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Archive for the ‘Politics’ 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,, 041 368 1425

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
Book Details

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Launch of Now I See You by Priscilla Holmes at The Book Lounge

Priscilla HolmesNow I see you

‘A tough-cookie cop adventure, penned with a deft, light touch. Alexander McCall Smith, make space for Priscilla Holmes and her fabulous DI Thabisa Tswane!’ – Joanne Hichens

The Book Lounge and Modjaji Books are delighted to invite you to join us for the launch of Priscilla Holmes‘s new book, a crime fiction thriller, Now I See You. Tim Butcher will be in conversation with Priscilla about her racy, pacy, unputdownable krimi.

Tim Butcher has this to say about Now I See You: `A raw, raunchy thriller that interlinks remotest rural South Africa with affluent Johannesburg suburbia, asking questions of each and weaving a tale so rich and twisting that any reader will enjoy tracking it.’

‘I’m warning you, get off this case, Thabisa Tswane, otherwise you’ll die. Here’s a taste of what you’ll get.’

Armed robbery is nothing new in South Africa. But when a pair of clever and squeaky-sounding criminals go on a looting spree that rocks several small towns in the Eastern Cape, Detective Inspector Thabisa Tswane from The Eagles, the Special Violent Crimes Unit is called to work the case. There’s only one problem, one of the most important witnesses in the case is her estranged grandfather, Chief Solenkosi, who ordered her violent expulsion from the village over 10 years ago.

In another world of lunches at the Michelangelo, private game lodges and platinum cards, the rich and slick Ollis Sando smoothes his way through cocktail parties and networking meetings. He is rumoured to be in line for the presidency in the upcoming elections. But he has a dirty past, something to hide and a hostage to hide it for him.

In Now I See You Thabisa’s skills will be pushed to the limit. She will have to learn the difference between looking and seeing. And in stirring twists of fates, we’ll see that past and present blur, everything is interconnected and nothing can be assumed.

To read how Priscilla came to write this novel, what sparked her imagination, click here, on Lauren Beukes’s The Spark blog.

More about Priscilla Holmes: She was born in England and has lived in Austria, Hong Kong, Zambia, Australia and now in Cape Town, South Africa. Most of her working life was spent working as a communications consultant. Her first book, a teenage novel, The Children of Mer, was published in 2004. She runs creative writing workshops in Cape Town and has collaborated on two novels with her writing groups. She spent a lot of time in the Eastern Cape when she lived in Johannesburg, for fourteen years.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 28 October 2014
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town CBD
  • Guest Speaker: Tim Butcher
  • Refreshments: Join us for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine and snacks
  • RSVP: The Book Lounge,, 021 462 2425

Book Details
Now I See You

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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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Late summer special offer on new Modjaji titles and more!

Lots of new Modjaji titles will be heading out to bookstores and into the hands of readers everywhere soon. Here’s a great opportunity to get the books as they come out and even better – at a discount. This offer is available till the 20th February only!

Also we increasing prices on most of our titles in March, to keep up with inflation, printing price increases etc. So all our titles are available at the old price less 15% till the end of February.

Here they are:

Maren Bodenstein‘s debut novel Shooting Snakes: Recommended retail price: R200, special offer R170. In Shooting Snakes the past is a powerful and insistent presence. In the beguiling rhythms of the narrative, its carefully plotted to-and-fro chronology, lies a profound understanding of the vexed relationship between past and present. In this skilfully wrought novel, Maren Bodenstein brings to light a little-known aspect of South African history. David Medalie

Celebrated poet, Makhosazana Xaba‘s debut collection of short stories, Running and Other Stories. RRP R160, special offer R145. This collection unapologetically centres women’s voices and experiences at the same time as pushing the boundaries of what this ordinarily means. Xaba has never been content in her writing to simply present the unconventional, she re-imagines the very notion of what we expect from a short story, from a woman, from a girl. In Running and other stories, she raises the bar on what is conceivable for creative writers and imaginative readers. With the generosity of a novelist and the precision of a poet, Running and other stories is a gem of a collection. Pumla Gqola

Award winning, documentary film-maker, Toni Strasburg‘s memoir, Fractured Lives RRP R200, special offer R170. 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

Coming out together are Hester van der Walt’s English version of the very popular, fascinating & exquisitely written memoir & bread book, called Hester’s Book of Bread and a New, Revised Afrikaans edition of Hester se Brood, Both books have a RRP of R205, but are available on special offer at R170.

Debrah Nixon‘s debut novel, One Green Bottle RRP R200, special offer R170 about a woman living with mental illness, her breakdown, diagnosis, and admission to a mental institution. The telling is honest, courageous and compelling reading.

Popular performance poet, Khadija Heeger‘s long awaited collection of poems, Beyond the Delivery Room, RRP R145, special offer R120.

Modjaji Books special offer is on our new list and backlist. If you buy 5 books at once, you can choose one poetry title for free, a Valentine’s Day gift from us. Or you can pay R1000 for all 6 books (you would choose between the English and the Afrikaans version of Hester’s Book of Bread/Hester se Brood).

Email me at cdhiggs at to take advantage of this special offer.

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Grahamstown Book Launch: Swimming with Cobras by Rosemary Smith

Swimming with CobrasMr Botha When Will You Hear?

Modjaji Books and Rhodes University’s Cory Library take great pleasure in inviting you to celebrate with us the launch of Rosemary Smith’s memoir, Swimming with Cobras. Copies of Swimming with Cobras will available for cash at a special launch price of R170. (Recommended retail price is R195). Rosemary will be delighted to sign your copy of the book.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 27 March 2012
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Cory Library,
    Ground Floor, Eden Grove,
    Rhodes University,
    Grahamstown | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Judy Chalmers
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and snacks
  • RSVP:

~ ~ ~

Swimming with CobrasMore about the book:

Swimming with Cobras is a memoir about a journey to find a foothold in a foreign land grappling with its own identity, offering rare and important insight into a corner of South Africa’s past.

Rosemary Smith could never have imagined the trajectory her life would take the day she met her husband. She would find herself in Grahamstown, at a crucial point in South Africa’s struggle. Joining the Black Sash, the white, women-led anti-apartheid organisation of which she would one day become a national vice president thrust her into the middle of a country convulsing, often violently into a transition to democracy.

Praise for Swimming with Cobras:

“In providing a vivid, and highly personalised account of the activities of a few extraordinary, white, middle class women in the small towns of apartheid South Africa, this book provides a new understanding of the anti-apartheid struggle.”
- Jacklyn Cock, Professor Emeritus, University of the Witwatersrand

“The Eastern Cape, for all its rugged landscape and cruel apartheid divisions, worked its way into the heart and head of a young English social worker. Facing its challenges, she nurtured her family, threw herself into working for justice and peace, and found herself dealing with forced removals, detentions of political activists and the viciousness of the state security system. “Found herself” indeed: Rosemary Smith’s book reveals her as a woman of warmth, courage and strength.” - Mary Burton, National President of the Black Sash, 1985 to 1990

“…a biography of socialisation and struggle on South Africa’s ever-troubled Eastern Cape Frontier…written with both candour and courage… the finest modern book written about Grahamstown…” - Peter Vale, Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics, Rhodes University

Book Details

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