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For the four friends jogging their regular morning route, along the sleepy suburban streets of Fish Hoek, nothing could have warned them of what was to come. Trying to take a short cut and win favour with his taxi boss, a young driver Tshepo Dlamini crashes into one of the runners. As Claire's lifeless body lies crumpled on the ground, Tshepo finds himself trapped in a metal carcass. What's left of his life is turned upside down.
Watching the accident happen, Maureen stands on her balcony and is the only witness. Yet she harbours another dark secret.
To save his life, Tshepo's leg is so badly injured that it must be amputated. Maureen must learn to deal with her husband's addiction and build her own life. No longer the awesome foursome, Tanya, Liz and Kate reframe their friendship without Claire and overcome their fears and inertia. For James, Claire's adoring boyfriend, his life begins to unravel as he wakes to the news that Claire is dead, leaving him to question life as it was and will be.
From shock to acceptance, each chapter is a journey, and as each person tries to move forward with their lives, they must face their mistakes, set against the complex backdrop of small town South Africa. Showing that there is always hope, and that change is inevitable, each character must learn to forgive themselves and others, but for some, the hope of closure may be harder than they thought.
Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. For reasons that include her grim financial prospects and her age, she moves to a widow’s boarding house and eventually finds work as a biology teacher. But at every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point.
In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival.
As a last resort, Tambudzai takes an ecotourism job that forces her to return to her parents’ impoverished homestead. This homecoming, in Dangarembga’s tense and psychologically charged novel, culminates in an act of betrayal, revealing just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be.
Drawing on the true history of ‘Farini’s Friendly Zulus’, a group of men who were taken to Britain and then to America as performing curiosities, the novel opens in 1885 in wintry New York City.
The protagonist, Mpiyezintombi, simply called Em-Pee by the English-speakers, loses more than his name in this far-off foreign country; he is seen as little more than a freak-show act – though he is not kept in a cage like the beautiful Dinka Princess, with her gold-painted papier-mâché crown and fur cape. For EmPee, it is love at first sight, but the caged woman is not free to love anyone back: she is the property of Monsieur Duval, proprietor of Duval Ethnological Expositions.
And so begins one of Zakes Mda’s most striking stories, one that depicts terrible historical injustices and indignities, while at the same time celebrating the vigour and ingenuity of the creative spirit, and the transformative power of love.
In an already-great pantheon of Mda love stories and classic gems, this may be his most powerful work yet.
Lucy Lurie is deeply sunk in PTSD following a gang rape at her father’s farmhouse in the Western Cape. She soon becomes obsessed with the author John Coetzee, who has made a name for himself by writing Disgrace, a celebrated novel that revolves around the attack on her.
Lucy lives the life of a celibate hermit, making periodic forays into the outside world in her attempts to find and confront Coetzee. The Lucy of Coetzee’s fictional imaginings is a passive, peaceful creature, almost entirely lacking in agency. She is the lacuna in Coetzee’s novel – the missing piece of the puzzle.
But Lucy Lurie is no one’s lacuna. Her attempts to claw back her life, her voice and her agency may be messy and misguided, but she won’t be silenced. Her rape is not a metaphor. This is her story.
When opportunity strikes, television producer Deon Maas joins the boatloads of migrants heading for Germany. Faced with the choice of taking all his possessions along or selling everything, he opts for the latter. With a duffel bag and his four dogs, he departs for the First World.
Decadent Berlin blows his mind but also leaves him at a loss for words. As he criss-crosses the city, scratching at its pulsating underbelly, he marvels at German idiosyncrasies, and is roped into this new world by an array of vegan anarchists, eclectic musicians, football hooligans and graffiti artists.
As he tries to settle in, he has to deal with everything from obnoxious bureaucrats to nosy neighbours. In the process, Maas debunks a few myths about the First World: it’s not a perfect place where everything works, and German efficiency is definitely overrated.
By confronting the loss of his support network and adapting to a different political and social context, he learns exactly how deep his African roots go and what it takes to find your place in Europe as a white African.
Kapteins Griessel en Cupido wil van meet af aan nie dié docket hê nie. Die een van Johnson Johnson, oud-poliesman, sy lyk gekry langs die treinspoor anderkant Drie Susters. Want die saak is weke oud. Yskoud. Opgeneuk deur die SAPD, afgedwing op die Valke. Twee passasiers op die wêreld se luuksste trein – waaruit Johnson klaarblyklik gespring het – is spoke. En die arrogante beamptes by die BBP-Beskermingseenheid lieg soos tannetrekkers. Oor kardinale inligting.
Negeduisend kilometer noord leef Daniel Darret sy nuwe, eenvoudige lewe in Bordeaux. Tot Ronnie May opdaag, en hom vra om nog een keer te jag. Sy prooi is die staatsgekaapte president van sy tuisland. Want dít is wat Daniel in die ou dae gedoen het, toe hy ’n laksman vir die Stasi en KGB was.
Kan die Valke die gemors betyds ontrafel om die sluipmoord te keer? Kan Daniel die meedoënlose Russiese agente ontglip wat hom tot elke prys wil elimineer? En gaan Bennie dit alles oorleef om eindelik vir Alexa Barnard te vra om te trou?
Twenty-six years is a long time not to be alive.
Since the accident that ruined her life, Catherine has lived on autopilot, going through the motions of work and motherhood without being fully present. Trying to fill the gap, her adult daughter, Julia, is looking for love in all the wrong places, and wreaking havoc on the lives that she touches along the way.
Just what will it take to shock Catherine back into life?
“This apricot tree has multiple souls that fill me with wonder every morning and enchant me by afternoon. This tree has bitter-sweet memories, just like the fruit it bears.”
If the apricot trees of Soweto could talk, what stories would they tell? This short story collection provides an imaginative answer. Imbued with a vivid sense of place, it captures the vibrancy of the township and surrounds. Told with satirical flair, life and death are intertwined in these tales where funerals and the ancestors feature strongly; where cemeteries are places to show off your new car and catch up on the latest gossip.
Populating these stories is a politician mesmerised by his mistress’s manicure, zama-zamas running businesses underground, a sangoma with a remedy for theft, soccer fans ready to mete out a bloody justice, a private dancer in love and many other intriguing characters.
Take your seat under the apricot tree and be enthralled by tales that are both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Bantubonke is an accomplished and revered jazztrumpeter, composer and band leader in decline - an absent present and inadequate spouse. He lives for art at the expense of all else, an imbalance that derails his life and propels him to the brink of madness and despair.
A story of direct and implied betrayals, Illumination is an unrelenting study of possession and loss, of the beauty and uncertainty of love, of the dangers and intrusions of fame.
Horn is the fast-paced story of the rhino poaching scourge in Kruger National Park.
Vietnam syndicates are enticing the impoverished African locals to risk their lives for a few dollars, while they make millions. The South African government appoints Eduardo Ruiz to head the Kruger anti-poaching unit. The rhino holds a powerful lure for the anti-poaching patrol, a London journalist, a Hong Kong society lady, a syndicate boss, and an Interpol agent who are all chasing the horn; on the living beast or as a powdered placebo.
(R50 from every book sold will be donated to the Kruger National Park anti-poaching unit)
Almal in Jurassic Park op die Kaapse Vlakte ken vir Anwaar ‘Ahnie’ Brandt vandat hy ’n ekstra in die film GangStar was. Maar die baas van die Butcher Boys soek nog meer roem. Nou maak die gang hulle eie movies met hul selfone – movies wat die vrees in mense se oë vasvang. Ahnie se ma, Mary, kyk anderpad en sê sy weet van niks. Sy het mos nog ’n baksteenfoon, sy like nie van tegnologie nie.
Nicole Lamb en Derick Delcarme is in matriek en verlief, maar toe Nicole swanger raak, moet Derick die skool verlaat om ’n werk te soek. Hy het geen ander keuse as om by die UML-gang aan te sluit nie, want daar kan hy darem geld maak.
Rolanda Fischer wil ’n lewe van weelde soos ’n Cape Kardashian hê en as sy nie ’n celebrity op sosiale media kan word nie, gaan sy vir haar ’n ryk man kry. Maar sy hou ook van ’n bad boy . . .
In Kinnes deur Chase Rhys word moeilike waarhede met deernis en humor oopgeskryf.
South African playwright Hannah Meade arrives in London for the opening night of her new play. She has arranged to meet Pierre, the student she was in love with when she taught English in Paris. During their time together, they lied their way towards truths they were too young and inexperienced to endure. Perhaps this time they will have a second chance.
As the reader is drawn from contemporary London back to Paris on the eve of the war in Iraq, the mystery of past events is brought to vivid life in a series of dramatic, intriguing and deeply moving encounters. Written in layered, stark prose, The White Room lays bare many of our assumptions about language, identity, memory, loss and love.
‘Craig Higginson is at the vanguard of the latest and most exciting novelists in South Africa, both robust and sensitive, offering a barometer of the best to be expected from the newest wave of writing in the country.’ – André Brink
‘In its conception and execution, The White Room is remarkable ... Evocative and dreamlike, yet all too nightmarishly real, this is a story so moving that it leaves a powerful afterimage on the reader’s imagination.’ – Craig Mackenzie
In the irreverent tradition of her best-selling Death by Carbs, Paige Nick rounds up a fresh herd of sacred cows in another hilarious local satire. But this time it’s Number One who gets the treatment.
When ex-president J Muza is released from prison on medical parole for an ingrown toenail, his expectations of a triumphant return to power and admiration are cruelly dashed. His once lavish Homestead is a rotting shell, his remaining wives have ganged up on him, the Guptas have blocked his number, and not even Robert Mugabe will take his calls any more. And he just can’t seem to get his plans for world domination off the ground. Muza is banking on his memoirs full of fake news to pep up his profile, but his ghostwriter, a disgraced journalist, has problems and a tight deadline of his own. What Muza’s not banking on is a fat bill for outstanding rates on The Homestead, and a 30-day deadline to pay back the money, before the bailiffs arrive to evict him.
Is Muza a mastermind, or simply a puppet who fell into the wrong hands? Who is really playing who? What are his remaining wives up to, and will they stay or will they go? And how will he ever pay back the money? Can the ghostwriter make his deadline before he winds up dead? Or are both men destined to be homeless and loathed forever?
As Imogen Zula Nyoni, aka Genie, lies in a coma in hospital after a long illness, her family and friends struggle to come to terms with her impending death.
Genie has gifts that transcend time and space, and this is her story. It is also the story of her forebears – Baines Tikiti, who, because of his wanderlust, changed his name and ended up walking into the Indian Ocean; his son, Livingstone Stanley Tikiti, who, during the war, took as his nom de guerre Golide Gumede and who became obsessed with flight; and Golide’s wife, Elizabeth Nyoni, a country-and-western singer self-styled after Dolly Parton, blonde wig and all.
With the lightest of touches, and with an overlay of magical-realist beauty, this novel sketches, through the lives of a few families and the fate of a single patch of ground, decades of national history – from colonial occupation to the freedom struggle, to the devastation wrought by the sojas, the hi virus, and The Man Himself. By turns mysterious and magical, but always honest, The Theory Of Flight dwells not on what was lost and what went wrong in a nation’s history, but on the personal triumphs and why they matter.
‘Outside, in the road, behind what looks like some hastily erected barricades, I see a crowd.
Television cameras. Lights. Paparazzi. Press photographers.
They’ve materialised out of nowhere. What looks like over a hundred locals and tourists are peering into every car leaving this area. Crowding against the car doors, pushing cameras up against the windows. Jostling. Screaming. Shouting. In all my anxiety, hard- nosed journalist that I’m not, during the hours spent shifting around in the plastic seat in the waiting room I had somehow not understood the enormity of this story.’
As deputy editor of the glamorous FILLE magazine in London, Lisa Lassiter had almost passed up the chance of a weekend on a billionaire’s yacht off the coast of Mykonos. But her best friend Claudia Hemmingway, on her way to becoming one of the hottest movie stars on the planet, could be very persuasive when she wanted something. Not only would they get there by private jet, she’d told Lisa, they would also get to rub shoulders with VIP guests – not least a famous Hollywood film producer. It would be a weekend of fun, sunshine, champagne and partying. And it was all of those things. Until it wasn’t.
Lisa has spent ten years trying to get past that weekend. If she has learnt anything, it is that unfinished business and secrets always work their way to the surface. Moving on is one thing; forgetting is another, and forgiving ... well, where to start?
Son is a stunning achievement in post-apartheid writing. The debut novel by South African writer, Neil Sonnekus, Son brims with brio, verve and swagger. Though laugh-out-loud funny at times, it is also achingly poignant and deeply moving.
Sonnekus brilliantly captures the so-called Noughties with his tragi-comic creation Len Bezuidenhout, a recent divorcee whose quest for sex is as funny as his attempts to tease a hungover narrative from his father, a puritanical old curmudgeon. The two couldn’t be more different – or similar. They are both storytellers, but when the tale Len starts extracting from his old man is slowly revealed, it is everything but funny. Through scalding humour, caustic wit and brutally frank interrogation into the country’s ‘post Rainbow Nation’ pathology, this stylistically imposing work is one of hilarity, bitter warmth and eventual grace.
Son is at times uproarious and unremittingly frank as it exposes politics as a tragic farce. It is both self-deprecating and sensual as it traverses the dark arts of sexual conquest and desire while it simultaneously unearths brutal anxieties around crime, alienation and aging. Central to Son is the brutal mirror of what it means to be a white man in South Africa, confronting a rapid loss of power while struggling to come to terms with stark socio-political change and the possibilities of living an unfulfilled and alienated life.
While it hums and whirs with sound, movement and humour, Son seamlessly takes the reader on a profound journey of compassion and self-understanding. In a dark and disturbing turn, it argues that the dominant colour of the rainbow has become not white nor black, but red. Blood red.
“Hillbrow, 1967. The New York of Africa. Someone wrote that the place would soon have more people per square kilometre than Tokyo. Everyone quoted that article to everyone. Some even cut it out and kept it folded in their wallets.”
While other boys daydream about racing cars and football, eleven-year-old stutterer Phen sits reading to his father. In number four Duchess Court, Phen’s dad looks like a Spitfire pilot behind his oxygen mask. But real life is different from the daring adventures in the books Phen reads and he is forced to grow up faster than other boys his age. This is until Heb Thirteen Two shows up: in his pinstriped suit pants and tie-dyed psychedelic top, the stranger could be any old bum, or a boy’s special angel come to live among men.
Poignant, witty and wise, John Hunt's "The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head" is a meditation on being alive and shows us the power of books when we need them the most.
A group of women at a specific period in the history of Southern Africa find their family life under the pressures of capitalist modernity and apartheid.
These ordinary, 'private' stories are anchored to the more powerful public stories of Penelope of ancient Greek mythology, who waited eighteen years while her husband Odysseus was away, and Winnie Mandela who waited for twenty-seven years.
The life story of Winnie Mandela remains one of the great unfolding dramas of our times; a tale of triumphs and tragedies that is only just beginning to be examined.
In the spring of 1970, a Pretoria schoolboy falls in love with Muhammad Ali. He begins to collect cuttings about his hero from the newspapers, an obsession that grows into a ragged archive of scrapbooks. Forty years later, when Joe has become a writer, these scrapbooks both insist on and obscure a book about his boyhood. He turns to his brother Branko, a sound editor, for help with recovering their shared past. But can a story ever belong equally to two people? Is this a brotherly collaboration or a battle for supremacy?
This is an intricate puzzle of a book by a writer of lyrical power and formal inventiveness. Against a spectacular backdrop, the heyday of the greatest showman of them all, Vladislavić unfolds a small, fragmentary story of family life and the limits of language. Meaning comes into view in the spaces between then and now, growing up and growing old, speaking out and keeping silent.
From the moment 26-year-old Tristan Hansen steps out of the shower and onto the roof garden of his Maboneng loft, Toyboy pulsates with eroticism. The air is hot and humid, and there’s a Joburg thunderstorm brewing on the horizon. The first flashes of lightning illuminates Tristan’s spectacular flat and the riches it contains: gifts of thanks from his many clients, tokens of their appreciation. Because Tristan is an angel of pleasure, an exclusive escort to Johannesburg’s rich and powerful women. And he is one of a kind.
At how the enigmatic Tristan were trained in the art of lovemaking his clients can only guess. He seldom speaks of those who helped him shake off the strictures of his conservative mother who had to raise him on her own when his father committed suicide. Christina, his first love, and their story set far off in a small Italian village, he also keeps to himself.
But how did Tristan end up here? Who were those women who taught him all he knows? And who is the mystery caller who keeps on phoning and whose calls are filled with menacing silence?
Twenty years ago, Leon van Nierop published his Afrikaans bestseller Plesierengel. Toyboy, published in Afrikaans and English, is its prequel.
An evocative and finely detailed novel of ordinary life under apartheid that follows the lives of a family, particularly the women of various generations, who are named Dikeledi, who together form the backbone of the story.
Dikeledi captures, carefully and movingly, the essence of the turbulent days in which it is set. The focus on family drama within an incredibly difficult social situation, the small daily struggles rather than the huge challenges that conventionally make for ‘good’ archival footage, are what sets the novel apart from other literature that deals with the period.
Toe Pamina Vermaak by die werk uitfreak, sit sy skielik sonder inkomste. Boonop verloor sy haar kêrel, haar woonstel in Tamboerskloof, asook die laaste flenters toekomsideale wat sy naarstig aan ’t vasklou was – alles in een dag. Sy is gedwing om druipstert terug te keer na haar ouerhuis op die klein Weskusdorp Witwaterbaai. ’n Plek wat sy gesweer het haar nooit weer sal sien nie.
Intussen basuin die voorblaaie van poniekoerante dit uit dat rockster Wolf de Jager se verlowing met aktrise Daniella du Toit verbreek is en krioel dit op sosiale media van steelfoto’s waar sy hom verneuk. Hy moet weg uit die Kaap en ’n lukrake seleksie op Google Maps bring hom tot op Witwaterbaai, waar sy swart leerbaadjie harder as sy Fender Stratocaster skreeu teen die gehekelde doilies in Ant Leentjie se gastehuis.
Sal Pamina en Wolf op hierdie slakkepas-dorp van bokkoms droog en stoepsit hul probleme kan ontduik? Of lê daar net nog meer komplikasies voor?
One city. Five people. A bloody trail of revenge.
THE VICTIM AND HIS SISTER
THE DRUG DEALER
Why did Ben die? Who killed him? And what is the price of justice? Defying the conventions of the crime novel, Talion captures the dark and brutal consequences of grief, anger and revenge.
Een stad. Vyf mense. Wraak se bloedspoor.
DIE SLAGOFFER EN SY SUSTER
Hoekom is Ben dood? Wie het hom vermoor? En wat is vergelding se prys? Wrok breek die misdaadroman se reëls en werp lig op die morsige gevolge van verdriet, woede en wraak.
The Ecstasy of Brush Strokes is a sexy, intelligent and sometimes shockingly candid story, loaded with desire and obsession. It promises to be South Africa’s most erotic novel ever.
Alex feels like a bad girl. Alex can’t sit still. She’s on the run from the men in her life. Especially her sexual soulmate, Nicholas. But mostly she’s trying to escape herself. Set in the Karoo during a relentlessly hot and steamy summer, Alex needs to get away from her claustrophobic marriage to dependable Mark and her ongoing obsession with her first love, Nicholas. She is a woman brooding on her sexual desires, both drawn to and repelled by her hunger. She tells herself she is on a quest to reawaken her urge to paint. But is she really?
Once in the huge horizonless silence of the Karoo, Alex finds no inspiration in the rolling tumbleweed and dirty grey browns of her soulless landscapes. She longs to paint what she’s always ached for – passion and desire. She desperately needs to focus, forget the last time she saw Nicholas in that hotel – the way he took control of her body and her mind. Alone with just her fantasies and paintings, Alex is forced to self-reflect and come up with new plans. When the sultry Jessica arrives in the small town to join Pete, the swarthy-set builder, as her live nude models, things take on a whole new turn.
The smell of desire mixed with thick oil paints creates a palette of sensuality in the studio in the Karoo. Erotic boundaries are pushed as a ménage of erotic encounters unfold. But as the web of sensuality and intrigue intensifies, Alex finds she is unable to forget Nicholas. No matter where she runs, he’s always under her skin. But can he give up his life in Canada and take a chance on Alex?
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