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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

“I feel that as a writer, our duty is to capture the human experience” – read an interview with Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

I think a lot of novels that we have coming out that most people consider particularly African novels are expected to play on politics, on corruption, on all these things. I don’t want those to be at the forefront. They are there, obviously, and they are very dominant, like on the landscape and the scenery. But despite all this, people carry on with their lives. They are little romances in hidden corners, they have their issues with their children, and all that. This corruption, this politics, this violence, in a way it kind of shapes certain things in the way we behave and the way we act, it is not necessary that every time you have to struggle with corrupt politicians and corrupt people, but the decisions they make somewhere, so far away from you, somehow have a resonance in the way you make your decisions and the choices you make in life.

Jennifer Malec, editor of the Johannesburg Review of Books, interviewed Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, winner of the 2016 Nigeria Prize for Literature, during Ibrahim’s recent visit to Johannesburg.

Ibrahim received the Nigeria Prize for Literature for his novel Season of Crimson Blossoms.

Read their interview here and listen to Ibrahim read an excerpt from Season of Crimson Blossoms here.

Season of Crimson Blossoms

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Pan Macmillan to represent Cassava Republic Press in South Africa

Season of Crimson BlossomsBorn on a TuesdayThe Lazarus Effectnullnull
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Pan Macmillan is delighted to announce that as of July 2016 the company will represent Cassava Republic Press in South Africa.

Cassava Republic Press is a leading African publishing house and their list comprises an eclectic selection of quality literary fiction, non-fiction, crime, young adult fiction, children’s books and romantic fiction under the Ankara Press imprint. The publisher aims to spotlight the vibrancy and diversity of prose by African writers on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Their 2016 fiction list includes Elnathan John’s breathtakingly beautiful Born on a Tuesday which tackles unexplored aspects of friendship, love, trauma and politics in recent Northern Nigerian history; Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s mesmerising Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, a subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss and the erotic yearnings of an older woman; the crime novel Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms, a controversial and gripping story of an affair between a devoted Muslim grandmother and a 25-year-old drug dealer and political thug.

Cassava Republic Press has headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria with a second base in London. Since its founding 10 years ago in Nigeria, it has become a dynamic and truly international publishing house that Pan Macmillan is proud to represent.

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Why is the discovery of gravitational waves a big deal? Sarah Wild explains

InnovationInnovasieLast week, as South Africans were following the 2016 State of the Nation and related drama, a significant scientific announcement was made: Scientists had detected gravitational waves.

If you have no idea what this means, don’t worry – we didn’t either. Multi-award-winning science journalist Sarah Wild, author of Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science, has written an article in which she breaks down what this discovery means and why it is such a big deal.

Read the article:

This was perhaps the worst-kept secret in all of science: the detection of gravitational waves.

It has been seeping out of sources like leaky taps. But on 11 February, it was finally announced that scientists had detected gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves are distortions in space and time that – rather than the force of “gravity” – explain the dances of planets, stars and galaxies.

In 1916, in his theory of General Relativity Albert Einstein predicted the existence of these gravitational waves, linking space and time. Now, a century later, scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the LIGO scientific collaboration called the media together to tell them what they have been anticipating for weeks.

If you still don’t understand, watch this short film featuring the scientists involved explaining how this project worked to discover gravitational waves:

YouTube Preview Image

 
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French stamp of approval for Imperfect Solo by Steven Boykey Sidley

Ben Williams & Steven Boykey Sidley

 
Imperfect SoloThe French edition of Imperfect Solo by Steven Boykey Sidley has been receiving some excellent media coverage in that country, with the author being compared to heavy hitters such as Joseph Heller, Philip Roth and Richard Ford.

Published locally by Pan Macmillan in 2014, this dark comedy follows the flailing and hapless Meyer who is seeking hope and redemption as his world unravels around him. His random misfortune begs the question: Will Meyer find his grace? Can he, or we, ever?

Imperfect Solo is Sidley’s third novel and was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.

The French translation is titled Meyer et la catastrophe and published by Belfond. We love the cover, a completely different design to the local one:

 

Even if you don’t understand French, have a look a the incredible number of positive reviews in the French press:

French Reviews of Imperfect Solo

 
About the book

Meyer is filled with dread. His fading musical aspirations, his tyrannical CEO, his ex-wives, his exiting girlfriend, his ageing father, his beloved and troublesome children and his confused and bewildered life all bear witness to the sky that he is convinced will soon fall on his head.

And then it does.

This is the story of a man adrift in anxiety, ill-fortune and comic mishap, buffeted by the existential and prosaic concerns that modern life in Los Angeles inflicts. Forty years old, caught in the netherworld between the reckless optimism of youth and the resignation of age, Meyer tries to find handrails and ballast. Funny, intellectually probing and poignant, the story follows the flailing and hapless Meyer seeking hope and redemption as his world unravels around him. Surrounded by the absurdity of an ageing America, the affection of flawed but well-meaning friends and family and the randomness of everyday life, Meyer tries gamely to stay afloat.

He must navigate love lost and found and lost, the indignities of ageing, the courage to stand up to assholes and the search for the perfect sax solo. Will Meyer find his grace? Can he, or we, ever?

About the author

Steven Boykey Sidley has divided his adult life between the USA and South Africa. He has meandered through careers as an animator, chief technology officer for a Fortune 500 company, jazz musician, software developer, video game designer, private equity investor and high technology entrepreneur. He currently lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two children. Sidley’s novel Entanglement is the winner of the 2013 University of Johannesburg Prize (Debut) and was shortlisted that same year for The Sunday Times Fiction Prize and The MNet Literary Award. In 2014, Sidley’s second novel Stepping Out was shortlisted for the UJ Main Prize.

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Pan Macmillan South Africa acquires first book by Trevor Noah

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Pan Macmillan South Africa is thrilled to announce that it will publish Trevor Noah’s forthcoming book in November 2016.

Pan Macmillan South Africa has acquired southern African rights to comedian Trevor Noah’s first book, a collection of personal stories about growing up in South Africa during the last gasps of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that came with its demise.

Already known for his incisive social and political commentary, here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers an intimate look at the world that shaped him. These are true stories, told in the tradition of David Sedaris – sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious. Whether subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty or making comically hapless attempts at teenage romance, from the time he was thrown in jail to the time he was thrown from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, the experiences covered in this book will shock and amaze, even as they leave you rolling on the floor with laughter.

Terry Morris, MD of Pan Macmillan South Africa, says: “Trevor Noah captured the hearts of South Africans long before he took up the helm at The Daily Show.

“His incisive, intelligent brand of humour became the perfect antidote to the stresses of life in South Africa. His international success has become our collective success and we so look forward to working with Trevor to bring his unique voice to print.”

Trevor Noah said: “I couldn’t find a good book about myself so I decided to write one. And just like me this book doesn’t have an appendix.”

Rights were acquired from Abner Stein on behalf of Peter McGuigan of Foundry Media, Inc. The book, as yet untitled, will be published in print and electronic form in southern Africa in November 2016.

For all press enquiries please contact Laura Hammond at Pan Macmillan

For all translation rights enquiries please contact Kirsten Neuhaus at Foundry Literary + Media in New York

Image: Supplied


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Idris Elba: Mandela, My Dad and Me To Be Screened Locally

Photo @ Liam Dickson

 
The non-scripted film that followed British actor Idris Elba as he went on a journey of self-discovery after starring in the critically acclaimed film adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom will be airing on local TVs this month.

DSTV’s History Channel (186) will be screening Idris Elba: Mandela, My Dad & Me on Sunday, 6 December, at 8:30 PM. This documentary “not only documents one man’s struggle in producing his first album, but also his emotional quest to pay a fitting tribute to two inspirational men”.

After his role as the late first democratically elected president of South Africa Elba was inspired to produce an album with music that Mandela himself would have listened to. Before embarking on the project, Elba’s father sadly passed away, sending the album and eventual film in a whole other direction.

Watch the trailer to see what you can expect:

 

Media Update reported on the local screening of this fascinating documentary film:

Elba says; “Although difficult at times, Mandela, My Dad and Me was an incredibly fulfilling project and I’m thrilled to bring the film to Africa. HISTORY offers the perfect platform to share this story and I hope viewers will enjoy following my journey while producing my album mi Mandela, which is a tribute to my father and to Madiba, one the world’s most inspirational icons.’’

Mandela by Anant Singh, Ahmed Kathrada and William Nicholson serves as a historical companion to Elba’s biopic.

Mandela

 
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Image courtesy of Liam Dickson


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Catch Tony Park on His International Book Tour for the Launch of An Empty Coast

Invitation to the launch of An Empty Coast

 
An Empty CoastPan Macmillan would like to invite you to celebrate the launch of An Empty Coast by Tony Park at various events during his book tour in South Africa and Namibia.

The tour kicked off this week in Johannesburg, and Cape Town is next in line to meet the author.

Join Park on Thursday, 3 December, in The Palmyra Room at Kelvin Grove Club at 12 for 12:30 PM, and at the Dros Restaurant in Willowbridge at 6 for 6:30 PM.

On Friday, 4 December, Park is moving on to Namibia, where he will talk about his book at The Book Den at 1 PM and at Steak House Zum Grünen Kranz at 6 PM. On Saturday, 5 December, Park will be at Die Muschel Book & Art in Swakopmund at 6 PM.

On Monday, 7 December, the author will be at Exclusive Books Nelspruit at 6 for 6:30 PM and on Tuesday, 15 December, he will visit PNA Tzaneen at 6 PM.

Don’t miss it!

Cape Town

 

 
 
Namibia

 

 

 
 
Nelspruit

 
 
Tzaneen

  • Date: Tuesday, 15 December 2015
  • Time: 6 PM
  • Venue: PNA Tzaneen
    Shop 7
    Voortrekker Road
    Avispark
    Tzaneen | Map
  • RSVP: laura@panmacmillan.co.za, 011 731 3344

 
About the book

A father will do anything to solve the mystery of his son’s disappearance.
A mother will do anything to find her daughter.
A man tries to keep both parents alive.

Sonja Kurtz – former soldier, supposedly retired mercenary – is in Vietnam carrying out a personal revenge mission when her daughter sends a call for help.

Emma is on a dig at the edge of Namibia’s Etosha National Park studying archaeology and she’s discovered a body that dates back to the country’s liberation war of the 1980s.

The remains, identified as Hudson Brand, are a key piece of a puzzle that will reveal the location of a modern-day buried treasure. A find people will kill for. Sonja returns to the country of her birth to help Emma, but she’s missing.

Former CIA agent Hudson Brand is very much alive and is also drawn back to Namibia to finally solve a decades-old mystery whose clues are entombed in an empty corner of the desert.

“Australian author Park, who spends much of this time living in South Africa, writes in the same vein as Wilbur Smith and Bryce Courtenay, with a deep love for the African bush and wildlife.” – Sunday Age

“Tony Park has the uncanny ability to keep the reader reading and guessing.” – Sydney Morning Herald

About the author

Tony Parks has worked as a reporter, a press secretary, a PR consultant and a freelance writer. He is also a major in the Australian Army Reserve and served in Afghanistan in 2002. Tony and his wife divide their time between Sydney and southern Africa where they own a home on the border of the Kruger National Park. He is the author of eleven novels set in Africa.
 
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Read All About Nnedi Okorafor’s Recently Published Binti (With Excerpt and Interview)

BintiTor.com Publishing has just published Nigerian-American fantasy and science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor’s Afrofuturist novella Binti.

Binti – Okorafor first book set in outer space – is now available in ebook, print on demand and audiobook editions.

Tor.com Publishing is distributed locally by Pan Macmillan.

Binti tells the story of a 16-year-old girl from Namibia who is leaving home to take advantage of an opportunity to study at the prestigious Oomza University. The story is rooted simultaneously in the current reality of Africa and an speculative universe of the future, which makes it socially relevant in a number of different ways.

Read a review of the novella by Mahvesh Murad:

What is most important about Okorafor’s work is that she sees diverse races and cultures as being just as much of the future as they are of the present—something mainstream SF doesn’t always do. Not just does she put Africans from all over the continent in the futures she creates with great clarity and purpose, she makes certain that their various cultures travel forward with them, informing these futures, maintaining unique customs. Okorafor’s stories are where the ancient cultures of Africa meet the future, where what we have been and what makes us human meets what we can be and what we may be in the future.

Tor.com announced the publication of Binti earlier this year, and Carl Engle-Laird reported that the publisher was “thrilled to have her onboard”. Okorafor is equally happy about it:

“I’m really pleased and excited to be a part of Tor.com’s new novella program. My novella Binti is the first story I’ve ever written that is set in outer space. Tor.com’s novella program is daring, progressive and pioneering in ways that remind me of my main character Binti, so I think this is a perfect fit.”

Read an interview with the author on Tor.com, in which she shares a bit about what inspires her writing:

Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.

Godzilla. And not the heroic Godzilla, the one that comes and destroys sh*t for no reason.

Would you rather discover the fountain of youth or proof of life on Mars?

Life on Mars, definitely! Youth is highly overrated, Martians aren’t.

Tor.com has also shared an excerpt from the novella. In the excerpt, Binti sneaks away from her family home and set out on a space journey to university:

I powered up the transporter and said a silent prayer. I had no idea what I was going to do if it didn’t work. My transporter was cheap, so even a droplet of moisture, or more likely, a grain of sand, would cause it to short. It was faulty and most of the time I had to restart it over and over before it worked. Please not now, please not now, I thought.

The transporter shivered in the sand and I held my breath. Tiny, flat, and black as a prayer stone, it buzzed softly and then slowly rose from the sand. Finally, it produced the baggage-lifting force. I grinned. Now I could make it to the shuttle. I swiped otjize from my forehead with my index finger and knelt down. Then I touched the finger to the sand, grounding the sweet smelling red clay into it. “Thank you,” I whispered. It was a half-mile walk along the dark desert road. With the transporter working, I would make it there on time.

Press Release

Tor.com Publishing, an imprint dedicated to novellas and short novels, launched this September with Kai Ashante Wilson’s critically acclaimed fantasy The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. Tor.com has long published award-winning short genre fiction, and our new line provides a home for emerging and established writers to tell focused, engaging stories in exactly the number of words they choose.

From Afrofuturist science fiction to darkly imagined fairy tales, Tor.com Publishing offers a diversity of genre titles for a wide variety of readers. Our current books include:

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell: The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Only Judith Mawson (local crank) knows that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination. But if she is to have her voice heard, she’s going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies…

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace: In New York, eating out can be hell. Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings? Welcome to Sin du Jour—where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish.

You can find out more about our current titles, including Sunset Mantle by Alter S. Reiss, Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter, and K.J. Parker’s The Last Witness, here.

All of our titles are available globally in print, DRM-free ebook, and audiobook format. Starting next year, a select number of our titles, including Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (April 2016) and Infomocracy by Malka Older (June 2016), will also receive traditional print runs in partnership with Tor Books.

Ends

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Image courtesy of nnedi.com


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New Miniseries Madiba Announced, Starring Laurence Fishburne and Produced by Kweku Mandela

Nelson Mandela by HimselfNelson MandelaDeadline reports that Laurence Fishburne is set to star in a new miniseries on the life of former South African president and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela.

The executive producer of the series, which will be called Madiba, is Mandela’s grandson Kweku Mandela.

The series is based on two of Mandela’s books, Conversations With Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself, and will tell the story of the young Mandela during the early 1960s, dealing with the political unrest in South Africa.

The show will be directed by Kevin Hooks (Prison Break).

From Deadline:

“Nelson Mandela’s journey of political activism and leadership is deeply inspirational and we are proud to have the talented and award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne join Madiba to tell this triumphant story” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks.

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Read an Excerpt from Cat Hellisen’s Beastkeeper, a Thrilling Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

BeastkeeperBeastkeeper by Cat Hellisen, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, is the story of a girl called Sarah whose family is cursed by a strange old magic.

Dave de Burgh has shared an excerpt from the book, in which Sarah’s mother deserts her family because she cannot bear living with the curse any longer. For Sarah, the event is shocking and unexpected, but also the start of the journey of discovering her family’s history and how to escape it.

Read the excerpt:

The air was full of ice the night that Sarah’s mother packed all her bags and walked out. That was the thing Sarah remembered most. How it was so cold that the weather-men had said it might snow. She lay awake, listening for snow hushing against the roof—and instead she heard her parents arguing.

“I can’t do this,” her mother said. She was whispering so as not to wake her daughter. She never seemed to realize that Sarah was almost always awake. The smallest sounds could keep her from sleeping.

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