Kingsmead Book Fair 2023

Another highly successful Kingsmead Book Fair (KBF) is behind us. And we had so much literary fun! Joanne Hichens, Lester Walbrugh and I were on the same flight going up to Johannesburg. We all spoke at the festival – Lester and I about Elton Baatjies, and Joanne and I about Fluid: The Freedom to Be.

We ‘met’ Joy Watson and Lethokuhle Msimang at the airport on the bookshelves of Exclusive Books.

What is the best way of passing flight time? Reading, of course.

We joined Joy on the morning of the book fair and dived into the busy, amazing programme of this year’s KBF that had something to offer for EVERYONE.

Authors met up in the Green Room for refreshments and a bit of rest between the fascinating sessions.

Exclusive Books pop-up shop at the KBF. Two of our titles sold out at the book fair!

It was wonderful to meet Jarred Thompson and Lerato Moletsane in person – both contributed to Fluid: The Freedom to Be.

Thank you to the organisers of the book fair, to everyone who came to listen to us, to all who bought books and made the KBF 2023 such a joyous book fair. Already counting the days until KBF 2024!

Happy reading!

THE WEIGHT OF SHADE launched at St John’s College

Kate and Mike Boyd, The Wight of Shade is dedicated to Kate

St John’s College in Johannesburg is a magical place that looks like a dream setting for a novel or a film. The Weight of Shade is set in the Marico, but the novel’s author, Michael Boyd, teaches at St John’s, and the college generously offered to launch the book. The welcome we received at this 125-year-old institution was unforgettable.

The event was definitely one of the most memorable in the history of Karavan Press, and I cannot thank everyone who made it reality enough for their kindness and this incredible occasion.

Mike was in conversation with Frank Rumboll. The Rene England Auditorium was full of friends, family, colleagues, learners and other authors – Kurt Ellis, Lester Walbrugh and Craig Higginson among them. Thank you to the College and everyone who was present for their stunning support.

To all who bought a book, HAPPY READING! You are in for a magical treat.

Karavan Press title: The Weight of Shade by Michael Boyd

You see a lot here, Agni. But you are a peculiar boy, and this is a strange place. When those two come together, things happen.

In the rural Marico district of the Northwest Province, an orphaned boy, Agni, arrives at a lonely farmhouse in a valley. There he meets Esmeralda, the old woman who never leaves the shadows of her room, and the mysterious Kagiso, who has always lived on the property. He does not know why he was brought to this place, but as he spends his days in lessons with Esmeralda and discovers the secrets of the land from Kagiso, he begins to experience occurrences, which haunt his waking hours and dreams.

Meanwhile, in a nearby town, Nikus has just finished high school. He longs to leave the Marico for the distant city and saves money by working as a handyman at the eerie old farmhouse. His only friends are the local drunk and the owner of The Outpost Deli, but Nikus also begins to spend time with the girlfriend of his best friend, who had already left for the big world. She gives Nikus hope in a different future, and together they plan to escape.

The lives of Agni and Nikus are bound together by the Marico. They are both caught between the worlds of imagination and reality, rumour and truth. While Nikus is forced to decide between his present and unknown possibilities, Agni clings to Kagiso as they witness Esmeralda’s slow descent into madness.

Nothing disappears.

The Weight of Shade is 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.

Publisher: Karavan Press

Publication date: May 2023

ISBN: 978-1-7764064-8-7

MICHAEL BOYD grew up in Southern Africa – between Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa – before moving to the UK, where he attended the University of Kent. He worked for some time at the Sundance, Telluride, Film Africa and Cambridge Film Festivals. He was also the director and curator of the longest-running African film festival in the UK, the Cambridge African Film Festival. He then turned to a career in teaching and returned to Africa. Having taught in the Northwest Province and Kenya, he now lives in Johannesburg, continuing to work as an English teacher. He recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand, and has published short stories in New Contrast, The Coinage Book, Active Muse, Odd Magazine and MONO Literary Journal. His story “Mama Blue” was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023. The Weight of Shade is his debut novel.

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.