This is a very sad book but not a depressing one. Sam’s death forces her to confront other personal truths about herself, her life and Sam’s older special needs brother, Jack.
Jami shares her journey with searing honesty and a wry sense of humour and, as she finds her way back into the light, it becomes less about grief and more about self-discovery, about synchronicity and about following the signs that are everywhere. If this story has a message, it is that finding your own true path is the only way to personal self-fulfilment and that it is only when we are ourselves fulfilled that we can be of proper service to others. Initially an unwilling seeker, this is what Jami eventually discovers, and in doing so she draws on all her available strength and inspirational new insights to continue building a happy future for herself and her young family.
About the author
Jami Yeats-Kastner is a 39-year-old mother of three amazing boys. Her youngest son, 18-month-old Sam, tragically drowned in the family’s swimming pool at their house on Friday 8 February 2013. Jami has written about her grief on her blog on www.crazybutterflylady.wordpress.com. Sam and Me & the Hard Pear Tree is her first book.
Thando Mgqolozana launched his third novel, Unimportance, earlier this year. The stream-of-consciousness novel is an allegorical look at the way we choose our political leaders.
Charl Blignaut from City Press called the book’s release “the best literary news of the week” in April and Fikile Moya from Pretoria News wrote that the book “delivers more than the words and the images on the pages”. Read these and other articles collected by Jacana Media from print sources:
Within the pages of Adults Only lies a wonderful range of modern sex writing; stories that are raw, dangerous and powerful, as well as those that are delicate, sensitive and poignant. This book will expose you to provocative and erotic stories that titillate the senses, as well as perverse stories that are riotously funny (but not quite pornography). Adults Only offers a sense of real characters caught in tangled webs of love and lust; the stories included run the gamut from raw and dangerous to sensitive and reserved.
Adults Only is the second of the SHORT.SHARP.STORIES annual anthologies, produced in conjunction with the National Arts Festival to showcase South African fiction-writing talent. Following 2013’s successful Bloody Satisfied, an eclectic mix of crime-thriller stories, this year’s anthology covers the fashionable theme of sex and sensuality. An anthology from established authors and rising talents, Adults Only is South African short-story writing at its best.
“Whatever you are looking for – filth, fantasy, tenderness, suspense or a grand belly laugh – you will find it here.” – Helena S Paige
The contributors are established authors and journalists as well as previously unpublished writers. They are: Ken Barris, Efemia Chela, Christine Coates, Anthony Ehlers, Chantelle Gray van Heerden, Bobby Jordan, Aryan Kaganof, Donvé Lee, Carla Lever, Justine Loots, Alexander Matthews, Sean Mayne, Wamuwi Mbao, Dudumalingani Mqombothi, Tiffany Kagure Mugo, Nick Mulgrew, Gillian Rennie, Arja Salafranca, Alex Smith, Jo Stielau, Alan Walters, Eugene Yiga. The book features a foreword by Helena S. Paige, and an introduction by Makhosazana Xaba.
Aerodrome has shared an excerpt from Thando Mgqolozana latest novel, Unimportance, in which Zizi, the protagonist, questions what makes a good student leader.
“Being an A-grade student doesn’t automatically make one the fittest to govern. The scenario in the country’s parliament made my case strong. Indeed, the scenario of any parliament or boardroom anywhere in the world strengthened the logic of my argument – in our era, no country is being presided over by a professor,” Zizi muses to himself as he prepares for the SRC presidential debate.
Read the excerpt:
If one faculty managed to argue successfully against the readmission of an SRC member, this would mean that the said comrade wouldn’t be allowed to register as a student, and thus had no business leading, or being at university at all. We would have to announce this shameful news to the student populace. Who wants a stupid leader? Who would ever believe anything saidby an organisation that had deployed a leader of such questionable intellect? This wouldn’t be well received by the mother body. The Azanians would milk the story, and it would be a dark cloud hanging over the organisation’s proverbial head for years to come.
Karen Dudley, author of Another Week in the Kitchen, will be there on the final night to share the story behind her famous Love Sandwiches as you settle in to a feast in the candlelit courtyard to watch the acclaimed Danish film, Babette’s Feast.
Tickets cost R150 and includes music, a meal, a movie and a presentation by Dudley.
Mhlengi Wandile Ngcaweni’s contribution is titled “History Will Be Kind to Us for We Intend to Write It” and in it the University of Johannesburg student describes what being a “born-free” can mean: “We have a lot of pressure on us as born-frees because we are actually the proof of the success or failure of this democracy. Our successes or failures will expose many things about being born post-apartheid and whether it really was a privilege to be born post-1994. Twenty years after democracy we are the proof that everyone has been waiting for to determine how successful our democracy has been.”
Read the excerpt, shared in the Mail & Guardian:
Born-free? What born-free? Born on May 2 1994, I was born right in the middle of everything: the elections had just happened on April 27 and the inauguration was on May 11. I am a first generation “born-free” – a child born into democracy. This means that we should never have to be disadvantaged on the basis of our race and, in theory, our backgrounds.
What does being a born-free mean to us, you might ask. In truth, being born-free means more in theory than it does in practice.