Pan Macmillan SA authors win at the South African Literary Awards

SALA celebrated 15 years of growth and success on International African Writer’s Day, 7 November 2020, with a virtual ceremony honouring local writers and stories.

10/11/2020
5 minutes to read
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Pan Macmillan SA is proud to have published three authors who have been honoured at the South African Literary Awards:

Born Freeloaders by Phumlani Pikoli – winner of the SALA K. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

Pikoli’s novel follows a group of friends born on the cusp of South African democracy examining their uneasy awareness of their privilege and the heightened sense of discomfort at their inability to change the world they were born into.

Born Freeloaders

by Phumlani Pikoli

Book cover for Born Freeloaders

Born on the cusp of democracy, the crew of young friends in Born Freeloaders navigates a life of drinking, wild parties and other recklessness. The siblings at the centre of the novel, Nthabiseng and Xolani, have been raised in an upper middle-class family with connections to the political elite. Nthabiseng is lauded by her peers as she whimsically goes through life, unable to form her own identity in a world that expects her to pick a side in the fractured classifications of race. Xolani, not having known his late father, longs for acceptance from an uncle who sees him and his generation as the bitter fruit borne of a freedom he and countless others fought for.

As the story moves across multiple spaces in the nation’s capital over a weekend, Born Freeloaders captures a political and cultural moment in the city’s and South Africa’s history. Interwoven is an analogous tale of the country’s colonisation and the consequences that follow. And alongside the friends’ uneasy awareness of their privilege is a heightened sense of discomfort at their inability to change the world they were born into.

Lacuna by Fiona Snyckers – winner of the SALA Novel Award

In this fictionalised response to JM Coetzee’s Disgrace, Snyckers gives Lucy Lurie a voice and explores issues of sexuality, trauma and identity.

Lacuna

by Fiona Snyckers

Book cover for Lacuna

Lucy Lurie is deeply sunk in PTSD following a gang rape at her father’s farmhouse in the Western Cape. She 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.

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.

Illumination by Nthikeng Mohlele –runner-up of the SALA Novel Award

Mohlele’s sixth novel is an unrelenting study of possession and loss, of the beauty and uncertainty of love, of the dangers and intrusions of fame.

Illumination

by Nthikeng Mohlele

Book cover for Illumination
Bantubonke is an accomplished and revered jazz trumpeter, 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.

Born a Crime (edition for younger readers) by Trevor Noah – winner of the Youth Literature Award

Adapted for younger readers from Born a Crime: And Other Stories – the South African and New York Times bestseller – Trevor shares what his life was like growing up. The stories he tells in this book will make you laugh, cry and fill you with wonder and inspiration as you learn how this mischievous young boy used his quick wits and humour to get through his day-to-day life. Against all odds and with his mother’s unfailing love and belief in him, Trevor overcame many obstacles to create a promising future for himself.

Trevor has donated his prize money to the Trevor Noah Foundation which supports underserved youth with the educational foundations and opportunities they need to become resilient future leaders of South Africa.

Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah

Book cover for Born a Crime

Adapted for younger readers from Born a Crime: And Other Stories – the #1 South African and New York Times bestseller

‘If my mother had one goal, it was to free my mind. My mother spoke to me like an adult. She was always telling me stories, giving me lessons, Bible lessons especially. She was big into Psalms. I had to read Psalms every day. She would quiz me on it. “What does the passage mean? What does it mean to you? How do you apply it to your life?” That was every day of my life. My mom did what school didn’t. She taught me how to think.’

Yheke Yanga by Refiloe Moahloli – winner of the Literary Translators Award

Yheke Yanga is the story of a young boy who plays the traditional South African game 3 Tins. This game prepares Yanga to eventually become an international cricket player, where he helps the national team to win the world cup. Yheke Yanga is a story about celebrating your heritage, doing your best and believing in yourself.

Yheke Yanga

by

Book cover for Yheke Yanga

Yheke Yanga is the story of a young boy who plays the traditional South African game 3 Tins. This game prepares Yanga to eventually become an international cricket player, where he helps the national team to win the world cup. Yheke Yanga is a story about celebrating your heritage, doing your best and believing in yourself.

Terry Morris, Pan Macmillan SA Managing Director, said: “In these troubling and often dark times, books provide a sanctuary, provoke us to think deeply, to explore our emotions and to empathise with others and their stories. We, at Pan Macmillan, would like to thank our incredibly talented authors for pushing the boundaries of creativity with their remarkable books. We remain indebted to the SALA awards and team for continuing to recognise the power of words and local books.”

SALA celebrated 15 years of growth and success on International African Writer’s Day, 7 November 2020, with a virtual ceremony honouring local writers and stories. SALA was founded in 2005 by the wRite associates, a literary art and events management and strategy company, and the Department of Arts and Culture, as a platform to celebrate South Africa’s rich literary landscape and its authors and language practitioners.

More details about the awards are available here: https://writeassociates.co.za/