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Kopano Matlwa. Photo credit: The Red Sole.

Pontas Literary Agency, which represents Tram 83 author Fiston Mwanza Mujila and The Fishermen author Chigozie Obioma, has set publication dates for novels by eight of its authors. They include South African Kopano Matlwa’s Evening Primrose, British-Congolese JJ Bola’s No Place To Call Home, and South African Masande Ntshanga’s The Reactive.

Kopano Matlwa’s Evening Primrose. Image from Twitter.

One of the novels creating a lot of buzz is Kopano Matlwa’s Evening Primrose, coming out at the end of July with Sceptre/Hodder & Stoughton, and soon after in the US with Quercus. Already published in South Africa with Jacana with the title Period Pain to great acclaim, early reviews in the UK are saying:

“Evening Primrose’s turns of emotion are virtuosic. The novel dances from satire to slapstick to stabbing pain to tentative hope. Matlwa’s voice is one we need”: from Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, award-winning author of Harmless Like You. 

Rights have been sold to 9 international publishers worldwide.

JJ Bola. Image from Spikeisland.org.uk.

Another incredibly timely debut just published is No Place To Call Home by British-Congolese JJ Bola, out with OWN IT! in the UK, and coming out in March 2018 in the US with Arcade/Skyhorse Publishing. A great launch was held in a London rooftop completely packed that sold out both entry tickets and hardback copies!

“Bola’s No Place to Call Home is both unflinching and kind in its portrayal of the societal constructs that affect our lives, the choices we make, and the choices made for us, as a result of their influence”: Thomas Williams

Masande Nthsanga. Image from i.pini.mg.

PEN International New Voices Award winner Masande Ntshanga has also been published in the UK. Jacaranda has just published his debut novel The Reactive has been described as:

“An eye-opening, ambitious novel that offers a brazen portrait of present-day South Africa”: by Publishers Weekly.

It has also been published in the US (Two Dollar Radio) and in South Africa (Umuzi). Italian rights have been acquired by Pidgin.

Congratulations to Kopano Matlwa, JJ Bola and Masande Ntshanga.

Read the full announcement HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “Kopano Matlwa, JJ Bola, Masande Ntshanga: Pontas Agency Novelists Get US Publication Dates” Subscribe

  1. Simeon Mpamugoh 2017/10/13 at 13:16 #

    The cover designs alone are really eye infectious and I’m sure the fonts will also look same. It looks already sold out. Congrats guys,

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