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Archive for the ‘Feature’ Category

German rights sold for Ameera Patel’s Outside the Lines

Ameera PatelOutside the LinesThanks to Bieke van Aggelen’s agenting we have sold the German rights for Ameera Patel’s debut novel, Outside the Lines. The novel came out on March 29th of this year. Patel is a talented actor and writer, she wrote her debut novel while doing her MFA at Wits University.

Outside the Lines has been very well received, Patel has participated in several book festivals this year, Open Book, Kingsmead, and Essence Festival, and more to come next year. The novel has had great reviews. And now this! Before the book is even a year old. We at Modjaji Books are thrilled!

‘Ameera Patel’s first novel is edgy, witty, fresh, engaging, moving, memorable. This is an important new voice in the emerging movement of new South African fiction, taking us to places at once familiar and defamiliarised by the sensitivity of the writing. A vivid portrait of contemporary Johannesburg, wide-ranging, passionately engaged and acerbic.’
Craig Higginson

More about Ameera Patel – she is an actor who has worked on stage and in television (best known for her role as Dr Chetty in Generations). She is also an award winning playwright. She received a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing in 2013 (University of the Witwatersrand).

Here’s an interview with Ameera Patel on SABC TV
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Outside the Lines

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Futhi Ntshingila on a book tour in Brazil

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Dublinense has bought the rights to publish Do Not Go Gentle by Futhi Ntshingila, which has now been translated into Portuguese, as Sem Gentileza. And this November saw Futhi on a three city book tour to Brazil. What an exciting trip for her, but as her publisher, huge vicarious pleasure for me too. Modjaji has become a publisher that has made this possible for one of our authors. I can see from the snippets on Facebook and Instagram that Futhi has been well received in Brazil, Sem Gentileza has gone into a second print run. There are pictures of long lines of people waiting to have Futhi sign their copy of Sem Gentileza So in South African terms it has become a best seller there.

I met Gustavo Faraon in 2012 at the Frankfurt Invitation Programme and it was through this meeting that the Brazilian publication became possible. We are also in the process of selling North American rights, and an Italian publisher is considering Do Not Go Gentle after meeting with Gustavo at Frankfurt this year.

I’m hoping we can sell the Dublinense edition back into Lusophone Africa. May be we will see Futhi on a book tour in Angola and Mozambique before too long.

Having a house that resembles a book warehouse, and all the shlepping and hassling becomes really worth for moments like these. I can’t wait to hear more from Futhi when she gets back.

Futhi in Brazil 1

Do Not Go Gentle

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Brazilian edition of Futhi Ntshingila’s Do Not Go Gentle published

Sem GentilezaThis week sees the publication of Futhi Ntshingila’s second novel, Do Not Go Gentle, into Portuguese. Brazilian publishers, Dublinense have translated the novel into Portuguese and now it is out.

Both Gustavo Faraon and I were participants in the 2012 Frankfurt Invitation Programme, which is where we met and when we met to look at each other’s catalogues the following year, the seeds of this translation project were sown. Here is the English translation from google translate of the press release put out by Dublinense on June 22nd, 2016.

“This is not just any book.
Without kindness (Direct Translation of Sem Gentileza – the Portuguese title) was written by Futhi Ntshingila. She’s a South African. She’s Zulu.

Although so rich in features – and here counted with the paints only a culture that is not our own, from an imaginary one so different and in a way so own -, stories very similar to this sprout for all corners of the world. Are stories of women who have not been given a choice not to be resist and try, like her, preserve her own integrity.
Women that need to be strong – only because they are women.

The journey that led to the publication of this book began, in fact, to meet the publisher modjaji books, from Cape Town, and his incredible publisher militant Colleen Higgs. The Publisher, baptized in tribute to the goddess of the rain, there is to give space to the South African women, whose voices vibrant remained relegated to the sidelines and in the shade since forever.

This editorial project was really inspiring to us. And it seemed clear that it was necessary to bring the books that Colleen edited for an even bigger audience, to Brazil, for you. We were reading and analyzing various titles, and it was clear that the stories could be unique, but together they reflected an issue that is not limited to a specific region or culture. And so we come to this novel which we believe to be very representative.

Our Brazilian edition in Portuguese of without kindness is the first in a foreign language. The own author now is dedicated to translate it to isizulu.
That is why, for us, this is not just any book. It points to something that we want to pursue.

That this book find many readers and readers in Brazil, and that this will allow us to continue bringing many other stories that help to give a voice to those who do not have.”

Gustavo Faraon of Dublinense at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015

Gustavo Faraon of Dublinense at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015

We hope that Futhi will be invited to a literary festival and will be able to go to Brazil later this year to meet her new audience.

As the press release says, Modjaji is looking to bring out an isiZulu edition of Do Not Go Gentle in 2017. Futhi is doing the translation herself. Watch this space!

Do Not Go Gentle

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Sold out all over: Tjieng Tjang Tjerries by Jolyn Phillips causing ‘good problems’ for Modjaji Books

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Jolyn Phillips’s first book, Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories is causing waves for Modjaji Books and for her and in all kinds of ways.

There are lots of firsts associated with this book. It was selected for Homebru by Exclusive Books and it wasn’t even a book that we submitted – because short stories. It’s a collection of short stories by a debut author.

As far as we know it is the first literary book to come out of Gansbaai.

The launch at The Book Lounge was packed and all copies of Tjieng Tjang Tjerries sold out.

Jolyn appeared at the Franschhoek Lit Fest this year on a panel with Deon Meyer, Rahla Xenopoulos and Darrel Bristow-Bovey. Fabulous, talented and celebrated as the three other panelists are, for me Jolyn stole the show. All her books were sold out at Franschhoek too. These are good problems for a new writer and her publisher to have.

Jolyn Phillips and Tjieng Tjang Tjerries are part of #HomeBru at Exclusive Books

A photo posted by Colleen Higgs (@colleenhiggs) on

 
There was an interview with Jolyn in the Mail & Guardian (click here to read the whole interview).

This is what Jolyn says about writing in the short story form:

“Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. I find that one should just write your truth and your stories will mould into the shape they need. I had 13 different lives and, although from the same cloth of landscape, they wanted to be given a moment that was only theirs.

Believe me, I tried making them poetry. I even tried to make it a novel but my characters taught me that everything is character. Language is character. Landscape is character. I tried to tell my characters what to do and they took the pen from my hand, pushed me aside and wrote themselves.”

She was also interviewed for Glamour, where I was interested in her list of favourite books.

The first review that the collection got was a BIG, RAVE review in the Cape Times (click for larger image):

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Jolyn Phillips’ language is highly original, a vibrant English, full of colloquialisms and Afrikaans too, making it challenging for those who are not fluent in both English and Afrikaans. See the review below by Jay Heale for BookChat.

TJIENG TJANG TJERRIES & other short stories by Jolyn Phillips (Modjaji Books 2016)

You need to be strongly bilingual (which I am not) to capture the rich flavour of the coarse, colourful Gansbaai patois. I’m not sure why the author has chosen to put most of this in English, as I’m sure that the real Gansbaai residents talk mostly Afrikaans with racy, rude, frequently funny additions of their own. Without doubt, this is a bold piece of adventure into language with an utterly Overberg flavour.

If you would like to read a couple of the stories, they were published online at:

Aerodrome and

Books LIVE!

Here’s a radio interview with Tamara LePine on Classic FM:


 

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to a Gansbaai launch in July. Phillips is a young writer to keep an eye on!

Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories

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

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghFogarty’s and Modjaji Books invite you to the Port Elizabeth launch of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, a memoir by Michelle Hattingh. The author comes from Port Elizabeth, so she is back in her home town talking about her incredibly courageous book.

“Compelling, clear and beautiful writing on such a necessary topic. She shatters rape myths on every page.” Jen Thorpe, gender activist and author of The Peculiars.

“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 the book:
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.

About the author:

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 Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who Was Raped is her first book.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 12 May 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: GFI Gallery, 30 Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth
  • Guest Speaker: Emily Buchanan
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and snacks
  • RSVP: Fogarty’s, fogartys@global.co.za, 041 368 1425
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
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List or advertise in the new African Small Publishers’ catalogue

Small Publishers' Catalogue 2010 - AfricaSPC Africa 2013It’s time to put together a new “Small Publishers’ Catalogue: Africa”. We feature publishers and services, programmes and institutions that are useful to publishers in Africa and to those who are interested in Book Publishing in Africa. The distribution is via bookstores in South Africa, online from our website, and we take it to book fairs – the South African Book Fair and to Frankfurt and London. It gets to readers, librarians, booksellers, other publishers all over Africa and internationally to those who are interested in book development in Africa. The last edition in 2013 listed 50 publishers mostly from Anglophone Africa, but not exclusively, and included publishers from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and of course South Africa.

For more info about the previous catalogues click here

We plan to bring the catalogue out in March 2016, so no time to waste.

If you are interested in listing or advertising, contact Colleen Higgs for more details.

A listing costs R500. You get a free copy of the catalogue with your listing. The rate card for advertising or sponsoring will be sent to you on request.


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HUGE Modjaji WEBSITE SALE till the end of September only

Book MarkThe huge success of our discount boxes at the South African Book Fair in Jozi made us aware that South African readers are keen to buy books if the price is right. So we’re passing on similar discounts to you our readers who couldn’t be at the Fair. And at the same time clearing our warehouse of some of our older titles. But just till the 30th September there are HUGE discounts on older stock too. If you love a book bargain, you are going to love this sale. Check it out by clicking HERE


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Poetry in South Africa – New Coin 50th Anniversary issue

New Coin 50th Anniversary issueGary Cummiskey, the editor of New Coin asked several people to write about the state of SA poetry as they see it. One of the people he asked was me. So here’s my take, I urge those of you who are interested in poetry in South Africa or in the world at large to subscribe to New Coin and in particular to order this copy from the ISEA.

The other participants in The State of South African Poetry: A Symposium are Mxolisi Nyezwa, Kobus Moolman, Kelwyn Sole, Dashen Naicker; Raphael d’Abdon, Lesego Rampolokeng, Colleen Higgs, Denis Hirson, Haidee Kruger, and Allan Kolski Horwitz.

As the publisher of Modjaji Books I don’t want to discuss the state of South African poetry at a macro level. What I want to do is to invite you to look at the Modjaji Books and Hands-On Books poetry lists. As of the 30 June 2014 we have published 27 new collections of poetry. All of these titles can be seen on our website www.modjajibooks.co.za where you will see the range, depth and variety of voices that we have published since 2007. Our very first title was a poetry collection, Megan Hall’s Fourth Child; it went on to win the Ingrid Jonker prize in 2008. Since then Beverly Rycroft was also awarded the Ingrid Jonker prize in 2012 for her collection, missing. We have had our poets receive other prizes and honours. Phillippa Yaa de Villiers won the 2011 SALA poetry prize and she is the Commonwealth Poet for 2014.

However, what I’m most proud of is that Modjaji Books has continued to publish and sell collections of poetry in a tumultuous and uncertain period in publishing and in a time of economic downturn globally. The rewards that poets receive for writing their poems and publishing collections are not monetary, but rather the same rewards that poets have enjoyed for centuries, the sense that there are readers who are hungry for their words, their images, the articulation of something that speaks to others. The unexpected emails and letters, the selection of a poem to be studied in schools, the invitation to read, the look on the face of someone in an audience listening to the poet read – these are some of the small, rich rewards for poets, apart from the making of the poem itself.

One of the threads I’ve tried to pick up in publishing collections has been to push the publishing boundaries of language and identity. For example Life in Translation by Azila Talit Reisenberger, Bare & Breaking by Karin Schimke, and Beyond the Delivery Room by Khadija Heeger – all feature poems in more than one language and in different varieties of language.

Another thread has been to interrogate ‘what is poetry’, for example, in Malika Ndlovu’s book – Invisible Earthquake: a woman’s journey through stillbirth – a book of poems, journal entries, essays and resource lists.

Investing time and money into publishing poetry is a somewhat odd enterprise, it is not at all rewarding financially, but somehow it seems necessary for me to do this work. Part of why I started Modjaji Books in 2007 was to claim space for voices that would not otherwise be published, and the voices that particularly concerned me were the voices of women. I will not go into a long argument explaining what I mean, those who know what I mean, know already. Those who don’t can go and research this and read about the feminist politics of publishing argued by much more sophisticated and scholarly writers. I saw that something needed to be done, so I have tried to do it, and I will continue to do this as long as I am able.

It is strange to me that something like poetry is such a contested space, but it is. And so I find it important to enter that space and open doors which were firmly shut. And if it wasn’t for Modjaji I fear many of those doors would still be firmly shut.


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