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#SaveOurStories: Storied’s crowdfunding campaign is live!

Jacana Media presents Storied. The project aims to create a long-term impact of keeping African stories thriving and reaching worldwide audiences. Through your investment, Storied will raise the money to help publish more African fiction and poetry which will cater for a diverse reading community and audience scaling up sales margins which will be shared with investors.

As Jacana Media publisher, Bridget Impey, explains:

We came up with this idea of Storied, and Storied is going to be the mechanism for changing fiction publishing in this country; not just for us, but for writers, for other publishers, for everybody.

This is what started it all…


An inspiring account of the DPSC and how ordinary people came together to stand up against racism and the abuse of power

The Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC) was started in 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was set up by the parents, spouses and families of activists who were detained and had no recourse to legal intervention. Many in this movement had not been politically involved.

Members of the DPSC stood on the street corners with placards calling for the release of their children. They organised food, clothing and legal representation for detainees across the country, and they supported the detainees’ families. DPSC activists marched, petitioned, argued, wrote and protested for the release of all detainees. They made public the brutal operations of the security establishment.

The DPSC helped to draw international attention to the atrocities being perpetuated against children – some as young as nine – by the apartheid state. And the evidence amassed by the DPSC helped to lay some of the groundwork for South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The Knock on the Door tells the story of the DPSC and of how the anti-detention movement became part of the mass uprising that brought down apartheid. It is an inspiring account of ordinary people coming together to stand up against racism and the abuse of power.

Terry Shakinovsky is a journalist who has been deployed across the world. She holds a postgraduate degree in History. A former student and United Democratic Front (UDF) activist who worked with the Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC), she is now the publications coordinator at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection in Johannesburg.

Sharon Cort holds degrees in English, Fine Arts and Psychology. In recent years, she has worked as a researcher, curator and writer for various museums and heritage sites, including Constitution Hill and Freedom Park. In 2011 she co-authored One Law, One Nation: The Making of the South African Constitution with Lauren Segal.

Lauren Segal holds postgraduate degrees in History and Film and Television Studies. She has written several books and is currently a director of an exhibition and design company, as well as a curator and heritage consultant. She and Sharon Cort have worked together on numerous projects, including co-authoring One Law, One Nation. She was the project manager and content editor on The Knock on the Door.

Book details

  • The Knock on the Door: The Story of The Detainees’ Parents Support Committee by Terry Shakinovsky, Sharon Cort
    EAN: 9781770105799
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Christi van der Westhuizen, author of Sitting Pretty, on how the rationality between the two settler classes in SA reinforces whiteness

This article first appeared in The Conversation

By Christi van der Westhuizen

Sitting PrettyWhy is it that when the West was turning away from direct colonialism in the mid-20th century, South Africa shifted to apartheid, an intensified form of this heinous system?

One of the answers lies in the country’s history of colonisation by two contending settler classes. The Dutch, or Boer, settler class on the southern most point of Africa was displaced in the 19th century by the arrival of the British.

The Afrikaners – as the descendants of the Boer settlers eventually became known – constructed their identity in opposition to, on the one hand, black identities, and on the other to Anglo whiteness.

The reverberations of the contest between these two settler groups continue even after apartheid, as I argue in my new book Sitting Pretty – White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa.

During apartheid a great deal of work went into justifying the imposition of inequalities on the basis of human differences.

In the end apartheid collapsed due to global opprobrium that was heaped on the Afrikaner government, with both material and symbolic consequences. It tipped Afrikaner identity into turmoil, not least because their sense of themselves as moral beings was radically challenged.

At stake was ordentlikheid, analysed in my book as an ethnicised respectability. Ordentlikheid is an Afrikaans word that is difficult to translate: apart from respectability, its meanings include presentability, good manners, decency, politeness and humility with a Calvinist tenor.

Today it works as a glue that holds the identity together at the intersections of specific versions of gender, sexuality, class and race. Ordentlikheid serves as a mode of identification that works as a panacea to Afrikaner woes as they struggle to cleanse themselves of the stain of apartheid and adapt to changing historical conditions.

Examining “Afrikaner” identity through the lens of ordentlikheid reveals it as a lesser whiteness in relation to white English-speaking South African identity, which in turn draws on global Anglo whiteness.

Continue reading here.

Book details

Sally Partridge's fifth novel to be published in February!

The highly-anticipated fifth novel by award-winning local young adult author, Sally Partridge, is scheduled to hit shelves just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Mine is the roller coaster love story of Finley September and Kayla Murphy, two teenagers trying to make sense of their lives in the mother city. In each other they find that all-for-nothing love they’ve been searching for – but also a sense of belonging. Until the ghosts from their past emerge to try and break them apart.

Cape Town novelist Sally Partridge is a three-time winner of the M. E. R. Prize for Best Youth Novel and has been honoured by IBBY International for her young adult fiction. In 2011, she was named one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans, awarded annually to notable South Africans under the age of 35.

Mine is Partridge’s fifth novel for young adults.

The whimsical illustrated cover is reminiscent of international contemporary YA titles by authors like Rainbow Rowell and Nina LaCour and was designed by Cape Town-based illustrator Astrid Blumer.

Not only does Blumer’s illustration succeed in bringing Fin and Kayla to life, but also cleverly highlights the comic book and music references featured throughout the contemporary novel.

Mine will be available from all major retailers from 10 February 2018.

Praise for Sally Partridge:

Partridge gets into her young characters’ heads and makes them three dimensional. – City Press

In her latest novel, Partridge delivers her signature brand of hard-hitting young adult fiction. – Cape Times

Partridge is a master at exploring the nuances of emotionally awkward teens, through fast-paced dialogue and detailed (but not overwrought) description. – Sunday Times

She has a keen insight into the psyche of teens and especially has a knack for creating damaged and broken characters. – Women24

"I was in heaven!" Carina Greyling shares her experience of spending the night of her 60th birthday in Exclusive Books

By Mila de Villiers

One happy bibliophile granny!


Exclusive Books recently granted Carina Greyling her birthday dream of a lifetime – the 60 year old grandmother from Kempton Park was treated to spending a night in their Hyde Park branch! Carina’s daughter, Leeanne, mailed the bookstore asking whether they could realise her mother’s lifelong birthday wish of “being locked in an Exclusive Books for the night” and CEO Benjamin Trisk (who happens to share a birthday with Carina!) happily obliged. Here’s how she spent her night…

I’m curious to know what the first thing you did the moment your family left?

I looked around in wonder – I was amazed, overwhelmed and flabbergasted. Felt like I was in a dreamworld! My daughter, Leeanne, made me sit down on the bed and poured me a coffee so I could gather my thoughts!

What section did you make a bee-line for?

The new releases! Went back there about eight times.

How many books did you manage to read (or at least skim through)?

Not sure. I walked from shelf to shelf picking up and reading and moving on! Could be hundreds… Couldn’t decide what to read but eventually settled on a pile of about 30 books! Along with the books piled next to the bed of my favorite authors! Eventually I placed a shorter list of books on the bed to look through. I read half a Janet Evanovich book – and have asked Exclusive Books to hold onto six books for me which I can’t be without! Will be going back this weekend to get them!

Could you expand on what it’s like to have an entire bookstore to yourself?

Absolutely a dream come true! It was the most fantastic, exciting beautiful place I have ever been in. The smell of new books was unbelievable! Such a comfort and serenity – given an opportunity – I would live here forever and would never leave! Such a sanctuary – surrounded by 1000s of books was unbelievable! One night was way too short!

Was it ever slightly eerie?

Not at all! I was absolutely comfortable! Felt at home, at peace! Surrounded by my best, best friends in the world (books!) I’ve have never felt more at peace and safe in my whole life!

Or overwhelming (in the best, most epic sense of the word?)

The start was a bit overwhelming, but once the shock and excitement wore off, and I realized that this was my reality for the evening, being in the best place in the world, I was in heaven! Once I realized I could really stay there the whole night – I was so so happy and excited! I got stuck in straight away! Gulped down a cup of coffee and ran to the new releases section! Couldn’t wait to touch the books and read and explore! The snacks prepared by the chef were so delicious – I ate every single macaroon and cheesecake on the platter!

Did you do anything slightly frowned upon whilst perusing books? (Eg. sneakily eating, leafing through expensive magazines, etc…)

Aside from sitting in every couch I could, I just bee-lined to find my favorite books! I was so worried that I would run out of time exploring so I got stuck in! Kept thinking someone would come in and tell me I had to leave because the store was closed – but eventually realized I had the store to myself and started reading every cover I could! I had to pick so carefully because I really could’ve taken the whole store home!

Exclusive Books grants grandmother’s birthday wish - to lock her up (in style!) in a bookshop for the night

South Africa’s leading bookseller has rung in the new year on a particularly joyful note by fulfilling the life-long dream of Mrs Carina Greyling of Kempton Park, Johannesburg, who had, according to her four children, listed being “locked inside an Exclusive Books for the night” as her top birthday wish.

Greyling turned 60 on Sunday 7 January and saw her wish granted at Exclusive Books’ Hyde Park store, where she was surprised with a pop-up bedroom, snacks and drinks, and the freedom to roam the store all night, browsing and reading to her heart’s content.

“How could we resist obliging Mrs Greyling’s birthday wish, especially given that she and I share the same birth date?” said Benjamin Trisk, CEO of Exclusive Books. “We supplied all the creature comforts necessary for spending a night in a bookshop, and trust that her stay was everything she hoped for.”

Trisk received the request from Greyling’s daughter, Leeanne Jonsson, via email in early December 2017. The email asked for the booksellers’ help in “planning an epic birthday surprise”.

“My mom is turning 60 on the 7th Jan 2018. When we asked her what she wants for her EPIC birthday – she said that she just wants to be locked in an Exclusive Books for the evening, with a flask of coffee, a blanket and unlimited access to read as many books as possible,” Jonsson wrote. “Probably the weirdest birthday wish ever – but that’s what makes her unique!”

“Exclusive Books is known for pulling stunts like this on occasion for special customers,” said Trisk. “We’ve assisted with a number of in-store marriage proposals, for instance, and feel that accommodating Mrs Greyling – literally – was very much was in keeping with the overall spirit of our brand.”.

Mrs Greyling was escorted to the Exclusive Books store by her children at 9pm, unaware of the surprise that lay in wait. She was delighted by the final twist that her birthday celebration had taken.

“I’ve always said that when it’s my time to go I hope heaven has a book shop – and I think it might look a bit like this,” said Mrs Greyling.

Her bed and pillows were supplied by Exclusive Books’ fellow Hyde Park tenant, Vencasa, which also included a R2000 voucher toward a sleep consultation and a special Tempur therapeutic pillow.

The birthday grandmother also received a R1000 Exclusive Books voucher to spend on her favourite reads.