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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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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.

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.

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