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Sisonke Msimang. Image via Facebook.

Sisonke Msimang’s new memoir, Always Another Country, is published in South Africa by Jonathan Ball Publishers. The account of her “exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and returning to South Africa in the euphoric 1990s” is drawing resonant praise. Baileys Prize-longlisted novelist Yewande Omotoso called it “a deep call for fierce courage in the face of hypocrisy and compassion when faced with our shared humanity.” Njabulo S. Ndebele said that it “kindles a new fire on our store of memoir.”

Msimang, a leading commentator in Southern Africa political culture, wrote that illuminating, well-shared essay in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s criticized comments on trans women and feminism: “All Your Faves Are Problematic: A Brief History of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Stanning, and the Trap of #BlackGirlMagic.” She chaired the judging panel of the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award.

Copies of Always Another Country. Image via Facebook.

Here is the book’s description by its publishers.

In her much anticipated memoir, Sisonke Msimang writes about her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and returning to South Africa in the euphoric 1990s.

She reflects candidly on her discontent and disappointment with present-day South Africa but also on her experiences of family, romance, and motherhood, with the novelist’s talent for character and pathos. Militant young comrades dance off the pages of the 1970s Lusaka she invokes, and the heady and naive days of just-democratic South Africa in the 1990s are as vividly painted. Her memoir is at heart a chronicle of a coming-of-age, and while well-known South African political figures appear in these pages, it is an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood.

Sisonke Msimang is one of the most assured and celebrated voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously; sometimes deeply movingly – and this book launches her to an even broader audience.

A Yale World Fellow, an Aspen New Voices Fellow, and a Ruth First Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, Msimang is Programme Director for the Centre for Stories, Perth, Australia. She studied in Macalester College, Minnesota, U.S.A. and the University of Cape Town. Her essays appear in The Guardian, The Daily MaverickThe New York Times, and Africa Is a Country. A TED Talk she gave touches on the events in Always Another Country.

Here are details of the book’s launch.

Date: Tuesday, October 17th 2017.

Time: 5:30 PM.

Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cnr of Roeland and Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.

RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com.

Congratulations to Sisonke Msimang.

Buy the book 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.

2 Responses to “In Her Debut Memoir, Sisonke Msimang Writes About Childhood, Exile and Adulthood on Two Continents” Subscribe

  1. Simeon Mpamugoh 2017/10/06 at 12:34 #

    Congratulations young mom. The packaging is glam.

  2. Simeon Mpamugoh 2017/11/01 at 11:47 #

    The launch has come and gone. Once more, Congrats.

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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