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MaThoko's Books

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Cape Town Launch of Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction

The Book Lounge and MaThoko’s Books & Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) are delighted to invite you to the launch of Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction.

Karen Martin, one of the editors and compilers will be in Cape Town for the event, she will be in conversation with Liesl Jobson. Some of the contributors will read from their stories too. Karen and Liesl will talk about the process of selecting stories and editing the book. Do join us for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine & snacks and some fascinating discussion to celebrate the launch of this important collection.

‘The art of telling my stories lies in saying the right things the right way, but sometimes, and sometimes more importantly, it lies in finding ways to say the things that are never said.’

The above quote, taken from Emil Rorke’s ‘Poisoned Grief’, one of the eighteen fine stories showcased in Queer Africa, beautifully captures both the motivation behind and urgent need for this anthology. Each of the authors represented here has found just the right way in which to talk about the things that are too often silenced, too often denied or violently opposed. Each one has also interpreted, explored and represented the theme ‘queer Africa’ in a unique way, resulting in a diverse and ground-breaking collection of short-form writing.

Queer Africa brings together historical and contemporary stories, affirming and disquieting stories, urban and rural stories. It features characters who are rooted firmly in their countries and cultures, and others who could live anywhere in the world. At its heart, the collection celebrates the diversity and fluidity of queer and African identifications and expressions, offering a sometimes radical reimagining of life on the continent. The stories courageously – and often in surprising and delightful ways – challenge assumptions about what it means to represent particular human experiences. As such, this collection of well-crafted and absorbing stories is for everyone: male and female, queer and straight, young and old, African and non-African.

Karen Martin is a fiction writer, collage artist and professional editor. In 2010, she published her first stories in itch, a South African-based multimedia online journal. In 2011, she was awarded a fellowship to Syracuse University’s three-year creative writing MFA program. In 2012, she was artist-in-residence at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony and the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. In 2013, she was awarded the Allen and Nirelle Galson Prize for Fiction by Stone Canoe, a journal that showcases artists and writers with ties to upstate New York. Karen has initiated and developed several projects for GALA, including Balancing Act, a book and exhibition of South African LGBTI youth life stories, and Til the Time of Trial, a booklet featuring the prison letters of LGBTI and HIV/AIDS activist Simon Nkoli. She is the co-editor of Sex and Politics, a collection of essays, memoirs and archival documents about the South African LGBTI rights movement and the anti-apartheid struggle.

The other editor and compiler, Makhosazana Xaba, will be in Cape Town for the Open Book Festival. She is a former writing fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) and is currently a writing fellow at the Wits School of Public Health. She is the author of two poetry collections: these hands (2005) and Tongues of their Mothers (2008). Her forthcoming début collection of short fiction, Running and Other Stories, will be published by Modjadji Books. She is the winner of the 2005 Deon Hofmeyr Award for Creative Writing and holds an ma in Writing from the University of the Witwatersrand.

These are the contributors to the collection:
K Sello Duiker (South Africa)
Natasha Distiller (South Africa/USA)
Wamuwi Mbao (Zambia)
Richard de Nooy (South Africa/The Netherlands)
Barbara Adair (South Africa)
Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda)
Lindiwe Nkutha (South Africa)
Rahiem Whisgary (South Africa)
Mercy Minah (South Africa)
Roger Diamond (South Africa)
Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda)
Annie Holmes (Zimbabwe)
TO Molefe (South Africa)
Davina Owombre (Nigeria)
Martin Hatchuell (South Africa)
Emil Rorke (South Africa)
Wame Molefhe (Botswana)

Event Details

Book Details