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Modjaji Books

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Archive for the ‘Lesotho’ Category

Spread the love and the word – Small Publishers Catalogue Africa 2013

We’ve set up a campaign to raise funds to publish an updated and much more comprehensive edition of the Small Publishers’ Catalogue Africa 2013 Funds have started coming in from those who support the campaign. Please check it out, especially if you have ever been published by a small publisher, a literary magazine, an online zine, or been given advice, suggestions, input, feedback or anything else similar.

The Catalogue is a showcase for small and indie publishers, and having them all in a catalogue is an incredibly useful way for librarians, bookstores, bibiophiles, researchers, students of Africana, you name it to have the information in one place.

While working at the Centre for the Book, I was involved in the first Small Publishers’ Catalogue which only featured South African publishers. University librarians from the British Library, Harvard, Yale and Stanford were at the Cape Town Book Fair, and they all eagerly snapped the Catalogue up, as did stores like Clarke’s and local university librarians. We printed 500 copies and now sadly it is out of print.

We’ve started to get people taking listings and adverts. The inside front cover has been booked already. Please spread the word about the Catalogue and the crowd-sourcing funding campaign, thanks in advance!

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African Book Publishing Record praises “Fourth Child”

Fourth ChildThe African Publishing Book Record published a short incisive review of Fourth Child by Megan Hall last year. Modjaji Books is delighted that Megan Hall, the first author we published, is participating in the Badilisha Poetry X-change, next week in Cape Town.

Megan Hall
Fourth Child.
Athlone, South Africa: Modjaji Books, 2007.
55pp price not reported pap. ISBN 9780980272901

These are searingly honest poems that cut deep with deceptive simplicity. Megan Hall approaches love with a clinical romanticism, laying bare long-held hopes and illusions. Fourth Child is a complex, carefully constructed collection of poems. The overall effect is of homely comfort: the reader is invited to cuddle up by the fireside with a glass of wine and enjoy some beautiful lines and images, to share in heartbreaks and, ultimately, to savour the wonderful healing power of words. The author has a dark sense of humour that surfaces at unexpected moments where, rather than reflect a pervading sense of abandonment and disillusion, it elicits an enduring sense that hope and love will prevail.

This is a book the reader will return to repeatedly. Fourth Child is recommended for school libraries, special collections and general readers.

Peter Midgeley
University of Alberta
The African Book Publishing Record Vol 34, no. 4, 2008

Book details

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Slave Lodge High Tea

Malika performing one of her poems from Invisible Earthquake at The Slave Lodge Sunday 22/3/09 - Women of the World High Tea

Malika Ndlovu was invited to The Slave Lodge by Merle Falken to a mother/daughter High Tea to share her current work. As her publisher I was invited too. What a rich, textured afternoon. Ma Johnson, a charming 88-year old lady sat opposite me, I got a real sense of a life well lived. There are so many Cape Towns. Almost every week, I find myself in another quite different Cape Town.

Malika has a play she’s written – Sister Breyani – premiering at the KKNK and will be at The Baxter for the whole of May. Before a sumptuous tea, she spoke about the play as did three of the performers including Denise Newman.

Truida Perkel got us talking about that eternally complicated relationship mothers and daughters.

Invisible EarthquakeMalika and I were given an opportunity to speak about Invisible Earthquake. Modjaji Books fitted right into the theme and energy of the afternoon. Every time we speak together it’s different and I love hearing Malika perform – she has such an extraordinary presence, full of warmth and generosity; she is a gifted singer performer.

Cynthia Mkhize, a classmate of mine from Maseru English Medium Prep in 1973 was also in the audience and she remembered me, especially as I haven’t changed my surname. I loved reconnecting with her and look forward to having coffee with her one of these days to really catch up.

Every time Malika talks or reads she opens up the conversation for othes, yesterday afternoon a woman who’d recently lost a baby through stillbirth, close to term, was visibly distraught and Malika was able to comfort her and talk with her and give her the details of the International Stillbirth Alliance and SANDS, an international organisation that offers support to anyone coping with the death of a baby during pregnancy or after birth.

As their website says, “The death of a baby is a devastating experience. The effects of grief can be overwhelming and parents, their families and friends can be left feeling dazed, disorientated, isolated and exhausted.”

Malika’s bravery in first documenting her experience of her grief and coming to terms with her loss using her creativity and then sharing her story is remarkable. She keeps having to use her own strength to speak to others about their own losses and grief.

Book details

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Become a Matron or Patron of the Arts

Have you ever fancied yourself as a latter day Medici? Did you know that you could easily become a Matron or Patron of the Arts in South Africa? Modjaji Books is offering you this opportunity.

Modjaji Books is a small independent press that publishes Southern African women writers. You can support Modjaji’s ground-breaking work by choosing one of the options below. Each option gives you wonderful discounts and provides support for Modjaji’s ambitious publishing programme. This offer is valid till the end of March 2009.

SUBSCRIBER OPTION – R300 – choose four books and you will get copies as soon as they become available

FRIEND – R500 – choose six books and you will get signed copies as soon as they become available

MODJAJI MATRON/PATRON – R1000 – choose 11 books from the list and you will get signed copies as soon as they become available

Here are the books you can choose from:

In 2007/08 Modjaji published:
Fourth Child by Megan Hall for which Hall then won the Ingrid Jonker prize
Life in Translation by Azila Reisenberger
Whiplash by Tracey Farren – for which Farren has received a White Ribbon Award given by the Women Demand Dignity Advocacy group

In 2009, we are publishing the following books:

Invisible Earthquake by Malika Ndlovu (due out mid March 2009)
Hester se Brood by Hester van der Walt – a book (in Afrikaans) about how to make bread and a memoir of becoming a baker in McGregor and building a special bread oven
Collection of BED stories by Southern African women
Befallen a novel by Makhosazana Xaba
• Four collections of poems by the following poets, Fiona Zerbst, Sindiwe Magona, Helen Moffett, Joan Metelerkamp
• Four collections of short stories by Meg Vandermerwe, Lauri Kubuitsile, Wame Molefe and Arja Salafranca

Email for the subscription form and banking details and before you know it you will have a new way to think about yourself.

This works out to an average of a 25% discount off the price in the stores. The books usually sell for between R100 and R150 in the stores.

You will also receive invitations to Modjaji Books launches, functions and readings. 2009 promises many fabulous events.

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BED stories January 29th update

Dear BED story writers

Just to let you know that i haven’t forgotten about you. I am working on raising funds for the project, as funding I was hoping for didn’t materialise. If any of you have suggestions for funding, let me know by email.

I will be getting in touch with you soon regarding contracts and other practicalities. You will also be engaged in working on your story with an editor.

I know that this process must make some of you feel a little impatient. Please bear with me.

If you have questions other than these ones, you are welcome to be in touch.


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Janet van Eeden in conversation with Modjaji Books publisher

I was recently interviewed by Janet van Eeden about Modjaji Books and what on earth and I am doing, it appeared on Litnet yesterday. To read more click here

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Bed short stories – where we are up to

We got over 300 stories in the call for submissions. As you can imagine it takes time to do justice to so many stories.

In about a month or so – say mid October we will let writers know whether or not we have accepted their story. There have been a fascinating range of submissions from most Southern African countries.

Please be patient, your story is important to us and we will let you know as soon as we can.

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Call for short story submissions


Modjaji Books, the exciting new publisher for women in Southern Africa, is inviting submissions for its upcoming short story anthology. We want innovative stories that define the world from a woman’s perspective.

The topic for the anthology is “BED”. What does it mean to you? Memories of cosy bedtime stories, sterile beds in hospitals, or that sexy bed where a lover waits…

You tell us! We’re waiting to hear from you!

Send us your best, unpublished story before 31st July, 2008 to (more…)

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