Thursday, January 28, 2010

Congratulations to 2 'amaBooks writers

Christopher Mlalazi has been offered a Feuchtwanger Fellowship, a nine-month residency for a writer at the Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades, California. The selection committee for the Hellman/Hammett grant programme, which is managed by Human Rights Watch, was asked to suggest a writer for the Fellowship and Christopher was selected.
The Villa Aurora is the former home of exiled German-Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta. It is now an international meeting place and artists residence that fosters exchange in the fields of literature, music, art, and film. It was set up as a living memorial to artists and intellectuals who found refuge from Nazi Germany in Southern California. It also commemorates the role that these exiles played in shaping art and culture in their new home.
'amaBooks have published Christopher's collection of short stories, Dancing with Life: Tales from the Township, as well as short stories by Chris in each of the Short Writings from Bulawayo series and in Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe.

Congratulations also to Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, who has been invited to attend the next Caine Prize workshop. Novuyo has had short stories published by 'amaBooks in both Echoes of Young Voices and Silent Cry: Echoes of Young Voices. In attending the workshop, she will be following in the footsteps of others who have written for 'amaBooks, including Christopher Mlalazi, Tinashe Mushakavanhu and, last year, Thabisani Ndlovu.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Long Time Coming a 'Best Book of 2009'

Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe has been chosen by New Internationalist as one of their two 'Best Books of 2009'. They commented that: 'Each piece here – and they are miniature marvels, with no story longer than eight pages – vividly illuminates an aspect of what it is actually like to live in a country that has been systematically looted and stripped of functioning organizations. From a Zimbabwean publishing house, this book’s very existence seems little short of a miracle. '

The second 'Best Book' chosen was also African, José Eduardo Agualusa's novel Rainy Season, set in Angola.

The list of best books, films, music can be found at

New Internationalist magazine has existed for over 30 years and currently is the largest progressive magazine in circulation in the United Kingdom. It also has editorial and sales offices in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA  It has recently won the UTNE Independent Media Award for "Best International Coverage" for the eighth time. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Christopher Mlalazi Interview on 'Conversations with Writers'

Christopher Mlalazi's interview with Ambrose Musiyiwa has been posted on the Conversations with Writers blog. The interview concentrates on his award-winning collection of short stories, Dancing with Life: Tales from the Township, and also on his collaboration with Raisedon Baya, which resulted in the banned play The Crocodile of Zambezi, as well as others.
In the interview, Christopher describes Dancing with Life, published by 'amaBooks in 2008,  as 'a reflection of the struggles and suffering of Zimbabwean people living in a disintegrating society with its farm invasions and our economy taking a nose-dive. I regard this short story collection as a series of snap shots of this trying period and I try to be as honest as I can in my depictions so as not to misinform readers. I try to be as near to the truth as I can get in the hope that this will leave people asking themselves deep mind-changing questions.'
The complete interview can be viewed via the link below.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

amaBooks a 'Publisher to Watch'

The Africa Report has listed 'amaBooks as an African  'Publisher to Watch' - one of only 8 publishers out of around 800 in Africa. The other publishers selected are Langaa from Cameroon, StoryMoja and Kwani? from Kenya, Chimurenga from South Africa, Farafina Books and Cassava Republic Press from Nigeria, and Woeli Publishing from Ghana.
The article, written by Frank Bures in Nairobi, looks at recent changes in publishing in "Africa, which produces less than 2% of the world’s books, and where the continent’s 800-odd publishers face challenges unknown to those in the West: bad roads, terrible printers and a readership with little money to spend on luxuries like books. In recent years a new generation of publishers ... have been emerging, harnessing both technology and the global economy to put out books in a way that they never have been before."
To read the complete article, please click on the title above.