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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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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Dawn Garisch’s Eloquent Body reviewed in SA Medical Journal and Mantis

Eloquent Body has had reviews in two places that we don’t often see featured on Bookslive. The first one below is by Peter Folb, and appears in the SA Medical Journal. The second one comes from Mantis, the journal of the Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts. Both extremely prestigious journals to be reviewed in and we are doubly pleased as the reviews are engaged and from peers, in addition each one praises the book in different ways. So if you haven’t picked up a copy of Eloquent Body yet, don’t waste anymore time.

REVIEW: ELOQUENT BODY by DAWN GARISCH. Reviewer: Peter Folb Date of Review: 7 September 2012

There is a creative artist within every person and everyone has something unique to explore. Few realise and actualise it; many have no time or interest, or are overcome with the apprehension of self-revelation. It may be that doctors and scientists have a special opportunity or talent for creative art, be it music, poetry, writing or the fine arts, given their privileged insights into the human condition and the scientific method. One thinks here of Chekhov, Marie Curie, Borodin, Frida Kahlo, William Carlos Williams, AJ Cronin, Conan Doyle, Somerset Maugham, Alexander Doblin, Keats, and Kathe Kollwitz. Not uncommonly, patients, too, seek refuge in the creative arts.

In “Eloquent Body” Dawn Garisch examines her own creativity in a frank and carefully researched semi-autobiographical new book. She is medical practitioner, novelist, poet, walker, mother and patient herself. She sees herself as a doctor who writes, wanting to become a writer who doctors. Her conflict is not resolved. She is an accomplished writer and her life is enriched by doctoring. She draws widely on her experience with patients – their fortitude, frailties, obstinacy and quirks. She is influenced by Jung. It is as a doctor that she explores, confronts and embraces issues of truth, fear, doubt, service and trust in the creative process. She believes in the innate self-healing capacity of the body and in the part that the arts can play in achieving that. She has discovered that it is important to relinquish the illusion of control. She maintains that in completing her book the two streams of her life converge. One is not convinced that she has at last found repose, and quite possibly that is a good thing – for her, for us her readers and, not least, for her patients.

Creative art is therapeutic, if not necessarily curative, for patient and for health practitioner alike. Dawn Garisch knows. It’s there, clearly, in her book and she has written it modestly and with courage.

Peter Folb

Review of Eloquent Body by Dawn Garisch.
By Prof. Steve Reid

Dawn Garisch describes herself as a “doctor and a writer”, having transitioned “from a doctor who writes into a writer who doctors”, but admits that she has not entirely resolved the split between the two. This scenario may be more common than we think, as health professionals are systematically separated from the creative and expressive parts of themselves in order to conform to the demands of Western medicine. In modern healthcare, the arts and the humanities are not easy companions of the biomedical sciences.

Dividing her time almost equally then between writing and doctoring, she brings together in Eloquent Body a series of provocative, personal reflections on health and illness, and what it means to be fully human. If our bodies are indeed eloquent, telling us through episodes of illness things that we need to know, then we should pay more attention to them and to ourselves. But most often we do not, and bear the consequences in our health, or lack of it.
In parallel with the ideas presented, Dawn tells the story of her own journey of integration, her experience of chronic illness, and her urge to write and create as a means of pursuing her true vocation. The book includes a delightful passage in which she describes a journey into the South Atlantic Ocean as a ship’s doctor, including a number of intriguing reflections on the situation and the characters she finds herself with. As an almost whimsical interlude, I enjoyed the reality of this section as a contrast to the profound ideas in the rest of the book.

The clear notion comes through repeatedly that we are unnaturally divided into biological and spiritual parts that need to be integrated in order to become whole human beings. And this can be done through disciplined attention to our bodies and inner voices. Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul carried a similar theme, suggesting a need to give priority to the unconscious processes and movements that actually determine our lives. However, Garisch gives special emphasis to the arts as a means of transformation and integration. As a poet, a writer and a dancer herself, she sees the medical environment as the raw material for her art, as opposed to using the arts as salvage therapy to cope with the demands of medical practice, as many do. This tension of identity as author and doctor, combined with a deep capacity for analysis and insight, and a very accessible style, make the book a fascinating encounter with original ideas.

This review was published in Mantis, the journal of the Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts

Eloquent Body

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Boekehuis Saturday Voices: Hemispheres: Inside a stroke by Karen Lazar

Karen Lazar & Raphael ChaskalsonYou are warmly invited to come along to the Boekehuis in Auckland Park for the Joburg launch of Karen Lazar’s book, Hemispheres: Inside a stroke.

David Medalie will introduce Karen and her book, after which Karen will read a few vignettes.

Finally David and Karen will be in conversation about Hemispheres and will welcome questions from the audience.

More about Hemispheres:

“Home is as old as one’s skin but as elusive as an object seen through the wrong end of a telescope.” It is this sense of a view, skewed, intangible, which echoes throughout Karen Lazar’s Hemispheres. Waking in hospital after a post-operative stroke, she finds one side of her body paralysed and her world knocked out of kilter. Spatial, perceptual and subjective changes force her to view her new life in facets. The fragmented view is made apparent by means of a triptych of clusters which charts Karen’s experience from Metamorphosis, through Rehabilitation and Adaptation. Quietly reflective, deeply lyrical, Hemispheres is concerned with returning separated parts into a whole and coming home to the self.

David Medalie is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Pretoria. He is also a novelist, short story writer and anthologist. His most recent collection of short stories, The Mistress’s Dog, was published in 2010 by Pan Macmillan/ Picador Africa. It includes two award-winning stories: ‘Recognition’, which won the Sanlam Literary Award (in the unpublished category) in 1996 and ‘The Mistress’s Dog’, which won the Thomas Pringle Award for short stories in 2008. In the last few weeks, The Mistress’s Dog has been short-listed for two awards: the collection as a whole for the University of Johannesburg Literary Award, and the title story for the Caine Prize for African writing.

Karen Lazar is an English educator at the Wits School of Education. Her MA and Phd, both from Wits, are in English/gender studies. This is Karen’s first volume of (first person) creative nonfiction. Karen had a stroke in 2001, from which she has partially recovered. She lives in Johannesburg.

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 04 June 2011
  • Time: 12:00 PM for 12:30 PM
  • Venue: The Boekehuis, Boekehuis, cnr Lothbury and Fawley streets, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: David Medalie
  • Refreshments: Refreshments will be served
  • RSVP: Boekehuis, boekehuis@boekehuis.co.za, 011 482 3609

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Book Launch: Hemispheres: Inside a stroke by Karen Lazar

You are warmly invited to the launch of Karen Lazar’s book, Hemispheres: Inside a stroke. Orenna Krut, managing director of Pearson SA Schools and long-time friend of Karen’s, will introduce Karen and Hemispheres. Karen will then read a couple of short extracts and you will be able to ask questions and discuss the book with her afterwards.

More about Hemispheres:
“Home is as old as one’s skin but as elusive as an object seen through the wrong end of a telescope.” It is this sense of a view, skewed, intangible, which echoes throughout Karen Lazar’s Hemispheres. Waking in hospital after a post-operative stroke, she finds one side of her body paralysed and her world knocked out of kilter. Spatial, perceptual and subjective changes force her to view her new life in facets. The fragmented view is made apparent by means of a triptych of clusters which charts Karen’s experience from Metamorphosis, through Rehabilitation and Adaptation. Quietly reflective, deeply lyrical, Hemispheres is concerned with returning separated parts into a whole and coming home to the self.

More about the author:
Karen Lazar is an English educator at the Wits School of Education. Her MA and Phd, both from Wits, are in English/gender studies. This is Karen’s first volume of (first person) creative nonfiction. Karen had a stroke in 2001, from which she has partially recovered. She lives in Johannesburg.

Isabel Hofmeyr, Professor of African Literature, Wits University says this about Hemispheres:

“ ‘A stroke on one hemisphere of the brain crosses over to manifest … on the opposite side of the body’.

What does it mean to find oneself suddenly living at this lethal crossing? This exquisite book illuminates how to live with and beyond loss. A superb filigree of acute and finely-crafted pieces, Hemispheres narrates the journey of re-composing life, joy and love from the ‘foreign citadel’ of a body made alien through stroke.

Wry, ironic, comic, joyous, desolate, celebratory, surreal, this mosaic of feeling reconfigures love from loss; each subtle fragment a tessera against time.

As the pieces delve deep into the self, they reach beyond it. The rehabilitation hospital reeks of personal loss even as it becomes a microcosm of contemporary South Africa. Broken bodies deformed by carnage and violence accumulate in the ward. The medical hierarchy enacts deep-seated forms of South African authoritarianism, the losses of the past inflicted and self-inflicted in petty and cruel ways.

The book becomes a quiet odyssey of affirming life in the face of death. The pieces themselves, weightless and profound, light and dark, half and whole, mirror the contradictions of wrenching life from loss.”

Joanne Fedler tells us:

“A collection of rare/nuanced and tender insights. Lazar takes us into the gyre of re-orientation post-stroke, sharing what is lost and what is claimed when what you’ve always been and known, changes. A book that pulses with quiet courage and celebrates it in others.”

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 05 May 2011
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, Corner Roeland and Buitenkant streets, Cape Town
  • Guest Speaker: Orenna Krut
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and light snacks
  • RSVP: The Book Lounge, booklounge@gmail.com, 021 462 2425
    modjaji.bookslive.co.za

Hemispheres: Inside a stroke
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Beverly Rycroft’s debut collection of poems Missing launch on Saturday evening at Kalk Bay Books

Modjaji Books is proud to announce the publication of Missing by Beverly Rycroft, a Cape Town poet and journalist. Missing is her first collection of poems, although her work has been published in literary magazines for some years. Bev (as she is known to her friends) writes with a dry humour, and precise observation of both her inner and outer worlds. She is a poet to keep an eye on.

Michelle McGrane has published a few poems from the collection on her blog, Peonymoon.

In 1997 Beverly Rycroft was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. The poems in her debut collection, Missing, chart the experience of facing mortality, illness and the hope of recovery.

On Saturday night, 17th July, Kalk Bay Books and Modjaji Books are hosting the launch of Missing, which Finuala Dowling describes as follows:

This astonishingly moving debut collection reads compellingly as one complete story. Missing covers the archetypal journey from sickness and near-death to transformation and hope. Rycroft wears her exquisite poetic technique lightly – through rich and deftly crafted images, the poems are profoundly inviting, readable and memorable. I could not put it down.

If you would like to attend the launch, please RSVP directly to Kalk Bay Books.

The cover art work was done by Diane Swartzberg, and Natascha Mostert designed the book and cover. Once again Mega Digital my favourite digital printing company is printing the book.

Missing will be available in better bookstores from late July. For more information contact Modjaji Books.

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Invisible Earthquake in the news

Invisible EarthquakeMalika Ndlovu and her new book, Invisible Earthquake – a mother’s journal through stillbirth, got a lot of media coverage this past weekend.

First came the excerpt and short review in Parent 24.com, thanks to Adele Hamilton, and then came the Editor’s Choice pick in the Cape Town community newspaper The Tatler. Chantel Erfort’s carrot: “Invisible Earthquake handles the subject matter of still birth sensitively both in content and packaging, and I recommend this to anyone who is looking for healing or insight into the path that can lead there.”

On Friday Tanya Farber’s interview with Malika is a full half page of the Cape Argus, much of the piece is Farber quoting Malika and summing up by saying that the book is “courageous”.

And then on Saturday, Tyrone August also in a half page interview with Ndlovu in The Weekender talks about Invisible Earthquake and her play, Sister Breyani which is on at The Baxter now this May. Malika tells August that the book is a way of remembering her daughter, of rendering her visible and is a “tribute to my daughter, my only daughter… We were blessed to have her, even for that short time.”

Malika and I are delighted with the positive attention the book is getting.
Interview with Malika about Invisible Earthquake and her play, Sister Breyani at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.Interview with Malika Ndlovu. Cape Argus, May 1, 2009 by Tanya Farber.

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