The 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?