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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

2016 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award winner, Selling LipService, a remarkable, daring, exhilarating read

Selling LipService, Tammy Baikie’s remarkable debut novel, was the winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award in 2016.

Daring in scope and exhibiting exhilarating virtuosity, it takes South African fiction into a space last seen with Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City.

Dr Pamela Nichols, a lecturer at the Wits writing centre, commented on behalf of the judging panel: ‘This is firstly technically very clever in its articulation and development of languages, which are already familiar and nearly formed in our daily lives. The invention and play with ways of talking and thinking reminded me of Clockwork Orange. Secondly, it makes a convincing argument for the need to reassert the literary and the always partially unknown human, before we are swallowed up by ad men. It presents a Huxley-like future conveyed with a Burgess-like linguistic skill: brilliant, and guaranteed to appeal to anyone who loves reading.’

About Selling LipService:

“I was one of them – just as stroke-stricken, equally lost for words. We were as kinbled as our brain MRIs pinned up, on the wall of the ward. Each one with an almost identical inkblot lesion – a black mark against our names and the naming of all things.”
 
 
Since coming of haemorrh-age, Frith must wear a LipService patch to write or speak. The words the patch produces are not her own. Scripted by copywriters, they promote one sponsoring brand or another. With them, ‘You’ – a voice in her head that is the patch’s brand persona and her conformist alter ego – appears.

Through the noise of You talking a variety of different LipService brands, Frith struggles to find her way back to speaking for herself. She believes her tastures – her ability to taste things she touches – are the key. But other elements of this consumerist society are equally interested in tastures for commercial gain.

Tammy Baikie is a translator who is qualified with French and German as source languages and dabbles in Russian. After four years living and working in Germany, she returned home to South Africa where her translation career has continued with advertising and communications as her field of specialisation. Tammy attended the SUISS summer writing programme in Edinburgh and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Wits. She was longlisted in the 2010/2011 Fish International Short Story Contest.

Selling Lip Service

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Farah Ahamed and Sarah Waiswa joint winners of Gerald Kraak 2017 Award

Gerald Kraak

 

Sarah Waiswa and Farah Ahamed

 
The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation recently hosted the presentation of the inaugural Gerald Kraak Prize and the launch of Pride and Prejudice: the Gerald Kraak Anthology of African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice, and Sexuality, at Hyde Park’s Exclusive Books’ Social Kitchen and Bar.

The MC for the evening, Kojo Baffoe, proclaimed that “tonight is about celebrating Gerald Kraak’s legacy.”

Pride and Prejudice is a collection of the short-listed entries to the inaugural award, named after Gerald Kraak (1956–2014), who was a passionate champion of social justice and an anti-apartheid activist.

“This book is a shelter, a place where slums are not art, they are simply where we live. It’s a place where albinos are not unicorns, they are only beautiful and ordinary. And it’s a place where gays are pained and also completely conventional. In this book, strange choppers fly and Africa is a landscape not simply for the past but for projections of the future,” says Sisonke Msimang, Editor in Chief and Head Judge.

The Gerald Kraak Award is a joint initiative between The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation.

A judging panel made up of distinguished gender activist Sisonke Msimang, prominent social and political analyst Eusebius McKaiser and leading African feminist Sylvia Tamale selected thirteen finalists.

“The stories in the anthology fight for what is just and right,” Baffoe asserted.

Research co-coordinator for The Other Foundation, Samuel Shapiro, announced that Pride and Prejudice is the first of five anthologies to come about celebrating the LGBTQI community in Africa.

After the attendees were treated to a performance by Danielle Bowler, Msimang delivered a televised message to all the entrants, lauding them for their creativity and “bad-ass” approach to discussing gender and sexuality in Africa.

Matele announced the joint winners for the anthology: Farah Ahamed (Fiction, Kenya) for her short story “Poached Eggs” and Sarah Waisman (Photography, Kenya) for her photo series “Stranger in a Familiar Land.”

“Poached Eggs” is described as a subtle, slow and careful rendering of the everyday rhythms of domestic terror that pays homage to the long history of women’s resistance; yet with wit and humour and grit, the story also sings of freedom, of resistance and the desire to be unbound.

“Stranger in a Familiar Land” showcases the best of African storytelling. The images take risks, and speak to danger and subversion. At the same time they are deeply rooted in places that are familiar to urban Africans. The woman in this collection is a stand-in for all of us.

All 13 entries which were shortlisted will be published in the anthology. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of R25 000.


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“I wanted to understand my being a black person from a positive point of view” – Mongane Wally Serote on why he writes

Acclaimed South African author Mongane Wally Serote was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of his contributions to poetry, literature and philosophy in South Africa.

The following extract on Serote’s reasons for writing was published by Michelle Bao for City Press.

As a young boy, Mongane Wally Serote read a lot.

From novels to newspapers, he read everything he could get hold of while attending school in Alexandra in the 1950s.

But his favourite was always poetry. Reading the likes of William Wordsworth, DH Lawrence and John Keats, Serote was inspired.

“There was something about the manner in which they wrote and the content about which they wrote that inspired me to write,” Serote said.

“It made me want to write poetry for me.”

And so, at the age of 14, Serote started to write his own poetry.

Little did he know it would mark the start of a long and celebrated career as a poet, a writer and an activist both in the Black Consciousness Movement and in the South African struggle for liberation.

“I was inspired by English poetry, but then I discovered that I could write about our own situation and that’s what I set out to do: to write about South Africa and to write about the life that we live,” Serote said.

His critically acclaimed novel To Every Birth Its Blood (1981) deals with the 1976 Soweto uprising and its aftermath, and his celebrated poems, including City Johannesburg and Alexandra, explore the nuances of life under apartheid.

Serote’s vast body of work is often credited with introducing the voice of Black Consciousness to South African literature and advancing principles of social activism and resistance.

Serote was awarded The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2007 for his “excellent contribution to literature, with emphasis on poetry, and for putting his artistic talents at the service of democracy in South Africa”.

And on Monday Serote received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of his contributions to poetry, literature and philosophy in South Africa.

“Mongane Serote is a true African intellectual in the tradition of the African philosophic sage: a profoundly wise person.

“He is the embodiment of philosophy as the love of wisdom, in the context of both traditional and modern Africa,” said Alex Broadbent, a professor of philosophy and the executive dean of the faculty of humanities at the University of Johannesburg.

“Serote’s commitment to ‘intervene and disrupt racism in all fields of human agency’ is evident in his widely-celebrated contribution to the literature and poetry of black identity and resistance.”

But according to Serote, the purpose behind his prose is much more personal.

Continue reading here.
 

To Every Birth Its Blood

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Pitch your book to Jacana publishers!


 

From Pitch to Publication
Like many publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, we receive a large number of submissions every week. This means hours spent wading through many emails as we try to give every author feedback on their work. Writers often try to arrange meetings with publishers, convinced that meeting the publisher in person will persuade them to publish the book, but with only so many hours in a day this isn’t always feasible.

The Pitching Session
We are offering you the chance to participate in a twenty-minute session where you’ll be able to pitch your book to a panel comprising a media representative, three publishers and a high-powered bookseller. This is your chance to impress and persuade us in person to consider your work for publication. We realise this isn’t an approach that will work for all authors, but if you would like to be one of the twenty candidates who will present at the Live Pitching Session on 4 August 2017, we encourage you to submit an entry on our website.

You will need to tell us why we would be interested in hearing your pitch. Take a look at the following websites for some ideas:

http://sydfield.com/articles/the-art-of-pitching/
https://sites.google.com/site/darklitfestofdurham/darklit-fest-schedule/what-is-a-pitch-session

Accompanying your manuscript should be one page outlining:
• How you are going to help us sell your book?
• What target market can you reach with your book?
• How does your book fit into the Jacana brand?

We will consider pitches in the following genres:
• Lifestyle
• Children’s
• Fiction
• Politics/Current Affairs/History
• Memoir/Biography/Auto-Biography
• Natural History/Travel
• Cookery/Baking
• Business
• Self-help

Click here to submit your entry and for further information.

Queries can be emailed to: submissions@jacana.co.za

Please note that we will only be giving feedback on submissions that interest us after the pitching session has taken place. If you have not heard from us by the end of August 2017, please consider your submission unsuccessful.


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Hazel Crampton’s Dagga: A Short History cited in recent judgement on dagga use

‘In a world stalked by biltong, Hazel Crampton’s latest literary cultivation is an enthralling and educative reminder of another enduring South African staple. Her pioneering short exploration of dagga displays a fine eye for telling detail, covers a lot of ground at an enjoyably brisk pace, and satisfies the reader’s inquisitiveness in all kinds of knowledgeable as well as unexpected ways. This gem of a book is enough to make you flap your wings.’
– Professor Bill Nasson, Department of History, Stellenbosch University.

Dagga: A Short History is a conversation piece, a witty and thought-provoking overview of dagga in South Africa, its origins, background as a legal drug, and later criminalisation. An entertaining and informative take on the law and the current medical debate, it is an essential contribution to emerging issues such as licensing, legalisation and taxation.

Read the judgement here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hazel Crampton is the author of the bestselling The Sunburnt Queen (Jacana, 2004), The Side of the Sun at Noon (Jacana, 2014), and co-editor of Into the Hitherto Unknown: Ensign Beutler’s Expedition to the Eastern Cape, 1752 (Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2013). Dagga: A Short History (then, now and just now) is her fourth book. Hazel is an artist and lives in Grahamstown.
 

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Launch of It’s Me, Marah even livelier than expected!

Relatives, close friends and staunch admirers of iconic South African musician and actress, Marah Louw, recently congregated at Soweto’s Vilakazi Restaurant for the launch of Louw’s autobiography It’s Me, Marah.

Menus which read ‘Welcome to Mara’s Book Launch’ were positioned on exquisitely set tables. (In no way did the typo distract from the delicious authentic African dishes the attendees were treated to.)

The MC opened his introduction of Marah by stating that “today we celebrate a woman we haven’t had the opportunity to celebrate.”

And believe you me, celebrate we did…

Before the starter arrived, guests were treated to a live performance of a capella group The Harmony Singers; “they’re all my husbands,” Louw quipped during her surprise performance with the group at the end of the evening. (Eager to see the queen in action? Click here!)

The performance was followed by a poignant and meaningful speech by Thabiso Mahlaphe, founder of BlackBird Books, the publishers of It’s Me, Marah.

Two statements which stood out during Mahlape’s speech included her mentioning that she has heard many stories during her career as publisher, “yet Marah’s story will always stay with me. The reason I’m so fat is because so many stories stay with me,” she laughed.

Mahlape earnestly added that “I stand here with mixed emotions. As a young black woman I shouldn’t have waited this long for Marah to approach me; I should have approached her.”

The golden couple of South Africa’s musical theatre scene and age-old friends of Marah Louw, Des and Dawn Lindberg, were among the event-goers. The Lindbergs have known, travelled, and performed with Louw since the 1980s. Des entertained his fellow table members with stories of Dawn and Marah dancing with Mandela and De Klerk during the Newsmaker of the Year ceremony, and how Marah lost an entire suitcase during a cruise tour and had to dress in Dawn’s clothes for the remainder of their travels.

Guest speaker Elinor Sisulu initiated her discussion with Louw by asking her about the parts of her autobiography dedicated to her youth.

Louw candidly spoke about falling pregnant at 18, emphasising the significant role her high school principle played in supporting and urging her parents to allow her to continue her schooling..

Marah added that a lack of sexual education contributed to her unplanned pregnancy.

Whilst on the topic of education, Sisulu stated that “this book is about education. Our musicians are educators; it should be in every school in the country.”

Marah’s daughter Moratuwa spoke honestly about her mother’s past, asserting that “I’ve witnessed her abuse … She’s been through a lot. I watched her go on; she has no time for pity parties.”

Moratuwa also recalled her mother’s writing process, mentioning how Marah went through “many breakdowns, yet writing this book was a process of healing.

“I don’t think there’s a better shrink than what you did with this book,” Moratuwa concluded.

Nee, kyk. Judging by Louw’s fabulous attire, delightful demeanour and powerful mini-performance, this is one queen whose reign is far from over…

It's Me, Marah

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Two books to remember Ahmed Kathrada by

Ahmed Kathrada, former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist, sadly passed away this week on Tuesday 28 March after a brief illness. Kathrada dedicated himself to the struggle and remained politically active until his death. The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, which he founded, continues to work towards promoting ‘the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa’. He will be greatly missed.

Here are two books to remember him by:

A Free MindA Free Mind: Ahmed Kathrada’s Notebook from Robben Island

During his 26 years in jail, Ahmed Kathrada refused to allow the apartheid regime to confine his mind. Despite draconian prison censorship practices and heavily restricted access to the written word, Kathrada discovered a wealth of inspiring writings. A Free Mind presents extracts from poetry, novels, songs, sayings and letters that Kathrada transcribed and treasured as he served his life sentence in South Africa’s notorious Robben Island Maximum Security Prison. It includes quotes from Bertold Brecht, Mahatma Gandhi, Emily Brontë, Karl Marx, Olive Schreiner, Shabbir Banoobhai, Voltaire and many others.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn
Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn: The letters of Zuleikha Mayat and Ahhmed Kathrada 1979–1989

Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn is the compilation of the beautiful letters sent between Rivonia trialist and political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada and Zuleikha Mayat, a self-described housewife, during apartheid’s last decade. These letters tell the story – all the more powerful for its ephemeral character – of a developing epistolary friendship between two people to whom history has brought different gains and losses. The collection is rich, not merely in historical content and stylistic interest, but in the experience it offers to the reader of an unfolding conversation, reflecting both the immediate worlds of its authors and a tumultuous period of South African history.
 
 

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Submissions for Dinaane Debut Fiction Award open

Jacana Media recently announced that submissions for the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award will open on the first of April.

Celebrating thirteen years of producing unparalleled South African literary talent, the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award is the perfect opportunity for any aspiring fiction writer to contribute to South African conversations.

Previous Dinaane winners include Andrew Miller (Dub Steps), Penny Busetto (The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself), Ashraf Kagee (Khalil’s Journey), James Clelland (Deeper Than Colour), Zinaid Meeran (Saracen at the Gates), Megan Voysey-Braig (Till We Can Keep an Animal), Kopano Matlwa (Coconut), Fred Khumalo (Bitches’ Brew), Gerald Kraak (Ice in the Lungs), and Ishtiyaq Shukri (The Silent Minaret). Tammy Baikie was the recipient of the award in 2016 for her novel, Selling LipService. The book will be published in May 2017.

Coverage aside, the overall winner will be awarded R35 000, be published by Jacana Media and join Exclusive Books’ Homebru campaign.

Submissions will be open from 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2017. Enquiries can be directed to awards@jacana.co.za.

Visit Jacana’s website for more information on the award.

Dub Steps

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The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

 
 

Khalil's Journey

 
 

Deeper Than Colour

 
 

Saracen at the Gates

 
 
 

Till We Can Keep An Animal

 
 

Coconut

 
 

Bitches' Brew

 
 

Ice in the Lungs

 
 
 

The Silent Minaret


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Want to learn how to write non-fiction? Join the Writing Masterclass with Christa Kuljian at Bridge Books

 

Join us for Jacana Media’s new series of Masterclasses for aspiring writers.

Christa Kuljian, author of Darwin’s Hunch and Sanctuary, will present the Masterclass at Bridge Books and share her insights on writing, non-fiction writing in particular.

Contact Bridge Books or visit bridgebooks.co.za for details.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 30 March 2017
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Bridge Books, 85 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Christa Kuljian
  • Cover charge: R150
  • (includes a copy of her book)

  • RSVP: info@bridgebooks.co.za, 079 708 4461,
    https://bridgebooks.co.za/

 
 
 

  • Darwin's HunchBook details
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  • Sanctuary

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    Announcing the shortlist for the 2016 Gerald Kraak Award for African writers and artists

     
    The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation have announced the African writers and artists shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award.

    Drawn from a range of African countries, these written and photographic pieces on the topics of gender, human rights and sexuality on our continent represent a new wave of fresh storytelling.

    The shortlist will comprise the resultant anthology, titled Pride and Prejudice, which will be published and distributed by Jacana Media and its project partners across Africa in May 2017.

    Judges Sisonke Msimang (chair), Eusebius McKaiser and Sylvia Tamale reviewed close on 400 anonymous individual entries over the past four months in order to select the 14 pieces for the shortlist.

    Msimang says:

    In the current political environment, we are hopeful that expressions like the ones we have chosen – that do not shy away from pain but that are also deeply inventive – find their way into the public consciousness. We think Gerald Kraak would have smiled at a number of these entries, and above all, we have aimed to stay true to his love of fearless writing and support of courageous and grounded activism.

    In alphabetical order by surname, here are the shortlisted authors and entries, and short judges’ notes:

    • Poached Eggs by Farah Ahamed (Fiction, Kenya)

    A subtle, slow and careful rendering of the everyday rhythms of domestic terror that pays homage to the long history of women’s resistance; yet with wit and humour and grit, the story also sings of freedom, of resistance and the desire to be unbound.

    • A Place of Greater Safety by Beyers de Vos (Journalism, South Africa)

    Covers, with empathy and real curiosity and knowledge, underground issues that are seldom discussed in the South African LGBT+ movement – homelessness, poverty, as well as attraction and violence.

    • Midnight in Lusikisiki or The Ruin of the Gentlewomen by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese (Poetry, South Africa)

    This poem hums with sadness and sings with anger. It is full of the sort of melancholy that marks the passing of something very important. It provides an opportunity to connect the themes of gender this collection takes so seriously, with issues of poverty and political corruption.

    • Two Weddings for Amoit by Dilman Dila (Fiction, Uganda)

    A fresh piece of sci-fi, written in a clear and bright way, that surprisingly draws on covert and subversive love.

    • Albus by Justin Dingwall (Photography, South Africa)

    The choice of exquisitely beautiful high-fashion models to represent people with albinism – who are so often depicted as unattractive, as others – is just breath-taking. It makes its point and leaves you wanting more.

    • For Men Who Care by Amatesiro Dore (Fiction, Nigeria)

    A complex and thoughtful insight into a part of elite Nigerian life, as well as the ways in which buying into certain brands of patriarchy can be so deeply damaging – and have direct and unavoidable consequences.

    • Resurrection by Tania Haberland (Poetry, Mauritius)

    An erotic poem that is powerful in its simple celebration of the clit.

    • Intertwined Odyssey by Julia Hango (Photography, South Africa)

    A solid and thought-provoking collection. The range of poses force questions about power. The photos make the lovers (or are they fighters?) equal in their nakedness and in their embodiment of discomfort.

    • Dean’s Bed by Dean Hutton (Photography, South Africa)

    An important contribution to conversations about bisexuality, attraction, age and race.

    • On Coming Out by Lee Mokobe (Poetry, South Africa)

    Literal and lyrical, this powerful poem draws one in through its style and accessibility.

    • You Sing of a Longing by Otosirieze Obi-Young (Fiction, Nigeria)

    A thoroughly modern epic but with bones as old as time. This is a story of love and betrayal and madness and music that is all the more beautiful for its plainspoken poignancy. Yet there is prose in here that steals your breath away.

    • The Conversation by Olakunle Ologunro (Fiction, Nigeria)

    Provides valuable insight into issues of intimate partner violence, family acceptance and the complexity of gender roles in many modern African contexts.

    • One More Nation Bound in Freedom by Ayodele Sogunro (Academic, Nigeria)

    An informative piece that gives a crisp and “objective” voice to the many themes that cut across this anthology.

    • Stranger in a Familiar Land by Sarah Waiswa (Photography, Kenya)

    This collection of photos showcases the best of African storytelling. The images take risks, and speak to danger and subversion. At the same time they are deeply rooted in places that are familiar to urban Africans. The woman in this collection is a stand-in for all of us.

    The winner, who receives a cash prize, will be announced at an award ceremony in May 2017, hosted by The Other Foundation and attended by the authors of the top three submissions as well as the judging panel and project partners.

    For more information visit www.jacana.co.za or email awards@jacana.co.za.

    This project is made possible in partnership with The Other Foundation: www.theotherfoundation.org.

     

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