Monday, 16 December 2013

Notes from Porcupine's 'resident Writer'


The process of publishing is a bit like driving along a scenic route. New features appear on the horizon, some more remarkable than others, and steadily loom larger. Just so with manuscripts as they are transformed into books. Closest to the Porcupine bus as it trundles towards 2014 are several interesting publications. Here are brief descriptions of a few of them.

Faces and Footsteps by Morag Wade Mackay is the story of the author’s brush with death after a devastating motor cycle accident when she was seventeen. She lost an arm, and had numerous operations on her hips and legs. It’s a harrowing story, but one also of great courage and determination to live. This book is about to be printed.

Kate Shuttleworth Langa has written My Cousin’s Cousin, a South African saga that provides a view of a changing South Africa through the eyes of three families, all closely intertwined. There’s some powerful writing when one of the heroines, Susanna Malan, becomes involved with a political prisoner on Robben Island. The book is in the early stages of layout. Look out for it early next year.

A little further away, but rapidly approaching, is Deadly Justice by John Gosebo. This novel contains some gripping courtroom scenes, and probes into the darker reaches of tender fraud and government corruption in contemporary South Africa. We’re in the final stages of editing.

We’ve just started editing another interesting manuscript. Now that I am a Man by Monelo Nxozi is about the charismatic mega churches that operated in the old Ciskei when the author was growing up there. The book is an insider look at that part of the Eastern Cape where so many men are either pastors or what someone refers to as ‘tender pushers’.

In the middle distance, there’s a book by Hans Beukes which has no title yet. It’s part personal story and part history. His focus is the transformation of South West Africa into Namibia. Beukes was born in Rehoboth. While studying at UCT he was offered a scholarship to Oslo University. The authorities refused him a passport. He has now lived in Norway for forty years.

Everyone at Porcupine is looking forward to our scenic driving in the New Year.

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