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'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
Vaya the film is based on the lives of four young men from the Homeless Writer’s Project: David Majoka, Anthony Mafela, Madoda Ntuli and Tshabalira Lebakeng, and rooted in their experiences of coming to Johannesburg. Vaya the book brings you the people and stories that inspired the award-winning film.
The book provides a rare lens into life on the margins of Johannesburg. The stories are intimate and hard hitting, funny and heartbreaking, full of courage and humanity in a world that is both capricious and unforgiving. Stories of living on the street, of finding family and friendship in unusual places, and coming to the city full of hope and promise only to be betrayed by the very people one trusts most.
Mark Lewis’s haunting photographs bring into sharp focus life in the underbelly of the city.
"Things Even Gonzalez Can't Fix" is the shockingly brilliant debut memoir of a 24-year-old Greek South African girl, Christy Chilimigras. It is nothing like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Although there are old women in black plucking stray hairs from their chins, the nuts in the baklava appear by way of a dash of crack cocaine, a sneaky brand of sexual abuse and cereal Tupperwares, packed to the brim with dagga. It is also very funny.
It is the story of a young girl growing up in Johannesburg in a space of pure chaos, raised by two addict parents. In reality Christy, otherwise known as Mouse, is raised by Tiger, her older sister. Their childhood is strange, made up of crack excursions to Hillbrow on second weekends at 3am, courtesy of their father, and a dope-smoking mother, Old Lass, who raises the two young girls single-handedly while starting her own business. Tiger and Mouse’s worlds are overturned when Old Lass proceeds to marry an alcoholic control freak under an unsuspecting tree, only to get arrested following an invasion by the Hawks.
“Children of addicts are curious things. We are deathly serious. We tinker on the edge of the worst case scenario. We are manic in our joy. We mean to dip our toes, but rather dive head first into extremes. We despise drugs … and people who do drugs. So what then does it say about me when at 16 I fall desperately in love with a boy who perpetually has a joint dangling from his lips?”
"Things Even Gonzalez Can't Fix" is also a disturbingly brutal story about two sisters, raised by a father who has been sexualising them since they were toddlers.
“We are desperate for answers and the knowledge of where to place our discomfort. If it feels like abuse and hurts like abuse, but it doesn’t look like the abuse we read about in magazines, does it even count?”
At 16 Christy falls in love with Olive Oil, a dopehead addict, then, at 22, with a much older sado masochist, The Italian, who introduces her to a world of dangerously rough sex.
“The book is my attempt at reclaiming my sanity and sexuality, which was colonised a long time ago. It involved countless bowls of pasta, glasses of wine (which best you believe I overthought) and a compulsion to be honest; very honest. Like oh sweet Jesus it hurts to spill your guts. It hurts to be this honest.”
A book that simply pulsates with edgy originality, that unleashes a Millennial’s unapologetic perspective of our world, Christy Chilimigras is a new voice that demands to be read. Not since Kopano Matlwa’s "Coconut" has a book promised to shake perspectives and overturn the way we see things.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
Exit! is the story of Grizelda Grootboom life of prostitution and her ultimate escape from it all.
Grizelda’s life was dramatically changed when she was gang raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township. Her story starts there. It is a story about the cycle of poverty, family abandonment, dislocation and survival in the streets of Cape Town. She reveals the seedy and often demonised life of a prostitute; she describes the clubs and beds of the prostitution and drug industry over a twelve-year period.
She moves to Johannesburg at the age of 18 in an attempt to start a new life, but instead she is trafficked on arrival in Yeoville, tied in a room for two weeks and forced to work as a sex slave. What follows is a life of living hand-to-mouth, from one street corner to another, being pimped, being taught how to strip, and acquiring and using a variety of drugs – from buttons, ecstasy and cannabis to cocaine – to sustain herself. She speaks of how her prostitution gains momentum in city strip clubs and the sometimes tragic pregnancies that would follow.
Grizelda’s harrowing tale ends with reconciliation with her family, while raising her six-year-old son. In writing this story she hopes to open a window on the hidden and often misunderstood world of prostitution, thereby raising better awareness and understanding about its harms and the horrors of trafficking and prostitution of women and children, and drug abuse. She hopes to heal and to set an example for others to follow.
Stormie Omartian tells her compelling story of a childhood marred by physical and emotional abuse that eventually led her into the occult, drugs, and tragic relationships.
Finding herself overwhelmed by fear and on the verge of suicide, she shares the turning point that changed her life and reveals the healing process that brought freedom and wholeness beyond what she ever imagined.
In this poignant drama, there is help and hope for anyone who has been scarred by the past or feels imprisoned by deep emotional needs. It is a glorious story of how God can bring life out of death, life out of darkness.
Stormie wrote about some of the things that happened during the first thirty-five years of her life in a book called STORMIE that was published in 1986. She began the story at the major turning point in her life which started her climb out of darkness. She decided to again start at that point of deep darkness she was living in, in order to fully explain what drove her to the point of recognizing her condition and finding help. The following thirty-seven years after that point to the present day, is all new, much of which she has not spoken about publicly before. She feels the entire story should be told in order to prove that once you recognize the darkness for what is it, it is possible to walk out of it and in to the light for the rest of your life.
"My name is Samantha and Iím an alcoholic. At the time of writing, Iíve been sober for 13 years, 11 months and 16 days. And yes I still count. I promised I would never speak about it publicly until my children understood what that meant, that mommy was an alcoholic. I think they may have understood long before I did."
From Whiskey To Water is the no-holds-barred memoir by one of South Africaís most loved radio talk show hosts, Sam Cowen. Having kept her alcohol addiction well away from the public eye for over 14 years, in this tell-all tale, Sam finds the courage to talk about her struggle with her addiction to whiskey, food and finally to a passion that saved her life Ė marathon swimming. Told in her characteristically hilarious dead-pan style, this is one of the bravest books youíll read this year.
"So this is a book on how I stopped drinking? No, itís not. Itís how I stopped drinking, started eating, became clinically severely obese, stopped eating (everything that wasnít nailed down) and swam my way to freedom. No, itís not. Itís actually about addiction and learning and sadness and anxiety and love and drive. Itís about channelling the unchangeable into the miraculous. Itís about dragons and learning how to put them to sleep when you canít slay them. Itís about being my own Daenarys."
When Daniel Baxter, the medical director of a large community health centre in New York City, accepted an invitation to work in Botswana, he hardly knew where to find the country on a map. Yet he set out nonetheless, naively confident that he would do good by bringing his first-world expertise to help in the roll-out of Africa's first HIV/AIDS treatment programme. But Baxter's good intentions were quickly overwhelmed by the reality of AIDS in Africa, his misguided altruism engulfed by the sea of need around him. Lifted up by Botswana's remarkable and forgiving people and by the country's majestic beauty, Baxter soldiered on. His memorable encounters with those living with HIV/AIDS - their unfathomable woes assuaged by their oft-repeated declaration ''But God is good!'' - profoundly changed the way he thought about himself and his role as a doctor. Eight years later, when Baxter finally left Africa to return to the United States, he realised he was not so much the giver as the recipient of a great human gift. Compelling, humorous, courageous and often heart-breaking, One Life at a Time documents the extraordinary experiences of a fallible but compassionate doctor working at the front line of HIV/AIDS care in Botswana.
This is the story of a small black boy and his indomitable white mother's courageous battle against Aids. Nkosi's biological mother was dying when Gail Johnson took the two-year-old into her home. We are shown a moving portrait of a fight that is both intensely personal - as mother and son work to keep Nkosi's ailing immune system from collapsing - and regrettably political, as they engage government policy and the ignorance of a sector of their community. Nkosi has become an international icon on issues related to HIV/Aids and children's rights. He was posthumously awarded The World's Children's Prize for the Rights of Children - commonly referred to as 'The Children's Nobel Prize'.
"They'd degraded me to the point where I'd become this sex thing - this thing that wasn't human, but just an object. To the point where I believed that's what I was." Kate's ordeal began when she was living in sheltered accommodation, and she was violently introduced to an Asian sex ring. Traumatised and alone, she was too weak to try to escape or even tell anyone. Four years later, she had been passed between over 70 men in the West Midlands, was on drugs, and suffered with PTSD so severe she was on the edge of suicide. So when Operation Chalice came to recruit her, would she be strong enough to turn the tables and bring her abusers down?
`Spectacular. I can't stop thinking about it. Louisa Young is a beautiful, beautiful writer' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love This brutal, beautiful memoir from award-winning novelist Louisa Young is a heartbreaking portrayal of love, grief and the merciless grip of addiction. Louisa first met Robert Lockhart when they were both 17. Their stop-start romance lasted decades, in which time he became a celebrated composer and she, an acclaimed novelist. Always snapping at their heels was Robert's alcoholism, a helpless, ferocious dependency that affected his personality before crippling and finally, despite five years of hard-won sobriety, killing him. There are a million love stories, and a million stories of addiction. This one is truly transcendent. It is at once a compelling portrait of a unique and charismatic man; a bittersweet reflection on an all-consuming love affair; and a completely honest and incredibly affecting guide to how the partner of an alcoholic can possibly survive when the disease rips both their lives apart. This is a hugely important book - raw and unflinching but also uplifting and elegiac, it should be essential reading for anybody who's ever lost someone they loved.
The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller
This is the age of addiction, a condition so epidemic, so all encompassing and ubiquitous that unless you are fortunate enough to be an extreme case, you probably don't know that you have it.
What unhealthy habits and attachments are holding your life together? Are you unconsciously dependent on food? Bad relationships? A job that doesn't fulfill you? Numb, constant perusal of your phone, looking for what?
My qualification for writing this book is not that I am better than you, it's that I am worse. I am an addict, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, love and fame.
The program in Recovery has given Russell Brand freedom from all addictions and it will do the same for you.
This system offers nothing less than liberation from self-centredness, a new perspective, freedom from the illusion of suffering for anyone who is willing to take the necessary steps.
Each chapter begins with a story of the experience of HIV/AIDS. Based on the story, a particular aspect of living with HIV/AIDS is discussed. The reader is encouraged to reflect on how these issues challenge us and carry the seeds of hope. Two or three texts are taken from the spiritual and religious traditions of the world, to deepen the reflection. Each chapter culminates in suggestions for positive, practical action for the whole school and for the classroom. Thus the chapters are structured according to the Look, Judge, Act method.
In some parts of South Africa, more than one in three people are HIV positive. Love in the Time of AIDS explores transformations in notions of gender and intimacy to try to understand the roots of this virulent epidemic. By living in an informal settlement and collecting love letters, cell phone text messages, oral histories, and archival materials, Mark Hunter details the everyday social inequalities that have resulted in untimely deaths. Hunter shows how first apartheid and then chronic unemployment have become entangled with ideas about femininity, masculinity, love, and sex and have created an economy of exchange that perpetuates the transmission of HIV/AIDS. This sobering ethnography challenges conventional understandings of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
An account of the illicit drug trade and sex industry which shows how post-apartheid South Africa has been drawn closely into the global market for drugs, while continuing to exhibit its own peculiarities. Included is a discussion of official policy towards vice and suggestions for effective control measures.
When Dr. Daniel Baxter arrived in Botswana in 2002, he was confident of the purity of his mission to help people with AIDS, armed with what he thought were immutable truths about life--and himself--that had been forged on his AIDS ward in New York City ten years earlier. But Baxter's good intentions were quickly overwhelmed by the reality of AIDS in Africa, his misguided altruism engulfed by the sea of need around him. Lifted up by Botswana's remarkable and forgiving people, Baxter soldiered on, his memorable encounters with those living with AIDS, and their unfathomable woes assuaged by their oft-repeated "But God is good," profoundly changing the way he thought about his role as a doctor. Now, after caring for innumerable AIDS patients for eight years in Botswana, Baxter has written an urgent, quietly philosophical account of his journey into the early twenty-first century's new heart of darkness: AIDS in Africa, where legions desperately struggled to be among the spared and not the doomed. Part memoir, part travelogue, part chronicle of the zaniness of Botswana (one of the questions on his driver's license application was "Are you or have you ever been an imbecile?"), and part witness to suffering unknown to most Americans, his testimony is an unforgettable tribute to the many people he cared for. Join Baxter on his life-changing journey in Botswana, as he recounts the stories of people like Ralph, a deteriorating AIDS and cancer patient who nonetheless always wore a smile, or Precious, a woman found sick and abandoned in the capital's slum, or "No Fear," a rude man in Baxter's gym whose descent he halted. After many years on the front lines of the African pandemic, Baxter realized that "one life at a time" was the only way to fight AIDS.
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an idea from the age of exploration to the age of AIDS explores the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed. Epprecht argues that Africans, just like people all over the world, have always had a range of sexualities and sexual identities. Heterosexual Africa? aims to understand an enduring stereotype about Africa and Africans. It asks how Africa came to be defined as a "homosexual-free zone" during the colonial era, and how this idea not only survived the transition to independence but flourished under conditions of globalisation and early panicky responses to HIV/AIDS. In this timely volume, Epprecht examines a number of issues concerning sexuality and the construction of sexual identities that have largely been overlooked by studies of African ethnology in the past.
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER 'The most brilliant and fascinating book I have read in my entire life' Dan Snow 'A huge contribution... remarkable' Antony Beevor, BBC RADIO 4 'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops' resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.
'This is the story of how I came to drill a hole in my head to get permanently high...' Joey Mellen's memoir has achieved a legendary status that reaches far beyond the 500 long-vanished copies he printed in 1970. It has been hailed as the blueprint for the next step in human evolution, denounced as a tragic example of the dangers of drug experimentation, and retold endlessly as an irresistible anecdote of high craziness. A heavily expanded edition of Joe Mellen's legendary, long out-of-print auto-trepanation memoir.
Much has been written about how many parents, children and educators are infected or affected by HIV and Aids. However, little has been offered in the way of practical, pedagogical and emotional help for teachers dealing with HIV and Aids in their classrooms. This updated book is an attempt to help those teachers cope on a day-to-day basis in the classroom. This revised edition of Dealing with HIV and Aids in the classroom was inspired by reflections, comments and photographs provided by real teachers who created a new understanding of what it is like to be a teacher in a world where HIV and Aids are endemic.
DRUG USE AND ABUSE takes an interdisciplinary approach in its coverage of current drug issues. It weaves psychological, historical, cultural, social, biological, and medical perspectives -- emphasizing the idea that a drug's effects depend not only on its properties, but also on the biological and psychological characteristics of its user. This theme is highlighted throughout, and is prominent in discussions of the individual classes of drugs, as well as in the chapters on pharmacology and psychopharmacology.
Winner of The Green Carnation Prize for LGBTQ literature Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT non-fiction Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2017 'This superbly written chronicle will stand as a towering work in its field' Sunday Times 'Inspiring, uplifting and necessary reading' - Steve Silberman author of Neurotribes, Financial Times How to Survive a Plague by David France is the riveting, powerful and profoundly moving story of the AIDS epidemic and the grass-roots movement of activists, many of them facing their own life-or-death struggles, who grabbed the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Around the globe, the 15.8 million people taking anti-AIDS drugs today are alive thanks to their efforts. Not since the publication of Randy Shilts's now classic And the Band Played On in 1987 has a book sought to measure the AIDS plague in such brutally human, intimate, and soaring terms. Weaving together the stories of dozens of individuals, this is an insider's account of a pivotal moment in our history and one that changed the way that medical science is practised worldwide.
The inability of the medical establishment to effectively curtail the rapid spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, coupled with the questionable response to HIV/AIDS by the state and the public debates around the issue have all combined to draw attention to the sociological aspects of health and disease and to put them in the public arena. There is also an increasing recognition that health practitioners need to have a better understanding of the social aspects of health and disease. Sociology as a resource of knowledge and a unique analytical and conceptual perspective can be used to understand, to explain and to positively influence the course of the epidemic and our response to it.
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