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Archive for the ‘short stories’ Category

Sold out all over: Tjieng Tjang Tjerries by Jolyn Phillips causing ‘good problems’ for Modjaji Books

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Jolyn Phillips’s first book, Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories is causing waves for Modjaji Books and for her and in all kinds of ways.

There are lots of firsts associated with this book. It was selected for Homebru by Exclusive Books and it wasn’t even a book that we submitted – because short stories. It’s a collection of short stories by a debut author.

As far as we know it is the first literary book to come out of Gansbaai.

The launch at The Book Lounge was packed and all copies of Tjieng Tjang Tjerries sold out.

Jolyn appeared at the Franschhoek Lit Fest this year on a panel with Deon Meyer, Rahla Xenopoulos and Darrel Bristow-Bovey. Fabulous, talented and celebrated as the three other panelists are, for me Jolyn stole the show. All her books were sold out at Franschhoek too. These are good problems for a new writer and her publisher to have.

Jolyn Phillips and Tjieng Tjang Tjerries are part of #HomeBru at Exclusive Books

A photo posted by Colleen Higgs (@colleenhiggs) on

 
There was an interview with Jolyn in the Mail & Guardian (click here to read the whole interview).

This is what Jolyn says about writing in the short story form:

“Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. I find that one should just write your truth and your stories will mould into the shape they need. I had 13 different lives and, although from the same cloth of landscape, they wanted to be given a moment that was only theirs.

Believe me, I tried making them poetry. I even tried to make it a novel but my characters taught me that everything is character. Language is character. Landscape is character. I tried to tell my characters what to do and they took the pen from my hand, pushed me aside and wrote themselves.”

She was also interviewed for Glamour, where I was interested in her list of favourite books.

The first review that the collection got was a BIG, RAVE review in the Cape Times (click for larger image):

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Jolyn Phillips’ language is highly original, a vibrant English, full of colloquialisms and Afrikaans too, making it challenging for those who are not fluent in both English and Afrikaans. See the review below by Jay Heale for BookChat.

TJIENG TJANG TJERRIES & other short stories by Jolyn Phillips (Modjaji Books 2016)

You need to be strongly bilingual (which I am not) to capture the rich flavour of the coarse, colourful Gansbaai patois. I’m not sure why the author has chosen to put most of this in English, as I’m sure that the real Gansbaai residents talk mostly Afrikaans with racy, rude, frequently funny additions of their own. Without doubt, this is a bold piece of adventure into language with an utterly Overberg flavour.

If you would like to read a couple of the stories, they were published online at:

Aerodrome and

Books LIVE!

Here’s a radio interview with Tamara LePine on Classic FM:


 

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to a Gansbaai launch in July. Phillips is a young writer to keep an eye on!

Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories

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Modjaji authors at the 2016 FLF

The 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival is around the corner. And we’re delighted that a number of new and more established Modjaji authors are taking part. We have three writers who live abroad participating, they are Charlotte Otter (Karkloof Blue) coming from Heidelberg in Germany, Isobel Dixon (Bearings) from London and Eliza Kentridge (Signs for an Exhibition) from Wivenhoe in the UK.

BearingsKarkloof BlueCheck out the programme and book your tickets soon, you don’t want to be disappointed.

Karin Schimke, award-winning poet and books editor (Bare & Breaking) is chairing a number of sessions.
Sindiwe Magona is one of the celebrities of the festival, and will be specially honoured this year. We published her poetry collection, Please Take Photographs. Wendy Woodward, poet and English Literature academic (The Saving Bannister), will be there.

Poet and performer, Khadija Heeger (Beyond the Delivery Room) is also on the programme.

Beverly Rycroft, poet and novelist, is also on the programme (missing).

Jolyn PhillipsTjieng Tjang TjerriesAnd the last Modjaji writer on the programme is Jolyn Phillips, whose wonderful new book, a collection of short stories, which we have heard has made it onto the Exclusive Books’ Homebru promotion, Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories is on a panel on Sunday at 1.00 with Deon Meyer, Rahla Xenopolous, chaired by Darrel Bristow Bovey.

There are two award announcements on the weekend of the Franschhoek Lit Fest. They are both on Saturday evening. The first is the Ingrid Jonker, two of our Ingrid Jonker past winners are on the festival programme, Karin Schimke and Beverly Rycroft. We have a couple of poets who are contenders for this year’s award: Elisa Galgut (The Attribute of Poetry) and Christine Coates (Homegrown).

And for this year’s Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize long list, we have Fiona SnyckersNow Following You. The shortlist of five will be announced on Saturday night during the FLF.

Bare and BreakingBeyond the Delivery RoomMissingBearingsPlease, Take PhotographsSigns for an Exhibition
Karkloof BlueTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesA Saving BannisterThe Attribute of PoetryHomegrownNow Following You

Book details


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Book Launch: Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories by Jolyn Phillips

Tjieng Tjang Tjerries
Modjaji Books and The Book Lounge are delighted to invite you to the launch of Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & Other Stories by Jolyn Phillips.

Last year at the Franschoek Literary Festival, I heard Shado Twala talking to Jolyn Phillips, a session was over, they were sitting next to each other, and I overheard them. I think Jolyn had just been reading or was part of something that Shado had seen her do. I got the electrical current intuitive feeling I had when I read Whiplash by Tracey Farren. I asked Jolyn if she was a writer and she said yes, she had a collection of short stories. I asked for her email and wrote to her. There is quite a bit more to this story, but in the end Modjaji got to publish the collection and I’m really excited about it. As you will see by the things that the writers who have read and love her work have said, I’m not the only one who feels thrilled by the voice of this young woman.

“An impressive debut that brings across voices never heard before in South African English – not only in rhythm and timbre, but plumbing the unspoken. With such a remarkable ear, Jolyn Philips is a young writer to watch.”
Antjie Krog

“It is rare that one encounters a debut as good as this one. Humane, humorous and completely original, these sparkling stories gives a voice to a South African community too long ignored by the literary canon. Jolyn Phillips is a gifted young writer to watch.”
Meg Vandermerwe (Zebra Crossing and This Place I Call Home)

“A most original new voice in South African literature”
Shaun Johnson (The Native Commissioner)

Jolyn Phillips

Jolyn Phillips was born and grew up in Blompark, Gansbaai on the western Cape coast. She is currently working on her PhD in Language Education at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and is a 2014 Mandela Rhodes Scholar. In 2013 she completed a Masters in Creative Writing at UWC. Since 2012, she has participated in the Open Book and the Franschoek Literary Festivals. Her writing has also been published in Aerodrome, an online literary website, an anthology This Land I Call Home (UWC CREATES) and Ghost Eater and Other Stories (Umuzi). Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories is her first book.

Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 19 April 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, corner of Roeland and Buitenkant streets, CBD, Cape Town
  • Guest Speaker: Meg Vandermerwe
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine compliments of Leopard’s Leap and snacks
  • RSVP: The Book Lounge, booklounge@gmail.com, +27 21 462 2425
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

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Melissa de Villiers flew in from Singapore to launch The Chameleon House

Melissa de Villiers was in South Africa for a week to launch her debut collection of short stories, The Chameleon House. Her book was launched at the NELM Eastern Star Museum on Friday 20th February in conversation with Anthea Garman of the Rhodes Journalism Department.
Melissa de Villiers

The Book Lounge launch was on Tuesday evening, 24th February 2015, where Melissa was in conversation with Liesl Jobson. Those who attended the launches would have been struck by Melissa’s grounded, thoughtful discussion of and engagement with her stories. She told us that one of her stories went through more than seventy drafts.

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Nyana Kakoma who is on a six week internship with Modjaji Books wrote this about Tuesday’s launch at the Book Lounge.

Looking for and finding home: A conversation With Melissa de Villiers

Nothing starts off an evening of book loving better than a glass of wine and sumptuous bites. Except a surprise email from the author’s father and sister right before the author conversation.A priceless look of surprise on Melissa de Villiers face when the Louann from the Book Lounge read an email to Melissa from “Dad and Suzie” wishing her the very best at her book launch, and we were off to a great start of the launch of her collection of short stories, The Chameleon House.

Liesl Jobson (writer and musician), who sat down in conversation with Melissa kicked the evening off with a reading of “A Letter to Bianca” from The Chameleon House. She described the characters from the stories as resilient, emerging through the chaos and recognisable by everyone.

Although she started writing seriously much later, as a shy child who felt she could not express a lot of things, Melissa turned to writing as an escape. “When I had my first child I gave myself permission to write. I wanted my child to know these stories before the memories started to fade,” she explained. While some writers start their stories with a theme or character, it is images that endlessly bothered her that we have to thank for this collection. In trying to understand why they bothered her so much, she wrote a collection that has been described as, “a tough, sharp collection of stories offering unexpected glimpses of a changing country” by fellow writer, Romesh Gunesekera.

The question of looking for and finding home is a running theme in the stories that had to be discussed. Melissa, who is South African, has lived in London and now lives in Singapore, sometimes wonders what it would feel like if she had not left South Africa. “So this collection is almost like a love letter to this place that I left.” It made sense then, that when an audience member asked Melissa whether she tried getting published elsewhere, Melissa said, “I came first and only to Modjaji. It was important to me that my book gets published here.”

On the editing process, Melissa thanked her editor Andie Miller who at times had to cut the umbilical cord when Melissa could not let go of a story even after writing 70 drafts of it.

Before the question and answer session, Liesl pointed out that Melissa has perfected the art of ending stories. She compared it to an Eskom power cut while you are running on the treadmill and end up being flung forward. You would have to read Melissa’s collection to see what she means.

The Chameleon House

For more photos of the launches in Grahamstown and Cape Town click here

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The Chameleon House


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Grahamstown launch of The Chameleon House at Eastern Star Museum

The Chameleon HouseThe National English Literary Museum and Modjaji Books are delighted to invite you the launch of The Chameleon House, a debut collection of short stories by Melissa de Villiers. Anthea Garman of the Rhodes Journalism Dept will be in conversation with Melissa de Villiers. Join us for a glass of wine and lively discussion at the launch of this brilliant collection of short stories.

James Whyle (The Book of War) says this:
“Melissa de Villiers has a way with endings. Her stories, as is the case with Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff, are bigger on the inside.”

Makhosazana Xaba (Running and Other Stories) says:

“The nine stories in this collection read like a sweet dream – they creep into your consciousness with their kaleidoscope of lives lived passionately and sometimes dangerously…”

Romesh Gunesekera says: ‘A tough, sharp collection of stories offering unexpected glimpses of a changing country.’

More about The Chameleon House:
In her finely woven collection of stories – spanning South Africa, London and Singapore – de Villiers deftly probes the ambiguities of different kinds of love and empathy as she brings a variety of people closer together in unexpected ways.

There’s the not-quite twenty-year old journalist, with the world open to her but not knowing what to do with it, who finds herself at the Baviaan’s Drift Bugle under the watchful eye of an old acquaintance of her father’s; an older woman with her young lover, caught in Johannesburg traffic during ‘load shedding’, the new leveller; and a young boy who finds a painful intimacy with his mother’s boyfriend through the beatings he receives from him. And then there are the four friends sharing a house in London, where the only thing they have in common is that they have all left home. But do they really know anything about each other?

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FIVE Modjaji titles shortlisted for 2014 SALA Awards

Makhosazana XabaC A Davids, author of The Blacks of Cape TownReneilwe Malatji Toni Strasburg giving Rusty Bernstein Memorial lectureThandi SliepenWe couldn’t be more thrilled with this year’s SALA Award Nominees’ List. We’ve got FIVE titles listed in four categories. As a small press, this is extraordinary good news for us. In past years we have had one or two nominees at most. Although our authors have gone on to win SALA Awards, so we are holding thumbs for this year. Some of our most illustrious past winners are Yewande Omotoso for Bom Boy and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers for The Everyday Wife. Yewande’s Bom Boy went on to be shortlisted for the first Etisalat Prize and Phillippa was made this year’s Commonwealth Poet!

This year we have two authors who are shortlisted for the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award, Makhosazana Xaba’s collection of stories, Running & Other Stories is on the list. AND the title story in the collection was selected as one of the 20 in Twenty best stories in English published since 1994. Xaba’s whole collection is being read on SAFM in their reading slot at 11.45 each weekday. And Khosi as she is known to her friends and fans, has also been nominated for a Mbokodo Award.

Reneilwe Malatji’s collection of stories, Love Interrupted, is also in the running for the Nadine Gordimer award. AND WE heard in the past weeks, that this collection has won the 2014 Aidoo-Snyder Award.

Toni Strasburg’s memoir about her life as a documentary film-maker in the front-line states during the apartheid years Fractured Lives is shortlisted in the Creative Non-Fiction category. CA Davids’ debut novel, The Blacks of Cape Town has been nominated in the First Time Published Author category. Davids was at the Edinburgh Festival and the Open Book Festival in the past few months. And last but not least, Thandi Sliepen has been shortlisted in the Poetry category for her debut collection, The Turtle Dove Told Me.

Here is the full list of nominees for these awards. We are delighted to see that another small, independent publisher, Dye Hard Press has three titles short-listed. Viva! Small publishers, viva!

Congratulations to all nominees and their publishers.

SOUTH AFRICAN LITERARY AWARDS 2014 NOMINEES

Poetry Award

Themba Patrick Magaisa, Mihloti ya Tingana (Xitsonga, published by TP Magaisa)
Khulile Nxumalo, Fhedzi (English, Dye Hard Press)
Kobus Moolman, Left Over (English, Dye Hard Press)
Thandi Sliepen, The Turtle Dove Told Me (English, Modjaji Books)


Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Gary Cummiskey, Off-ramp (English, Dye Hard Press)
Makhosazana Xaba, Running and Other Stories (English, Modjaji books)
Reneilwe Malatji, Love Interrupted (English, Modjaji Books)

Liesl Jobson, Ride the Tortoise (English, Jacana Media)

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award (For Young Writers)

Marli Roode, Call it Dog (English, Penguin Books)
Jason Staggie, Risk (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Jamala Safari, The Great Agony and Pure laughter of the Gods (English, Umuzi Publishing)

Creative Non-Fiction Award

Sihle Khumalo, Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Toni Strasburg, Fractured Lives (English, Modjaji Books)

First-time Published Author Award

Claire Robertson, The Spiral House (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Carol-Ann Davids, The Blacks of Cape Town (English, Modjaji Books)
James Siddall, Dystopia (English, Jacana Media)

Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Nuruddin Farah
Njabulo Ndebele

Literary Translators Award

Nhlanhla Maake, Malefane (Sesotho/English, Ekaam Books)

The Blacks of Cape Town

Book details

Love Interrupted

The Turtle Dove Told Me

Running

Fractured Lives


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Till next year in Franschoek

Arja SalafrancaKhosi XabaYewande OmotosoFor someone who spends most of her time, quietly working away at her desk and laptop at her home office, the Franschoek Literary Festival is strong medicine. Those of you who have been will know what I mean. For three days it is all about books, writers, publishers, wine, booksellers, critics, wine, prizes, books, discussions about books, wine, beer, strong drink, books, arguments, wine, poetry, poems, writers. Laughter, hugging and kissing. Did I mention the wine?

Here’s what I especially loved this year’s Franschoek festival.

Dave Ferguson, played at the launch of Carapace 100, a tribute to his dad, Gus Ferguson, the generous, snail-loving, cyclist, poet, publisher, pharmacist.

Dave Ferguson, played at the launch of Carapace 100, a tribute to his dad, Gus Ferguson, the generous, snail-loving, cyclist, poet, publisher, pharmacist.

Franschoek highlights

The free Lindt balls.
Dave Ferguson playing at the 100 issues of Carapace gig – celebrating Gus Ferguson and all his amazing work. Did I mention Dave Ferguson?
Meeting people I’d only met online before.
The glorious Autumn days.
Seeing how Yewande Omotoso has become a literary celebrity.
Seeing writers from Joburg from Joburg, Mossel Bay and Amsterdam. And lots of other places too.
Lunch with the Bookslive bloggers from the early days.
Prominent piles and shelves of Modjaji titles at the Town Hall EB pop up bookstore.
An almost EXCLUSIVEly South African BOOKStore.
Lunch at La Quartier Francais.
Bumping into lots of writers, writer friends, being introduced to people’s friends and families as “this is my publisher”.
Finding out how old Sophy Kohler is. (Your secret is safe with me).
Sharing a Rugga Basket at The Elephant and Barrel pub.
All the huggings and kissings.
I’m not going to mention names of who I saw, as I will be sure to leave people out. But it was lovely to see all of you who were there. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I loved the session with Chris Nicholson (No Sacred Cows), Edwin Cameron, Richard Calland, and Andrew Brown – Literary Lawmen. For a bunch of white men, they were pretty impressive. They blushed, they made jokes, they were earnest and thoughtful and sensitive, they were funny (different from making jokes), they deferred to each other with humour. They were amazingly bright eyed and witty for the Sunday 10am session.

They were serious and dealt with some difficult questions and topics, like the Zuma rape trial judgement (Chris Nicholson), should sitting judges write about the law, their own personal lives and positions on different issues (Edwin Cameron and Chris Nicholson).

Lowlights
The friends and writers who weren’t there.
Missing a session I’d booked to attend. (poor time-keeping, wine, lunch, food, laughter, oh dear).
Feeling sad that none of my authors were shortlisted for the Sunday Times awards this year. But feeling sadder for them, than for me.
The piles of Modjaji books that were still on the Exclusive Books pop-up store shelves on Sunday at lunchtime.
Not having a camera, dropped my phone so often and broke the camera lens … so none of my own photos.

Thank you Jenny Hobbs for the festival and the robustness of it, and to Ann Donald, Finuala Dowling and all the others who work so hard behind the scenes to make it happen.

And personally, thank you to Megadigital for managing to do a very fast reprint of some titles to meet the orders for the festival.

Till next year in Franschoek.

No Sacred Cows

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#ModjajiBooks #flf2014

Yewande OmotosoAzilaReisenbergerKarin Schimke

Catch some Modjaji authors at the 2014 Franschoek Literary Festival this May. You will get sightings, signings and maybe even meetings of/with these writers, check the programme to see what they are doing and with whom.

Phumzile Simelane KalumbaMakhosazana Xaba

All of these writers and many more will be in Franschoek, come and listen to them read, debate, discuss,and engage with each other.

Yewande Omotoso, author of Bom Boy, will be there. So will Karen Jennings (Finding Soutbek), (she’s not a Modjaji author) but both she and Yewande were short-listed for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature this year, along with No Violet Bulawayo, who won the prize.

Phumzile Simelane Kalumba, author of Jabulani Means Rejoice – Dictionary of South African Names will be there, so will poet, Khadija Heeger (Beyond the Delivery Room)

Come and meet the multi-talented Makhosazana Xaba, author of Running & Other Stories and co-editor of Queer Africa: New and Collected Stories.

Arja Salafranca, whose collection of stories, The Thin Line, we published in 2010. We’re also publishing a new collection of her poems, in collaboration with Dye Hard Press. Due out soon.

Meg Vandermerwe, first published by Modjaji Books in 2010, with her collection of stories, This Place I Call Home, has a novel out with Umuzi, Zebra Crossing.

Karin Schimke, poet – whose debut collection, Bare & Breaking was published in 2012.

Azila Talit Reisenberger‘s collection, Life in Translation was published in 2008 and was one of the first books we published. She’s since published another collection of poems and a novel.

Finuala Dowling, award-winning novelist and poet, (published mainly by Kwela and possibly Penguin) is also the editor and compiler of Difficult to Explain, is a collection of poems by various poets, and which includes an essay about teaching poetry by Finuala is published by our Hands-On Books imprint.

Christopher Nicholson, author of the collection of short stories, No Sacred Cows (also a Hands-On Books publication) will be there too.

Life in Translation Difficult to ExplainBare & BreakingNo Sacred Cows
Bom BoyJabulani means RejoiceFinding Soutbek
Queer Africa
Running
Beyond the Delivery Room


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Late summer sale on all Modjaji titles, new and old

A couple of times a year Modjaji Books has a book sale or a special offer – check this one out, and keep a small publisher afloat. We turn 7 this year, and this is one of the main ways we keep going, from your generous support in buying and reading our books. You might also want to consider buying our books for your favourite library. All the special offers include postage within South Africa. To destinations beyond SA, postage is excluded. Offer till end of March 2014. For more information about all the titles go to our website.

Don’t forget some of the titles you may not have read yet like The Blacks of Cape Town or even Whiplash by Tracey Farren (which is being made into a movie in October this year or maybe you have a friend who’s birthday is coming up and what about Bom Boy by Yewande Omotoso, the award-winning, multiple short-listed book.

These are our new titles

1000 Beautiful BraceletsNo Sacred Cows

Kholofelo Maenetsha’s debut novel To The Black Women We All Knew - will retail at R200, selling here for R180.
Christopher Nicholson’s short stories No Sacred Cows – retailing at R200, available now for R180. (A Hands-On title)
Valerie Pole’s 1000 Beautiful Bracelets – inspiring and motivational book for those who want to start a small or micro business of their own.

The Turtle Dove Told MePleasure-in-relating

Recent titles
The Turtle Dove Told Me – debut poetry by Thandi Sliepen retails at R150 – here for R120.
Pleasure-in-relating – debut poetry and memoir by Susan Groves retails at R150 – here for R120. (A Hands-On title)
The Treasure Punt by Peter Christie – a business title for those looking to be head-hunted and those that are head-hunters retails at R195, here for R170 (A Hands-On title)

All other titles are as follows
All Poetry titles R120 each (Retail for R150 on average)
All Short Story collections R140 each (Retail R150 to R180)
All Novels – R160 each (retail from R180 to R220)
All Non-fiction – R170 each (usually retail between R195 and R220)
Jabulani Means Rejoice – usually retails for R250 is available for R180 – very special offer
Small Publishers’ Catalogue, Africa 2013 is R50 – usually R150

What we need from you is your postal address and proof of payment.
Please email me at cdhiggs at gmail.com to get the banking details and to let me have your order and your postal address. Once we have all of the above we will send you the books. Couldn’t be easier.

Bom Boy

Book details

eBook options – Download now!


Whiplash


eBook options – Download now!


1000 Beautiful Bracelets

The Turtle Dove Told Me


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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)

SINGLE BOOKS

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

PACKAGE DEALS
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)

REFERENCE SPECIALS

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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