SISONKE MSIMANG’S ‘FIERCE’ MEMOIR OF EXILE, POLITICS AND HOME TO BE PUBLISHED BY WORLD EDITIONS & TEXT BOOKS

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World Editions have beaten off competition to win rights to Sisonke Msimang’s debut ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY, a ‘frank, fierce and insightful book’ inspired by the author’s global upbringing. World Editions publisher Judith Uyterlinde bought World English Language rights (excluding Southern Africa and ANZ) from Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann and will publish in the UK and the US in September 2018. Michael Heyward of Text Publishing also won an auction for ANZ rights and will publish in Australia in August 2018. Translation rights are handled by Blake Friedmann.

ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is already a bestseller in South Africa, published by Jonathan Ball, who won an earlier multi-publisher auction there. It featured in Quartz and Books Live ‘best of’ lists as one of the most popular South African books of 2017.

Sisonke is an acclaimed writer, journalist and political commentator. Her TED Talk on storytelling and what to do when a story moves you has been viewed more than one million times.

ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is a memoir of ‘soul and survival’, of a young girl’s path to womanhood, and from displacement to engagement, via many homes.  From her peripatetic childhood in a family of political exiles – from Zambia to Kenya to Canada and beyond – the book tracks formative moments in her personal and political life, including the euphoria at return to the new South Africa, the disillusionment at new political elites, and the ugly face of racism and xenophobia. ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is also an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood.

Taiye Selasi selected ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY in The Guardian as one of her favourite reads of 2017. She described it as ‘my favourite kind of memoir, so lyrical and dreamlike that it reads like a novel. It’s an artful meditation on exile and return, womanhood and motherhood unfolding against the backdrop of post-apartheid South African politics. Graça Machel writes, ‘Brutally and uncompromisingly honest, Sisonke’s beautifully crafted storytelling enriches the already extraordinary pool of young African women writers of our time.’

Judith Uyterlinde says, ‘We are thrilled to be publishing ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY.  Sisonke has an incredibly strong voice – the voice of a new generation of World Citizens. She tells a unique story that has it all: it’s intelligent, honest, moving, compelling, funny, philosophical and, above all, inspiring. The comparison with writers as Arundhati Roy and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is no exaggeration. Sisonke Msimang truly is an important author – I just love her book from the bottom of my heart.’

Michael Heyward says: 'ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is more than Sisonke Msimang’s inspiring story – it’s a bracingly honest and powerfully written account of politics and culture, family and love which describes the life of a wanderer who now calls Australia home. We have no doubt about the contribution that Sisonke can make to the Australian conversation and could not be more thrilled to be publishing her remarkable book.'
 

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More Praise for ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY

‘A lyrical and admirably subtle exploration of how elusive our place in the world is ... a reader’s delight.’ – Eusebius McKaiser

‘Sisonke Msimang kindles a new fire in our store of memoir, a fire that will warm and singe and sear for a long, long while.’ – Njabulo S. Ndebele, author of Fools and Other Stories and The Cry of Winnie Mandela

‘A brave and intimate journey. Msimang delivers a deep call for fierce courage in the face of hypocrisy and compassion when faced with our shared humanity.’ – Yewande Omotoso, author of Bom Boy and The Woman Next Door

‘If you appreciate the dance between memory, fiction, history and nostalgia (with a dash of vulnerability for good measure), ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is highly recommended.’ – Anthambile Masola, Mail & Guardian

‘ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is a chronicle of a coming of age, for both a woman and a young democracy. Sisonke Msimang is one of the celebrated voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously, sometimes deeply movingly.’ – Essays of Africa

 
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SISONKE MSIMANG’S MUCH-ANTICIPATED MEMOIR PUBLISHED IN SOUTH AFRICA

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Today sees the launch at Cape Town’s Book Lounge of Sisonke Msimang’s frank, fierce and insightful ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY: A Memoir of Exile and Home, a book born from the author’s extraordinary global upbringing. Insightful, angry, hopeful, ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY introduces a bold new voice on feminism, race, politics and Africa. Jonathan Ball Publishers won a fierce bidding war for Southern African rights and Sisonke’s debut has already won high-level pre-publication praise:

‘Brutally and uncompromisingly honest, Sisonke’s beautifully crafted storytelling enriches the already extraordinary pool of young African women writers of our time. Sisonke, a child of the Struggle, revisits the metamorphosis of the value system embraced by the liberation movements and emerges as a powerful free spirit, nurtured by its resilient core values.’ – Graça Machel

‘Sisonke Msimang kindles a new fire in our store of memoir, a fire that will warm and singe and sear for a long, long while.’ – Njabulo S. Ndebele, author The Cry of Winnie Mandela

 ‘A brave and intimate journey. Msimang delivers a deep call for fierce courage in the face of hypocrisy and compassion when faced with our shared humanity.’ – Yewande Omotoso, author of The Woman Next Door

As Jonathan Ball Publisher Ester Levinrad said on winning the hotly contested multi-publisher auction for Southern African rights to Sisonke’s story:  ‘Once in a while you are fortunate enough to work with a writer who crystallises what makes publishing in South Africa so exciting, telling a personal story that could only have a local genesis, yet with a potential which defies borders. That is Sisonke’s story, to me – her writing helps me to make sense not only of the country but the world in which we live.’

From her peripatetic childhood in a family of political exiles – from Zambia to Kenya to Canada and beyond – Sisonke tracks formative moments in her personal and political life, including the euphoria at return to the new South Africa, the disillusionment at new political elites, and the ugly face of racism and xenophobia. But while well-known political figures appear in these pages, ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is also an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood.

Sisonke Msimang’s international childhood prepared her to be a global citizen and an eloquent warrior for social justice, while her experience as a journalist and incisive political analyst makes her vision wider than the personal – but she also has a fiction writer’s gift for vivid characterisation and dialogue, and a voice that is warm, honest and wise. ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is moving and relevant, sometimes as much generous manifesto as memoir, following the journey of a girl becoming a woman, a feminist, a campaigner, a mother and a writer.

Sisonke Msimang lives in Perth, Australia, where she is Programme Director for the Centre for Stories, a social enterprise organisation, but she travels regularly to the US, South Africa and internationally. The child of prominent political exiles during South Africa’s apartheid era, she was born in Swaziland and raised in Zambia, Kenya and Canada, before going to the US as an undergraduate. Her family returned to South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela and the unbanning of liberation movements in the early 1990s.

She has a BA from Macalester College, Minnesota, a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Cape Town, is a Yale World Fellow, an Aspen New Voices Fellow, and was Ruth First Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She regularly contributes to publications like The Guardian, The Daily Maverick, The Conversation, the Huffington Post and The New York Times. Sisonke contributed a chapter to THE TIES THAT BIND:  FRIENDSHIP AND RACE IN SOUTH AFRICA (University of Toronto Press). She recently gave an extremely popular TED Talk and narrated a story at The Moth event in New York.

 

Read and see more by Sisonke Msimang:

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