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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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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017), for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His conversations appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. Born in Aba, he combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he just 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,

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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