“This has been a long, hard year for many people, but one thing we did have was an amazing selection of books! Here are our 21 bestsellers of 2021. Our number one this year, The Promise by Damon Galgut, was a bestseller in our store before it was even nominated for the 2021 Booker prize, but the longlist, shortlist, and finally, winning, announcements did not hurt! And to everyone who bought it, I’m sure you’ll agree that it was an excellent book and deserved all the hype. It is a great list, filled with local books, so well done Cape Town (and our customers further afield) for supporting local and having excellent taste!” – The Book Lounge
Two Karavan Press titles are – at numbers 4. and 16. – on this amazing list:
1. The Promise by Damon Galgut ~ R290 2. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro ~ R325 3. Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney ~ R320 4. An Island by Karen Jennings ~ R280 5. District Six: Memories, Thoughts and Images by Martin Greshoff ~ R460 6. Nation on the Couch by Wahbie Long ~ R280 7. When the Village Sleeps by Sindiwe Magona ~R290 8. Into Dark Water by Jeremy Vearey ~ R290 9. Female Fear Factory by Pumla Dineo Gqola ~ R280 10. The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer ~ R310 11. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo ~ R215 12. Robert by Robert Hamblin ~ R280 13. Land Matters by Tembeka Ngcukaitobi ~ R280 14. The Hidden Spring by Mark Solms ~ R300 15. Bewilderment by Richard powers ~ R320 16. A Hibiscus Coast by Nick Mulgrew ~ R290 17. Die Teenoorgestelde is Net So Waar deur Azille Coetzee ~ R295 18. Surfacing, edited by Desiree Lewis and Gabeba Baderoon ~ R350 19. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong ~ R215 20. Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ~ R260 21. By the Fading Light by Ashram Kagee ~ R195
You can buy these and many, many other books at The Book Lounge!
The 2021 SALA winners have been announced earlier tonight and we are thrilled to share the above news with you. Congratulations, Karen and all this year’s winners!
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
For more information, please see: Brittle Paper
It’s tempting to imagine the island as a symbol of imperial ambitions, though the idea of Samuel, thwarted all the way by life, as an oppressor is also risible. If anything, An Island reveals the shifting sands of power and the persistence of inequality, even among the most wretched. Like her great literary forbearers—Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer and Coetzee—Jennings makes bold this ineradicable truth.Mint Lounge
An Island by Karen Jennings will be released by QUEST from W. F. Howes Ltd as audio book on the 14th of October.
The book is narrated by Ben Onwukwe, the British film, radio, theatre and voice actor, currently to be seen as Jackson Donckers in the Ben Miller crime drama on ITV and Brit Box, Professor T.
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!
Samuel’s final act is a culmination of this violence and, paradoxically, a desperate and self-destructive protest against the triumph of cruelty in the world.
An island is an ethically driven and formally accomplished novel. Those making decisions about texts to prescribe in the undergraduate curriculum might consider it. If Mark Behr’s The smell of apples was a university text of the 1990s, with its emphasis on the uncovering of apartheid-era secrets – a novel that was eminently teachable because it was ethically centred, with clear lines of development – the novel that might play a similar role for the 2020s could well be An island.LitNet