Publishing rights for THE RAFT, Fred Strydom’s highly anticipated debut novel, have just been sold to SkyHorse Publishing in North America.
The novel was published by Umuzi in South Africa at the beginning of April, and was the subject of a multi-party auction, with SkyHorse securing the rights just ahead of the London Book Fair. The deal was negotiated by the Lennon-Ritchie Agency on behalf of Umuzi.
THE RAFT is set in a world of civilizational collapse, following a single devastating moment where humankind collectively loses its memory. For the novel’s main character, Kayle Jenner, all that is left of his past are the haunting visions of a boy he believes to be his son. Jenner embarks on a voyage across a broken world to find the boy. What he discovers on his journey is breathtaking.
Editor Cory Allyn of Skyhorse Publishing described the spellbinding novel as: “Lost meets Life of Pi meets The Road.”
Scriptwriter Paul Waterson is in Kenya to research a documentary film. It’s October 2001, and his relationship has come to an unexpected end. Searching for solace in Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu, he becomes obsessed with finding the last remaining mtepe dhow in Somalia, a magnificent, sewn vessel harking back to Africa’s rich maritime past. But getting someone to take him into Somali waters is proving near impossible. When he does manage to talk a dhow captain into the journey, he and the crew are oblivious to the dangers that lie ahead.
“An engagingly romantic, fast-paced tale of sailing-ship adventures off the myth-laden East African coast, with plenty of sex and action, plus a serious revisionist message regarding modern-day Somali piracy.” JM Coetzee
Justin Fox is a Cape Town-based travel writer, novelist, and editor. Justin was a Rhodes Scholar and holds a PhD in English from Oxford University. He was a research fellow at the University of Cape Town after his doctorate, where he still teaches part time. Justin’s articles and photographs have appeared internationally in a number of award-winning publications and his short stories and poems have appeared in multiple anthologies.
Ricky, aged 14, has been suspended from school for bad behaviour. Ricky’s absentee father is represented only by a monthly maintenance payout. Her older brother Wayne is dying of Aids after running away from home and getting hooked on drugs. Her hippie mother, who sobered up for a while, goes back to alcohol after Wayne’s death and does even less mothering than before. After Wayne’s death, Ricky runs away and works in another small town in a restaurant at a filling station. But then things happen which give her a reason to go back home, to face once again the life she left behind.
Shortlisted for Sanlam prize for youth literature
Shortlisted for MER prize
The manuscript is available in English under the title Detour
Published by Maskew Miller Longman, Cape Town, 2011
This dramatic novel for young adults is set on a Karoo farm. The protagonist, Stefan, is dominated by his bitter, manipulating mother, while his father seeks to escape from both the past and the daily grind on the farm. The reader is swept along on a journey of misunderstandings, desperation with glimmers of hope that things might change. The story specifically focuses on the complex relationship between parents and children.
“This story impressed me right from the get go. It kicks off with an original event that creates immediate suspense and places the characters in a dramatic setting.” – Riana Scheepers, acclaimed writer, competition judge and member of the South African Academy of Science & Arts
Winner: Maskew Miller Longman Award for Youth Literature, 2011
The Elephant in the Room is a story of secrets, warped friendships and addiction. At the heart it’s about how families guard each other’s secrets with the hope of keeping up appearances or protecting each other, but with disastrous consequences.
The novel is set in Kalk Bay, the Overberg and Plumstead from about 1984 to 2000. The central character is a girl, Lily, and the action follows her experiences as the family moves first to her grandparents’ farm in the Overberg, and later back to Cape Town. The story explores the influence various strong characters, most notably Lily’s grandmother and her classmate Vera, have on Lily. We witness the creation of a brittle self-esteem, and dysfunctional notions of body, eating and food.
While the depiction of addiction is gritty at times, it is no more gritty than James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, Marya Hornbacher’s Wasted (a memoir of anorexia and bulimia) or Whiplash, a recent South African novel centred around a prostitute working the streets of Muizenberg. This grittiness is somewhat new to literature on eating disorders in South Africa (thus making it not only shocking but also original). The Elephant in the Room is a disturbing but charming read with plenty of humour to contrast with, and thus heighten, the drama.
Justin Fox has just released an ebook, Unspotted: One Man’s Insane Search for Africa’s Most Elusive Leopard,with Mampoer.
Quinton Martins is a patient man, if only when it comes to the Cape mountain leopard. In the harsh mountains of the Cederberg, he spends months in icy cold conditions tracking them, often with as little to go on as faint spoor or partially decomposed scat. Justin Fox spends time in the Cederberg with this half-man, half-leopard, conservationist, to learn more about the madness that keeps Quinton in the mountains day in and day out.
Four travel writers provide a compelling look at their road trip together from Cape Town to Cairo in this vivid travelogue. The writers’ love of travel and their native Africa shines through as they relate the story of their transcontinental rite of passage. By presenting each landscape as they experience it, they contrast their journey with the “Cape to Cairo” myth—wide open spaces, plains brimming with game, desert nomads, forest pygmies—and discover that even in the 21st century it’s still an unpredictable, pulse-quickening route. Every chapter is written in a style that evokes the unique flavor of each leg of the trip.
François Krige – painter, traveler, book illustrator and graphic artist was a member of the New Group in South Africa, along with artists Gregoire Boonzaier and Walter Battiss. Although Krige’s drawings are known and admired, the paintings of this reclusive and enigmatic man have not been exposed to the public other than to a small circle of art lovers. When he died in 1994, a large collection of his beautiful works was discovered. This is the first comprehensive book published on the artist, tracing his life and art from his youth in 1913 to his death in 1994. It presents the influences of Rembrandt and the Post-Impressionists on his work; journeys through Europe with brother Uys; his sensitive portrayals of refugees and victims of the war, his studio in Cape Town; the Cape Fishermen studies and his long expeditions to live with the Bushmen in remote parts of the Kalahari resulting in ‘ethnographic’ sketches which are some of his finest work. The Montagu still-lifes, portraits and landscapes – his most lasting contribution.
Our desire to view, capture and share our experiences is obvious in more than a century of travel photography. In Africa, there is probably no single entity that has produced as many varied images as Getaway. The magazine has portrayed the continent’s people, fauna and landscapes in myriad indelible ways over the past 20 years. Assignments for Getaway have found our photographers riding camels across the Sahara, being manhandled by gorillas in Rwanda, micro-lighting over the Victoria Falls or snowmobiling across the wastes of Antarctica.
‘I’ve been craving the road for some time,’ writes Justin Fox, odd words for this most seasoned of travel writers. But there is more to it: ‘Restless, anxious about an uneventful slide into my late 30s…’ And thus begins ten thousand kilometres around the edge of the Republic. Hugging the comforts which distance offers agitated souls, he bears east from Cape Town. This is fatherland, and for Justin his father’s land, which the famous architect Revel Fox has marked as much as he had shaped his son s own identity. Justin tarries at outposts and towns; he skips entire cities to favor the off-beat treasures of characters fashioned less by convention than by their own battles against nature or circumstance. Back home his dad is fighting cancer. Having travelled with acute observation he reports like a novelist, stringing together scenes, pictures, communities and characters to form a totality of what South Africa is today as seen from its margins: a sad, exciting clash of histories and stories.