May newsletter: Publishing in the CoVoid
Greetings from another month of lockdown! The Modjaji Books team hopes you and your loved ones are well. Here are some distractions to keep you from going stir-crazy…
Q&A with Barbara Adair
Will, the Passenger Delaying Flight… was just about to be launched when the lockdown hit. Sadly, we had to cancel the scheduled launches for the book – a critically acclaimed exploration of 24 hours in Charles de Gaulle airport. Luckily, Africa in Words has done a lovely Q&A with the author, to tide you over until the book can be launched officially.
Read the Q&A on Africa in Words’ site
Ivan Vladislavic, an award-winning South African author, has been reading WILL and had this to say: “It’s a prescient book in that it deals with characters who get stuck in an airport terminal, and it deals with what’s happening to them there, so it’s something that suits the moment we are in.”
Tiah Beautement called WILL “delightfully weird. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it.”… “It is experimental, playful, and downright wicked.”
You can purchase WILL from our website, for our South African readers, or at any good bookstore. Like many of our titles, it can also be purchased as an ebook through African Books Collective. Please consider supporting us and ABC through this difficult time for publishers and booksellers alike.
If you’d like a taster before you buy the book, check out this excerpt as published in the Johannesburg Review of Books…
Q&A with our founder
Interested in how publishers and writers cope during lockdown? Want an insight into the functioning of Modjaji Books during this difficult period? Africa in Words’ Q&A series, “Words on the Times”, does just that with its recent interview with our founder, Colleen Higgs.
my mother, my madness
Colleen’s new book, published by Deep South, is soon to be released! This exploration of caring for an aging parent has been described as a “quiet hymn to a daughter’s wholeness of spirit despite the brokenness of her mother” (Tracey Farren).
Get a taste of the memoir through some quotes selected by Tiah Beautement.
You can pre-order by emailing Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org for R180 plus R50 courier. It will also be in all good bookstores in mid-June.
The Only Magic We Know
Poetry is an essential medicine in this period of social isolation, and what better way to get your fix than through a collection of Modjaji poets’ work? The Only Magic We Know is coming out soon and can be pre-ordered through our website.
Making Way reviewed
Joan Metelerkamp’s “poetry of breathtaking lyricism and acute, unflinching perception” (Professor Kelwyn Sole) has recently been reviewed by Karin Schimke of Not Now Darling, I’m Reading.
Karin said “There is something solemn and serious about Joan Metelerkamp’s poetry. Even the descriptions of familiar, beloved, beautiful places. Her lines are uneven, chopped in odd places, repetition takes place not just within poems, but across poems, across collections. I don’t know how to say why I find it so compelling. It is demanding. It demands my full attention, my own earnestness. This is not messing-about-poetry. I have three of her eight collections and after reading this one, her latest, I wish I owned them all. I wish I could track her full poetic life. Making Way is a deeply moving collection about home, changing homes, longing for home. The poems towards the end of the collection — which deal with the total erasure of a home — are devastating.”
Tydskrif vir Letterkunde reviews
We’ve had some fabulous reviews on two of our recent publications from reviewers at Tydskrif vir Letterkunde! Here’s what they had to say…
Jennie Reznek’s I Turned Away and She Was Gone
“a thematically layered tale about women (and the bodies that make them) and the necessity of surrendering into a seeming paradox of vulnerability and strength.” – Chris Broodryk
Karin Cronje’s There Goes English Teacher
“The confessional narrative takes the reader inside the very workshop of identity, offering glimpses of the self’s doing and undoing.” – Hanike Froneman
Outside the Lines gets a shout-out from CrimeReads!
Ameera Patel’s Outside the Lines, published overseas by Catalyst, has been selected by CrimeReads as one of their most anticipated crime books of 2020! Says Senior Editor Molly Odintz, “In this coke-fueled thrill-ride through the underworld of Joburg, characters face difficult decisions and try to find some humanity, even as the quest for money and the need to meet family expectations tear them apart. South Africa is one of the great hot spots for crime fiction these days, and we can’t wait to see more from Ameera Patel.”