To close the WZ Book Club year of 2022, the readers went down to the sea, to Beach Blanc Cafe next to the lighthouse on Woodbridge Island to hear the story of The Skipper’s Daughter by Woman Zone founder Nancy Richards and published by Karavan Press. Nancy was in conversation with artist Kim Gurney, the author of a book called Panya Routes. Listen here for some salty tales!
Meet the Author podcast: Joy Watson at Woman Zone Book Club
First time novelist, but well practiced feminist researcher, Joy Watson’s The Other Me (Karavan Press) is an eye-opening book with a damaged but fascinating central character. Writer, editor, publisher Karina Szczurek digs deeper to get the back story…
Listen to the podcast here: MEET THE AUTHOR: Joy Watson
JULY Woman Zone Book Club with Joy Watson
First up we want to hear about the books you’ve been reading. Then we welcome Karina Szczurek, writer, publisher and literary critic, who will be in conversation with Joy Watson about her recently published novel The Other Me, described as funny, dark complex and heartbreaking.
Date: Saturday 9 July
Time: 10h00 to 12h00
Venue: Innovation Lounge, 2nd Floor, Artscape (next to the Opera bar)
The WZ Library Hub will be open after the meeting for borrowing and returning of books.
Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted let’s make this a bumper meeting!
Donation R30 for refreshments
RSVP: before 7 July email@example.com
or 082 490 6652
Ambre Nicolson Hsu reviews BOILING A FROG SLOWLY by Cathy Park Kelly for Woman Zone Book Club
“If someone in your life is not sane, then expecting the best from them or working on yourself or breathing into the pain is a long road to misery. Sometimes you just need to walk away.”
These lines, drawn from the end of Cathy Park Kelly’s Boiling a Frog Slowly (Karavan, 2021), explain the central premise and plot of this compelling memoir. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity though, Park Kelly’s clarity is hard won.
In fact, what makes this book so riveting is the way in which Park Kelly describes just how complex and subtle the descent into an abusive relationship can be. What begins as an exhilarating new love unravels slowly into the terror and claustrophobia of mental and physical abuse.
While this book is about a difficult subject, it is not hard to read. Many memoirs of abusive relationships go heavy on the unremitting horror of the situation with the sad effect of numbing a reader. Instead, Park Kelly tells her story with warmth and wry humour. This has the effect of making her unflinching descriptions of the abuse and terror she experienced even more harrowing when you get to them.
What I like best about this book is the author’s quiet commitment to telling the truth, even when it is complicated, unpretty or ordinary. This is particularly apparent in her telling of how she extricated herself from the relationship. Whereas many such memoirs end with a flourish (the blinding once-off revelation, the dramatic flight, the packed suitcase), Park Kelly details instead the slow, hopeful, painful and painstaking journey towards recovering her agency and the confidence to leave the relationship behind. This rigour and integrity acts as a wonderful astringent against the often cloying “happy endings” that such books sometimes claim. Instead of ending with the first glimmer hope, Park Kelly looks beyond the easy ever after to paint a much more compelling portrait of a woman who, in the end, rescues herself.
FINDING HERSELF – Nancy Richards interviews Dawn Garisch
“For writer, author, poet, doctor and teacher Dawn Garisch, writing is life. Listen as she explains how it’s helped her navigate her own journey – and also how it’s worked for so many others who have found themselves through her Life Righting Collective. Dawn is both our Finding Herself candidate and WZ Book Club Guest Author for April.”
FINDING HERSELF – DAWN GARISCH
Beryl Eichenberger reviews Breaking Milk by Dawn Garisch for the Woman Zone Book Club
“Highly emotive, the novel is an evocative and thoughtful exploration of confrontations, loss and ultimately acceptance.“
Breaking Milk by Dawn Garisch is her 7th novel and takes us into the world of protagonist Kate, a former geneticist and now an award winning organic cheese maker, over one seminal day. Her estrangement from her daughter Jess is at the heart of the novel as, on this day, Jess’s conjoined twins will be separated and Jess has forbidden Kate to come to London to be with her.
We enter the rooms of Kate’s mind as she wrestles with her inner anguish using her routine chores to cover her turmoil. Making cheese, running the farm and restaurant, dealing with her dementia addled father, a manipulative ex-husband and a besotted neighbour take us step by step through this day in vivid prose. Mothers united in their fear, Kate and Nosisi whose son Luzoko is undergoing initiation, work side by side in silent contemplation.
Continue reading review: Woman Zone Book Club