Cyril’s Choices by John Matisonn & 8000 Days by Tony Heard were released December 2019
Sunset Claws follows a generation of South Africans from 1976 to the millennium as they struggle to come to terms with what the birth of a nation has both given and taken from them.
Told in three parts, the action moves from Cape Town in the turbulent 1980s to the civil war in KwaZulu-Natal in the interregnum of the early 90s and burgeoning post-apartheid Johannesburg, where an optimistic new middle class is being forged as the country enters the 21st century. But the cracks in reconciliation are already beginning to show.
The story starts in 1968, when Mfundi, a township teenager, sets off to join Umkhonto we Sizwe, later to return on a deadly mission that will have unforeseen repercussions. Two brothers from a poor white family choose very different paths – Frans joins the military and is slowly sucked into the darkest corners of the apartheid security forces, while Joe dodges the draft and flees to London in the hope of becoming an artist and escaping his unwanted destiny. Zukiswa, a young black woman battling to advance herself in the shacklands, will also go into exile and return to her native land almost a stranger. Bertie is the rich white kid who rebels against his conservative parents to become a human rights lawyer, a journey that will shake his idealistic beliefs to the core. Unexpected connections between them will set them on a collision course of war, romance, love and hate.
The story sheds light on the current state of the nation, painting a vivid yet subtle portrait of the nascent “New South Africa” with all its contradictions as its characters traverse the pivotal events that shaped a generation – from the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale to the killing fields of KwaZulu-Natal; from the release of Nelson Mandela and the first democratic election to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the writing of the new Constitution and the first steps to black economic empowerment.
Sunset Claws is an epic novel that becomes a well-observed psychological thriller set on a vast canvas.
Release date: 1 September 2017
Format: Paperback; 229mm X 152mm (Portrait)
Recommended retail price: R290
It has been 21 years since the dawn of democracy in South Africa. To mark the “coming of age” of the nation, Melanie Verwoerd and Sonwabiso Ngcow travelled across South Africa collecting the life stories of people born in 1994. These “born frees” relate their personal journeys, dreams and hopes for the future of the country. The brutally honest voices of these 21-year-olds, challenging and disturbing, as well as funny and hopeful, give an invaluable insight into modern day South Africa.
Format: Paperback; 222mm X 152mm (Portrait)
Recommended retail price: R220
CATEGORY: Non-fiction / Biography
In 1987, Sibi Makhale is allowed to visit her dying father in the maximum security prison of Robben Island. The daughter of banned parents, Sibi comes face to face with two suspicious and frightened white schoolteachers resident on the island. It will prove to be a life-changing experience for all of them. Over two decades later, Sibi returns to the Island – now a World Heritage Site – with her two born-free sons. It is an attempt at closure for her, an adventure for her boys, and for the reader a remarkable journey back from the dark past. Panorama celebrates the people who through their shared passion for a beloved country managed to communicate and even laugh with each other in spite of fear, guilt and prejudice. This story about South Africa’s yesterday and today is inspired by Pieter-Dirk Uys’s internationally acclaimed play, Panorama.
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The first large collection of poems since his Shelley Cinema of 2006 and the anthology, Invitation to a Voyage: French-Language Poetry of the Indian Ocean African Islands, both launched at the Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, and his slim volume, Taking Off of 2012.
Rough Passage brings together poems published in English-language journals in four continents, including for the first time his sequence, ‘Letters from America’, written while a fellow at the Norton Island Residency Program of Maine.
Also included is his performance poem, ‘Interview with the Last Speaker’, which was influential in 2007 in winning him the Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Arts and Culture for his contribution to poetry in Africa.
“For a couple of months in the near perfect summer of 1990/1991, Jacob Zuma came to stay in my house in Norwood, Johannesburg… Twenty five years later, my former house guest has all but morally bankrupted Nelson Mandela’s ruling African National Congress. President Zuma’s vision-free leadership, corrupt personal behaviour and attempts to use his political power to distort the judicial system render him no better than Italy’s corrupt bunga-bunga partying ex-prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.”
So begins GOD, SPIES AND LIES, the most explosive insider’s account since Mandela came to power of how South Africa got here — and how things went wrong.
Launch date: Nov 29, 2015
A young gay man bewildered and lost on the highways of Los Angeles; a sadomasochist Neo-Nazi in Berlin; a rent boy in Shanghai; a holiday romance in Mexico; a man from Dakar in a bathhouse in Paris; a love hotel in Tokyo; a darkroom in Rio; a hamam in Syria; the burning ghats on the Ganges; Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Shinto and atheist; legal and illegal … blazing through 18 countries on six continents, 80 Gays Around the World is an explicit, upfront, edgy, often funny travel adventure that will leave you seeing the world and yourself with different eyes. Continue reading 80 Gays Around the World
Five Lives at Noon follows a generation of young South Africans turning 30 during the turbulent years from the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 to the day of the first democratic election in 1994.
A young white man and a young black woman return from exile in London; a human rights lawyer searches for a missing comrade and his own redemption; and an ex-South African Defence Force soldier descends into the carnage of the civil war in KwaZulu-Natal. Their lives will be set on an inevitable, but unexpected, collision course.
Five Lives at Noon ventures into the very heart of the civil war and to KwaZulu Natal, the crucible in which the new South Africa was forged. As South Africa marks 20 years since the advent of democracy, these five lives uncover the price paid for that political settlement.
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