Monday, August 9, 2010

Cape Town Book Fair and the Joburg Bed Launch

I am back, well most of me. A friend of mine believes that when we travel we leave bits of ourselves behind that come home at their own pace. Because of this, we take a while to be fully home. I imagine a bit of me still wandering around Cape Town Convention Centre or sitting in Fiona Snycker's sunny Johannesburg garden. They will straggle home, I hope, but in the meantime the parts of me back in Botswana are trying their best to get to work.

I'm beginning to feel as if my trip to the Cape Town Book Fair is a bit of a literary pilgrimage. I get filled up with writerly talks and talking, with books and publishing, with friends old and new. I fill my tank to power me through the next year.

I intend to write a few columns about the Book Fair but thought I'd point out some of the highlights:

Bonty at her stall

1. This year there was a fantastic collection of stalls for small publishers from around the continent funded by a German NGO. My friend Bonty Botumile (Thari E Ntsho Publishers) was among the publishers who had a mini stall within the African Collective stall. I also met two publishers I only knew from the internet, Jane Morris and her husband Brian from amaBooks in Zimbabwe and Bibi Bakare-Yusuf from Cassava Republic Press. All were part of this very important initiative to get African publishers ( and writers) working together.

Author of Trinity on Air, Fiona Snyckers at a panel discussion on Chic Lit and Women's Fiction

2.Great panels and other talks and workshops as usual. Listened to Wole Soyinka (and got my book signed) and Damon Galgut (and got my book signed). I'm a big fan of Sarah Lotz as people who read my blog know. I loved her book Exhibit A and I bought her new one Tooth and Nailed (got it signed and in the queue she pointed out that she had included me in her acknowledgments- I was severely chuffed about that). I got the opportunity to read my children's book Lorato and her Wire Car at the Vivlia stand on Monday. A group of children from a nearby school were my audience.

3. I met the folks publishing the romance books I've been writing, Kwela, and their staff Nelleke, Lindsay, and Wendy. I got a copy of my latest, Can He Be the One?, and it looks lovely!

4. I met with Michelle Cooper at Tafelberg and got things sorted for my young adult book, Aunt Lulu which will hopefully be out next year May.

5. I met up with one of my El Gouna co-horts Seni Seneviratne. We spent some time together on Saturday and then went to a poetry reading at Frieda's Cafe later that night. She read her lovely hedgehog poem and that made me quite happy.

Contributors to The Bed Book of Short Stories: (back) Isabella Morris, Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor, Jayne Bauling, Arja Salafranca, me (front) Rita Britz and Novuyo Rose Tshuma
(Photo courtesy of Isabella Morris)

From Cape Town I was off to Johannesburg for the launch of The Bed Book of Short Stories that I helped compile and in which I also have a story. I was graciously hosted by the lovely Snyckers family. The launch was at a beautiful bookstore in Melville called Love Books.

Seven of the contributors showed up (as well as quite a few other people) and we had a grand time. We each read excerpts from our stories and talked a bit about how we approached the theme of bed. At the end of the evening all books in stock were sold out!
Interested in winning a FREE, signed, Bed Book of Short Stories as well as a few other fantastic books from Southern Africa??
Pop over to author Judy Croome's blog for some great book giveaways!


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Lauri, your trip definitely sounds like a writerly pilgrimage! And I love the idea that, when we've been travelling, it takes some time for all the bits of us to return home. That exactly describes the feeling after one has taken a long trip.

Thanks for the link to my blog - I'm so excited about having the signed copies of The Bed Book and other books by our fabulous Southern African women writers to give away! I'm hoping they'll find a good home to go to.

Looking forward to the rest of your columns about the CTBF.
Judy Croome

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like you're having a fabulous time on this trip of writing, friends, laughter, and books. Keep laughing and having fun!


Tania Hershman said...

Wow, it sounds amazing, a real writerly shot-in-the-arm! Welcome home, I am sure the other parts of you will follow!

bonita said...

Sounds like you've had a very busy and productive few months. It must be great to get out and meet with other authors. By the way, are you familiar with the work of Nedi Okorafor? She was born in the US to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents—her muse is Nigeria where many of her stories take place, either literally or figuratively.
You may find her work interesting