BOOK BRAVE beautiful BADASS
Agorgeously illustrated new offering from Modjaji Books has hit the shelves in time for Women’s Day on August 9. A to Z of Amazing South African Women, written by Ambre Nicolson and illustrated by Jaxon Hsu, is a simple feel-good offering.
But it is also important in acknowledging and restoring herstories (Lilian Ngoyi, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mrs Ples and the Khoi matriarch Krotoa, for example) while holding up a woke new generation (Zanele Muholi, Dope Saint Jude, Wanelisa Xaba and scientist Buyisiwe Sondezi, for instance). And it doesn’t shy away from the badass women in history, such as stripper Glenda Kemp.
Hsu’s illustrations create an instant iconography around each woman and are as much a reason to buy the book as the text. (Shop for it online at R295 from modjajibooks.co.za)
Of course A to Zs have their limitations and everyone will have their own personal gripe about who has been left out. Mine is where the hell is Brenda Fassie? Miriam Makeba and Yvonne Chaka Chaka feature and so does Judith Sephuma. But no Ma Brrr! (and no Thandiswa Mazwai for that matter.) But this makes a great gift and is a joy to browse through.
GET READY FOR FESTIVAL SEASON
Book fest season is upon us, with the Jozi Book Fair (Aug 31 to Sep 3 in Newtown), Open Book (Sep 6 to 10 in Cape Town) and the SA Book Fair (Sep 8 to 10 in Joburg) announcing their line-ups. Check them out at jozibookfair.org.za, at openbookfestival.co.za and at southafricanbookfair.co.za.
We’ll be offering our picks of the best as the events draw closer, but let’s just say right now that we’re totally there for sessions like Pumla Gqola and Iman Verjee speaking to Helen Moffett about writing rape at Open Book; a screening of the film, The Whale Caller, followed by a discussion with director Zola Maseko and novelist Zakes Mda, whose novel the film is based on, at the Jozi Book Fair; and the Poetry Café with Phillipa Yaa de Villiers, Nick Mulgrew and Koleka Putuma at the SA Book Fair.
– Charl Blignaut
G IS FOR GLENDA KEMP
P IS FOR MRS PLES
W IS FOR WINNIE MANDELA
S IS FOR CASTER SEMENYA