Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Book Review on Eich-Me-Real-Da by Prof. Anton Muller

Prof. Anton Muller
Eich-me-real-da, Elizabeth and Eliza were good friends at university, but as is wont to happen and despite the best of intentions, they eventually lost regular contact.  The reader joins the three ladies at a reunion breakfast (Elizabeth’s celebration of the big 50) where Elizabeth and her husband soon excuse themselves and depart , leaving  Eliza and Eich-me-real-da to catch up by exchanging a few notes in the margin. The life story of Eich-me-real-da unfolds along the lines of the men she gets involved with in her life, from Jacobus the dentist whom she married as a somewhat inexperienced lady (and prematurely lost due to his untimely death), and key encounters with men (her “convenient research samples”) (p. 34) who “assisted” her in the practical exploration of her feminine sensuality (the accumulation of her so-called erotic portfolio and her erotic capital (p. 34)).  The reader therefore meets Ahmed in Egypt (Chapter 5), Christos in Athens in Greece (Chapter 6), a blond Adonis in Sodwana (Chapter 7) and the silver-haired fox (Chapter 9). Chapter 8 refers to an interlude in Beijing, a precious experience “... not meant to be shared” (p. 127).  What happened in Beijing , remains in Beijing ...

After the passing of Jacobus and an unmistakeable awareness of a sensuality that did not reach full bloom in their relationship, Eich-me- a-real-da, as she states “... consciously became aware of the possibilities my senses posed. I decided to embark on a lifelong pursuit of pleasure. I chose to start to celebrate my sensuality!” (p. 31).  In this exploration, Eich-me-real-da commences with research on the sensual experiences of women and the outcomes of this research are reported and presented in Chapters 2, 3 and 4. In Chapter 2 a journey begins that commences with magazines for women and culminates in Chapter 3 where the concept of erotic capital is explored and illustrated employing a number of key resources and publications. In Chapter 4 the literature review is continued and augmented by visits to “sensuality boutiques” that provide literature and play products aimed at increasing sensual and erotic pleasure.  As the sensual exploration progressed, Eich-me-real-da’s  asset register had grown accordingly (p. 91). 

To stimulate and involve the reader, each chapter ends with a few pointers: an aphrodisiac, a Kama Sutra tip, suggestions for mood music, and a recipe for an appropriate cocktail.  Each chapter is also dedicated to the experiences that women typically make. The reader does of course soon come to the realisation that the novelette does not simply stagnate on the sensual level. The sensual level is but one dimension of a more profound canvas that relates to self-empowerment and self-knowledge that Eich-me-real-da is seeking and that she encourages other women to find (p. 31). An exploration of female sensuality (justified in its own right) is just a beginning, the foreground that aims at the empowerment of women as final destination: “I want to assist women to take control of their own sexual destiny at the moment of sensual awakening, or at the very least, to ignite sufficient curiosity to empower themselves with knowledge. Knowledge empowers one and provides one with the confidence to make informed decisions” (p. 157/158).

Cherylene writes easily and tends like Jilly Cooper to produce the so-called “one-liner” with an own dexterity.  The word play is at times subtle and at other times leaves little to the imagination:  “I had a screaming orgasm with a view of the Acropolis!” (p. 108). The novelette presents a pleasant reading experience, subtle, at other times hilarious, but never crude.  The ladies (and in some cases men!) will be swept up by Eich-me-real-da’s research and relationship journey through life in the interest of achieving (self)knowledge and (self)empowerment for every woman.  

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Porcupine has blog and facebook pages

After a long dormancy, due largely to lack of capacity in the start-up phases of the business, Porcupine Press now has an active on-line presence. Its facebook page and blog-site are up and running, thanks to the active involvement of Gabisile Dladla.

Gabisile, who understands the power of these communication tools, has long shown an interest in Porcupine. ‘Now, at last,’ Clare-Rose said, ‘we’ve been able to engage her on a part-time basis. Her inputs have already made a significant impact on our internet presence.’

Feel free to visit Porcupine’s facebook page for news on new titles, new authors, new services, and a whole lot of general chitchat about books and writers and publishing.

Planned for the future is a more or less regular column from Porcupine’s ‘writer in residence’ David Robbins. David serves as editorial adviser for Porcupine. He’s also an accomplished writer, having published with several major commercial publishing houses for more than 20 years before moving to Porcupine.

Small Successes

Porcupine Press had an impressive stand on Nedbank’s recent Small Business Market which was held on Friday 6 September at the Nedbank head office in Rivonia Road. Porcupine books were overflowing off the table, and several hundred people paused to peruse them and to take away catalogues and business cards.

Representation at the market is by selection, and is part of the bank’s ‘Vote Small Business: Partnering for Growth’ initiative, which provides a platform.  Approximately 30 small businesses had been selected.

‘It definitely was worthwhile,’ said Clare-Rose Julius, Porcupine’s general manager. ‘It’s all about visibility for our brand. People were handling our books, seeing the quality, and experiencing the wide range of subjects that we cover: from fiction and children’s books, to travel and self-help and political analysis and more.

‘We also sold a few books as well,’ she added. ‘A vote of thanks to Nedbank  who are voting for small businesses like our own.’

Saturday, 7 September 2013


Porcupine Press is about to publish a science-fiction novel written by 17-year-old Johannesburg schoolboy. ‘That’s extraordinarily young to be writing a novel, even a relatively short one of 120 pages,’ says Porcupine’s marketing and distribution manager, Clare-Rose Julius.

The budding novelist is Reneiloe Mabena, and his book is entitled Blaze – the beginning. The subtitle implies that there’ll be a middle and an end. So already there’s at least a trilogy developing in his youthful head.

Reneiloe, widely known to his friends as ‘Nay’, is a Grade 11 learner at St David’s Marist College in Inanda. His mother, Zandile Nzalo, runs her own successful PR company, and his father, Bob Mabena, is the well-known radio presenter from Kaya FM.

The main character in Blaze – the beginning is Thando, a teenage boy who is possessed by a malevolent spirit. Although this spirit threatens to consume his body, it also gives him special powers, which he discovers he needs when planet Earth comes under threat from aliens. Thando faces a big decision. Should he try to free himself from his demons, and risk the destruction of friends and family? Or should he use the demons’ power to save the planet?

The book is available from Porcupine Press's website at R130 excluding postage, and will appear in major bookshops by November.