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Archive for the ‘Mozambique’ Category

Futhi Ntshingila on a book tour in Brazil



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

Book details

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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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Forthcoming attraction: Fractured Lives by Toni Strasburg

Award-winning film-maker, Toni Strasburg‘s memoir, Fractured Lives is coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Toni Strasburg was born in South Africa and was exiled to Britain in 1965. She studied at London University and worked in various jobs before becoming a filmmaker. She has documented apartheid-era wars in southern Africa concentrating largely on the effects on women and children. Her award-winning films include Chain of Tears and its sequel, Chain of Hope, The Other Bomb, An Act of Faith and A South African Love Story. She has served an International Peace Monitor and Election Observer for the United Nations and has consulted to and run training workshops for UNESCO and other NGO’s in southern Africa.

Fractured Lives is a memoir of one woman’s experiences as a documentary filmmaker covering the wars in southern Africa during the 1980s and 1990s.

Part autobiography, part history, part social commentary and part war story, it offers a female perspective on a traditionally male subject.

Growing up in South Africa in a politically active family, Toni went to Britain as an exile in 1965 in the wake of the famous Rivonia Trial, and in the years to follow, became a filmmaker.

Despite constant difficulties fighting for funding and commissions from television broadcasters, and the prejudices of working in a male-dominated industry, Toni made several remarkable films in Mozambique and Angola. These bear witness to the silent victims of war, particularly the women and children.

Fractured Lives paints the changing landscape of southern Africa: Namibian independence and the end of the war in Mozambique bring hope – but also despondency. Yet there is also the possibility of redemption, of building new lives for the victims of war. In its final chapters, Fractured Lives traces the power of survival and the opportunities for new beginnings.

Fractured Lives concludes with Toni’s return to South Africa after nearly three decades in exile. However, the joy following the demise of apartheid is tempered by the poignancy of returning to a place that for so long had existed in her dreams alone and the realization that home will forever lie somewhere else.

Praise for Fractured Lives:
“An eye opener! Not much is known about what transpired on the ground in our neighbouring countries during apartheid. This memoir tears into your comfort zone by means of the crackling story behind fluent documentaries on these places and times. Some of the details make your hair stand on end!” Antjie Krog

“It gave me a powerful sense of life in the Frontline States: the difficulties as well as the pleasures at a moment when the future of South Africa was still in the balance. At the same time it highlighted the emotional experiences of a woman facing her own challenges in the male world of documentary filmmaking. Toni Bernstein has integrated complex and difficult themes into a well written and fascinating account of her unique experiences in a time of personal and social conflict.” Lesley Doyal Emeritus Professor of Health Studies – University of Bristol

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The Small Publishers’ Catalogue, Africa, 2013 project featured in Publishing Perspectives

2013 has gotten off to a good start with the feature about The Small Publishers’ Catalogue, Africa, 2013 project in Publishing Perspectives. Only 8 days to go on the Indiegogo Campaign to raise some of the money necessary to pull the project together I’m hoping that the feature in Publishing Perspectives will energise the campaign into meeting our modest target of USD3000.

African Books Collective, Bookslive, Porcupine Press, NELM, Deep South, the Rhodes University MA, Judy Croome, Helen Moffett, Black Letter Media and quite a few others have taken out advertising space in the Catalogue. We are looking to double if not treble the listings. If you want to list or advertise, don’t hesitate to contact me .

And while earlier editions were very much South Africa oriented, the 2013 version is designed to be much more comprehensive. In addition, Higgs adds that, “my dream is to be able to compile a list of African literary magazines and to publish some new articles that will be of interest and value to publishers and to writers and others in the book world in Africa and to those interested in books in Africa.

Read the full article in Publishing Perspectives by clicking here

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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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Get into BED with 10 Cape Town writers at The Book Lounge

The Bed Book of Short StoriesCome along tonight to the BED Book of Short Stories event at the Book Lounge. Ten Cape Town writers will be there, reading short excerpts from their stories.

Tonight’s party will be a lot of fun and the celebration of a special book in which 30 writers from various parts of southern Africa are featured. Come along and join in the fun.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 26 August 2010
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, corner of Roeland and Buitenkant streets, Cape Town
  • Guest Speaker: Helen Moffett will be eM Ceeing the event
  • Refreshments: Surprise Bed Time snacks and Leopard’s Leap wine
  • RSVP: The Book Lounge,, 021 462 2425

Book Details

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Bed Book of Short Stories rocks Love Books in Jozi

The Bed Book of Short StoriesFacebook is full of pictures and “love” comments about last night’s Bed Book launch. The Bed Book was one of Modjaji’s first projects, it took two years+ to come to fruition and the events around the country and into Namibia and Botswana too are joyous occasions so far of writers meeting each other, forming connections, reading stories, and generally having a good time. All the books that Kate Rogan of Love Books ordered in for last night’s event were sold. All the wine was drunk and new friendships were made (from what I can gather). Thanks to Nia Magoulianiti_McGregor for taking the initiative and organising the launch and to all the writers who were there, thanks for your stories and for being there. The Arts and Culture Trust generously sponsored the publication of this book.

Bed Book LaunchThe Bed Book launch in JoziThe Bed Book of Short Stories

Book details

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A Bevy of Bed Book launches

The Bed Book of Short StoriesThe Bed Book of Short Stories has already been welcomed into the world with two events, one was a small charming affair at the Franschoek Literary Festival.

The second event was on the 20th July in Windhoek. On Wednesday morning I got this wonderful email from Sylvia Schlettwein, a contributor to the collection, who lives in Windhoek. Her own story in the collection is called: ‘To Own A Bed’.

The reading/launch of the Bed Book of Short Stories yesterday evening was a great success! The Book Den was packed (although there was another book launch elsewhere the same evening), the 20 books we had were sold out and more were ordered, my reading went down very well and generally the feeling was one of “we want more!” Everyone who bought a book wanted it signed and I was even approached by another bookstore to possibly do another.

After I was introduced by Erika von Wietersheim, a fellow Namibian writer and journalist, I talked about the book (and Modjaji) and then read excerpts from “The Outsider” ( Isabella Morris), “A Capable Wife” ( Rita Engelbrecht Britz) and “In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata” ( Lauri Kubuitsile). I then went on to read my story, “To Own a Bed”. I was overwhelmed, almost embarrassed, by the huge applause I/we got afterwards…

I posted Sylvia’s good news on Facebook and Jane Katjavivi wrote this in response:

I woz there! It was a great launch. Sylvia is right, there was a very positive response from a wide range of booky people. The gluhwein (mulled wine to those of you who are not of Namibian German descent) mellowed us all. Sylvia read well, enticing us with well chosen extracts of very different stories, and she read her own story very well, which is not always easy. A great step forward for Modjaji in Windhoek. Proud to be associated with this group of wonderful women – publisher and authors! Got back home and straight into a hot bath with the book. Now there’s a thought for another themed collection of stories…

Sylvia has promised pictures, but still it doesn’t end there – Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor has taken the initiative and organised a celebratory event in Jozi on the 4th August at Love Books in Melville. All the Joburg contributors will be there reading their stories, they are Nia herself, Arja Salafranca, Novuyo Rose Tshuma, Karabo Moleke, Jayne Bauling who lives in White River might be able to get there, and Rita Britz who lives at Val in Mpumalanga (near Greylingstad) will also be there. Isabella Morris is in Egypt currently so she won’t be at the Joburg launch.

Lauri Kubuitsile and Gothataone Moeng from Botswana are planning an event in Gaborone in August, watch this space for details.

And last but not least, the Book Lounge (in Cape Town) will be hosting a Beddish event on the 26th August at the usual time. Cape Town contributors Sarah Lotz, Liesl Jobson, Marina Chichava (from Mozambique but in Cape Town currently), Ginny Swart, Joanne Hichens (editor and contributor), Erika Coetzee, Bronwyn McLennan, Luso Mnthali, Pamela Newham, Rose Richards, Helen Walne and Anne Woodborne will be there to raise high the roofbeams. It should be a fun evening and there may even be a real Bed present. More of that later. Unfortunately for us Rosemund Handler will be in the United States at the time.

Oh yes and three contributors are in London at present Margot Saffer, Melissa Gardiner and Ellen Banda-Aaku – they are plotting some kind of event in London.

I hope the Arts and Culture Trust are as pleased as I am, with the way The Bed Book has been taken up and is being celebrated. It was thanks to ACT that the book saw the light of the day as they provided funding towards the publication of the book. Who says dreams don’t come true?

Book details

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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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