Celebrate Women’s Month with Modjaji
Every month is Women’s month at Modjaji, of course, but in keeping with the calendar: This Women’s Month, we’re offering free delivery on all orders over R400 placed through our online store. Simply place your order and then enter the coupon code WM2021 at the checkout.
Keep an eye on our social media as we will be having giveaways on Women’s Day and some other surprises.
Recommended reads for Women’s Month:
Of course, all Modjaji titles are brilliant reads, suitable for Women’s Month and any month, but there are some we’d like to shine a particular spotlight on for the occasion…
The A to Z of Amazing South African Women by Ambre Nicholson offers an overview of 25 plus strong and inspiring women from South Africa’s past and present, complete with colourful illustrations. From Caster Semenya to Thuli Madonsela, this is a book about women who ask too many questions, who defy injustice, who refuse to “know their place”. Aimed at ages 9 – 14 but is a beautiful resource for all ages. Buy it for yourself, your daughter, your son, your coworker, your mother, or your enemy! Available for R300 on our website. Only a limited number are left.
I’m The Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh, a prescient, page-turning, and tender memoir that analyses the South African rape crisis through the lens of Michelle’s personal experience of being raped on the night she submitted her thesis on the same topic.
This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the many women in South Africa who are raped every day. Buy I’m The Girl Who Was Raped for R240.
Lindiwe Nkutha’s debut short story collection, 69 Jerusalem Street, takes us through the minds of people you may overlook on an ordinary day: The wayward neighbour you vaguely remember seeing every day as a child until the day he vanished, the young woman who is caught between her faith and her love for another woman, and more.
Nkutha’s words weave in and around the weights we drag behind us from one place to another, with a sensitivity and wit required for such vulnerabilities and intimate moments. Buy 69 Jerusalem Street for R220.
The Modjaji short story and poetry anthologies respectively, Fool’s Gold, edited by Arja Salafranca, and The Only Magic We Know, edited by Marike Beyers. These anthologies collect over a decade’s worth of Modjaji writers work into single volumes, spanning a near-inexhaustible range of topics and themes and offering an archive of local women’s voices and experiences.
Authors include Sarah Lotz (internationally best selling author), Lauri Kubuitsile, Makhosazana Xaba, Meg Vandermerwe, Arja Salafranca, Wame Molefhe, Jolyn Phillips, Karin Schimke, Katleho Kano Shoro, Kerry Hammerton, Khadija Heeger, Makhosazana Xaba, Malika Ndlovu, and more.
You’re invited: Aoife Lennon-Ritchie on the do’s and dont’s of approaching a literary agent
How do you get a literary agent? What do literary agents even do, and why do you need one? How does agenting work in South Africa? What kind of titles are agents looking for?
Join Modjaji Books and Aoife Lennon-Ritchie for a seminar on the do’s and don’ts of approaching a literary agent.
The Lennon-Ritchie agency is a literary agency based in Cape Town. The agency represents a select group of international writers of literary and commercial fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature. Their award-winning books include 2019 Sunday Times Fiction Prize winning The Theory of Flight by Gloria Siphiwe Ndlovu (Penguin Random House SA; Catalyst Press US), winner of the 2020 SALA awards and the 2020 Humanities and Social Sciences best novel award, Lacuna by Fiona Snyckers (Picador Africa; Europa Editions US, UK), and more. Their acclaimed YA authors include Maya Fowler (Elephant in the Room, Kwela) and Helen Brain (The YA Elevation/Fiery Spiral Trilogy, NB Publishers SA; Catalyst Press US).
The Lennon-Ritchie agency also sells International and film rights for publishing houses including Penguin Random House South Africa, Pan Macmillan South Africa, Jonathan Ball Publishers, and Duck Creek Press, New Zealand.
In addition, Aoife Lennon-Ritchie is also a managing partner, along with David Kayser, of Torchwood, a literary agency for film and television representing screenwriters, directors, and producers worldwide. With roots in London and Dublin and offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, they offer their international clients unparalleled access to the global screen industries.
Time: 6pm South African time
Date: Wednesday 18 August
Where: Online via Zoom – attend from anywhere in the world!
Cost: R300 or purchase any Modjaji title in the month of August. Send us POP and we’d love you to post a picture of the book to social media and tag us.
We’ll send you the Zoom link on the day.
Pay via Yoco
Karen Jennings’ An Island makes the longlist for the 2021 Booker Prize
We’re supremely excited to see a local title, An Island by Karen Jennings, on the 2021 Booker Prize longlist. Huge congrats to Karen!
We’re very proud to be associated with her; Karen interned for Modjaji in 2011, and then went on to edit many of our titles, including Bom Boy by Yewande Omotoso, Witch Girl by Tanvi Bush, and The Blacks of Cape Town by CA Davids.
You’re invited: A special Modjaji seminar with Karen Jennings
Karen Jennings and Colleen Higgs, publisher at Modjaji Books will be in conversation about Karen’s recent Booker Prize nomination for An Island, her writing life, and her plans for the future. We are thrilled with Karen’s nomination for the Booker Prize and are bursting with pride at our association with her, and waiting for the shortlist announcement with great anticipation
Karen has had a distinguished writing career, An Island is her third novel, published by Holland House internationally and Karavan Press in SA. She has also had a memoir, a short story collection and a poetry collection published. Her writing has received numerous awards and accolades and she has participated in a number of writers’ residencies.
She has a PhD in Creative Writing and is currently working on a second one in History, at the University of Johannesburg. Karen currently lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She worked as an intern for Modjaji in 2011, and continued to work with us a freelance editor.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join this Zoom conversation. You need to either pay R300 by using this link.
OR by purchasing a Modjaji title in August and sending us proof of purchase. We will send the Zoom link on the day of the event.
Date: 1 September 2021
Time: 6pm South African time
Where: Online via Zoom
The School Gates shines bright
We’re so proud to have published Fiona Snyckers’ latest novel, The School Gates, which has been received extremely well.
The Roodepoort Record named The School Gates “the perfect book club read”, in the glowing company of How To Save A Life by Eva Carter.
Pippa Hudson interviewed Fiona on Cape Talk, where Pippa shares that the book left her “laughing out loud” at some sections, and Fiona talks about how she crafted the main character, Ella, and where she gets her ideas. Journalist and writer Nancy Richards also interviewed Fiona for the Women’s Zone podcast, and Fiona spoke to Sue Grant-Marshall on the Reading Matters podcast, too.
In July, Fiona also hosted a writing webinar, in collaboration with Modjaji Books, on how to write a page-turning novel. Fiona covered topics such as using mini cliffhangers to generate tension and pace, building complex characters, and more.
If you missed it, you can still access the recording for the fee of R300 or by sending us proof of purchase for a copy of the book. Simply email us at email@example.com. Participants said that the webinar was “Very interesting and fabulous food for thought” and that Fiona gave “Fab advice”.
You’re invited: Exclusive Books and Modjaji launch The School Gates by Fiona Snyckers
Keep an eye on social media, as we’ll be launching The School Gates in August at Exclusive Books Melrose Arch. Fiona will be in conversation with Kate Sidley. Fiona will be available to sign books! More information to follow.
New and forthcoming from Modjaji
A new month means new books from your favourite local independent feminist publisher. This month, we’re proud to be bringing out Sally Partridge’s latest YA novel, The Girl Who Chased Otters, Uvile Ximba’s debut novel Dreaming in Colour, the 2021 African Small Publishers Catalogue edited by Colleen Higgs and Aimee-Claire Smith, and more. All titles are available for pre-order on our website.
The Girl Who Chased Otters by Sally Partridge
The Girl Who Chased Otters is a heartwarming, young adult novel by Sally Partridge. It is a sensitive tale of friendship, young love and acceptance set in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.
A keen observer of human behaviour, Nathan has never cared about fitting in, but when Olivia asks for his help becoming popular, he can’t refuse. But as she is swept into a world of gossip and bullying, they must both question what they really want. A story about friendship and falling in love. Pre-order now.
An invaluable reference book for publishers or anyone interested or in any way involved in the African book/publishing/literary scene, or writers looking for a publisher. Lists a wide range of over 60 small and independent publishers in countries from around Africa. The catalogue also contains articles about publishing the indie way, book-making in the time of COVID-19, and more.
Includes publishers from South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Senegal, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Nigeria, the United States, Canada, Togo, Mozambique, Morocco, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Algeria, Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia. Pre-order here.
In her debut novel, Dreaming in Colour, Uvile Ximba explores with subtlety, humour and probing insight the connections between the joyful reclaiming of pleasure and the healing of buried traumas.
As students at university in Makhanda during the #RUReferenceList campaign, Langa and her lover Khwezi have a passionate and complex relationship. Puzzling gaps in her memory haunt Langa, yet her dreams are vivid with colours and symbols that hint at a nightmare of forgotten violations and losses. So many secrets — and Langa has had enough of secrets and silences. Who can she turn to? Her mother? Her grandmother? Khwezi? Or herself?
Dreaming In Colour is Langa’s story of coming out to herself, of discerning the history behind the closed door of conscious memory. Pre-order on our website.
Creative Conversations: Celebrating Twenty-one years of the Mothertongue Project edited by Sara Matchett and Alex Halligey
Creative Conversations is a celebration of 21 years of the Mothertongue Project. It weaves together the reflections of a group of artists, scholars and writers who have journeyed with the organisation over the last two decades.
Since its inception in 2000 with What the Water Gave Me, the Mothertongue Project has used participatory, integrated arts methods to create theatrical works that strive for personal and collective dialogue and healing in South Africa.
In poetry, scholarly writing and transcribed oral conversations, the contributors now think and feel their way through the aspirations and achievements – and the alchemy – of the Mothertongue Project’s work. Accompanied by photographs of performances from across the 21 years, this book provides a sense of what a Mothertongue theatre piece does: it draws audience and performers into transformative, embodied conversations. Pre-order here.
Modjaji poets at the National Arts Festival
This year the popular and wonderful national Arts Festival was held, like so many events in our interesting times, online. Several Modjaji poets pulled through: Marike Beyers (How to Open The Door and The Only Magic We Know), Crystal Warren (Predictive Text) and Jeannie Wallace McKeown (Fall Awake) all did readings.
Liz Gowans, who does design work for us and worked on, among others, between the apple and the bite by Sue Woodward and Colleen Higgs’s memoir, my mother, my madness (deep south, 2020), also did a reading.