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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Michelle Hattingh’s I’m the Girl Who Was Raped will be available on 4 continents

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedI’m the Girl Who Was Raped SpinifexI’m the Girl Who Was Raped Canada

We’ve sold rights to Michelle Hattingh’s brave, powerful, lucid memoir, I’m the Girl Who Was Raped to Inanna in Canada and to Spinifex in Australia – who have bought World English rights (apart from North America and Africa). Here are the new covers. Michelle’s book has been something of a publishing sensation for us, she’s been invited all over the country to various literary festivals, as the key speaker at Wordfest in Grahamstown last year, and we sold rights within the first year of publishing.

Well done Michelle! We know that this past year was very intense, you are incredibly brave.

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

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Come see Modjaji’s Stellar Authors at the Franschhoek Literary Festival

Franshhoek Literary Festival

 
This year’s edition of the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival is being held from the 19th to the 21st of May. Modjaji is proud to have some its authors among the ranks who will soon file into town to fill it with vibrant ambience and all the bookish conversation one could dream of.

Tickets are priced at R70 per event, and are on sale via Webtickets. A limited number of student tickets are available for R20 per event – verification will be required.

Don’t miss our authors discussing their work at these not-to-be-missed panel discussions:

Philippa Mamutebi Kabali-KagwaFlame and SongPhilippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa
 
FRIDAY 14h30-15h30
[25] Writing their continent (Old School Hall): Darrel Bristow-Bovey invites Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa (Flame and Song) and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Season of Crimson Blossoms) to share how they reveal their love and knowledge of Africa through fact and fiction.
 
SATURDAY 10h00-11h00
[45] The transformative power of reading (Council Chamber): Jacques Rousseau discusses the intellectual, social and personal impact of reading, with Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (The Printmaker) and Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa (Flame and Song).
 
SUNDAY 11h30 – 12h30
[95] Writing my family: (Council Chamber): Negotiating the path between family sensitivities and the author’s right to write the story as they choose is a skill that Daniel Browde, Neil Sonnekus and Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa have all developed. They tell Hagen Engler how they did it.
 

Jolyn PhillipsTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesJolyn Phillips

 
FRIDAY 13h00-14h00
[23] I write short stories because… (Elephant & Barrel): Are they easier than long fiction, more lucrative than nonfiction, more popular than Harry Potter? Jolyn Philips (Tjieng Tjang Tjerrie) asks fellow writers Harry Kalmer (A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg), Ken Barris (The Life of Worm and Other Misconceptions) and Marita van der Vyver (You Lost Me) what it is about this form that appeals to them as they discuss the challenges of writing in the short form.
 
SUNDAY 10h00 – 12h00
[90] Workshop: Hide & Seek Poetry (The Hub) Sometimes the writing comes easily, but what do you do when the spring dries up or you have more sand than compost in your head? Come and learn to hunt and gather words at a two-hour poetry workshop with poets Jolyn Phillips and Karin Schimke. Tickets R120 through Webtickets.
 
SUNDAY 13h00 – 14h00
[104] The polylinguists (The Hub) Tom Dreyer asks Jennifer Friedman (English/Afrikaans) and Jolyn Phillips (English/Afrikaans/French) whether the ability to speak and write in different languages is a help or a hinderance?
 
Dawn GarischAccidentDawn Garisch
 
SATURDAY 13h00-14h00
[63] Dark things brought to light (Elephant & Barrel): Fred Strydom (Inside Out Man), Dawn Garisch (Accident) and Dale Halvorsen (Survivors’ Club with Lauren Beukes) discuss the darker side of human nature as reflected in their writing, and why readers feel the need to be disturbed.
 
Ishara MaharajNamaste LifeIshara Maharaj
 
FRIDAY 13h00-14h00
[22] The power to move us (Hospice Hall): Ishara Maharaj (Namaste Life) and Dennis Cruywagen (The Spiritual Mandela) discuss the joys and challenges of writing of spiritual matters in a contemporary world.
 
 
Colleen HiggsLooking for TroubleLava Lamp PoemsHalfborn WomenColleen Higgs
 
SUNDAY 13h00 – 14h00
[102] What publishers want (Council Chamber): In preparation for next year’s projected Porcupine’s Den event (think ‘Dragon’s Den’ for writers), would-be authors get to pick the brains of publishers Ester Levinrad (Jonathan Ball), Phehello Mofokeng (Geko Books) and Thabiso Mahlape (BlackBird Books), led by Colleen Higgs (Modjaji Books). Other publishers are welcome to attend and weigh in on the discussion.
 
Karin SchimkeBare and BreakingKarin Schimke
 
SUNDAY 10h00 – 12h00
[90] Workshop: Hide & Seek Poetry (The Hub) Sometimes the writing comes easily, but what do you do when the spring dries up or you have more sand than compost in your head? Come and learn to hunt and gather words at a two-hour poetry workshop with poets Jolyn Phillips and Karin Schimke. Tickets R120 through Webtickets.
 
Helen MoffettStrange FruitStrayHelen Moffett
 
SATURDAY 14h30-15h30
[70] What is feminism, and who ‘owns’ it? (Ebony Gallery): Helen Moffett (Prunings) asks the questions of poet and singer Blaq Pearl and Thabiso Mahlape (BlackBird Books).
 
SUNDAY 10h00-11h00
[87] A few good editors (Council Chamber): Alison Lowry and fellow editors Helen Moffett, Phehello Mofokeng and Thabiso Mahlape discuss the consistent criticism around the literary world of ‘poor editing’ and the state of the industry in South Africa.
 
Michelle HattinghI'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle Hattingh
 
SATURDAY 16h00-17h00
[73] From victim to survivor (Old School Hall): Michelle Hattingh (I’m the Girl Who Was Raped) uncovers stories of courage, faith and perseverance in the face of opposition and adversity as told by Grizelda Grootboom (Exit), Lindiwe Hani (Being Chris Hani’s Daughter) and Shamim Meer (Memories of Love and Struggle).
 
Shirmoney RhodeNomme 20 Delphi StraatShirmoney Rhode
 
SUNDAY 11h30 – 12h30
[93] Playing with words (Hospice Hall): On knowing the rules of writing, and how to break them: Sue de Groot tests the boundaries of poets Blaq Pearl and Shirmoney Rhode (Nommer 20 Delphi Straat), and novelist Claire Robertson (The Magistrate of Gower).

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An A to Z of AmaZing South African Women

Fatima MeerMeet the rebels, artists, troublemakers, athletes, dancing queens and freedom fighters that shaped our past – and are changing our future.

An A to Z of Amazing South African Women tells the stories of 26 trailblazing South African women through accessible stories and illustrations that are as bright and bold as the women they depict.

From Fatima Meer to Caster Semenya, Natalie du Toit to Dope St Jude, this is a book about women who ask too many questions, who defy injustice, who refuse to take no for an answer. It is a celebration of the courage and determination of the activists, scientists and storytellers who have gone before us – as well as a recognition of the everyday heroism of ordinary South African woman doing extraordinary things.

JThe book takes its inspiration from the worldwide bestseller An A to Z of Rad American Women and will be launched during August 2017. It is the work of writer Ambre Nicolson and illustrator Jaxon Hsu, a husband and wife team based in Cape Town.

“When I came across the American edition I immediately wished there was a South African version. Since none existed we decided to make one ourselves. The result is a book that showcases South African women as we know them to be: courageous, compassionate and resilient,” says Nicolson.

Publisher Colleen Higgs describes the process of choosing only 26 women for the project as almost impossible: “What we loved about the American version is that the women featured were not the usual suspects, they were such a diverse group of women all united by a certain steely irreverence. We have worked hard to ensure that An A to Z of Amazing South African Women features a really interesting mix of women from all walks of life and all eras of South Africa’s past and present.”

Modjaji Books has also launched a crowdfunding campaign, through Thundafund, to support the publication of An A to Z of Amazing South African Women. Supporters of the campaign can not only pre-order their copy of the book but also buy an additional copy at a discounted rate that will be given to a young person who would not be able to afford one through Fundza, the South African nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy among teens and young adults.Olive Schreiner

The campaign will run for six weeks until 13 June 2017.

For more information click this link


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“One of the most affordable return tickets to Uganda” – launch of Flame and Song by Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa

Flame and SongI don’t get to go to the launch of every book that Modjaji publishes. I was very glad to get to The Book Lounge launch of Philippa Namubeti Kabali-Kagwa’s memoir, Flame and Song, that we published in time for the Women’s Day Story Cafe at the Artscape. Last Tuesday was the “official” launch, and The Book Lounge was full of people from East Africa.

Malika Ndlovu framed the launch with her beautiful voice, almost like a praise singer. It set the tone for an evening of story, song, memories – it made it feel a little as though we were sitting around a fire – while Philippa was interviewed by two young women, Diana Mutoni and Sandrine Mpazayabo, friends of Philippa’s daughter, Faye.

They asked unflinching questions about Philippa’s life, the difficulties and challenges and the many griefs she has experienced. Philippa responded to all of the questions, however challenging with grace and warmth. Philippa also read from her beautiful memoir, both poetry and prose excerpts, I was left feeling filled up with song, poetry, and a sense of family and community and love.

For more photographs of the launch click here These photographs were taken by Neo Baepi.

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Extraordinary media coverage for I’m the Girl Who Was Raped – and book tour of Canada in the works

 

As the effects of rape culture worldwide are being seen and challenged, Michelle Hattingh’s book I’m the Girl Who Was Raped speaks to how being a victim of rape feels from the inside.

The media has been very interested in interviewing Michelle and reviewing her brave memoir. She was interviewed for The Star and The Argus by Julia Clark-Riddell, and by Louise Ferreira for Die Beeld and excerpts of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped have been featured in Marie Claire, You Magazine and Women24

 

While Michelle was in Joburg for the launch last week, she was interviewed on Radio Today and by Gareth Cliff on Cliff Central. She’s also been interviewed on Classic FM by Tamara LePine and on Cape Talk/702 by Pippa Hudson.

She’s appeared on Morning Live and has been invited to speak at schools, two universities and as the Guest Speaker at Wordfest at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July.

We’ve also received queries for her to go on a book tour to Canada, so we’re exploring Canadian publishers for I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, as this would make more sense than Modjaji Books trying to manage a Canadian book tour from Cape Town.

It is extraordinary what has happened with this powerful memoir in a short time, Michelle has clearly struck a nerve by writing so openly and honestly about her experiences. Let’s hope her book chips away at the rape culture that we live in.

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

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Michelle Hattingh’s I’m the Girl Who Was Raped – a powerful, brave book

 

Michelle Hattingh was in Joburg this week launching her memoir, I’m the Girl Who Was Raped. Her book is receiving huge media attention, because she has had the courage to come forward and tell her story about being raped and what happened to her afterwards externally – but more especially what happened internally – how she dealt with what happened to her, how she felt, how she started to heal.

Michelle’s story is a no holds barred one, and her insight and writing is disrupting conversations and taken-for-granted views about rape and what it is, she is disturbing and disrupting rape culture, and none of it is easy.

Fiona Snyckers was in conversation with Michelle about the book at Love Books.

With Fiona’s permission, I’m sharing what she wrote on Facebook afterwards and her Twitter summary of the launch.

I’ve been present at panel discussions where white members of the audience have derailed a discussion on race and black pain by talking about how hard it is as a white person to know how to do the right thing.

What they did, in other words, was make the conversation about themselves and demand that the black panelists mop up their white tears.
Last night at Love Books we saw this in action again, but this time it was male tears that hijacked the agenda.

I was in conversation with Michelle Hattingh, author of the searing memoir I’M THE GIRL WHO WAS RAPED at her Johannesburg book launch. We’d had a long and difficult discussion about rape and rape culture, with many valuable contributions from women in the audience.

We were just wrapping things up when someone asked that a young man who’d had his hand up be given the chance to speak. Michelle agreed so I allowed the question.
He started off by saying that he thought we were all simplifying rape. (This is Mansplaining 101 – accusing a female interlocutor of not grasping the nuances.) Then he said that rape was “complicated” because there were always two people with their own different backgrounds that they brought to the encounter. (If this sounds like rape apology, that’s probably because it is.) He went on to talk about how difficult it is to be a man in this day and age and how hard it is to tell if a woman really is giving consent, especially if she is drunk.

And because we had decided that this was absolutely the last comment, that’s where the session ended, with mansplaining, rape apology and male tears having the last word. I’m still annoyed about it.

But Michelle’s talk was great and he didn’t have the power to take anything away from that. In the end, that’s all that matters.

 

 

Michelle was interviewed by Sue Grant-Marshall for Radio Today. You can listen to her interview here.

 
More photos of the launch are here. Thanks to Lourens Botha for these photographs.

Thanks, too, to Helen Holyoake of Helco Promotions for her brilliant work in drawing the attention of the media to I’m the Girl Who Was Raped.
 
I'm the Girl Who Was RapedBook details


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Book Launch: I’m the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghModjaji Books and Love Books are pleased to invite you to the Johannesburg launch of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, a memoir by Michelle Hattingh. Fiona Snyckers will introduce Michelle and talk with her about her book.

Emily Buchanan edited Michelle’s book and this is what she wrote about the book, published in Grocott’s Mail on the 6th May.

I’m the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

Now and then you read a book that alters your life. It inspires you; it redefines you; and sometimes it reshapes your thinking in a way that changes the world around you. One such book for me was Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. Another is Michelle Hattingh’s I’m the Girl Who Was Raped.

I started working on Michelle’s manuscript as its editor. On my first reading I was surprised and excited, which seems inappropriate but it wasn’t: finally someone had the courage to write what it really was like to be raped, and to write it with such intensity, wit and pace that it read like a novel.

It was going to be a book that everyone needed to read, that would be the subject of conversation for months after it came out. More importantly, it would be a resource for those who had been raped, or feared being raped, or worried about their sons being accused of raping.

Michelle relates the story of her rape on a Muizenberg beach. She talks about how, earlier that same day, she’d presented her Psychology honours thesis on “Why Men Rape”, and how, despite her extensive research, she felt shamed and humiliated by her rape. When reporting to the police, she was further shamed and humiliated and blamed for “partying”, though she was sober.

She takes us through her next year and her battles with PTSD. She talks about being date-raped, a few years before, in a scene that is both awful and achingly funny, and draws a parallel between date-rape and stranger-rape that shows how like they are. I laughed and I cried and I re-evaluated how many of my own sexual encounters had been coercive.

Another point she makes is how the focus is always on women “staying safe”, as if that will prevent rape. When women don’t “stay safe” (I’m using the quotation marks ironically) society’s attitude is that those women bring rape upon themselves.

It’s completely illogical thinking. The statistics bear out how most women are raped in their own homes, wearing their most modest clothes and as sober as church mice. We hold onto the myth of “staying safe” because we feel it will protect us. What it does instead is takes the focus off the rapist — where it belongs — and puts the victim under its harsh, unjust, glaring spotlight.

As I talked to my friends and tried to tell them what I had learned from this book, almost all of them (feminists, lawyers, parliamentarians, doctors) directed the conversation to saying how girls really need to watch out when they go out, how it’s irresponsible not to be “careful”. It’s a message women have internalised so deeply that my friends truly couldn’t hear what I was saying. And it’s one more reason to buy them each a copy of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped: Michelle says it so much more convincingly than I can.

-Emily Buchanan

Women24.com published an excerpt of the book online, if you would like to read it, click here

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 01 June 2016
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Fiona Snyckers
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and some light refreshments
  • RSVP: Love Books, info@lovebooks.co.za, 011 726 7408
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
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Book Launch: I’m the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghThe Book Lounge and Modjaji Books are proud to invite you to the launch of a courageous book, I’m the Girl Who Was Raped written by Michelle Hattingh on April 28th. Michelle will be in conversation with writer and gender activist, Jen Thorpe.

Modjaji and The Book Lounge are donating R20 to Rape Crisis for each book bought at the launch.

That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped”.

This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.

Many people think middle class women are magically immune to rape or that if they are raped their easy access to the resources they need will be everything they need to recover completely. A book that discusses the cross cutting nature of the pain all women must feel when a man rapes them can only be welcomed in a time when communities across South Africa struggle with high rape rates. Kathleen Dey of Rape Crisis

More about Michelle
Michelle Hattingh was born in South Africa in 1988. She attended school in Port Elizabeth and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Stellenbosch University. She went on to do her Honours in Psychology at Cape Town University and now lives in Cape Town. Michelle works as senior online content producer at Marie Claire SA. Her work has been published in Elle SA, Marie Claire SA and the Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who Was Raped is her first book.

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 28 April 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, Corner of Roeland and Buitenkant Streets, Cape Town CBD
  • Guest Speaker: Jen Thorpe
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine and snacks
  • RSVP: The Book Lounge, booklounge@gmail.com, +27 21 462 2425
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

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Book Launch: Riding the Samoosa Express by Zaheera Jina and Others

Riding the Samoosa Express
Modjaji Books and Skoobs, Theatre of Books are delighted to invite you to the launch of Riding the Samoosa Express edited and compiled by Zaheera Jina and Hasina Asvat. We’re excited about this book, a collection of voices and stories which are not much in the mainstream of conversations in South Africa. This launch will be in Johannesburg on March 21st. Please RSVP to events@skoobs.co.za or call 011 513 2800.

Riding the Samoosa Express is a collection of life stories exploring issues of marriage, love, loss, family life, culture, religious beliefs, suburban life, local and international politics, freedom and education among other important issues faced by professional and well-educated Muslim women who have not been held back by global stereotypes.


‘The global ideology that prevails around the subject of Muslim women has been shaped by a description of women being voiceless, silent and oppressed. Other views have positioned Muslim women as either religious or secular and have ignored the complexity of Muslim women’s experiences.’ (Davids, 2003).

‘A book that is a bridge between paternalistic, misogynistic interpretations of Islam and the reality of a resilient, female Muslim identity, in contemporary South Africa.’ Shaida Kazie Ali, award-winning author of Not a Fairytale and Lessons in Husbandry

‘A wonderful portal into the multifaceted lives of South African Muslim women. The narratives invite the reader to enter into the precarious realm of the personal and interpersonal – a realm that demands critical attention.’ Associate Professor Nina Hoel, University of Oslo

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 21 March 2015
  • Time: 9:30 AM for 10:00 AM
  • Venue: Skoobs Theatre of Books, Montecasino, Shop 74, Montecasino, 1 Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways, Johannesburg, Gauteng
  • Guest SpeakersRobyn Clark Rajab and surprise guest speaker
  • RSVP: Skoobs Theatre of Books, 011 513 2800 or events@skoobs.co.za

Riding the Samoosa Express

Book details

  • Riding the Samoosa Express: Personal Narratives of Marriage and Beyond by Hasina Asvat, edited by Zaheera Jina
    EAN: 9781920590321
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Rosemary Smith’s Swimming with Cobras reviewed in Historia

Swimming with Cobras

Rosemary Smith’s memoir, Swimming with Cobras, in which she writes about her life in the Eastern Cape as a member of the Black Sash is reviewed favourably in the academic journal, Historia.

This is a captivating memoir. Smith has a strong personal connection to all the stories discussed throughout the book. She paints a vivid comparative picture, highlighting the contrast of life in the UK in the 1960s with her experiences in South Africa. Throughout the work, Smith successfully situates the Black Sash within the wider context of national political organisations, such as the African National Congress and the Progressive Party, as well as women’s roles in society, which she portrays as active, though limited. Smith also draws attention to other welfare organisations that she and the Black Sash were involved with, including GADRA, FEMSA and Christian Aid. The dominant themes in the book are those of violence, solidarity and family as they related to women under apartheid. The role of family units in particular is explored from Smith’s own close-knit family vis-a-vis the socio-economic impact on other families in rural areas who were broken up as a result of the political circumstances of the era. At times it is difficult to follow Smith’s recollections because they tend to be sporadic, but nonetheless, it is these memories that illustrate the unpredictability and fear which were part and parcel of life under apartheid for political activists. Although the work is a memoir written from a personal point of view, Smith has also consulted historical records ranging from those of the Black Sash to the volumes published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). These insights make this book a well-balanced and valuable read.

Monica G. Fernandes
Brunel University

To read the whole review click here

Swimming with Cobras

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