Friday, September 12, 2008

Self-publishing 101

Innovative publishing director Arthur Attwell is hosting a seminar on self-publishing for beginners. The lecture will explain how publishing and self-publishing works, the three basic areas of self-publishing (production, marketing and distribution) and what the author’s and production company’s areas of responsibilities are.

This is an opportunity for authors and publishers alike to have their questions answered from a company that is pushing the envelope - don’t miss out!

Date: 16 September 2008

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: Electric Book Works, 87 Station Road Observatory

Bookings: Please call Silma on 021 448 8336 or email

Cost: R200 p/p

Space is limited, so please respond soon.

Launch of The Nose by Margie Orford

Acclaimed crime writer Margie Orford has turned her hand to children's books, specifically to write a little book for her 8-year-old friend Jack. It's quirkily illustrated by Margie's husband Andrew Walton. And by 'little book', we mean very little. Seriously cute miniature. It was great fun to make this book for Margie, and we're inviting you to join her for the launch at the fabulous Book Lounge (cnr Roeland and Buitenkant, Cape Town) on Thursday 25 September at 5:30 for 6 pm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Following the success of the HSBC/SA PEN Literary Awards, SA PEN announces a call for entries for the new PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award. Writers from African and SADC countries are invited to submit original, previously unpublished, English-language SHORT STORIES.

The best entries will be selected by an editorial board for inclusion in a book to be published next year, under the working title


Three prize winners will be selected by Nobel Laureate J M Coetzee

Prizes, given by John Studzinski, will be awarded:

£5 000, £3 000 and £2 000

Rules for submission of entries:

* Entrants must be citizens of an African or SADC* country.

* Stories, on any subject, must be in English; length should be 2 500
to 5 000 words.

* Entries must be previously unpublished. More than one entry may be

* Entries must be typed, in double spacing, on one side of A4 paper.
Pages must be numbered and securely fastened together. Three copies must be

* No name or address should appear on the typescript, but each page
must carry the title of the story. The identity of authors will not be
revealed to judges.

* A covering letter with the name, e-mail & postal address, contact
numbers, and photocopy of the ID of the entrant (as proof of citizenship)
must be included. Entrants may currently reside outside of Africa.

* Submission of entries implies adherence to all rules and conditions
of this award, including that of copyright.

* Closing date: 30th September 2008

* Send your entry to: PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award, P O Box 30327,
Tokai, 7966, Republic of South Africa. Fax and e-mail entries will not be


Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Man Booker 2008 shortlist announced

Aravind Adiga, Sebastian Barry, Amitav Ghosh, Linda Grant, Philip Hensher and Steve Toltz are the six authors shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008, the English-speaking world's most important literary award. The shortlist was announced by the chair of judges, Michael Portillo, at a press conference at Man Group plc offices in London today (Tuesday 9th September 2008).

The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 13 and are:

Author Title Publisher

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger Atlantic

Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture Faber and Faber

Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies John Murray

Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs Virago

Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency Fourth Estate

Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole Hamish Hamilton

Michael Portillo, Chair of Judges, comments:

"The judges commend the six titles to readers with great enthusiasm. These novels are intensely readable, each of them an extraordinary example of imagination and narrative. These fine page-turning stories nonetheless raise highly thought-provoking ideas and issues. These books are in every case both ambitious and approachable."

The 2008 shortlist includes two first time novelists, Aravind Adiga and Steve Toltz. The six authors represent a broad geographical spread with two Indian authors, two English authors, an Australian author and an Irish author. The youngest on the list, at 34 years old, is Aravind Adiga. Sebastian Barry was shortlisted in 2005 for his novel A Long, Long Way, Linda Grant was longlisted in 2002 for her novel Still Here and Philip Hensher, once a Booker judge himself, was also longlisted in 2002 for his novel The Mulberry Empire.

The winner receives £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book.

The judging panel for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Michael Portillo, former MP and Cabinet Minister; Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar's bookshops and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at a dinner at the Guildhall, London. The announcement will be broadcast live on BBC One's 10 O'Clock News.

This year, the Man Booker Prize has exclusively partnered with mobile site GoSpoken to make extracts from the shortlisted books available to download free onto your mobile phone. They can either be read as text or listened to as audio. The extracts will be available from the moment the shortlist is announced by texting MBP to 60300. This is the first time that any book prize has used mobile technology to promote its shortlist.

On Monday 13th October, the eve of the winner announcement, the Southbank Centre in London will host an evening of readings and discussion with the 2008 shortlisted authors.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Atlantic Books, £12.99

Born in the heartland of India to the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram Halwai, the ‘White Tiger', dreams of escaping his life as a teashop worker turned chauffeur. Yet when his chance finally arrives and his eyes are opened to the revelatory city of New Delhi, Balram becomes caught between his instinct to be a loyal son and servant and his desire to better himself. As he passes through two different Indias on his journey from the darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success, he begins to realise how the Tiger might finally escape his cage, and he is not afraid to spill a little blood along the way.

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras on 23rd October 1974 and raised partly in Australia. He studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities and is a former correspondent for TIME magazine in India. Adiga's articles have also appeared in publications such as the Financial Times, Independent and Sunday Times. He currently lives in Mumbai.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Karen Duffy on 020 7269 1621 or at

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Faber and Faber, £16.99

Roseanne McNulty, perhaps nearing her one-hundredth birthday - no one is quite sure - faces an uncertain future as the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital where she's spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. She talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene in the weeks leading up to the closure. Told through their respective journals, the shocking story of Roseanne's family in 1930s Sligo emerges. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne's story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland. The Secret Scripture is the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment yet marked by passion and hope.

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin on 5th July 1955. He has written a number of plays and his novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998), Annie Dunne (2002) and A Long Long Way (2005) which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Dublin International Impac Prize. He has won, among other awards, the Irish-America Fund Literary Award, the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize, the London Critics Circle Award and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize. He currently lives in Wicklow with his wife and three children.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Kate Burton on 020 7465 7554 or at

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

John Murray, £18.99

Set just before the Opium Wars, this novel has at its heart an old slaving-ship, The Ibis and its crew, a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races and generations.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta on 11th July 1956 and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford. He has taught at a number of institutions, most recently Harvard, and written for many publications. His international bestseller, The Glass Palace was published in 2000. He currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Nikki Barrow on 020 7873 6440 or 07813 806 297 or at

The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant

Virago, £17.99

The Clothes on Their Backs is a story about concealed pasts, dark subjects, dark places and stark choices and how the clothes we wear define us all. In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Through Vivien we discover the colourful characters at Benson Court, who play a part in the development of this at first timid and unworldly woman. Then, one morning, a glamorous older man appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in leopard-skin on his arm. He is her Uncle Sándor, but why is he so violently unwelcome in her parents' home?

Linda Grant was born on 15th February 1951 in Liverpool and currently lives in London. She is the author of several award-winning novels, including The Cast Iron Shore, published in 1996 and When I Lived in Modern Times, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her novel Still Here was longlisted for The Booker Prize in 2002. Other award-winning books include Remind Me Who I am Again, Sexing the Millennium: A Political History of the Sexual Revolution and The People on the Street: A Writer's View of Israel.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Susan de Soissons on 020 7911 8069 or 07887 991424 or at

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher

Fourth Estate, £17.99

1974. Husbands and wives, arm in arm, stroll through an invincible suburb after a summer party, secure and hopeful. Over the next twenty years everything will change for them, and for England. Set in Sheffield, The Northern Clemency charts the relationship between two families: Malcolm and Katherine Glover and their three children; and their neighbours the Sellers family, newly arrived from London. The day the Sellers move in there is a crisis across the road: Malcolm Glover has left home, convinced his wife is having an affair. The consequences of this rupture will spread throughout the lives of both couples and their children, in particular 10-year-old Tim Glover, who never quite recovers from the moment of his mother's public cruelty and the amused taunting of 15-year-old Sandra Sellers. In the background England is changing: from a land of fire and industry to a gleaming landscape of shop fronts and chain restaurants, a shift particularly marked in the North with the miners' strike of 1984.

A Booker judge himself in 2001, Philip Hensher has written five novels, Other Lulus, Kitchen Venom which won the Somerset Maugham Award, Pleasured, the Booker-longlisted The Mulberry Empire (in 2002) and The Fit, as well as a collection of short stories, The Bedroom of the Mister's House. He is a columnist for The Independent, arts critic for The Spectator and a Granta Best of Young British Novelist. He was born on 20th February 1965 and lives in South London.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Robin Harvie on 020 8307 4146 or 07771 892 797 or at

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Hamish Hamilton, £17.99

Most of his life, Jasper Dean couldn't decide whether to pity, hate, love or murder his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a man who overanalyzed anything and everything and imparted his self-garnered wisdom to his only son. But now that Martin is dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the crackpot who raised him in intellectual captivity, and what he realizes is that, for all its lunacy, theirs was a grand adventure.

As he recollects the events that led to his father's demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries - about his infamous outlaw uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent European mother, and Martin's constant losing battle to make a lasting mark on the world he so disdains. It's a story that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip clubs, asylums, labyrinths and criminal lairs, and from the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition.

Steve Toltz was born on 21st June 1972 in Sydney and has lived in Montreal, Vancouver, Barcelona and Paris, working primarily as a screenwriter but also doing stints as a private investigator and an English teacher. A Fraction of the Whole is his first novel.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Amelia Fairney on 020 7010 3247 or 07764 774 291 or at

The Gathering by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) won the Man Booker Prize 2007.

The Man Booker 2008 longlist, which was announced on 29th July, was:

Author Title Publisher

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger Atlantic

Gaynor Arnold Girl in a Blue Dress Tindal Street Press

Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture Faber and Faber

John Berger From A to X Verso

Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog Chatto & Windus

Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies John Murray

Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs Virago

Mohammed Hanif A Case of Exploding Mangoes Jonathan Cape

Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency Fourth Estate

Joseph O'Neill Netherland Fourth Estate

Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence Jonathan Cape

Tom Rob Smith Child 44 Simon & Schuster

Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole Hamish Hamilton
The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969, and Man Group plc was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002, with a five year extension agreed in 2006. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: The site features the rules of entry, background information and breaking news and is the quickest way for the prize's worldwide audience to access information.

* Every year publishers are allowed to submit two books for the Man Booker Prize. Every former Booker Prize winner and any author who has appeared on the shortlist in the last ten years is also eligible.

* 2008 is the 40th anniversary of the Booker Prize (now the Man Booker Prize) for Fiction. To mark the occasion, a range of events and initiatives have been taking place throughout the year.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A sneak preview of Wordsetc

Wordsetc costs little (or very little, depending on the size of your pocket and the rate of inflation) and is very good reading for readers, writers, reviewers, publishers even.. It pulls together the SA literary scene without trampling on too many egos, includes some interesting pieces from abroad, provides an outlet for new short fiction and literary journalism and exploits the advantages that print offers over the internet when it comes to book news and reviews. A subscription makes a great gift.

Appropriately for women's month, the next issue of Wordsetc focuses on women writers. You might also want to check out Wordsetc at

More about Wordsetc

Wordsetc promotes the consumption of South African literature. It also features great writing from elsewhere in the world. A quarterly, it launched in December 2007. So far three editions have come out. Most people have responded very positively to its emergence.

What some people have said about Wordsetc:

"Wordsetc is an essential new voice, not only for readers already hooked on African writing but for those who'd like to read more but aren't quite sure what. Well researched and written lead articles like those on Sol Plaatje, Es'kia Mphahlele and Ingrid Jonker, solid book reviews and insightful features like Why I Write and Writing Lives should guarantee Wordsetc an honoured place in readers' homes and all South African libraries – if only there were more." – Jenny Hobbs, Franschhoek

"Often as South Africans we tend to look to overseas texts as a means of fulfillment as we struggle to accept South Africa as a literary nation. Wordsetc aims to challenge such a mindset and takes into consideration that South Africa has indeed much to offer on the literary side of things." – Elizabeth Joss

"As a writer who treasures writing and beauty, I wanted to write to express my gratitude to you for the inspiration of Wordsetc. I am struck by the

high quality of everything from the layout, the photography and the writing." –

Barbara Nussbaum, Johannesburg

Wordsetc is R49.95. Subscription is R170 for four copies. The website is It's available at all Exclusive Books and CNA, as well as at these independent bookstores and outlets:



Xarra Books

Parkhurst Bookstore

Books Unlimited (Greenside)

Arternatives Gallery (Mall of Rosebank)

Service Station Cafe (Melville)

Protea Books (Hatfield)

Bookbinders (Fourways Crossing)

Bookdealers of Melville

Bookdealers of Bryanston

Western Cape

The Book Lounge

Clarke's Bookstore

Kalk Bay Books

The Book Cottage (Hermanus)

Readers' Paradise (Kloof Street)

Bright House Decor Store (cnr Shortmarket and Bree streets, CT)

Protea Books (University of Stellenbosch)


Adams (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts

The White Cottage (Nottingham Road, Midlands)

Urban Zulu (Berea Road)

Ike's Books and Collectables (Florida Road)

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Love Africa Carnival, an online celebration of Africa

The Love Africa Carnival, an online celebration of Africa, continent of 2000 languages, is calling for submissions for the Carnival blog-zine at BOOK SA, Africa's most lively literary website:

poems ,paragraphs, microfiction, short stories, comic strips, fables, fairytales, essays, Illustrated stories


Love Africa
Past, present or future of Love in Africa
Place, person, building, book, detail, language, object, insect, animal, or thing, I love in Africa
The day I love most in in my life so far in Africa/ in the history of Africa
Spirits, myths and legends of love in Africa
Sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell I love in Africa
Love --a story for children of Africa
Africa--a Grimm-like fairytale of Love


Hearty thanks to the following authors for supporting the Love Africa Carnival with book prize donations:

Michael Ambetchew, Gabeba Baderoon, André Brink,
Lauren Beukes, Richard De Nooy, Louis Greenberg,
Liesl Jobson, Sarah Lotz, Jo-anne Richards,
Henrietta Rose Innes, Ben Trovato
Please send submissions to Alex at , that are:
1.Original and unpublished
2.With author's full name, place of birth, country of residence and a couple of lines of 'about the author' bio.