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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Claire Scott’s At the Fault Line explores whiteness and white identity through the lens of literary journalism

Social identities within post-apartheid South Africa remain highly contested with issues of race and racism often dominating the national discourse.

In order to find their place within the national narrative, white South Africans need to re-think their stories, re-define their positions in society and re-imagine their own narratives of identity and belonging.

By exploring whiteness and white identity through the lens of literary journalism, this book reflects on ways in which writers use the uncertainties and contradictions inherent in this genre to reveal the complexities of white identity formation and negotiation within contemporary society.

Authors such as Rian Malan (My Traitor’s Heart), Antjie Krog (Country of My Skull and Begging to Be Black), Jonny Steinberg (Midlands) and Kevin Bloom (Ways of Staying) are writing at times of political and social flux. By working at the fault line of literature and journalism, these literary journalists not only mirror the volatility of their social setting but also endeavour to find new narrative forms, revealing the inherent anxiety and possibility of whiteness in contemporary South Africa.

Claire Scott holds a PhD in English Studies from the University of the Western Cape and currently lectures in the department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has a keen interest in South African literary journalism, as well as representations of South African identities within popular culture.

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Tribing and Untribing the Archive selected as one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles

UKZN Press congratulates Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer on the selection of Tribing and Untribing the Archive as one of the “Choice 2017 Outstanding Academic Titles”.

The Outstanding Academic Titles from Choice are the best of the best. It is a prestigious list that reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice. Only a select group of publishers and authors are represented on such a list. The full list was publicly released & published in the January 2018 issue of Choice.

Choice, a journal which provides book reviews for academic libraries, has picked Tribing and Untribing the Archive (Set, Vols. 1 & 2), edited by Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer, for the 2017 Outstanding Academic Title (OATs) list.

This year’s OATs list features 504 titles out of approximately 6,000 works reviewed last year. The titles are selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatment of their subject.


“This seminal collection provides rare insight into issues of identity, ethnicity, self-expression, and performance (material culture) from the pre- to postcolonial period in South Africa.”

The “volumes provide unique and local representations of self from mostly South African authors about South Africa today and in the past”.

Included in this title are “colorful photographs of contemporary South African artwork and rare historic photographs of ethnic communities from the precolonial period” which will allow readers to “better understand the complexities of culture and material culture in the region”.

“These voices demand representation in libraries and universities in the USA. Essential. All academic levels/libraries”.

–Choice, Vol. 55, No. 1, September 2017

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Mandla Maphumulo recipient of the PanSALB Award for Inhlamvu Yelanga

Mandla Abednego Maphumulo has won the PanSALB Award (2016-2017) in the Language and Literature Category (isiZulu) for his book Inhlamvu Yelanga, a collection of short stories in isiZulu.

This PanSALB Award recognises both the written and the oral modes of linguistic and/or literary expression. It is for individuals/writers who have contributed to the promotion and preservation of all the official South African languages i.e. Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu, Khoi, Nama, San, as well as sign language.

Congratulations, Mandla!

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Jeff Opland awarded the Order of Ikhamanga: Silver for his contribution to history and South African literature

Jeff Opland has been awarded the Order of Ikhamanga: Silver for his outstanding contribution to the field of history and an impressive body of works in literature. The award read: “Your work exhumes stories of the dead and brings them to life so that the living can continue to learn and benefit.”

The Ikhamanga flower (more commonly referred to as the strelitzia, crane, or bird or paradise flower) is one of the world’s most recognisable flowers and is indigenous to the Eastern Cape. The Ikhamanga is the central motif of the Order of Ikhamanga and symbolises the unique beauty of the achievements of South Africans in the creative fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature is the academic library of Jeff Opland assembled in the course of his research into Xhosa folklore, especially praise poetry, and the history of Xhosa literature. Its contents include field recordings of Xhosa poets (1969–85), books and pamphlets in isiXhosa, and copies of literature published in ephemera. The Publications Series draws on material in the Collection, and presents diplomatic editions with English translations of significant works in isiXhosa, for the most part previously unrecognised or unavailable as published books, and studies of material in the Collection.

The ceremony will be held at the Presidential Guest House on 28 April 2017.

John Solilo: Umoya wembongi

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Jill Nudelman’s novel Inheriting the Earth wins the 2015 Olive Schreiner Prize for Prose

Inheriting the EarthUKZN Press is thrilled to congratulate Jill Nudelman on being co-winner of the 2015 Olive Schreiner Prize for Prose.

Nudelman’s debut novel, Inheriting the Earth, was published in 2013. This book captured the attention of Rosemary Gray, one of the adjudicators, and UKZN Press subsequently submitted it for consideration.

The novel has been praised for its striking insight into the concrete fissures separating South Africans, pitting different races, classes and genders against each other even as there are attempts to bridge the gaps induced by apartheid.

The book was praised as “a novel of great value in the transformation of thinking about indigenous knowledge systems in South Africa through its vivid depiction of the varied rock art renditions of the San people in the interior of the Drakensberg”.

UKZN Press continues to strive for excellence through the books that we publish and congratulates Jill Nudelman on this award.

The Thunder That Roars by Imran Garda, published by Umuzi, is Nudelman’s co-winner. The award presentation ceremony will be held in June in Johannesburg.

Related stories:

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Quality academic work recognised and celebrated – UKZN Press authors honoured with awards

Book awards play an important role in the recognition of the quality of books published, especially in a market where book stores may be constrained with the range of books they are able to stock.

UKZN Press is proud to announce that two of its titles led the way in the recent inaugural National Institute of the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Book, Creative and Digital Awards.

Class in SowetoWorld of LettersAntjie Krog and the Post-Apartheid Public Sphere

Submissions opened last year to honour outstanding, innovative and socially responsive scholarship that enhances and advances fields in the humanities and social sciences. The books categories celebrate members of the Humanities and Social Sciences community who are undertaking the vital work of creating post-apartheid and postcolonial forms of scholarship.

Peter Alexander, Claire Ceruti, Keke Motseke, Mosa Phadi and Kim Wale took first prize in the Non-fiction: Edited collection section for their book Class in Soweto.

Corinne Sandwith, author of World of Letters: Reading Communities and Cultural Debates in Early Apartheid South Africa was shortlisted in the Non-fiction: Manuscript category.

In her pioneering study, Sandwith recovers a rich historical tradition of public and cultural debates about literature and communities in early apartheid South Africa and this book was also honoured by her winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award – University of Pretoria. Before Professor Sandwith took up her position at the University of Pretoria in 2014, she taught for many years in the English Studies Department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Antjie Krog and the Post-Apartheid Public Sphere: Speaking Poetry to Power by Anthea Garman was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Book Prize at Rhodes University. In her book, Garman looks at how Antjie Krog became known to English speakers for her opposition to apartheid, especially at a time when South Africa was not only looking for a humane and just resolution post-1994, but was also establishing itself as a new democracy.

UKZN Press is proud to continue striving for excellence through the books that we publish. We congratulate our authors on their commitment to their writing and look forward to celebrating awards like this in the future.

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UKZN Press congratulates Kobus Moolman on winning the prestigious Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry

Kobus Moolman

A Book of RoomsUKZN Press author Kobus Moolman is the winner of the 2015 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

Moolman was awarded the prestigious prize for his latest collection, A Book of Rooms, published by Deep South Publishing, and distributed by UKZN Press.

Hearty congratulations to Moolman!

About the book

A Book of Rooms, Kobus Moolman’s new collection of poetry, deepens the explorations of his recent books Light and After and Left Over. While their Beckett-like sparseness and doggedness is still there, A Book of Rooms moves into a realist-biographical narrative form. Arranged in physically dense scenes described as ‘rooms’, it inhabits the childhood and young adulthood of a man with a serious physical disability growing up in a grim family environment in the final years of the white side of apartheid. The reader is compelled immediately into the character’s bleak and constant meetings with pain and failure. Yet inside this present-tense current can be felt a powerful will to live, sharp flashes of humour – and an even more powerful drive to know the truth.

Critical comments on Moolman’s two previous books:

“The reader is constantly located in the artist’s body negotiating between the physical space of bricks and mortar, and the inner, imagined reality which is a shifting, unreliable space … The highlight of this collection is the third section, entitled “Anatomy” … an extended meditation on the body as the place of fragmentation and reconnection, depersonalistion and reintegration … searing, honest and brave, opening to the reader in progressively intimate revelations that enable one to experience firsthand the narrator’s visceral reality.”

Liesl Jobson reviewing Light and After (2011) in FMR Book Choice 2011

“Working through a Moolman volume is both a rewarding and exhausting experience … However in a country where poems are too often simply sound-bites for fleeting perceptions and states of mind, [...] Moolman moves into a different space entirely, and has taken a much more difficult and honest path. The reader will emerge from this poetry chastened but delighted. They are works of acumen, depth and extraordinary pressure.”

Kelwyn Sole reviewing Left Over (2013) in New Coin, June 2014

About the author

Kobus Moolman is the author of seven collections of poetry, and several plays. He has won almost every poetry prize offered in South Africa: the Ingrid Jonker prize, the PANSA award, the South African Literary Award, the DALRO poetry prize and the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry award. He teaches creative writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Sindiwe Magona’s isiXhosa Translation of Stories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe Included on 2015 IBBY SA Honour Roll

Sindiwe Magona

Alert! Sindiwe Magona’s translation of Stories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe has been included on the 2015 International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) SA honour roll.

During an event held in Pinelands last week, the South African section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY SA) announced their honour roll, which will all be presented at the IBBY World Congress in New Zealand next year. During the run-up to this event these books, six in total, will all be exhibited around the world at conferences and book fairs, and form part of permanent collections in some of the biggest international youth libraries.

Magona is recognised in the category “Translator: into isiXhosa” for her formidable translation of Mhlophe’s folk tales to Umcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika.

Stories of AfricaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika

Books LIVE was present at the announcement of Magona’s inclusion on the IBBY SA honour roll and have transcribed her acceptance speech:

To say that I am ecstatic would be an understatement.

I bitch a lot about translation, especially of children’s books that are sometimes totally and completely ignored. I remember a book I found in IBBY some years ago when I first retired and returned to South Africa. I found a book published in the states, and that book didn’t make it in Xhosa. I saw the book, I read the book and it had been shredded, or whatever.

Translation is important, and especially I think now in this country. I feel that the translation of children’s books could be part of our nation-building. It shouldn’t be that 20 years and more into the new dispensation children are still divided according to linguistic affiliations. I feel that Gcina Mhlophe’s book – which I translated from English to isiXhosa – those folktales should be available to all the children of South Africa. I grew up with Xhosa folktales, which I enjoyed. But I feel that English speaking children, children who speak Afrikaans as a mother tongue, Sesotho, Tswane, should all enjoy those folktales. I enjoyed Gcina’s tales in isiZulu when I could understand them translated into English.

I feel this is something that we – it is just a wish and a hope and a prayer – that we should be knitting a South African literature, especially for the young.

The previous translator who was here, who translates into Afrikaans [Kobus Geldenhuys], said something: What do you translate, and how do you translate it? Obviously you have the text in the original language, which you must then transport to the target language. You need to translate the story. You need to translate the sentiments, the joy, whatever is there, even the grief. Do you do it literarily, or do you do it poetically, or is it a marriage of the two? These are some of the decisions you have to make as a translator.

I love language, and for the benefit and for the pleasure of being reasonably steeped in both languages, isiXhosa and English. I am not a mother tongue English speaker, I don’t fool myself, but I have enough understanding and have used it enough, have studied it enough that I more or less control it, as much as one can be almost mother tongue. But know that there are things that one cannot translate … and you have to be respectful in dealing with someone else’s work. That you honour them, so that the person who reads the book in Xhosa does not begin by understanding that this is a translation. Translation should be hidden! You shouldn’t leave a big footprint a translator! It should read as an original for the person who is going to read the new work.

I would hate for anybody reading a book I translated to say, “Oh, this is what is must have said in English”. No. No. If your works looks like “this is what it must have been” then it is literal, and the person who is reading it in the target language should derive as much pleasure and respect for the person who created the original work. That shouldn’t be lost! You are serving not just the audience, you also serving the creator of the work. I think for me this is both a burden and an honour, and that is what I try to do.

I am very happy to get this recognition. I did not even know that such things existed, but I am happy to receive it.

2015 IBBY SA Honour Roll announcement
IBBY SA Honour List 2015-2016


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Helené Prinsloo tweeted live from the announcement:


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Press release

IBBY SA is the South African national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international body with 74 national sections around the world.

IBBY SA is pleased to announce that the following books have been selected for the IBBY Honour List to be presented at the IBBY World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2016 as having made a special contribution to recent South African literature for children and young people:

Author: Afrikaans
Fanie Viljoen: Uit (LAPA Uitgewers, Pretoria) – for making it easy for all teenagers to experience and emphathise with a young man’s growing realisation of his sexual orientation

Author: English
Charmaine Kendal: Miscast (Junkets Publisher, Cape Town) – for its sensitive exploration of the inner journey of a trans boy; probably the first South African teen novel about transgender

Translator: into Afrikaans
Kobus Geldenhuys: Hoe om jou draak te tem (Protea Boekhuis, Stellenbosch) translated from Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon – for capturing the spirit and sense of the fantastical in his translation

Translator: into isiXhosa
Sindiwe Magona: Umculo neentsomi zase-Afrika (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg) translated from Gcina Mhlophe’s Stories of Africa – for transmitting the magic of the original folktales so faithfully

Translator: into Sesotho
Selloane Khosi: Baile le Moketa (Jacana Media, Johannesburg), translated from Gerard Sekoto’s Shorty and Billy Boy – for a clear and lively version of the 1973 story of Sekoto’s, only recently published for the first time.

Dale Blankenaar: Olinosters op die dak / Rhinocephants on the roof by Marita van der Vyver (NB Publishers, Cape Town) – for his rendering of the eerily atmospheric world of the writing

The above announcements were made at an event hosted by IBBY SA at the SASNEV building in Pinelands, Cape Town, on Thursday 17 September 2015.

The announcements were made by Lona Gericke, former children’s librarian, former chair and vice-chair of IBBY SA, and a former member of the international Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury. She holds the Awards portfolio on the Executive Committee of IBBY SA. IBBY SA’s current Chairperson Professor Genevieve Hart handed over the certificates.

Five of the six people nominated were able to attend the event and receive their IBBY SA certificates in person. Likewise, five of the six publishers involved were the happy recipients of IBBY SA certificates.

“We are really glad that the six categories were spread among six different publishers,” said Lona Gericke. “It means that more and more publishers are doing excellent work in the field of literature for children and young people.”

Is there anything especially noteworthy about this year’s Honour List nominees? “Isn’t it striking,” commented Genevieve Hart, “that the two ‘Author’-category nominees have both written books about sexual diversity? It is a very significant area of teenager experience, and one welcomes such careful and sensitive treatments.”

What lies ahead for these six books? Copies have been despatched to the head office of IBBY in Basle, Switzerland. At next year’s IBBY World Congress they will be on display, will appear in the Honour List of Books brochure, and will be the subject of a screened presentation in a plenary session of the Congress, after which they will move on to be displayed at the famous Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

So, the recognition and the exposure for these writers, translators and illustrators could be very significant for their careers.


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CHOICE Selects Class in Soweto as an Outstanding Academic Title

Class in SowetoUKZN Press is proud to announce that CHOICE (the review journal for academic libraries) has selected Class in Soweto, by Peter Alexander, Claire Ceruti, Keke Motseke, Mosa Phadi and Kim Wale, as one of their Outstanding Academic Titles.

This is from a pool of over 7 000 titles reviewed by CHOICE in the past year. (They select less than 10% to be OATS.) So, indeed, a high honour.

Class in Soweto presents findings and analysis from six years of research on class structure and class identity in Soweto, South Africa’s most populous and politically-important township. This is placed within the context of heightened socioeconomic inequalities in nearly all countries around the world.

The authors looked at a number of areas. How do Sowetans understand class and how do they locate themselves and each other within the broad divisions of class outline? What are the markers and indicators that influence their perceptions of class and does the terminology of class affect these perceptions through dilution into indigenous languages. Setting out class structure and class identity, with its extremes of unemployment, strike action and ongoing insurrectionary unrest among the urban poor, the book draws on a large, wide-ranging representative survey and extensive qualitative fieldwork. It makes an original contribution to the sociology of class and to the politics of contemporary South Africa.

Alexander is professor of sociology at the University of Johannesburg and holds the South African Research Chair in Social Change. He has published four books and has an international reputation for his work on labour history and social identity.

Ceruti, Phadi and Wale are working on their doctorates and are researchers affiliated with Research Chair in Social Change.


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Christopher Ballantine and Goolam Vahed Reflect on the Prestigious UKZN Book Prize

Marabi NightsChatsworthChristopher Ballantine and Goolam Vahed recently spoke to Melissa Mungroo about being awarded the 2012/13 University of KwaZulu-Natal Book Prizes recently.

Ballantine said his book, Marabi Nights: Jazz, ‘Race’ and Society, which is prescribed by music departments at universities in South Africa, the United Kingdom and America, helps people “to become aware of the history and the social meanings of marabi-jazz”.

Vahed co-edited Chatsworth: The Making of a South African Township with Ashwin Desai, which includes essays by over 20 contributors. “This took a lot of hard work, including logistical and communication problems. The end result is a book that we are all proud of,” Vahed said.

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Academics Professor Christopher Ballantine of the School of Arts: Music and Professor Goolam Vahed of the School of Social Sciences, each received the coveted 2012/13 UKZN Press Book Prize for books they have had published.

Ballantine’s book is titled: Marabi Nights – Jazz, ‘Race’ and Society in Early Apartheid South Africa, while Vahed’s is titled: The Making of a South African Township.

Ballantine won the prize under Category A: Academic Book, and Vahed under Category B: Edited Book award. Both books were published by UKZN Press.

‘The UKZN Book Prize is a prestigious honour for our authors,’ said Ms Adele Branch of UKZN Press. ‘The number of submissions is huge, especially as there are a lot of academics who publish books via overseas or other local publishers or through departments and other avenues.

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