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Archive for August, 2018

Launch – This is how it is: True stories from South Africa by The Life Righting Collective (20 August)

This is How It Is is a collection of real life experiences. Most of these writers have never been published before. They wrote primarily to explore themselves, to engage with their own capacity to be creative, and to bear witness to their lives and the times in which we live. Putting traumatic experiences down on paper can help a person to put shame, guilt and fear down, and to step out of the circle of enchantment that might have kept them trapped for years.

Writing is sometimes able to turn a painful incident into something more manageable, even beautiful. This is an aspect of the power of artistic practice – that we can take the blurred feeling of what is disturbing us and give it form in the world. The stories inspired by our experiences can reveal what we didn’t know we knew, as they take shape on the page. Self-discovery is linked to self-recovery, but communication does not end there: those who are willing to share their stories can have a valuable impact on us, as readers, by revealing aspects of their humanity.

In addition, the writers may experience healing through having their experiences witnessed. Engaging with this ‘other’ by listening to what happened to them cuts across those things that separate us: sexism, racism, ageism, nationalism and gender stereotypes. Often we discover that we are more alike than we are different. Our beautiful world is in trouble, much of it because we are not paying attention to what is right in front of us. When the facts don’t stir us to reconsider, story can. This anthology is a contribution to the groundswell towards meaningful change. It invites us to become curious and reflective rather than fearful and defensive. It encourages us to climb down from the ladder of hierarchy and competition, and to join the circle of relationship and humanity, through becoming vulnerable enough to share and to listen to our own and each other’s half-hidden stories.

This anthology is the pilot year of what we hope will be an annual edition. This year’s theme, ‘This is how it is’, speaks of truth-telling and the relief of being able to communicate openly and honestly about things that are usually difficult – suicide, extra-marital affairs, mental illness, racism, untimely death.

“A powerful collection of life stories written in a healing space.” – Pregs Govender

“We forget that the most daring thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be seen. To stand before the world and to say this is who I am. This is how it is.” – Bongani Kona, 2016 Caine Prize finalist and co-editor of Migrations

“The writers in this triumphant anthology are both courageous and candid, allowing the reader a glimpse into their lives. There is need for more of this writing in South African literature.” – Sara-Jayne King

“Refreshing, poignant and wide-ranging, this collection surprises with unusual perspectives and gives voice to a broad array of talents.” – Helen Moffett

ABOUT THE LIFE RIGHTING COLLECTIVE

The Life Righting Collective runs courses for anyone who wants to learn to write about their experiences. The approach promotes self-discovery, self-recovery and more effective communication. We raise funds to make courses available to those in need of sponsorship and to provide platforms for these life stories to be published. Sharing experiences with a wide readership can help reduce discrimination and promote mutual understanding. Visit the website: www.liferighting.com

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 20 August 2018
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville, Johannesburg | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Arja Salafranca
  • RSVP: kate@lovebooks.co.za
     

    Book Details


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Launch: These Bones Will Rise Again by Panashe Chigumadzi (17 August)

A timeous book, with Zimbabwe’s elections taking place in July 2018, These Bones Will Rise Again responds to the November 2017 ousting of Robert Mugabe, exploring events leading up to the ‘coup not coup’ that brought his 37-year rule to an end.

This long-form essay brings together bold reportage, memoir and critical analysis to radically reframe the political and cultural history of the country, recognising the role of women, workers and urban movements in its liberation struggle.

In a searing account, These Bones Will Rise Again explores the heady post-independence days of the 80s, the economic downturn of the 90s, through to the effects of the fast-track land reform policies at the end of the century.

Out of Zimbabwe’s official versions of history, Chigumadzi wrests a complex and personal history of the past and present through intercession with two ancestral spirits – anti-colonial heroine Mbuya Nehanda, the founding ancestor of Zimbabwe’s revolution, and her own beloved grandmother, who passed shortly before the de facto coup.

This is an inspiring work exploring loss, recovery and memory that reminds us of the universal and timeless human impulse to freedom, a shared sense of belonging and the will to hope.

Event Details


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Celebrate BlackBird Books’s third birthday! (15 August)

As we kick into women’s month, pioneering publisher of African voices and narratives, BlackBird Books is turning three this month! How time has gone!

To mark this occasion, BlackBird Books will host a celebration as also a way to reflect on how far we’ve come and the many more stories we are to celebrate.

The contribution of BlackBird Books to the South African literature space cannot be overlooked. In its short life, BlackBird Books has produced titles that will remain a proud legacy to African literature. To name some, Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi, Born to Kwaito by Esinako Ndabeni and Sihle Mthembu, Miss Behave by Malebo Sephodi and The Broken River Tent by Mphuthumi Ntabeni.

Sweet Medicine

Book details
 

Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
EAN: 9781928337126
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Born To Kwaito

Born To Kwaito by Esinako Ndabeni, Sihle Mthembu
EAN: 9781928337676
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Miss Behave

Miss Behave by Malebo Sephodi
EAN: 9781928337416
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The Broken River Tent

The Broken River Tent by Mphuthumi Ntabeni
EAN: 9781928337454
Find this book with BOOK Finder!


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Take a look inside Wendy Hartmann’s magical new book, The Singing Stone

Storm has a beautiful stone that her parents gave to her when she was born. When she holds this stone and sings, everyone in the village stops to listen. But when she is tempted by an old woman to sing songs that can control the wind, waves and the entire ocean, things go wrong.

With her brothers and all the other fishermen lost at sea, will she be able to undo the things that she has done?

Written by award-winning author Wendy Hartmann, The Singing Stone is a magical tale about family love and encourages children to believe in themselves. Folk tales help develop strong reading skills and a love of stories.

Available in English, Afrikaans (Die Singende Klip), isiXhosa (Ilitye eliculayo) and isiZulu (Itshe Lokucula.)

Wendy Hartmann has been writing for many years, with more than 40 children’s books published. Her books have been selected for honour’s lists and nominated for awards for writing and illustration. Wendy lives in Cape Town, is married and has two daughters. In her spare time, she paints, has taken part in numerous exhibitions and has works in private collections in South Africa as well as overseas.

Book details


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Launch: Things We Don’t Talk About. Ever. by Desiree-Anne Martin (7 August)

In 1980s apartheid Cape Town, five-year-old Desiree-Anne is grappling with how she’s going to turn her tar baby doll’s skin into sweet, soft lily-white.

What she has learnt is that Whites are better than ‘Slamse’ and much better than ‘Kaffirs’.

She doesn’t know how to force her father to stop drinking or gambling or make her mother love her or get the boys and men to stop touching her in secret.

She learns how to soothe the pain: through secret masturbation and lying. She also gives her life and heart to Jesus every summer at Scripture Union camps.

As she grows up, she begins to understand the rules of living in her depressed family as well as in her fractured community: We Don’t Talk About It. Ever. In her teens, laden with the awkwardness of bushy, unruly hair, braces, and a body shorter and rounder than a Womble – and now firmly planted in a ‘White School’, Desiree-Anne is forced to confront her ‘Coloured identity crisis’.

She turns to self-harm, disordered eating, the thrill of petty theft and escapism through books and acting. Although she wins a place to study drama at UCT, sensing her parents cannot afford the tuition, she opts to go to the UK where she gets lost in bars, clubs and pills.

On her return to South Africa she embraces the “free love” Ecstasy trance club scene but when she meets Darren, a heroin addict, she turns to needles. Her search for love and acceptance descends into a self-destructive spiral as an intravenous smack addict.

This is a harrowing memoir on the darkness of addiction, but it is also a touching and sometimes humorous account of a little-girl-turned-woman’s deep need and reckless pursuit for love.

When Desiree-Anne finally finds recovery years later, she uncovers her real voice to talk and write about things that were previously left unspoken.
 

Event Details


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Take a sneak peek inside Niki Daly’s Sharp-Sharp! Thoko

Here comes Thoko again!
Thoko is resourceful!
Thoko is full of fun!
Thoko is kind-hearted!

Niki Daly makes reading about life as a kid entertaining and realistic with his delightful new local heroine, Thoko.

Thoko finds herself in some tricky situations that teach her a few important life lessons along the way. Thoko skips through life, leaving behind a trail of laughter.

With adorable illustrations and four heart-warming easy-to-read stories, Niki Daly has created a second book about Thoko – who is sure to become one of his most beloved characters. Look out for the first Thoko book, Hooray! Thoko.

Available in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

Niki Daly has won many awards for his work. His ground breaking Not So Fast, Songololo, winner of a US Parents’ Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children’s books. Since then he has published widely and has given talks in several countries.

Among his many books, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner at the US Children’s Africana Book Awards, and Jamela’s Dress was chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children’s Book and by Booklist as one of the Top Ten African American Picture Books of 2000.

In 2009 Niki was awarded the Molteno Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Other books include Nicholas and the Wild Ones, Thank you, Jackson, The Herd Boy, Pretty Salma, No More Kisses for Bernard! and Ruby Sings the Blues.

Niki is married and lives in Kleinmond, South Africa.

Book details


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Deadline for the Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology extended to 31 August

Via PEN SA

The deadline for the Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology – an award and anthology on the topics of gender, human rights and sexuality, for writers and photographers across Africa – has been extended.

Rather than general discussions of these subjects, the judging panel will select pieces which engage with gender and sexuality in ways that promote new insights into human rights matters on our continent. Only the very best work submitted will be shortlisted and published in an anthology, with the winners to be announced at a 2019 award ceremony, hosted by The Other Foundation and attended by the authors of the top three submissions. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of R25 000.

Both published and unpublished work are eligible.

Full information and submissions details may be found on Jacana Media’s website.


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