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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Finnish book blogger loves Fiona Snyckers’ Trinity series

Team TrinityIrma Rissanen, a book blogger from Finland got in touch with me on Friday to ask for the cover of Team Trinity. She is a big fan of Fiona Snyckers’ Trinity character and has read all three of the books in the series so far. She sent a link to her blog where she writes about the Trinity series. This is one of the thrills of being a publisher, seeing written evidence of one of your books travelling to another part of the world.

In our back and forth correspondence, Irma offered to send an English translation of her blog for Fiona and I. I’ve posted some of the Finnish blog. And you can read the whole blog in English too. Irma compares Fiona’s writing to Sophie Kinsella! Read the translated blog to get the same goosebumps I got. She gets Trinity and she loves her.

Suomessa ollaan chick litin saralla vielä aika untuvikkoja. Muualla maailmassa chick litiä on kuitenkin kirjoitettu jo…noh, maailman sivu.

Etelä-Afrikan vastine Himoshoppaajalle on Fiona Snyckersin Trinity. Kirjasarjan päähenkilö on Trinity Luhabe, shoppailuhullu sinkkutyttö Johannesburgista.

Mutta kun isä on ollut Nelson Mandelan vankilatoveri Robben Islandilla ja äiti valkoihoinen aktivisti rasisminvastaisessa taistelussa, ei Trinitynkään elämä ole ollut sieltä normaaleimmasta päästä. Isä on nimittäin sen tason kansallissankari, että hänet tunnistetaan missä vain. Isän lisäksi tunnistetaan myös tytär, ainakin heti kun hänen sukunimensä paljastuu.

South African chick lit: single in Johannesburg

When it comes to chick lit, Finnish authors are still fledglings. But when it comes to the rest of the world, chick lit has been written… well, the world over.

Fiona Snyckers’s Trinity is South Africa’s answer to the [Sophie Kinsella's] Shopaholic. The protagonist of the book series is Trinity, a shopaholic single girl from Johannesburg.

But Trinity isn’t just any old girl. Her father is one of the last activists who was imprisoned in Robben Island, the same prison as Nelson Mandela, and her mother is the daughter of Afrikaans farming family who spent her university days protesting against apartheid. Trinity’s father is now a national hero recognized wherever he goes. And so is Trinity, at least the minute people find out what her last name is.

In Trinity Rising, the first of the series, Trinity starts a degree at university. Trinity would like to be just like any other student but because of her famous background it’s not always that easy. Trinity’s favorite subjects, shopping and good-looking boys, and the teacher’s demands (of making it to lectures on time) don’t always go hand in hand.

Trinity Rising is a witty, funny, engrossing chick lit book with the additional value of an exotic, South African setting.

In Trinity on Air, Trinity has graduated from university and is looking for a job in Johannesburg. When her dream job at a radio station, her gorgeous boyfriend and her handsome neighbourg all turn out to be something else entirely, Trinity finds herself in the ride of her life.

Team Trinity, published last year, is the third of the series and my absolute favorite. In addition to fun and excitement, it also deals with more serious issues, like racism and violence.

The book is a prequel to the series. Sixteen year old Trinity and her brothers have to spend a term in the school boarding house while their parents are dealing with urgent matters overseas. The first person Trinity meets in the common room is a boy who treats Trinity with an outrageously racist manner. When he sees Trinity, he presumes that she is the cleaning-lady! Trinity is obviously furious. Who is this mysterious boy who dresses in retro clothes and behaves like someone from the old South Africa? And why does he disappear whenever Trinity’s friends are around?

Then Trinity bumps into his dream guy, Zach, who is a couple years older. At first everything is hunky-dory between the two but soon Trinity turns into a shadow of her old self. Will Trinity realize why before it’s too late?

Fiona Snyckers writes about the teenage world engagingly and skillfully. She balances extremely well with teenage issues such as crushes, crash diets, self-image and bad relationships.

The book ends on such a cliffhanger it leaves you yearning for a sequel!

So, treat yourself with a cup of rooibos and melktert and let South Africa’s Shopaholic carry you away!

Team Trinity

Book details

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Book Launch: The Last to Leave by Margaret Clough

The Last to Leave

The Last to Leave

Kalk Bay Books and Modjaji Books are delighted to invite you to the launch of Margaret Clough’s second volume of poetry, The Last to Leave. Finuala Dowling will introduce Margaret and talk with her about her work. Margaret will also read to us, those of you who have not heard Margaret read before are in for a huge treat.

The Last to Leave is Margaret Clough’s second collection of poetry. These poems follow on from her first extremely popular collection, At Least the Duck Survived in that the light, warm-hearted tone continues as does Clough’s engagement with aging and mortality. These poems are a tonic and leave the reader feeling refreshed, saddened and better off.

“Margaret Clough’s poems are poignant and hilarious; an indispensable guide to being The Last to Leave.” Finuala Dowling

Critics had this to say about At Least the Duck survived:

“a wry, humorous collection of poetry with a twinkle in its eye and a spring in its step. Poetry for the young at heart, and for those facing old age, but with attitude.” Litnet

“joyful and plump with life” The Cape Times

Margaret Clough has worked as a Science teacher, a soil chemist and a food technologist and only started writing after retiring to Cape Town a few years ago. She has had stories published in various journals. Her poems have been published in Carapace, New Contrast and Aerodrome. Her first collection of poems, At Least the Duck Survived was published in 2011; she also contributed to the collection Difficult to Explain edited by Finuala Dowling.

Event Details

THe Last to Leave

Book Details

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Yewande Omotoso’s fabulous Bom Boy on Etisalat prize shortlist

Bom Boy by Yewande OmotosoYewande Omotoso does it again, Bom Boy has been shortlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize. My inbox has been pinging with queries from agents, requests for review copies from places as far afield as the UK and Ghana, and the Nigerian press is full of the short-list story. The other two authors and books that are on the list are No Violet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names and Karen Jennings’ Finding Soutbek. The short-list thrills me because all of them are women. And they are all wonderful women. Karen Jennings worked for Modjaji as an intern a couple of years ago, and she is still a firm friend of mine and of Modjaji Books. I would be thrilled if any of the authors won.

I really commend Etisalat and the prize organisers for the way they have thought through the prize, they are taking the three short-listed writers on a three city book tour. The books they are buying are creating distribution pathways within Africa, so that links are built up and the way is paved for future book sales into the sites that are identified.

This is a big deal for Modjaji Books, especially as the prize organisers have decided to, as part of the prize, buy 1000 copies of the three short-listed titles for book clubs, libraries and other institutions all over Africa. Usually only the authors get a prize, and in South Africa, being short-listed or even winning a prize doesn’t necessarily mean that sales shoot up. Sure – you might sell an additional 50 or 100 copies of a ‘literary’ novel, but never 1000 copies.

The Nigerian press has taken up the prize with great gusto, here is a link and here is another. Because of Yewande’s Nigerian origins – she seems to be their favourite.

The Blogosphere has lit up with news of the shortlist too. 9jaFlave has carried the story, and so has Kinnareads. James Murua’s blog features the story too.

Now we wait till the 23rd February, Lagos, to hear who is the winner. But so far, all three authors and their publishers are winners.

Bom Boy

Book details

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Publishing Poetry – making it work here

Now in January 2014, and about 25 collections of published poetry later, I would like Modjaji Books and Hands-On Books to keep on publishing poetry. I love to read poetry, I love to hear poets read their work, reading poetry keeps me on my toes, wide awake, alive to the world and to the inner lives of others. I want to make it possible for poets to get their work published. Publishing poetry led me to found Modjaji Books. However, when you consider that the best-selling collection sold 1100 (Azila Talit Reisenberger’s Life in Translation) and most collections sell 300 or under, and only a handful have sold over 400 (Missing, Please, Take Photographs, Strange Fruit and The Everyday Wife and At Least the Duck Survived), you can understand how being a publisher of poetry in South Africa (and perhaps elsewhere too, is not a commercial enterprise).

It’s possible to publish poetry and cover the hard costs, but it requires that poets and publisher work together, and that both to contribute to the publishing of the work. Poet and publisher both need to be committed in terms of time, money, risk, and engagement.

Unless Modjaji manages to get some substantial funding or some other publishing miracle happens, I’ve decided after nearly 7 years of publishing that Modjaji can’t continue to pay poets royalties for the sale of their physical books. I would like the proceeds of book sales for all new poetry titles to go towards building a kitty for future publications. In other words poets who have been published will subsidise in a best case scenario the publication of the work of future poets. Poets can make some money on their books by organising readings of different kinds and selling their books at readings. I’m also going to ask all the poets that have already been published to contribute their royalties to the fund.

Can one make money as a poet? If not, what is the point of publishing?
If making money out of your poetry is your main ambition, your efforts would be better spent in other ways. Most poets aren’t going to make much, if any money out of their books. You may be lucky and win a prize in which case you may receive prize money. Your poems might be used in textbooks for schools and universities in which case you will receive a small payment.

In my experience there is a tiny audience for poetry in South Africa. But there are poets who have been invited to literary festivals internationally because of their work, and you may be able to get a place at a writers’ residency because of your book and how your book has been received.

Some of the other reasons poets gave when asked why do you want to publish your work?
Fiona Zerbst: Closure and moving on to new work – getting stuff out of the way, really. One’s preoccupations change over time.
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers: From my point of view, I go through phases where I’m preoccupied with something, either a theme or a genre that I want to explore until the day comes when I’m ready to stop looking at that particular thing. Publishing, sharing the fruit of that investigation is a way of closing it so that you can move on to other things. It’s a way of ordering the chaos of creativity. Most of the effort goes into the process of making the work. That’s always more interesting than the product. But the product is where you get to share and contact other humans.
Helen Douglas: “What has to be understood is that form and content combine in an activity which reveals meaning, grasps the mind of the reader, so that he [sic] is forever changed, because, if he has understood, there has been a meeting. And that meeting has permanence since it is held in public words.” – Robin Blaser
Helen added – Which is to say poetry has to be public to do its work which is transformational
Sarah Frost: For recognition? And to gather prism-like reflections from others about the nature of one’s own work (like Indra’s web). For instance I had not realised many of my poems were about the terror of loneliness until Donovan Roebert read my book and took the trouble to articulate his experience thereof.
Rustum Kozain: I suppose it comes from that ur-desire which drove the first people entering the symbolic order to scratch out a picture or symbol on a rock, something by which to say “I was here”.
Robin Winckel-Mellish: At some point it’s lovely to share one’s poetry with others, with a beautiful book. Its the next level and a gift, and very personal too. I have reactions like: now I’m getting to know you!! I must add that having a publisher is somewhat like having a midwife to get the sometimes awkward process going! In Holland a poetry collection is called a “bundle” and that what it feels like actually: a bundle of joy (hopefully)!
AE Ballakstein: …for me the poet is the voice of the spirit in an eternal song to humanity; each poet singing only a few notes, and these notes are sung through their published works. I think poets have an intrinsic desire to contribute their note to this song, and so find reward in doing so when their works are published, especially in book form. There is reward in this contribution to the legacy of notes. Just as in academia we seek to contribute to knowledge through academic publishing, so poetry publishing contributes to pushing the frontier of the song that we know humanity needs to hear.
Kobus Moolman: It is for me about listening to what I hear for the first time. About seeing what I discover. About making the dark and the silent, living. And the rewards? Enough to know that just as I have been built up and broken down and reached and reassured by the community of other makers of beautiful terrifying things, so I too in my small way can reach and build others.
Kelwyn Sole: Single poems aren’t just discrete entities in time and space – there’s often an ongoing logic to a body of work, which one can only discern reading over a period of time … i.e. good poets have a unique perception and logic, which is as much a figurative logic as anything else.
Mike Cope: Writing is half. The other part of poetry is the audience. Publication whether on paper or spoken is part of reaching them, and completing the cycle.
Delisa Zulu: publishing a book gives the readers a room to visit where they can come in at anytime anywhere and listen to a author
Immanuel Suttner: To prove I exist or existed, to try and add some substance to the shadowy outline of the society for the propagation of immanuel to win or muster applause and acknowledgment and validation and theoretical sex appeal, not necessarily in that order, to try and get people concerned about the same things that concern me, to draw attention to the contradictions and seeming cruelties that oppress me
Karen Lazar: I write to bridge the divide between unknowable and unsayable states( for instance living inside a stroke or other brain changes) and more generally knowable ones, to capture the million ways to be a human being.
Susan Hawthorne: You can say things in a poem or series of poems that are difficult to say in other ways. I like being able to challenge people’s ideas subtly as other poets have done for me. I wouldn’t be in Rome writing full time if I hadn’t published. It is also wonderful when a reader gets your poem – or shows you another way of reading your own work.
Michael Dickel: Readers are what I want always. Engaged readers, preferably. Books give a raison d’etre to do readings / performances (and open doors at venues that don’t necessarily get opened if you don’t have a book). Books also open doors for some teaching gigs. But mainly, I want engaged readers. I wish more people would review, comment on, critique, and discuss poetry books (of course, mine, too). If I write poems and they sit on a hard drive or in a drawer, why write them? If I send them to journals, there are some readers, but of one, maybe two or even three poems. A book provides a deeper perspective on the work, but also connects poems one to the other. It is a work built from poems, much as a poem is built from stanzas, stanzas from lines, lines from words. The book, therefore, is its own work of art, when taken as a whole and read as inter-related elements. It potentially engages the reader more fully in the themes, ideas, images, and motifs of the poetry I write.
And it’s cool to say, “my book of poems.” It is. An accomplishment of some sort.
But that accomplishment feels even better when readers say, “I liked this poem or that poem,” the work “spoke to me,” and the like. Engagement. Yep.
Raphael d’Abdon i think it’s about sharing with others the emotions of a particular journey. it’s about capturing the joy and pain of the “here and now”, so i agree with phillippa and ingrid. for me a poetry book is about “framing” a specific life experience in a coherent body of works, as kelwyn put it.
rewards? receiving feedback from fellow writers and poetry audiences (the only people who are interested in poetry… …), individual growth as a writer (well said, kobus)…

What Modjaji Books/Hands-On Books can and can’t offer

We will produce your book – which includes editing your manuscript and proofreading the designed text. You will end up with a beautiful book.
We’ll send your book to various journals, newspapers and magazines for reviews.
You will become better known on the poetry circuit – you might be invited to participate in readings and at literary festivals and poetry events.
Your book will be listed on the booksellers’ database so that it is visible to anyone who wants to search for it or for you as an author. Your book will be listed with African Books Collective (a Modjaji partner) so that it is available internationally.
Your book will appear in the Modjaji Books catalogue and will be taken to any book fairs which Modjaji Books goes to as an exhibitor for at least the first 3 years of its life.
Your book will be entered for relevant prizes.
You may get invited to readings, literary festivals and other unexpected events.

We can’t promise you will make money.
We can’t promise how your book will be received.
You will be surprised, usually pleasantly. You might also be disappointed.
You will learn something about yourself and your poetry.

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Extreme summer special offer on all titles for two weeks only

Check out the Modjaji Books website first – click on titles and Hands-On titles to see what is available. Email me if you want to take up any of these offers.

All books are ON SALE for the next two weeks till November 22nd, 2013. (Postage excluded unless you select a package deal)


Novels are R130
Longer Non-Fiction – R150
Shorter Non-Fiction – R100
Short stories – R110
Poetry – R100

3 POETRY titles for R200 (including postage for South African addresses only)
3 SHORT FICTION titles – for R250 (including postage- for South African addresses only)
2 NOVELS for R250 (including postage – for South African addresses only)
2 longer NON-FICTION titles for R250 (excluding postage)
2 shorter NON-FICTION titles for R150 (excluding postage)


Jabulani Means Rejoice – Dictionary of South African Names – R150 (usually R250 in stores) Excl postage.

Small Publisher’s Catalogue: Africa, 2013 – R60 incl postage

New titles:

The Turtle Dove Told Me by Thandi Sliepen R100 incl postage (usual price R150)

Pleasure-in-Relating by Susan Groves (R100 incl postage – usual price R150

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Frankfurt revisited

I’ve had the wonderful good fortune of going to and being part of the Frankfurt Book Fair three times. This year was the first time as a trade visitor and ‘on my own’. I was lucky enough to be on the Invitation Programme in 2011 and 2012. I remember how daunting and overwhelming the Fair was, especially the first time. I almost had a panic attack when I went to my first appointment in Hall 8, where the publishers from the English-speaking world converge. This year I found the Fair familiar, easy to navigate.

Frankfurt is different for everyone who goes there. Each person has a particular reason for being there and a particular place in world of books and publishing. The most important thing is developing relationships and building on them. If you are a bookish person, it is an absolute thrill to meet like-minded folk from all parts of the world. I love the “United Nations of Publishing” atmosphere, especially in Halls 5 and 6 where most of the international publishers are based. I shared accommodation with friends I made in the 2012 Invitation Programme, publishers from Brazil and Croatia.

At first I was sorry not to have a stand. But as I got comfortable with being a trade visitor in some ways it was better. I was lucky to have the Invitation Programme in Hall 5.0 as a home base for storage and warm welcomes from the organisers, Corry von Mayenburg and Doris Oberländer made me feel at home. I was also delighted to see Benoit Knox from Pretoria on the invitation Programme in Hall 5.0, and to reconnect with friends I’d made in the previous two years. In the end it was valuable for me to attend meetings, seminars and talks without worrying about my stand.

Corry von Mayenburg and Gustavo Faraon at the party on the boat on Monday evening

The Frankfurter Hof

A few highlights for me: I met Mieke Ziervogel from Pereine Press in London at the Frankfurter Hof on Tuesday evening before the Fair started. She publishes only three books a year, all novellas translated into English. These titles are carefully curated each year, and sold individually, but also as a set. She uses all kinds of innovative marketing and sales approaches, including salons at her home, a pop-up shop and a UK tour. I was thrilled to meet her, and although I’ve been following her for a couple of years on Twitter, a mutual Twitter follower introduced her to me, and she suggested we meet in Frankfurt. I was also quite awed at the idea of actually setting foot in the Frankfurter Hof, where all the important publishers meet after the Fair. As a publisher from a tiny press in South Africa, I feel quite marginal to the main goings-on in Frankfurt, so I set off to the Frankfurter Hof on Tuesday evening with some trepidation. Apart from one glass of wine costing 12 Euros, it was a delightful evening, and not nearly as intimidating as I expected it to be.

On Thursday evening, I was invited to three parties all happening at the same time at 5.00, there was the Whisky party of US Small Presses in Hall 8, the Australian Party also in Hall 8 and the LGBTI party in Hall 4. I went to the Small Press party first to say hello and thank Jeffrey Leppendorf for assisting me with sharing information about the Small Publishers Catalogue: Africa, 2013 with the publishers who are part of CLMP or The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Then I went to the LGBTI party in Hall 4. Jim Baker fom Quer Verlag in Berlin was incredibly generous and introduced me to people he thought might be interested in Queer Africa (MaThoko’s Books) and Reclaiming the L-Word. I was lucky to meet the man who runs the biggest and best gay bookshop in Europe, and also a wonderful resourceful writer/small press publisher based in Spain, who has proved to be a fund of information and knowledge and shared resources.

I was blown away by the possibilities of digital printing at a semiar I attended called “The Beauty of the Book”. My mind was racing and I looked forward to sharing my ideas with colleagues back home.

Every conversation you have with anyone in Frankfurt has the potential to offer up an insight, a new perspective an idea of how to do things differently or better. I was also able to ask Benoit and Bibi Bakare Yusuf of Cassava Republic Press (also on the Invitation Programme and my friend) to stock and sell the African Small Publishers’ Catalogue, 2013 on their stands. I also met new publishers to feature in the next edition of the catalogue.

Other highlights for me were visiting the best designed books exhibition in Hall 4.0 and visiting the Brazilian exhibition, as Guest of Honour, the dinner and party on the boat on the Monday night, meeting people from the Alliance of Independent publishers and going to their party, some sightseeing around Frankfurt. For more pictures on the Modjaji Books Facebook page click here

A tip for those going to Frankfurt for the first time, get a German sim card with unlimited wifi. Last year having my phone on roaming cost me over R4000! An unpleasant bill at the end of November.

Queer Africa

Reclaiming the L-Word
Book details

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A bouquet of thank yous

This is a public thanks to all of those who constantly support me to keep on keeping on with Modjaji Books. There are so many people if I mention people by name I am sure I will leave people out. I want to say thank you to everyone who is encouraging, who buys books, talks about them, to all the authors that Modjaji has published, to all those who make the books, the editors, proof-readers, designers, printers, cover artists, to the folk at Blue Weaver, to the booksellers who hand sell Modjaji titles, who offer a space to launch new titles, to the journalists and book reviewers who write about the books. To Ben and Bookslive for having given Modjaji a space from Day One. THANK YOU!!

The rest of this post is more specifically about the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. About a month ago I posted on Facebook that I had come to accept that I wouldn’t be going to the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. I have been the past two years as a guest of the German Foreign Office and Litprom as part of the Invitation Programme of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Usually one only gets to go once in this programme, but I was lucky enough to be invited twice. So this year, I have applied for funding from the NAC and from ACT to support some of the work that Modjaji does. Sadly we have been unsuccessful the past few times we have applied.

However, shortly after I posted my little lament about not going to Frankfurt this year, a very kind writer who has asked to remain anonymous offered to sponsor my air ticket and accommodation in Frankfurt. Wow! What an opportunity! I was bowled over, and still am. Then came the next part, as a publisher who operates on a very tight budget (a euphemism) I needed to raise more money to pay for actually being at the Fair, and for buying coffee and sandwiches and bratwurst and beer in Euros. As well as all those other expenses – quickly putting together a rights catalogue, budgetting for having access to the internet …

On Saturday I hosted a tea party and book sale as a fund-raiser for Modjaji Books. It was advertised on the Modjaji Books Facebook page, and I invited many people that I know live in Cape Town individually. Once again I am bowled over by the enormous goodwill there is towards Modjaji Books and what I am trying to do with this publishing enterprise. A number of people who couldn’t come offered their support by buying a ticket to tea or more. Others bought enough tea tickets for a family of six. About 40 people came, and the party itself was a wonderful success.

I have no idea what people chatted about, because I was rushing around filling the kettle, pouring Nuy ‘champagne’ into glasses, cutting slices of my famous pound cake, and slices of gooey salted caramel tart from the Queen of Tarts. Refilling milk jugs, directing people to the books in the lounge, telling people the dates of the Frankfurt Book Fair (9th to 13th October).

One of the highlights of the party was that Tracey Farren, Maire Fisher, Meg Rickards and Jacky Lourens were there. Because of this the party felt as though it was partly a celebration of Whiplash as the first big trade title that Modjaji published, and which is now being made into a movie, by Meg (the director) and Jacky (the producer) and Tracey who has already written the screenplay. Maire was the editor of Whiplash and a passionate friend to Tess (the main character), Tracey and to Modjaji and me.

I was delighted to see people leaving with piles of books (up to 9 or 10 in some cases). Thank you to everyone who came, and to those who didn’t come but still contributed.

I specially want to thank Na’eemah Masoet who is the Modjaji intern this year. She is a wonderful person to work with, organised, imaginative, calm, capable, hard-working. She did the book selling and ticket selling. My eleven year old daughter, Kate also helped her at the beginning.

My friends Colleen Crawford Cousins and Caroline Ward also helped. Colleen brought paper napkins which I’d forgotten to buy, as well as lots of lovely flowers. Caroline helped to unpack tea cups, side plates and glasses from Banks.

And Helen Moffett, who is an incredibly supportive Modjaji matron in her own inimitable way, bought the champagne. I think Helen is one of the people who has bought a copy of every Modjaji title right from the start, and in some cases has bought multiple copies as gifts, and for the Obz library. Thank you everyone. I will write from Frankfurt about what I am experiencing and you will all know that you were part of it. And as Modjaji gets more professional and becomes a bigger player (my dreams and ambitions) you will also know that you were part of building Modjaji Books. Thank you, thank you!

For a couple more pictures click here

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Whiplash by Tracey Farren … the movie coming soon to a theatre near you

Sadly some books live only a brief flare of a few months or a year and then are forgotten, but others keep on keeping on. I’m delighted that Whiplash is one of the latter. Published in 2008, as the first novel to come out of Modjaji Books, Meg Rickards (Director) is working on the movie of Whiplash. Jacky Lourens is the producer.

Whiplash was shortlisted for the 2009 Sunday Times Fiction prize and is still our best-selling title.

Whiplash made the cut and was selected to participate in the Durban Film Market:

A total of 113 submissions, comprising 31 documentaries and 82 features were received, out of which eight documentaries and 10 fiction projects were selected. A Reader Panel of African and international film professionals assessed these projects and made the selection based on a number of standard criteria. The directors and producers of these projects will have one-on-one meetings with potential investors and co-producers at the Finance Forum.

read more here

And received an award

The Produire au Sud – Festival des 3 Continents Nantes award went to two projects to enable them to attend the Produire au Sud (PAS) Script Studio at the festival: The Bill directed by Nosipho Dumisa, (co-produced by Travis Taute and Junaid Ahmed) (South Africa) and Whiplash, directed by Meg Rickards (and produced by Jacky Lourens) (South Africa).

read more here

Here is the description of the story of Whiplash on the Durban Film Market website. Especially for those who haven’t read Whiplash.

Producer: Jacky Lourens
Director: Meg Rickards
Company: Get The Picture
Country: South Africa

‘Adapted from Tracey Farren’s novel, Whiplash tells the story of wry, sassy Cape Town prostitute, Tess, who falls pregnant. When she abandons her daily ritual of popping pills, awful pictures from her past ambush her mind. But Tess does not allow herself to collapse. Instead, she learns – perhaps because of the baby in her belly – to connect with the people around her. The Congolese refugee next door treats her like a daughter. An impotent client shows her his heart. Tess finds sanctuary among strong women in a belly dance studio, and discovers she can dance up a storm. With new courage she tracks down her childhood friend, Dumi, who helps her to face the truth of her past. Jacky Lourens has 22 years production experience and was series producer for the SABC documentary, Unauthorised. Meg Rickards has written and directed short films and for television, and her miniseries and tele-feature Land of Thirst received international distribution. Singer Angelique Kidjo is attached to the project.’


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Book Launch: Love Interrupted by Reneilwe Malatji

The Book Lounge and Modjaji Books are delighted to invite you to the Cape Town launch of Reneilwe Malatji’s acclaimed collection of short stories Love, Interrupted. Eva Hunter will introduce Reneilwe and talk with her about her book and her writing.

More about the collection:
I’m so excited about this collection, Reneilwe Malatji’s voice is a new and refreshing one. She writes in a way that I haven’t come across in South African writing before. She combines humour, wisdom, a beady eye and a take-no prisoners attitude and a very particular life experience and perspective. Everything and everyone is up for scrutiny.

The collection has received a range of very positive reviews in The Witness

THIS book is a treasure. A beautifully written book by a new author, who has powerfully captured the stories of African women, daughters, sons, and lovers in her first collection.

Malatji will be a voice to watch in the future and this is a worthy first book.

and in the Sunday Independent.

Reneilwe Malatji is on record as saying: “We need stories that are told from the point of view of black people, we need stories from rural areas, we need stories from ekasi, ja genuine sincere stories.”
This debut collection of short stories, Love Interrupted (Modjaji) – written in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an MA in creative writing at Rhodes University – just about fits this description.

…The collection offers a sustained exploration of the options open to (usually upwardly mobile) women in contemporary South Africa. One of its bleaker features is the absence of anything resembling a loving, intimate relationship.

More about Reneilwe Malatji

Reneilwe Malatji was born in Modjadji Village in 1968. She grew up in Turfloop Township, in northern part of South Africa. She grew up in a home where her father was an academic and her mother was a school teacher. She trained as a teacher and worked as a subject specialist and advisor to provincial education departments. She has recently completed a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University. She is currently working on a doctorate at Rhodes. Love, interrupted is her first book.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 25 June 2013
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cnr Buitenkant & Roeland Street, Cape Town 8001
  • Guest Speaker: Eva Hunter
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine
  • RSVP: The Book Lounge,, 021 462 2425

Book Details
Love Interrupted

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Team Trinity first book to be promoted on NATIVE’s Mxit bookly platform

Team TrinityLove InterruptedTeam Trinity by Fiona Snyckers, launched on Saturday 1st June, at SKOOBS, we’ll write in more detail about that soon. This post is to tell you about something else that we are very excited about: in May NATIVE launched Team Trinity as the first title they promoted on their new bookly platform on Mxit.

Levon Rivers of NATIVE:

To start the app off with a bang, we secured SA author Fiona Snyckers’ new book in the Trinity Series, Team Trinity, as our first major novel.

What is particularly thrilling about this is that we are reaching readers who otherwise would probably not have had access to Team Trinity. So far 1874 readers have read or started reading Team Trinity in just 2 weeks! Our second most popular title is Love, Interrupted by Reneilwe Malatji. We have’t put all Modjaji titles up, as the main readers are teens and young adults. So we selected titles that are likely to appeal to them. Team Trinity is our first real title especially for YA readers, although many of our titles are likely to appeal to this age group.

Here are some comments from readers (in Mxitese):

• It’s nice and insightful. I don’t want2 chat to my friends anymore, coz im 2 busy reading…
• I love the idea that MXit has something like bookly. It’s awesome and I love it. Good books from great authors are available.
• It a very fast mxit program that give us the help about books we need.
• Im inlv wth ths app..thumbs up 4 it
• Bookly, to me is lovely, i like it.
• Iwould like to thank u guys for bringing bookly 2 had help me alot nd your great books the teach me alot nd m happy nd ilav reading them…thank u so much for doing this

Book details

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