Karavan Press to publish new editions of Nick Mulgrew’s short story collections, Stations (2016) and The First Law of Sadness (2017)


Everything was familiar,
but not enough to be comforting.

Fourteen rich and entangled stories set on the cosmopolitan Southern African coast and its hinterland.

Journey on broken-family vacations, or into canefields where clouds of birds fill the sky. Join a postman on his jaunt into the weird world of the ultra rich, or descend into a haunting colonial purgatory.

Meet people from all walks of life as they try to navigate them, stuck between a fragmented present and an unspeakable past.



“One never gets bored in the company of Nick Mulgrew.”

– Jean-Paul Beaumier, Nuit Blanche

Publisher: This edition Karavan Press

(First published in Cape Town by David Philip Publishers in 2016)

Publication date: May 2023

ISBN: 978-0-6397-7839-6


Mostly I hope there is no heaven,
just so you’ll never see how I’m doing.

Audacious, imaginative tales of killer eagles and paintball guns, tattoo removal and animal sanctuaries, pornographers and biltong makers; of a South Africa concurrently too strange and too familiar for comfort.

With trademark poetic and spiritual flair, these stories combine comedy and grief, spectacle, sex, and nostalgia.



“Full of the possible becoming probable, of the mundane made massive, of leviathans glimpsed out of the corner of an eye.”

– Russell Grant, Mail & Guardian

“An accomplished writer [who] handles both the horror and banality of experience.”

– Diane Awerbuck, Sunday Times

Publisher: This edition Karavan Press

(First published in Cape Town by David Philip Publishers in 2017)

Publication date: May 2023

ISBN: 978-0-6397-7840-2

NICK MULGREW was born in Durban in 1990. He writes novels, short fiction and poetry.

Among his accolades are the 2016 Thomas Pringle Prize, the 2018 Nadine Gordimer Award, and a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. His debut novel, A Hibiscus Coast, won the 2022 K. Sello Duiker Memorial Award.

Since 2014 he has directed uHlanga, an acclaimed poetry press. He currently lives in Scotland, where he studies at the University of Dundee.

Both covers were designed by Michael Tymbios.

Karavan Press at FLF 2023

Two Karavan Press authors are speaking about their work at this year’s edition of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF): Lester Walbrugh and Lethokuhle Msimang.

Click on the images below to book your ticket for the individual sessions.

You can buy their books in advance of the festival via the FLF website (and Exclusive Books):

Two other Karavan Press authors – Joy Watson and Nancy Richards – are chairing a few sessions:

We look forward to seeing you in Franschhoek!

LUNCHTIME LECTURE – KIM GURNEY: “Publishing as artistic practice”

Since 2015, Kim Gurney has published from arts-based research three books where contemporary art tells larger stories about the urban everyday, collective life, and social imaginaries, with a fourth in the works for 2023. These have generally focused upon ‘offspaces’ – exploring public space in Johannesburg inner-city through walking, new media and performance art; the artistic inner life of a studio building in existential limbo; the working principles of non-profit project spaces on the continent; and the invisible labours revealed by a back room institutional archive. Kim will share the processes behind assembling publications as creative outcomes which aim to perform the subject matter, and the challenges involved.

The books referenced in this talk are: The Art of Public Space: Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), August House is Dead, Long Live August House – The story of a Johannesburg Atelier (Fourthwall, 2017), Panya Routes: Independent art spaces in Africa (Motto, 2022), & Flipside – The Inadvertent Archive,which is currently in production with iwalewabooks (Bayreuth, Lagos & Jhb).

Dr Kim Gurney is based at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, where she has been investigating sites of counterfactual imagination – independent art spaces, back room archives, and artisanal workshops. She brings a fusion of fine art, urban studies, and journalistic expertise together, favouring arts-based methods and experimenting with narrative forms. Her own art practice largely concerns disappearances of different kinds and makes restorative gestures – spanning studio work, public art, discourse and curation. She runs ad hoc a nomadic platform guerilla gallery; in 2023, it inhabits The Shed – a tiny space for big ideas. Kim has extensive experience as a writer and former editor in different genres, currently focused upon book projects.

Kim’s Panya Routes and August House is Dead, Long Live August House – The story of a Johannesburg Atelier are distributed by Karavan Press and Protea Distribution.

Karavan Press and Protea Distribution are local distribution partners for INTIMACY AND INJURY: In the Wake of #MeToo in India and South Africa


INTIMACY AND INJURY maps the travels of the global #MeToo movement in India and South Africa. Both countries have shared the infamy of being labelled the world’s ‘rape capitals’, with high levels of everyday gender-based and sexual violence. At the same time, both boast long histories of resisting such violence and its location in wider cultures of patriarchy, settler colonialism and class and caste privilege.

Voices and experiences from the global north have dominated debates on #MeToo which, although originating in the US, had considerable traction elsewhere, including in the global south. In India, #MeToo revitalised longstanding feminist struggles around sexual violence, offering new tactics and repertoires. In South Africa, it drew on new cultures of opposing sexual violence that developed online and in student protests. There were also marked differences in the ways in which #MeToo travelled in both countries, pointing to older histories of power, powerlessness and resistance. Through the lens of the #MeToo moment, the book tracks histories of feminist organising in both countries, while also revealing how newer strategies extended or limited these struggles.

INTIMACY AND INJURY is a timely mapping of a shifting political field around gender-based violence in the global south. In proposing comparative, interdisciplinary, ethnographically rich and analytically astute reflections on #MeToo, it provides new and potentially transformative directions to scholarly debates that are rarely brought into conversation with one another. With contributors located exclusively in South Africa and India, this book builds transnational feminist knowledge and solidarity in and across the global south.


Nicky Falkof is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Shilpa Phadke is Professor at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Srila Roy is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Publisher: Manchester University Press

South African distribution partner: Karavan Press and Protea Distribution

ISBN (SA edition): 9780639749204

For Sale in South Africa and Namibia only. Not for export elsewhere.

Publication date: UK edition 2022, SA edition 2023

If you are a bookseller, please contact Protea Distribution to order copies of Cat Therapy. If you are a reader, please ask your local bookshop to order the book for you via Protea Distribution.

Karen Jennings at the Rondebosch Book Club

Earlier today, Karen Jennings addressed the Rondebosch Book Club about her novel, An Island. She called her talk “The novel no one wanted to publish”. She had a copy of the UK edition of the book with her. It was the first time I held it in my hands. Until it was published, I did not know that one of the quotes used for its cover would be taken from a review I wrote of Space Inhabited by Echoes, Karen’s debut poetry collection, for the Cape Times. I am so happy that these words are featured on the back of the novel. I have loved Karen’s work for a very long time. It is such an honour to be able to publish it in South Africa.

An Island is now available in seventeen different editions around the world.

This is Karavan Press’s:

At the end of her talk, Karen read from her new novel, Crooked Seeds, to be published around the world in April 2024! We can’t wait to share it with South African readers.

AFTERWARDS by Kerry Hammerton launched at The Book Lounge

Publishing poetry is an honour. And when a collection is as exquisite as Kerry Hammerton’s fourth, afterwards, it is pure delight, too. We launched the book last night at The Book Lounge. Kerry was in conversation with Finuala Dowling and read from her beautiful collection – in content and design (the book features Kerry’s photograph on the cover and was designed by Monique Cleghorn). Another magical event that encourages me to continue working for what I am hoping to create at Karavan Press – a sense of literary belonging, a home for writers.

I want to thank The Book Lounge for supporting us from the moment when Karavan Press was only a dream. Many thanks to Finuala Dowling for her sublime writing, and for everything that she does to nurture writers in South Africa and beyond. Finuala edited afterwards. Thank you, Kerry, for joining the Karavan Press family. And thank you to all poetry lovers who joined us last night, especially all – present and future – Karavan Press authors.

Karavan Press author Michael Boyd shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023

It gives us great joy to announce that Karavan Press author Michael Boyd has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 with his story “Mama Blue”. Michael’s debut novel, The Weight of Shade, is forthcoming from Karavan Press.

“The story of a man remembering his life through the memories of his neighbour, Mama Blue. With touches of the magical, ‘Mama Blue’ is about hope in our ever-changing world, and how we can use the past to look forward.”

You can listen to Michael talk about his story here: “Mama Blue”

Congratulations, Michael, and all shortlisted authors!

Look out for The Weight of Shade, a haunting, gothic tale that explores the bearing of the past on our lives and whether we can ever escape the circumstances thrust upon us.