C.A. Davids interviews Karen Jennings for Electric Literature

When I think about writing, I think about words as stones and the end product as being a dry-stone wall or maybe a path made with stones. That is how the word should be; a path or a wall that everyone needs and everyone can use. You’re not picking up diamonds and creating a tiara for a few. This is the basic stuff of life: words and communicating. 

Electric Literature

Click here to read the interview: Electric Literature

‘The Other Me’ by Joy Watson launched at EB Cavendish and Liberty Books

We had a full house for the EB Cavendish launch of Joy Watson’s The Other Me. Joy was in conversation with the fabulous Rebecca Davis.

This particular Exclusive Books branch is close to Joy’s heart as she has been buying books there for many years and has been reviewing new titles for the bookshop in her capacity as a Daily Maverick Lifestyle contributor and the great reader that she is. Friends of Joy’s organised beautiful live music and a blessing bowl, which allowed all present to say thank you for the good things in our lives and to let go of the burdens we carry.

Wherever she goes, Joy brings with her the emotion contained in her beautiful name. The intimate gathering at the Liberty Books launch of The Other Me was full of it. Joy was interviewed by Liberty Books’ owner, Christy Weyer.

The two amazing women spoke about the novel and Joy’s research and how the two areas of her life influence each other. The conversation was truly illuminating. It is always inspiring to listen to astute readers talk about books. The evening include Cleopatra, the resident literary cat, the book-loving Elgin/Grabouw community, Peregrine hospitality and the warmth of the fire place.

Unforgettable events! Thank you to all who made them possible and who attended.

No one wanted to leave at the end of the evening. We all wanted to stay, like Cleo, who was sad to see us go.

Can’t wait to return!

Azille Coetzee reviews ‘A Hibiscus Coast’ by Nick Mulgrew for ‘Tydskrif vir letterkunde’

A Hibiscus Coast does not simplify anything, does not try to redeem nor condemn—it complicates. It shows how much we lose when we close ourselves off to that which is strange, Other and new—whether it is at home or somewhere else. Although it resists a linear path of character growth and healing for Mary (or any of the other characters) it does offer hope; hope in connection and relation, and in the expansive power of opening oneself up to that which is unknown and outside.

Tydskrif vir letterkunde

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.