“Always restless and inquisitive, Justin Fox fashions his poems out of travel adventures of one kind or another, exploring a panorama of places, people and occasions. At the same time, he is always experimenting with how much he can bend language to his expressive will as he surfs along on waves of words, stopping to share moments, observe what is salient before moving on to the next port – and poem – of call. It makes for a thoroughly enjoyable mix.”
— DOUGLAS REID SKINNER
“We have been aware – the way we are conscious of an essential dimension of being human in this environment with these seas bordering this continent, as we would be of sentinels in the night scouting for daybreak and the dawning distances – of Justin Fox exploring and lighting up the life-trip we are embarked upon here in this forever Neverness. Even so, we are drawn in again and again, and are awed – beautifully so, searingly so, searchingly so, along lines of song – to where we know we belong. What a celebration to be invited to partake of the riches! ‘I am all of these and none of them. I am the land.’ How lucky we are to enter this volume of giving us back to ourselves in the poems of this fellow-being!”
— BREYTEN BREYTENBACH
Publication date: November 2021
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JUSTIN FOX is a poet, travel writer, photographer and former editor of Getaway magazine. His articles, poems and photographs have appeared internationally in a number of publications and he is the author of twenty books, including The Marginal Safari, Whoever Fears the Sea, The Impossible Five and The Cape Raider. Justin is the winner of two Mondi Awards for journalism and the Patricia Schonstein Poetry in McGregor Award. Beat Routes is his debut poetry collection.
Justin was a Rhodes Scholar and received a doctorate in English from Oxford University after which he was awarded a research fellowship at the University of Cape Town, where he taught part time for two decades.
Author photograph: Revel Fox
Sometimes, she says, when we are afraid that our own narratives are at risk of being erased, we stop investigating history, and risk becoming stagnant in the process. That is why we have an obligation to keep on interrogating the past as fully as we are able to. If there is a lesson to be had in An Island (I hasten to add that, to the story’s credit, it doesn’t trade in easy morals), it is that this obligation never comes to an end. We cannot, like Samuel, retreat to our little enclaves of memory and build walls to keep out the world. Even those of us battling ghosts from the past — and maybe especially those of us battling ghosts from the past — need to keep our noses to the wind, to the strange new forms of relation blowing in from distant shores.Daily Maverick
The shortlist also includes Lihle Sokapase’s Yapatyalaka Ibhobhile (isiXhosa) and Brian Fredericks’s As die Cape Flats kon praat (Afrikaans).
Congratulations to all shortlisted authors in this and all other categories!
This year’s discovery, though, is Jennings (born 1982), who, in spite of having produced several excellent earlier books, has not been afforded the acclaim in South Africa that she deserves. The truth of the hoary adage that a prophet is rarely hallowed in her own land rings especially true, it would seem, of South Africans who write literary fiction in English.
Whether Jennings’ name appears on the shortlist that will be announced in London tomorrow afternoon or not, one can only hope that her longlisting will have changed the trajectory of her career: that she will never again have to make out a case to be published. And never again be published in print runs of only 500.LitNet
Two Kalk Bay locals are shortlisted for the 2021 Sunday Times/CNA Literary Awards: Dawn Garisch for Breaking Milk (Fiction Award) and Mark Gevisser for The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers (Non-fiction Award). Earlier tonight, Dawn and Mark were in conversation with Olympia’s Kenneth McClarty and spoke about their books and writing lives on the outdoor terrace of the Chartfield Guesthouse, where we had also launched Dawn’s Disturbance towards the end of last year.
Thank you Dawn, Mark, Kenneth, Audrey of Kalk Bay Books and the fabulous people of Chartfield Guesthouse for a fascinating evening of stories. It was simply wonderful to attend a live book event and celebrate these two brilliant writers with other readers.
Melissa A. Volker is a reader, writer, beauty therapist and water woman. She blogs about surfing and stand up paddle boarding; writes eco-fiction, romance and short stories. She lives in Cape Town with her husband, two daughters and a cat. Her first eco-romantic thriller, A Fractured Land, was published in the US in 2018 and was republished along with her second novel, Shadow Flicker, by Karavan Press in South Africa in 2019. Shadow Flicker won the Romance Writers Organisation of South Africa’s Strelitzia prize for the most promising manuscript in 2017. Melissa’s short story, ‘Spa Ritual’, was published in the South African anthology: Hair – Weaving and Unpicking Stories of Identity. Her new novelette, The Pool Guy, is coming soon.
“The thirty-six poems and prose passages that make up Symons’ new collection reveal the tender, sensitive and incisive vision of the writer.”
“Wide-ranging, Symons’ work is both delicate and weighty. Full of subtleties and surprises, it arrests and engages the reader.”