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:

In Association with the Aspen New Voices Fellowship

Follow Sisonke on Twitter

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GREEN LION BY HENRIETTA ROSE-INNES OUT IN THE UK TODAY And catch her at Edinburgh International Book Festival!

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GREEN LION by Henrietta Rose-Innes is published in the UK today by Aardvark Bureau, who published her prize-winning NINEVEH last year. This masterful novel, published in South Africa by Umuzi and in France by Editions Zoe, has already drawn much praise and received a 5-star review from Lara Feigel in the Telegraph this weekend. Patrick Flanery described it as ‘poignant and unsentimental, an urgent story of quiet, lurking terror’, while Ivan Vladislavić says that ‘in GREEN LION Henrietta Rose-Innes has written another extraordinary novel, lyrical, deftly plotted, and as full of life as the Ark.’

When a lion at a breeding park mauls an old school friend, Con steps in as the keeper of Sekhmet, the last remaining Cape black-maned lioness in the world. As he grows steadily more bonded to his enigmatic charge, a cult of animal lovers with obscure alchemical aims seeks to claim the lioness as their own. When she escapes, Sekhmet engulfs the city’s imagination, stirring up rumours of terror and magic and in Con’s quest to track her down, he must enter the wilderness of a cordoned-off Table Mountain – and his own dark history.

On today’s publication day readers can also catch Henrietta at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She will be talking about GREEN LION at 20:30 with author Cynan Jones at the Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre and will also take part in Amnesty International’s Imprisoned Writers series from 17:30-18:15, where readings will highlight the dangers of being a journalist on the front line. For tickets find the link here. At 18:30 on Tuesday 22 August Henrietta will be speaking at Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh. For more information see here.  For London readers Belgravia Books will launch GREEN LION on 5 September.

More praise for GREEN LION:
'Beautifully written, with prose that is mixed with poetry and power GREEN LION has sent me off looking for more work by Henrietta Rose-Innes.' – Paul McVeigh

'What’s being explored, and it’s a theme that feels oddly neglected in contemporary fiction, is the relationship between humans and animals and with nature more generally…[Henrietta uses these lions as] a lens in which to examine her country’s history as a troubled moment… In Rose Innes’s hands, the beast becomes less a political symbol than a personal one… This is a novel that is unafraid of symbolism but manages not to seem heavy handed… If there is an inner Lion in us all, as Rose Innes seems to suggest, her prose weaving between muscular and lyrical, is well equipped to capture what this might feel like… The question for [Rose-Innes’] characters is how to live without repressing its roar or succumbing to it fully.’ — Lara Feigel, The Telegraph, 5 star review

‘So many moments of glorious observations and beautifully rendered prose …GREEN LION is one of my favourite books of the year so far, and a journey I will certainly be taking again. On top of that, Henrietta Rose-Innes is a glorious writer who manages to write about mankind and the natural world, without taking sides.’ — Paul Dawson

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‘Rose-Inne s reveals an unflinching embrace of the messiness of human and animal life, and their troubled interactions … the depth of Rose-Innes' characterisation makes GREEN LION a satisfying read.’ – The Book Bag

‘In GREEN LION Henrietta Rose-Innes has written another extraordinary novel, lyrical, deftly plotted, and as full of life as the Ark. In the Cape Town of her imagination, a place both utterly strange and eerily familiar, wildness is always pressing up against the fence. The ‘animal’, she suggests, is not just out there but in here, shaping what we do and say, embedded in language itself like a stubborn gene.’ – Ivan Vladislavić

Praise for Henrietta Rose-Innes
'Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.' – Leon de Kock, Sunday Time

‘Henrietta Rose-Innes is a master of the beautifully thought-out metaphor. Her prose is elegant and liquid.’ – Cape Times

 About Henrietta Rose-Innes
Henrietta is the author of four novels and one book of short stories. She was winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2008 (for which she was shortlisted in 2007), the PEN Short Story Prize 2007, and awarded the Runner-Up prize for her short story 'Sanctuary' at the BBC International Short Story Awards 2012. Her novel, NINEVEH, was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Fiction Prize (South Africa), the M-Net Prize 2012 and won the Francois Sommer Literary Prize.

Find out more about Henrietta Rose-Innes on her  website.

Follow her on Twitter.

 

DEON MEYER STRIKES AGAIN WITH NIELSEN BOOKSELLER shortlisting FOR FEVER

The prestigious shortlist for the 2017 Nielsen Bookseller’s Choice Award was revealed on the 25th of July with Deon Meyer racking up another nomination for his latest novel, the critically-acclaimed FEVER (Afrikaans: KOORS). Meyer has been nominated twice before: in 2016 for his novel ICARUS, and in 2012 for the ground-breaking SEVEN DAYS, which won.

The Nielsen Bookseller’s Choice Award works with writers, publishers and booksellers to reward outstanding contributions to the South African literary landscape. ‘It is awarded to the book that booksellers across South Africa have most enjoyed reading, selling or promoting over the past year’. The other six books on the 2017 shortlist are: Trevor Noah’s BORN A CRIME; EMILY HOBHOUSE: GELIEFDE VERRAAIER by Elsabe Brits; MY OWN LIBERATOR by Dikgang Moseneke; JAN A BREATH OF FRENCH AIR by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen and KOOK SAAM KAAPS by Koelsoem Kamalie and Flori Schrikker. Previous winners include Frank Chikane, Tim Noakes and Blake Friedmann client Sally Andrew, for her novel RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER.

FEVER has received international acclaim and was hailed by Stephen King as reminiscent of THE STAND and THE PASSAGE. It will be published in the US in September 2017 by Grove Atlantic.
Deon was the second highest best-selling author in South Africa in 2016. His work has won the Deutsche Krimi Preis 2009 for BLOOD SAFARI, Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2003 for DEAD BEFORE DYING and Le Prix Mystère de la Critique 2004 for DEAD AT DAYBREAK, which was adapted for an Afrikaans M-Net TV series (SA). THIRTEEN HOURS was the winner of the Barry Award in the Best Thriller category 2011 and was shortlisted for the Macavity Best Mystery Novel Award. He has been shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger three times. Rights in his titles are sold in 30 territories and 28 languages and many of his books have been optioned for film. DEAD BEFORE DYING was filmed for a 6-part TV series, titled CAPE TOWN, featuring his character Mat Joubert.

Visit Deon’s website at www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

Praise for FEVER:

'UK readers, you have a nice surprise coming. No, not Brexit, FEVER, by Deon Meyer. Reminiscent of THE STAND and THE PASSAGE. Great stuff'— Stephen King
‘Wonderful writing... It is a crime thriller, but it's far more... absorbing, emotional and atmospheric... There are shades of Cormac McCarthy’s superb THE ROAD, but FEVER grips even more.’ – Marcel Berlins, The Times Book of the Month

‘This is less a mystery than a thought-provoking, post-apocalyptic examination of the human condition …With its stunning final revelation, this is a remarkable literary achievement.’ – Booklist Starred Review

‘Compelling, action-packed and fraught with emotion. At its heart it is a powerful exploration of humanity at its best and worst and bears favourable comparison with landmarks of the genre such as Stephen King's The Stand and Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Simply stunning.’ Daily Express


‘FEVER bears comparison with landmarks in the genre such as THE STAND ...The novel explores humanity at its best and worst; the crushing loss of civilisation with everything that means for the structure of society...This great book asks us to reflect on our own hidden natures - how would we react if the world we knew came to an end tomorrow?’ — Vaseem Khan, author of The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

‘FEVER is one of the best books of the year. Deon Meyer is a masterful writer and has created a stunning epic that brims with emotion. The mystery, thrills, and action kept me riveted to every page. Highly recommended.’ — Adam Hamdy, author of Pendulum

Praise for Deon Meyer:
‘Deon Meyer is not just South Africa’s greatest crime writer, he’s up there with the best in the world.’ — Marcel Berlins, The Times
‘A master on vintage form… He is a defining novelist of modern South Africa.’ – Barry Forshaw, Books of the Year 2012, Independent

‘Deon Meyer is one of the best crime writers on the planet.’ – Mail on Sunday

‘I’ve been reading a new book by Deon Meyer, a South African, writer of crime fiction,
‘Deon Meyer's name on the cover is a guarantee of crime writing at its best.’ — Tess Gerritsen

‘Deon Meyer is a top notch plotter and has created one of the best ensemble (and multi-racial) casts of any modern police procedural series.’ — Shots magazine

‘Crime fiction with real texture and intelligence.’ — Independent

 

LITTLE SUNS by Zakes Mda WINS THE SUNDAY TIMES FICTION PRIZE

LITTLE SUNS by acclaimed South African writer Zakes Mda has won the country’s Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize 2017. The prize seeks to showcase “writing of rare style and imagination, stories that chose the personal over the political, and themes that are fresh and provocative.” This is the second time that Zakes Mda has won this premier national prize, having won the inaugural award in 2001 for HEART OF REDNESS.

The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize was decided by a judging panel consisting of radio personality Africa Melane and Love Books founder Kate Rogan, chaired by journalist and author, Rehana Rossouw. The judges said that LITTLE SUNS was a “novel of rich, magical African imagery.” They applauded Mda for “bringing history to glorious life, in writing that is unique to him.” ‘Zakes Mda is on song with this book,” said one judge, “it brings people from our past gorgeously to life.’

You can read the full text of Zakes’ Mda’s powerful acceptance speech here about the important role of fiction in finding truth and fighting corruption: “The truth of fiction can give context and shed new insights on the stories unearthed by your investigative reporting. It gives them longevity and digestibility. Fiction is even more essential in this age when shamelessness and impunity among the ruling elite and ‘corruption fatigue’ in the populace are leading South Africa to perdition.”

LITTLE SUNS begins in 1903. A lame and frail Malangana – 'Little Suns' – searches for his beloved Mthwakazi after many lonely years spent in exile. Mthwakazi was the young woman he had fallen in love with twenty years earlier, before the assassination of Magistrate Hamilton Hope began a war that ripped the two of them apart.

Intertwined with Malangana's story is the account of Hope – a colonial magistrate who, in the late nineteenth century, was undermining the local kingdoms of the Eastern Cape in order to bring them under the control of the British. It was he who wanted to coerce Malangana’s king and his people, the amaMpondomise, into joining his battle – a scheme Malangana’s conscience could not allow. Based on real historical events – after these frontier wars were quelled, Zakes Mda’s own ancestors were exiled to Lesotho – Mda has drawn on published accounts and the oral stories of family members and local praise poets, woven together with his uniquely vigorous prose, historical insight and humour.

Umuzi published in Southern Africa, and Jacaranda Books will publish on their Global Classics list in 2018.

The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize is awarded as part of the Sunday Times Literary Awards and along with its twin prize, the Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction, is one of South Africa’s most prestigious prizes. The winner goes home with R100,000. Other shortlisted books included Kopano Matlwa's PERIOD PAIN and Yewande Omotoso's THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR.

Zakes Mda is one of South Africa’s pre-eminent writers, and many of his era-defining plays and novels are hailed as classics of the literary canon. He divides his time between South Africa and the U.S., working as a professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University, director of the Southern African Multimedia AIDS Trust in Sophiatown, and dramaturge at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. He is a patron of the Etisalat Prize.

Visit Zakes' website. 

Zakes on Twitter.


Praise for Zakes Mda:

‘The great South African novelist of his generation, a writer rich in both imagination and ironic political attitude.’ The Philadelphia Inquirer

 ‘A voice for which one should feel not only affection but admiration’ – New York Times

‘It’s a different kind of South African literature, a South African magical realism …I can’t wait to read more’. Barbara Kingsolver on WAYS OF DYING

‘In novel after novel, Zakes Mda seems to have cultivated a mode of writing in which the realistic and the magical co-exist with unruffled ease.’ – Harry Garuba, Independent

'Zakes Mda is among the most acclaimed exponents of a new artistic freedom. His fiction has a beguiling lyricism and humour.' – Maya Jaggi, The Guardian

ICARUS by Deon Meyer in the USA – and the rise of FEVER

ICARUS, the number one bestseller by Deon Meyer, is out now in paperback in the USA from Grove Atlantic. Translated into English by K.L. Seegers, ICARUS shot to the number one position in the South African charts after its release in Afrikaans, and was shortlisted for the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award. The fifth (and what The Times describes as the best) of Meyer’s Benny Griessel series, ICARUS is a breathlessly-paced crime novel rich in in character and its setting against the backdrop of the South African wine industry.

ICARUS is published in the US with Grove Atlantic, and has also been sold in South Africa, the UK, Holland, France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Norway, Spain and Sweden, with Deon’s books sold in more than 27 countries overall.

After 602 days dry, Captain Benny Griessel of the South African police services can't take any more tragedy.  So when he is called in to investigate a multiple homicide, it pushes him close to breaking point – a former friend and detective colleague has shot his wife and two daughters, then killed himself. Benny wants out – out of his job, his home and his relationship with his singer girlfriend, Alexa. He moves into a hotel and starts drinking. Again.

But Benny's unique talent is urgently required to help investigate another crime – the high profile murder of Ernst Richter, MD of a new tech start-up, Alibi, whose body is discovered buried in the sand dunes north of Cape Town. Alibi is a service that creates false appointments, documents and phone calls to enable people to cheat on their partners. It has made Richter one of the most notorious people in South Africa. Can Benny pull together the strands of his life in time to catch the killer?

Deon Meyer’s thrilling standalone novel FEVER was recently published in South Africa in Afrikaans (titled KOORS) by Tafelberg. A gripping, epic narrative of survival in a world struck by ‘The Fever’, with the mystery of a murder as well, it also raced to Number One in Afrikaans where it topped the lists for 6 weeks, and has remained in the Top Ten for more than ten weeks. See more on Deon Meyer’s site here.

FEVER will be published in May 2017 in the Netherlands and June 2017 in the UK and Deon Meyer will also be writing the gift book for the 2017 Crime & Thriller book weeks in the Netherlands. Previous authors selected include Stephen King, Dick Francis and Ian Rankin.

Praise for ICARUS

‘Deon Meyer is one of the best crime writers on the planet.’ – Mail on Sunday

‘South African author Deon Meyer's Benny Griessel series is one of the high points of contemporary crime fiction, and the fifth title, ICARUS, is his best yet... expertly engineered.’ – Laura Wilson, The Guardian

‘Don’t be surprised if you start to see gaggles of foreigners on the city’s streets clutching well-thumbed paperbacks and talking darkly of murder and mayhem. Such is the growing popularity overseas of Deon Meyer... the tight structure of the novels, which weave simultaneous narrative strands in punchy gobbets of action and suspense are also very filmic.’ – Tim Butcher, Cape Argus

‘A master on vintage form… He is a defining novelist of modern South Africa.’ – Barry Forshaw, The Independent

About Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer lives in Cape Town. His books are published in 27 countries, and have been awarded many prizes around the world: the Deutsche Krimi Prize in Germany, the ATKV Prize in South Africa, and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and Le Prix Mystère de la Critique in France. His novel THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA International Dagger, and HEART OF THE HUNTER, was longlisted for the 2005 IMPAC Prize and selected as one of Chicago Tribune's '10 best mysteries and thrillers of 2004'. Most recently, the spectacular COBRA was shortlisted for the 2015 CWA International Dagger.

Visit Deon’s website, or read more on the Blake Friedmann website.

Follow Deon on Twitter @MeyerDeon.