AN ISLAND by Karen Jennings published by Hogarth Books in the US

Happy US publication day to An Island by Karen Jennings!

The book arrives with great reviews:

“No plot summary can do justice to a story woven this carefully, whose strength lies in its deliberate pacing and sharp dispensation of detail. Samuel is as real as a shaking hand.”

New York Times

“Much of the story reads like an allegory, but Jennings, despite her insight, never implies that Samuel’s actions are generalizable to a nation. This is simply how isolation, humiliation and disappointment at the hands of friends, family and institutions crafted one man.”

Star Tribune

And the team at Hogarth Books shares on Instagram:

“When An Island arrived on our desks last summer, several of us here at Hogarth closed our laptops for the afternoon and read it in one sitting. It’s that kind of book–short, fable-like, written in a timeless quality that makes it feel like it’s been with us forever. And its ending–it has an ending we’ve been thinking about ever since. This is one of those books that you will turn over in your mind again and again, with no simple interpretation or single meaning, and that you will desperately want to discuss with one of your best book friends. Returning to Lydia Millet’s question: An Island is history written via literature. Don’t miss it.”

Hogarth Books

Don’t miss the comment on the post by no other than Sarah Jessica Parker:

“Oh wowza!!!!!! Can’t wait!!!’x”

The Faculty of Arts and Design at DUT conferred an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Visual and Performing Arts to Thembi Mtshali-Jones

The Faculty of Arts and Design at the Durban University of Technology conferred an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Visual and Performing Arts to the seasoned multitalented singer, actress, producer and playwright, Thembi Mtshali-Jones. The honorary degree was conferred during DUT’s second session of the 2022 Virtual Autumn Graduation ceremony on Monday, 16 May 2022. 

“In 2011 my city, eThekwini, gave me a Living Legend Award and I would like to repeat the same words I made on that night. I have been highly decorated in almost all corners of the world where I have worked. This gave me a sense of achievement and pride. However, as it kept happening, I started to feel a sense of inadequacy. I had many questions I could not answer. As it happened then, I am now sure of where that emptiness stems from, despite being showered with all manners of praises and awards. The reason-being is that: no recognition, no matter how much weight and wealth it carries, can ever beat a simple gesture, such as a Thank You from your own city and more so, by a reputable institution such as DUT,” said Mtshali-Jones, expressing her gratitude for the recognition from DUT.

DUT

To read more about the honorary degree, click here: DUT

To find out more about the remarkable and inspiring life of Dr Thembi Mtshali-Jones, please read Sindiwe Magona’s biography, Theatre Road.

THE OTHER ME by JOY WATSON launched last night at The Electric, with The Book Lounge co-hosting

Family, friends, writers and readers gathered at The Electric last night to celebrate the launch of The Other Me by Joy Watson. Our wonderful Book Lounge co-hosted. An occasion that proved once again that oceans of love can be contained in relatively small spaces. Thank you to Joy and everyone else who made the event possible!

Joy was in conversation with the wonderful Qarnita Loxton, author of the Being Series.

Mervyn Sloman of The Book Lounge said that The Other Me is the kind of debut novel that makes you want to know immediately when the next one is coming. Joy’s fans are hoping for SOON!

A magical evening. Thank you to everyone, especially Joy, Qarnita and Mervyn! And all who attended and brought so much warmth to the occasion.

A special thank you to Karavan Press authors, Cathy Park Kelly and Melissa A. Volker, one of our fabulous designers, Monique Cleghorn, and Nazreen Essack, who took Joy’s author photograph, for attending. Monique designed The Other Me and Cathy’s memoir, Boiling a Frog Slowly.

A HIBISCUS COAST by Nick Mulgrew launched at The Book Lounge

To say that I was moved would be the understatement of the last two years. Our first post-lockdown book launch at THE BOOK LOUNGE again – after more than seven hundred loss-filled days! Fittingly, it was of Nick Mulgrew’s debut novel A Hibiscus Coast, and he was interviewed by Bongani Kona. Nick is as much of a literary institutions in his own right as is The Book Lounge. So is Bongani. Between the three of them – Mervyn (and his Book Lounge team!), Bongani and Nick – they connect most of the local literary community around us in ways that are difficult to capture in a few words. I would just like to say that I do not want to imagine a world without them. They make what I do at Karavan Press possible. They give me hope when little else does. Thank you!

And thank you to all the writers and readers who showed up at The Book Lounge tonight – I cannot tell you what it meant to me to sit among you during this evening of celebration.

Nick, thank you! You are an inspiration.