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“Home is as old as one’s skin but as elusive as an object seen through the wrong end of a telescope.” It is this sense of a view, skewed, intangible, which echoes throughout Karen Lazar’s Hemispheres. Waking in hospital after a post-operative stroke, she finds one side of her body paralysed and her world knocked out of kilter. Spatial, perceptual and subjective changes force her to view her new life in facets. The fragmented view is made apparent by means of a triptych of clusters which charts Karen’s experience from Metamorphosis, through Rehabilitation and Adaptation. Quietly reflective, deeply lyrical, Hemispheres is concerned with returning separated parts into a whole and coming home to the self.
Praise from Isabel Hofmeyr, Professor of African Literature, Wits University :
“ ‘A stroke on one hemisphere of the brain crosses over to manifest … on the opposite side of the body’.
What does it mean to find oneself suddenly living at this lethal crossing ? This exquisite book illuminates how to live with and beyond loss. A superb filigree of acute and finely-crafted pieces, Hemispheres narrates the journey of re-composing life, joy and love from the ‘foreign citadel’ of a body made alien through stroke.
Wry, ironic, comic, joyous, desolate, celebratory, surreal, this mosaic of feeling reconfigures love from loss ; each subtle fragment a tessera against time.
As the pieces delve deep into the self, they reach beyond it. The rehabilitation hospital reeks of personal loss even as it becomes a microcosm of contemporary South Africa. Broken bodies deformed by carnage and violence accumulate in the ward. The medical hierarchy enacts deep-seated forms of South African authoritarianism, the losses of the past inflicted and self-inflicted in petty and cruel ways.
The book becomes a quiet odyssey of affirming life in the face of death. The pieces themselves, weightless and profound, light and dark, half and whole, mirror the contradictions of wrenching life from loss.”
Praise from Joanne Fedler :
“A collection of rare/nuanced and tender insights. Lazar takes us into the gyre of re-orientation post-stroke, sharing what is lost and what is claimed when what you’ve always been and known, changes. A book that pulses with quiet courage and celebrates it in others.”
Karen LAZAR is an English educator at the Wits School of Education. Her MA and Phd, both from Wits, are in South African gender studies. This is Karen’s first volume of (first person) creative nonfiction. Karen had a stroke in 2001, from which she has partially recovered. She lives in Johannesburg.
Publication date : May 2011 - 88 pages - format:136 x 210 mm - price : R145 - ISBN : 978-1-920397-24-1
Jennifer THORPE (author and editor) - the contributors include : Jen THORPE, Karabo KGOLENG (well known radio and media personality), Sarah BRITTEN, and Dorothy BLACK, as well as many other women.
Do you remember your first time ?
As women, we all have a story within us about a sexual experience that was unforgettable. Perhaps it was incredible, earth shattering, life-changing, and wonderful. Perhaps it wasn’t romantic or pleasurable, but awkward, painful or forced upon us. Many of us have kept our experiences secret because, by exposing our stories, we expose ourselves and our feelings around sex.
In My First Time, Southern African women have shared their stories about their significant first time experiences of sex and sexuality. This is a collection of honest, powerful, and brave accounts. Some joyful, others funny and some heartbreaking, but all of them important for women, and hopefully men, to read.
This is the perfect book for you to read to reflect on your own first times. This is the perfect book to share with your mother, siblings, and friends.
Jennifer THORPE is a feminist writer. She’s passionate about sharing women’s stories and women’s writing. She is the creator and curator of stories for the My First Time project and the editor of FeministsSA.com. Jennifer has an MA in Politics from Rhodes University and is studying towards an MA in Creative Writing at UCT. She lives in Cape Town with her boyfriend Mike and her two cats.
Publication date : September 2012 - 174 pages - format : 136 X 210 mm - price : R160 - ISBN : 978-1-920590048
Praise for Bom Boy from Nuruddin Farah, author of Links, Knots & Crossbones :
"This is a novel bursting with elegance, written by a young author
brimming with genuine promise. Yewande Omotoso is a stylist with a
Praise for Bom Boy from Joanne Hichens, author of Divine Justice :
’Bom Boy surprises and delights, sings at turns, as it straddles the past and the present, bringing into focus cultural beliefs while examining the intimacies and complexities of bonds of family and friendship. What strikes me most is the originality. This fine debut, firmly rooted in contemporary consciousness, is story-telling of note which whets the appetite for more.’
Leke is a troubled young man living in the suburbs of Cape Town. He develops strange habits of stalking people, stealing small objects and going from doctor to doctor in search of companionship rather than cure. Through a series of letters written to him by his Nigerian father whom he has never met, Leke learns about a family curse ; a curse which his father had unsuccessfully tried to remove. Bom Boy is a well-crafted and complex narrative written with a sensitive understanding of both the smallness and magnitude of a single life.
Yewande OMOTOSO was born in Barbados and grew up in Nigeria with her Nigerian father, West Indian mother and two older brothers. She and her family moved to South Africa in 1992 and have lived there ever since. She is an architect ; space and buildings being a passion of hers second only to words and literature. She currently lives in Cape Town working as a designer, freelance writer and novelist.
Publication date : September 2011 - 272 pages - format : 135 X 210 mm - price : R180 - ISBN : 978-1-920397-35-7
Contact : Colleen HIGGS