LIVE – check out the first, with Andrew Salomon, here!

As the only regular collection of short fiction writing in South Africa, the Short.Sharp.Stories initiative, published in conjunction with the National Arts Festival, is playing an increasingly important role in the nurturing and development of South African writing talent. Bloody Satisfied and Adults Only were both positively reviewed, and have given widespread exposure to more than 40 local authors.

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HomeHome. Food from My Kitchen, by Sarah Graham
Struik Lifestyle

Building on the success of her two previous books, and in support of her TV series, Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, Home. Food from My Kitchen encapsulates cooking throughout southern Africa.

Within the standard cookbook format of Brunch, Salads, Soups, Snacks, Meat, Poultry, Pasta, Seafood, Desserts and Baking, Sarah Graham presents food that is simple but beautiful, delicious and healthy.

TracerTracer, by Rob Boffard
Jonathan Ball

Rob Boffard is a South African journalist and author who slits his time between London, Vancouver and Johannesburg. Tracer is his first novel.

Sarah Lotz calls Tracer “fast, exhilarating and unforgettable”.

Our planet is in ruins. Three hundred miles above its scarred surface orbits Outer Earth: a space station with a million souls on board. They are all that remains of the human race.

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nullPappa in Doubt, by Anton Kannemeyer
Jacana Media

With Pappa in Doubt, Anton Kannemeyer returns to the fertile land that he explored to brilliant satiric effect in Pappa in Afrika (2010). Once again parodying Herge’s Tintin in the Congo (1931), Kannemeyer exposes the contradictions and paradoxes of life in the postcolony.

The artist is as provocative as he is playful, and does not spare himself the relentless, humorous scrutiny to which he subjects politicians, despots and his neighbours in the leafy suburbs.

Kannemeyer and Conrad Botes founded Bitterkomix as students at Stellenbosch University.

Under GroundUnder Ground, by SL Grey
Pan Macmillan

Under Ground is the new high-concept thriller from the combined talents of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg.

A global outbreak of a virus sends society spinning out of control. But a small group of people have been preparing for a day like this. Grabbing only the essentials, they head to The Sanctum, a luxury self-sustaining underground survival facility where they’ll shut themselves away and wait for the apocalypse to pass.

But when a body is discovered, they realise that the greatest threat to their survival may be trapped in The Sanctum with them.

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A Death in the FamilyA Death in the Family, by Michael Stanley

The latest Detective Kubu crime novel from Michael Stanley, A Death in the Family is a must read.

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, both South Africans by birth. Both have worked in academia and business, Sears in South Africa and Trollip in the USA. Their love of watching the wildlife of the African subcontinent has taken them on a number of flying safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe. On one such trip, they had the idea for their first novel, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective Kubu. Kubu has now featured in five novels and a short-story collection.

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Homeless WanderersHomeless Wanderers: Movement and mental illness in the Cape Colony in the nineteenth century by Sally Swartz
UCT Press

Lunatic asylums in the colonies in the nineteenth century mirrored those of “home”, in Britain. But in a European settler context, the administration and policies of the asylums, and the treatment of their patients, took on many different nuances.

There was a complex interface between lunacy legislation, colonial government, families and communities, and the ways in which these elements affected individuals’ experiences of treatment before and after committal to a lunatic asylum. Homeless Wanderers breaks new ground in tracing the route of people thought to be “of unsound mind” from their homes and families to eventual committal to a lunatic asylum in the Cape Colony in the late nineteenth century.

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nullA Half Century Thing by Lesego Rampolokeng
Black Ghost Books

Lesego Rampolokeng will be launching his eighth collection of poetry, A Half Century Thing, on Saturday, 1 August, as he celebrates his 50th birthday.

The publication comes 25 years after his debut, Horns for Hondo. His most recent collection is Head on Fire: Rants / Notes / Poems 2001-2011.

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Hour of DarknessHour of Darkness, by Michéle Rowe
Penguin Books

A page-turner from one of South Africa’s exciting new crime novelists. Readers familiar with Michéle Rowe’s exhilarating plot twists and authentic South African characters will love her latest spine-chilling thriller.

Hour of Darkness sees the return of Rowe’s popular Detective Percy Jonas, who has to investigate a series of child abductions that evoke her own childhood abandonment.

What Hidden Lies, Rowe’s first crime novel, won the 2011 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award.

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The Seed ThiefThe Seed Thief, by Jacqui L’Ange

The debut novel from Jacqui L’Ange, The Seed Thief is an entrancing and richly imagined modern love story with an ancient history, a tale that moves from flora of Table Mountain to the heart of Afro-Brazilian spiritualism.

L’Ange was born in Durban and grew up across five continents. She has worked in advertising, television, film, and multimedia over the past 20 years, and has a MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. She is also the author of the children’s book Miss Helen’s Magical World.

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Signs for an ExhibitionSigns for an Exhibition by Eliza Kentridge
Modjaji Books

Eliza Kentridge’s poems are autobiographical. She was born in Johannesburg shortly after her father defended Nelson Mandela in the Treason Trial. She was a teenager when he represented Steve Biko’s family at his inquest. In her twenties, at the height of apartheid, she left South Africa for England. Against this dramatic backdrop, her focus is quieted, small and interior. With her mother now afflicted by a serious neurological illness, she writes about family, love and place, as a woman who vividly recalls her girlhood self, gently and almost incidentally approaching one of the biggest questions: how does one live a life?

Real Food - Healthy, Happy ChildrenReal Food – Healthy, Happy Children by Kath Megaw, Daisy Jones, Phillippa Cheifitz and Jane-Anne Hobbs

Sustained energy? Check. Reduced sugar cravings? Check. Improved concentration? Check.

Check-marks, too, for: increased health and vitality, enhanced athletic performance, longer and deeper sleep, improved digestion, strategies for fussy eaters, and helping your child reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

All these topics are addressed by South Africa’s leading paediatric dietician Kath Megaw in Real Food – Healthy, Happy Children, Co-written with Daisy Jones, Phillippa Cheifitz and Jane-Anne Hobbs. Set to be released in August this year, the book offers a low-carb solution for the whole family – with recipes for moms, dads and kids of all ages.

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nullThe Low-Carb Solution for Diabetics, by Vickie de Beer and Kath Megaw

A book that marries science with good sentiment, strategies with real solutions, The Low-Carb Solution for Diabetics is an invaluable guide to understanding and practically managing Type-1 diabetes.

Beyond the science of diabetes and the advice of both Vickie and Kath lies a fantastic low-carb cookbook with meals that the whole family can enjoy.

Focusing on a move to healthy, natural food shared in a loving family environment, The Low-Carb Solution for Diabetics is an inspiration. It’s not about what’s ‘allowed’, it’s about what’s healthy – for diabetic children and their families.

Capitalist CrusaderCapitalist Crusader: Fighting Poverty Through Economic Growth by Herman Mashaba and Isabella Morris

The much anticipated follow-up to Herman Mashaba’s bestselling Black Like You, in which self-made entrepreneur Herman Mashaba outlines his crusade for economic freedom for all South Africans.

Mashaba suggests concrete macroeconomic solutions to South Africa’s poverty crisis, deftly combining biography, politics and business.

nullDeliberate Concealment: An Insider’s Account of Cricket South Africa
and the IPL Bonus Saga
, Mtutuzeli Nyoka

Pan Macmillan

In 2008, Mtutuzeli Nyoka was appointed as the President of Cricket South Africa (CSA), a position he held until October 2011 when, after a protracted battle with the CSA board, he was dismissed.

In Deliberate Concealment, Nyoka shares his behind-the-scenes experiences and personal journey as events unfolded, including his own mistakes, the repercussions of the scandal on the game of cricket in South Africa, and his fight for the truth to prevail.

The Democratic Republic of BraaiThe Democratic Republic of Braai by Jan Braai

Over 60 000 Jan Braai books have been sold – from South Africa to the USA and the Czech Republic! Jan Braai is a South African phenomenon – he started Braai Day in 2005 and the day has grown from strength to strength.

It is your democratic right to gather with friends and family around braai fires throughout the country and celebrate with a meal cooked over the coals of a real wood fire. This is the promise of Jan Braai’s Democratic Republic of Braai.

Raising SuperheroesRaising Superheroes, by Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot and Bridget Surtees
Jacana Media

Jacana Media will be distributing the latest book published by the Real Meal Team. Raising Superheroes, by Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot and Bridget Surtees will revolutionise the way you feed your kids.

The Real Meal Revolution was all about taking on the global obesity epidemic with a revolutionary approach to eating; it challenged ingrained beliefs, it sold (and still sells) in record-breaking numbers throughout South Africa, and it changed people’s lives.

With Raising Superheroes the authors have now set out to revolutionise the way we feed our children. It’s time, they believe, to challenge the kids’ food industry and our old assumptions; it’s time to give our children the best nutrition possible, and the best start in life.

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Rape UnresolvedRape Unresolved: Policing sexual offences in South Africa by Dee Smythe
UCT Press

More than 1 000 women are raped in South Africa every day. Around 150 of those women will report the crime to the police. Fewer than 30 of the cases will be prosecuted and no more than 10 will result in a conviction.

Rape Unresolved is concerned with the question of police discretion and how its exercise shapes the criminal justice response to rape in South Africa.

Agent 407Agent 407: A South African Spy Tells Her Story, by Olivia Forsyth
Jonathan Ball

Olivia Forsyth was a Lieutenant in the South Africa Security Police in the 1980s. She spent four years at Rhodes University where she infiltrated various anti-apartheid organisations.

Having reached the end of her studies, she turned her attention to the ANC in exile. But what should have been her greatest triumph as a spy turned into disaster when the ANC threw her into Quatro, the notorious internment camp in Angola.

Here, for the first time, South Africa’s most notorious apartheid spy lays bare the story of her remarkable life.

IcarusIcarus, by Deon Meyer
Jonathan Ball

The new novel from South Africa’s leading crime writer, featuring his much loved detective Benny Griessel.

After 602 days dry, Captain Benny Griessel of the South African police services can’t take any more tragedy. So when he is called in to investigate a multiple homicide, it pushes him close to breaking point – a former friend and detective colleague has shot his wife and two daughters, then killed himself. Benny wants out – out of his job, his home and his relationship with his singer girlfriend, Alexa. He moves into a hotel and starts drinking. Again.

nullDagga: A Short History, by Hazel Crampton
Jacana Media

This book is not intended as a comprehensive take on dagga, aka cannabis, marijuana, bhanga, ganga, pot, zol, weed, etc., but as a conversation piece. It is, as a pocket book, simply a brief overview. Its hope is to provide a background to dagga in South Africa and, by putting all the dope into one joint, so to speak, ignite debate on emerging issues such as licensing, legalisation and taxation.

Hazel Crampton is the author of The Sunburnt Queen (2004) and The Side of the Sun at Noon (2014), and was coeditor of Into the Hitherto Unknown: Ensign Beutler’s Expedition to the Eastern Cape, 1752 (2013).

nullRape – A South African Nightmare, by Pumla Dineo Gqola
Jacana Media

South Africa has a complex relationship with rape. Pumla Dineo Gqola unpacks this relationship by paying attention to patterns and trends of rape, asking what we can learn from famous cases and why South Africa is losing the battle against rape.

Gqola looks at the 2006 rape trial of Jacob Zuma and what transpired in the trial itself, as well as trying to make sense of public responses to it. She interrogates feminist responses to the Anene Booysen case, among other high profile cases of gender-based violence.

This is a conclusive book about rape in South Africa, illuminating aspects of the problem and contributing to shifting the conversation forward.

nullThe Black Sash, by Mary Burton
Jacana Media

This is the story of a remarkable organisation of white South African women who carved out a unique role for themselves in opposing the injustices of apartheid and working towards a free and democratic country.

It is written by Mary Burton, herself national president of the Black Sash for many years and, later, one of the Truth and Reconciliation commissioners.

nullThe Refined Player: Sex, Lies and Dates, by Stevel Marc
Jacana Media

The Refined Player: Sex, Lies and Dates is the first publication under Jacana’s exciting new imprint, BlackBird Books.

The book not only helps men to understand their role in relationships, but it also inspires women to be empowered and to expect and demand better from their men.

Stevel shows us that it is possible to have those difficult conversations about money, sex, honesty and trust. With Stevel’s help you can transition from singlehood into a meaningful relationship.

Lusaka Punk and Other StoriesLusaka Punk and Other Stories
Jacana Media
Fiction (Short Stories)

Now entering its 16th year, the Caine Prize is Africa’s leading literary prize, and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere.

This collection brings together the five 2015 shortlisted stories, along with stories written at the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop, which took place in Ghana in April 2015.

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize for her short story entitled “The Sack” from Africa39 (Bloomsbury, London, 2014).

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Stoked!Stoked! by Chris Bertish
Zebra Press
Non-fiction (Biography)

Stoked! is an inspiring true story about courage, determination and the power of dreams. Chris Bertish was a skinny little kid from Cape Town when he started surfing with his brothers. Fiercely driven and constantly pushing his boundaries, Chris was not content with conquering “ordinary” big waves. What began as a personal quest to prove to himself that he was one of the best in the ‘big-wave brotherhood’ culminated a decade later with Chris being crowned South Africa’s first Mavericks BigWave Champion.

With his infectious enthusiasm, Chris tells how he pulled off death-defying antics time and again, overcame overwhelming obstacles and fears, and parried every blow that fate dealt him, all without ever losing faith or focus on his dreams.

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True Blue Superglue by Jenny Hobbs

In the 1950s it was important to please your man. As the twentieth century wore on, it became more important to please yourself …

Following the lives of Anne and Doug Perceval, from big-dreaming students to strung-out parents to a couple at the end of their tether, True Blue Superglue is a love story with a sting in its tale that moves from South Africa to swinging London and back home again.

Witty and poignant, Jenny Hobbs’s novel is also a tribute to a life lived as a woman in changing times.


Tribe, by Rahla Xenopoulos

Ibiza, 1997: a period of drug-taking, dancing and hedonism forges an unbreakable bond between six friends, and “the Tribe” is formed. Their dependence on one another deepens as the years pass, but when Jude overdoses and almost dies, his wife, Tselane, makes a decision that breaks up the Tribe.

12 years later, after Jude attempts suicide, the group decides to reunite …

A compelling story of friendship, love and life, Tribe is Rahla Xenopoulos’ third book. She is the author of A Memoir of Love and Madness, her personal account of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the novel Bubbles.

IcarusThe Magistrate of Gower, by Claire Robertson

The new novel from Claire Robertson, who won the 2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize for The Spiral House.

When an illicit affair in British Ceylon comes to light in 1902, 17-year-old Boer prisoner-of-war Henry Vos is disgraced. Months before, a short film made his face widely recognisable, but now he is shunned by Boer and Brit alike. Three decades later, Henry is the magistrate of Gower …

Impeccably written and researched, The Magistrate of Gower is a sweeping, exquisitely told story about the courage to choose love over fear.

nullThe Shouting in the Dark, by Elleke Boehmer
Jacana Media

Ella is locked in a battle for creative survival with her domineering father, and apartheid South Africa, the troubled country in which he passionately believes. While seeking political refuge in Europe, Ella makes an unexpected discovery that forces her to confront both her father’s war ghosts and the shape of her own future. In the country of his birth, her father, Ella finds, never officially recognised her existence. Boehmer has written a raw, intense and involving story.

“The story, as disturbing as it is enthralling, of a girl’s struggle to emerge from under the dead weight of her father’s oppression while at the same time searching for a secure footing in the moral chaos of South Africa of the apartheid era.” – JM Coetzee

Elleke Boehmer is the author of, among other books, Screens against the Sky (short-listed David Hyam Prize, 1990), Bloodlines (shortlisted SANLAM prize) and an edition of Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys that was a 2004 summer bestseller. Her acclaimed biography of Nelson Mandela (2008) has been translated into Arabic, Malaysian, Thai, Kurdish, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. She is a judge of the Man Booker International Prize 2015 and lives in London.

Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking DangerouslyAnna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously, by Kathryn White

Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously is the new novel from Kathryn White, author of Emily Green and Me and Things I Thought I Knew.

Anna Peters has been dumped by her long-term love, Garry, and needs to figure out what to do with her broken heart. Tackling her misery by trying to cook her way back into her beau’s life, she learns a few things …

Witty, irreverent and highly entertaining, with food descriptions will have readers salivating, Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously will appeal to readers of popular fiction and romantic novels as well as aspiring chefs.

nullTwo, by Seline and Leandri van der Wat
Struik Lifestyle

During the screening of the MasterChef South Africa 2013 series, TV viewers were both fascinated by, and impressed with, the Van der Wat sisters. Since then their foodie careers have taken off, albeit in differing directions.

But in Two, they are back in collaboration to present a really fascinating cookbook concept: taking the same main ingredient and creating two different
dishes from it, or taking a classic recipe and making one for family and casual dining, and the other version to impress for serious entertaining.

Diane AwerbuckHelen MoffettStray, edited by Diane Awerbuck and Helen Moffett
Modjaji Books
Fiction (Short Stories and Poetry)

A collection of stories and poems by mostly well-known South African writers. Some of the pieces have been previously published, and others are new. Each story and poem explores different ways in which animals and humans live together, co-exist and change each other.

List of writers includes: Arthur Attwell, Diane Awerbuck Gabeba Baderoon, Robert Berold, Margaret Clough, Mike Cope, Colleen Crawford-Cousins, Gail Dendy, Richard de Nooy, Isobel Dixon, Nerine Dorman, Finuala Dowling, Tom Eaton, Justin Fox,Damon Galgut, Robyn Goss, Michiel Heyns, Colleen Higgs, Jenny Hobbs, Liesl Jobson, Rustum Kozain, Jacqui L’Ange, Sarah Lotz, Sindiwe Magona, Siphiwo Mahala, Julia Martin, Joan Metelerkamp, Niq Mhlongo, Thando Mgqolozana, Helen Moffett, Mmatshilo Motsei, Paige Nick, SA Partridge, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Bev Rycroft, Alex Smith, Fiona Snyckers, Ivan Vladislavić, Zukiswa Wanner, James Whyle, Makhosazana Xaba.

nullNow Following You, by Fiona Snyckers
Modjaji Books

Jamie Burchell is a digital native – social media comes as naturally to her as breathing. She Instagrams, tweets and Facebooks her every move. Then a stalker starts using social media to track her movements. As his behaviour escalates, so does her fear. But her blog has never been more popular. The fans can’t get enough of reading about her stalker. She is closer than ever to achieving her dream of becoming a writer. Should she take herself offline out of fear for her own safety or should she refuse to be intimated? Soon the stalker starts threatening the people she cares about. But now it’s too late for Jamie to go offline, because he is already following her in real life.

nullPiggy Boy’s Blues, by Nakhane Touré
Jacana Media

Nakhane Touré’s debut novel is for all intents and purposes a portrait of the M family. Centred mostly on the protagonist, Davide M, and his return to Alice, the town of his birth, the novel portrays a Xhosa royal family past its prime and glory.

Piggy Boy’s Blues will be published under Jacana’s new imprint, BlackBird Books.

Touré is a multimedia artist born in Alice in the Eastern Cape. His album Brave Confusion won a South African Music Award for Best Alternative Album in 2014.

nullSweet Medicine, by Panashe Chigumadzi
Jacana Media

Sweet Medicine, set in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008, is a thorough and evocative attempt at grappling with a variety of important issues in the postcolonial context: tradition and modernity, feminism and patriarchy; spiritual and political freedoms and responsibilities; poverty and desperation; and wealth and abundance.

Panashe Chigumadzi is a young and upcoming media executive, passionate about creating new narratives that work to redefine and reaffirm African identity.

Sweet Medicine will be published under Jacana’s new BlackBird Books imprint.

The Book of MemoryThe Book of Memory, by Petina Gappah
Jonathan Ball

The stunning debut novel from the award-winning author of An Elegy for Easterly, a short story collection that won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009.

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. She will be at the 2015 Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September.

nullInnovation: Shaping South Africa through Science, by Sarah Wild
Pan Macmillan

Sarah Wild is an award-winning science journalist. She is the Mail & Guardian’s science editor and in 2013 was named the best science journalist in Africa. In 2012, Wild published her first full-length non-fiction book, Searching African Skies: The Square Kilometre Array and South Africa’s Quest to Hear the Songs of the Stars.

Innovation takes a look at inventions – developed in South Africa by South Africans – to address issues in the areas of healthcare, energy, environment and industry, showcasing the country’s excellence.

Up Against the NightUp Against the Night, by Justin Cartwright
Jonathan Ball

“History . . . is seldom able to convey the essence of being human”

Justin Cartwright possesses that rarest of novelist’s skills – the ability to create fiction which is intensely serious but which also vividly encompasses the absurdity and comedy of life. Up Against the Night is a subtle, brilliant novel about South Africa, its beautiful, superbly evoked landscape, its violent past and its uncertain present.

Notes from the Lost Property Department by Bridget Pitt

“The struggle to forget, or not; courage in small things – Bridget Pitt’s new novel has found a voice for wounded memory. It’s a searching voice, evoking from jumbled discards something that perhaps we’ve all lost …. but which might still be found.” – Jeremy Cronin

Notes from the Lost Property Department is a beautifully written, captivating novel about family: mother-daughter relationships, marriage, memory, and familial secrets and lies.

Bridget Pitt’s novel The Unseen Leopard was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize in 2011 and the 2012 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, and her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize, among others.

Golden LionGolden Lion, by Wilbur Smith
Jonathan Ball

Fans of Wilbur Smith will be delighted to hear that his next book – Golden Lion – will be released across the world in September.

In this sweeping adventure full of danger, action, and intrigue, the master returns to his longest-running series, taking fans back to the very beginnings of the Courtney family saga.

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nullLet’s Talk Frankly: Letters to Influential South Africans About the State of Our Nation, by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane
Pan Macmillan

Onkgopotse JJ Tabane is one of South Africa’s leading media and communications specialists, a community activist and a business executive. In a series of letters, addressed to people of influence from Helen Zille to Gwede Mantashe and from Revd Ray McCauley to Steve Hofmeyr, Tabane praises for work well done and castigates for poor judgement.

Let’s Talk Frankly tells some home truths in a satirical sense and is meant to offend sensibilities as well as raise things that people often say around dinner
tables but are too afraid or too constrained to say in the open.

The Woman Who Walked in SunshineThe Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, by Alexander McCall Smith
Jonathan Ball

The new Botswana book from bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, this is Mma Ramotswe’s 16th wonderful adventure.

Mma Ramotswe is not one to sit about. Her busy life gives her little time for relaxation (apart from the drinking of tea, of course, which is another matter altogether). Nonetheless, she is persuaded to take a holiday from the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

But Mma Ramotswe finds it impossible to resist the temptation to follow the cases taken on by her business partner, Mma Makutsi, and to interfere in them – at one remove. This leads her to delve into the past of a man whose reputation has been called into question.

The Food of LoveThe Food of Love: Book 1, Laura’s Story, by Prue Leith
Jonathan Ball

The first installment of an epic three-volume multi-generational family saga by award-winning restaurateur Prue Leith.

The novels centre around an Anglo/Italian family that founds a restaurant business, from the 1940s to the present day. Television rights for the series have already been optioned.

Leith was born in South Africa, and is a cook, restaurateur, food writer and businesswoman. After publishing 12 cookbooks she changed tack and has now authored five contemporary romance novels. She lives in London.

nullSugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez, Craig Bartholomew Strydom and Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman

The fascinating story of the American musician who was famous in South Africa and Australia, but unknown anywhere else … until the Oscar-winning documentary.

Based on the authors’ first-hand knowledge, Sugar Man: The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez carefully outlines three separate journeys and the obstacles and triumphs that each presented: Rodriguez’s quest to make a life from music and his subsequent failure; the odyssey of two Rodriguez fans to find out what had happened to their hero; and the pursuit of die-hard filmmaker Bendjelloul to bring the story to celluloid, and his untimely death shortly thereafter.

The book covers topics and events that weren’t included in the film: the story of Rodriquez’s two wives, his tours to Australia in 1979 and 1981, his South African, British and American tours after the 1998 concert that forms the film’s climax, and events subsequent to the film itself.

Taking to the Witness Stand, by Jestina Mukoko
KMM Review Publishing

Jestina Mukoko is a former Zimbabwean broadcast journalist turned a human rights activist, who was incarcerated in 2008 and “disappeared” by the Zimbabwe government.

Told through flashbacks intertwined with information related to her childhood, her family and her work at the Zimbabwe Peace Project, Mukoko’s recollections give a birds-eye view of the social, economic and political situation during one of the most turbulent and repressive times in Zimbabwe’s history.

nullWhen Time Fails, by Marilyn Cohen de Villiers

The follow-up to A Beautiful Family, When Time Fails is set on a farm in South Africa during the death throes of the apartheid era and the emergence of the “new” South Africa.

The book follows Annamari and her family as they struggle to come to terms with a changing world and the past she has kept hidden for decades.


nullMatric Rage by Genna Gardini
uHlanga New Poets

uHlanga is proud to announce the launch of the uHlanga New Poets series, a platform for the publication of debut collections from South Africa’s most promising young voices.

Genna Gardini, based in Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s most decorated young poets and playwrights. She is the winner of the 2012 DALRO/New Coin Award for poetry, and a 2013 Mail & Guardian Young South African. Her plays WinterSweet (2012) and Scrape (2013) both won Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Supported by a grant from the Arts and Culture Trust, uHlanga New Poets will publish two debut collections in 2015: Matric Rage and Failing Maths and My Other Crimes by Thabo Jijana.

nullFailing Maths and My Other Crimes by Thabo Jijana
uHlanga New Poets

Thabo Jijana, based in Port Elizabeth, is a rising star in South African literature. In 2011, he won the Anthony Sampson Foundation Award. In 2014, he won the Sol Plaatje/European Union Poetry Award. That same year, he also published his first book, the memoir Nobody’s Business, published by Jacana.

nullGridlocked, by Moeletsi and Nobantu Mbeki
Pan Macmillan

“The reorganisation of South Africa’s economic system cannot, however, be postponed indefinitely as conflicts in the economic system are already threatening to undo the gains made with the new political system. This should come as no surprise since South Africa’s economic system has always generated major conflicts, many of them extremely violent.” – From Gridlocked

South Africa is immersed in a new phase in the long struggle to develop and consolidate democracy and to build an economy that is both sustainable and serves the needs of its entire people instead of the selfish interests of small elites as has been the case over the past 360 years. Moeletsi and Nobantu Mbeki explore the different dynamics of this reinvention and its chances of success or failure.

nullRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery, by Sally Andrew

Meet Tannie Maria: She’s 50-something, short and soft (perhaps a bit too soft in the wrong places) with brown curls and untidy Afrikaans. She is also the agony aunt for the local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette. One day, her life takes a sinister turn when a woman in the area is murdered and she becomes entangled in the investigation…

Warm, poignant and entertaining, Sally Andrew’s delightful heroine blends together intrigue, romance and cooking in this irresistible new mystery, complete with a few mouth-watering recipes.

Recipes for Love and Murder includes 14 tried-and-tested Karoo recipes.

nullGlowfly Dance, by Jade Gibson

Glowfly Dance is a lyrical and poignant tale of family trauma, seen through the eyes of a child.

Through young Mai’s eyes, life is enchanting and full of beauty. She dances on her grandfather’s feet while he talks of freedom. But the world is hard and her mother is struggling. When her new stepfather Rashid arrives, he casts a deep shadow over their lives …

From Mexico to Scotland to London to North Africa, the West Indies and back again, Glowfly Dance is a powerful and haunting story of migration, resilience and, ultimately, hope.

Earlier versions of Glowfly Dance were shortlisted for the 2010 Dundee International Book Prize for an unpublished debut novel, and the 2011 Virginia Prize for Fiction.

nullChaka, by Thomas Mofolo

Thomos Mofolo’s Chaka is the first of many works of literature that take Shaka, the great Zulu leader, as its subject. A mythic retelling of Shaka’s rise and fall, the novel was written in Sesotho in 1909, translated in 1931, and forms the foundation for every subsequent telling of the Shaka legend. Chaka is a study of origins, passion, and uncontrollable ambition leading to the moral destruction of the human character.

nullParole: Collected Speeches, by Breyten Breytenbach

Breyten Breytenbach is hailed in South Africa and internationally as an influential writer and critical thinker. Parole is a collection of some of his most memorable and poignant speeches, which, through their resonating subject matter, continue to light literary, political and philosophical fires.

The speeches in Parole, many of which have not been published before, will provide valuable insights into the mind of a literary icon. Available in Afrikaans as Parool.

nullI Ran for My Life, by Kabelo Mabalane with Nechama Brodie
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction (Biography)

Kabelo Mabalane, known by his stage name as Kabelo or “Bouga Luv”, is a kwaito musician, songwriter and actor. He was a member of the kwaito trio TKZee.

In I Ran for My Life, South Africa’s number one self-proclaimed “pantsula for life” shares his journey and insights, from the highs and lows of drug addiction, to finding hope and life again through running and staying in shape.

nullCrashed, by Melinda Ferguson
Jacana Media
Non-fiction (Memoir)

To celebrate her 14-year clean and sober birthday, Ferguson organises to take a R3.2 million Ferrari California out on a test drive for the day. 20 minutes before she returns the car, she is involved in a spectacular car crash, during which she experiences a near-death collision.

Over the following months her long-term relationship implodes and she is faced with a litany of legal and financial nightmares as a result of the Ferrari being written off, while certain members of the dog-eat-dog motoring journo industry relish in her downfall.

Written in Ferguson’s trademark gritty tell-it-all and often hilarious style, Crashed is the highly anticipated final book of the three-part memoir trilogy, following in South African bestsellers Smacked (2005) and Hooked (2010).

What if there were no whites in South Africa?, by Ferial Haffajee
Pan Macmillan

In What if there were no whites in South Africa? Ferial Haffajee examines South Africa’s history and its present circumstances and dynamics in the light of a provocative question that yields some thought-provoking analysis for the country.

Ferial Haffajee is highly respected as one of South Africa’s thought leaders and commentators. She effectively uses her media platform to raise and discuss issues pertinent to the state of the nation. Before becoming the editor-in-chief at City Press, Haffajee headed up the Mail & Guardian. She sits on the boards of the International Women’s Media Foundation, the World Editors Forum, the International Press Institute and the Inter Press Service, and she has won several awards, including international ones, related to media freedom and independence as well as for her reporting over the years.

nullFlame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink & Ingrid Jonker, by André Brink & Ingrid Jonker

More than 50 years on, the poignant, often stormy relationship between Ingrid Jonker and André Brink still grips readers’ imaginations.

In December 2014, three months before his death on 6 February 2015, Brink offered these never-before-seen letters, as well as personal photographs, for publication.

The letters provide astonishing new insights into the minds, writing and legendary love affair of two of South Africa’s greatest writers. Umuzi will be publishing a limited, numbered edition in Afrikaans and in English to coincide with the publication of this collection.

nullKarkloof Blue, by Charlotte Otter
Modjaji Books

Greenwashing, corporate intransigence and bloody secrets. Maggie Cloete’s back. After working in Berlin and Joburg, she returns to present-day Pietermaritzburg as the day news editor for The Gazette. When a well-known environmentalist commits suicide, Maggie finds herself caught in the crossfire of conflicting interests. Sentinel, a national paper company, intends to log a piece of natural forest in the Karkloof, home to an endangered butterfly. While her brother joins a group of environmental activists determined to stop the logging at any cost, The Gazette itself is ensnared in complicated negotiations with Sentinel over paper prices. When the loggers unearth a gruesome find in the forest, Maggie discovers a litany of secrets, lies and betrayal. As South Africa’s present confronts its past, Maggie herself faces the most bitter surprise of her life.

nullThe Score, HJ Golakai

The Score is the follow-up to the internationally acclaimed The Lazarus Effect.

Voinjama Johnson, aka Vee, has been banished. And to Oudtshoorn, of all places … and for what? For daring to do her job, for daring to be an investigative reporter. Luckily for Vee, and her ever-faithful sidekick Chlöe – and unluckily for everyone else – they are barely checked in to their lodge when the first body is discovered. Sex, drugs and BEE (or should that be B-BBEE), The Score is an unflinching romp through what remains of the dream of the rainbow nation …

nullUnnatural Relations, Casey B Dolan

All psychiatrists have a patient that gets under their skin. For Dr Felicity Sloane, forensic psychiatrist, Archie Ferber is that patient. Archie seemingly only needed one thing to make his life complete – a child. And Hannah was born. But somehow it all went wrong and now Archie is on trial in South Africa for murdering the surrogate. Unnatural Relations is the follow-up to the internationally acclaimed When the Bough Breaks.

nullJustice Served: The Trial and Conviction of Bob Hewitt, Jamaine Krige

The fascinating legal account of how a sporting legend was brought to book by his victims, 30 years later.

In 2012 former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt was indefinitely suspended following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct from women he coached as girls. On 23 March 2015, Hewitt was found guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault after a watershed trial.

Jamaine Krige was the court reporter from the start of the trial and has conducted extensive interviews with all the relevant parties.

nullAB: The Autobiography, by AB de Villiers
Pan Macmillan

AB de Villiers is one of South Africa’s most celebrated sporting heroes. He has captained the national ODI team since June 2011, and has been a member of the national team for 11 years since his debut test as a 20-year-old in December 2004. AB has excelled on the sporting field throughout his life and today he is considered one of the leading batsmen in the world in all forms of the game.

AB: The Autobiography will cover key events and influences that have shaped his life and career, and AB will offer access to the man behind the bat and beneath the helmet, exploring career-defining moments, on-and-off the field events and his relationship with various mentors. The autobiography will also explore AB’s interests in music and business and how he pursues these alongside his international cricket career.

Zakes MdaLittle Suns, by Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda’s new novel, a work of historical fiction titled Little Suns, will be published by Umuzi in 2015.

Little Suns intertwines an unusual love story with little-told, brutal history.

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