Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This September Sun to be launched in the UK in May

Parthian Books in the United Kingdom discuss their forthcoming publication, Bryony Rheam's novel This September Sun.

Other good news concerning This September Sun is that the book has been chosen as a set book in Zimbabwe for Zimsec 'A' level Literature in English.

Read on for a sneak preview of some of Parthian's 2012 titles...


The rise of the book club continues this year, with Waterstone’s beginning their own online group, the continuing efforts of Richard and Judy, and the ongoing popularity of summer reads. Our forthcoming May title This September Sun would make an excellent book club choice. Winner of the Best First Book Award at the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association awards in 2010, we anticipate every success for its British publication. This September Sun was suggested to us for publication by 'amaBooks, a Zimbabwean publishing house run by Brian Jones and Jane Morris, who is originally from Ebbw Vale and comes back to visit whenever she can.

This September Sun follows the story of Ellie, a shy girl growing up in post-Independence Zimbabwe, longing for escape from the confines of small-town life. When she eventually moves to Britain, her wish seems to have come true. But life there is not all she imagined. And when her grandmother Evelyn is brutally murdered, a set of diaries are uncovered – spilling out family secrets and recounting a young Evelyn's passionate and dangerous affair with a powerful married man. In the light of new discoveries, Ellie begins to re-evaluate her relationship with her grandmother, and must face up to some truths about herself in the process. The novel is set against the backdrop of a country in change, and Ellie – burdened by the memories and the misunderstandings of the past – must also find a way to move forward in her own romantic endeavors.

Not only is This September Sun a thoroughly enjoyable read, but Bryony Rheam also bravely addresses the political and social situation of White Zimbabwe from the 1940s to the present day, addressing current affairs relating to Mugabe’s rule and the history of what once was Rhodesia. The novel stretches back to describe Evelyn’s doomed marriage to a soldier, and subsequent move to Zimbabwe, his home country, after his death. The doom and gloom of the economic situation has certainly evoked some of the wartime spirit, and this is reflected in the current popularity of many of the novels – and serialisations of them – set in this time. We also anticipate there continuation of the literary trend for African writing. Author Bryony Rheam is based in Ndola, Zambia and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. We hope that This September Sun will sit alongside novels such as Adiche’s Half of a Yellow Sun, but with a different and intriguing angle.

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