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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

SOLO COLLECTIVE (article first published : 1999-05-13)

The Solo Collective publishing house has launched a volume of short stories by Gertrud Strauss titled “The Blood Spot” as well as a novel by R H Mthembu titled “uMamazane”.

“The Blood Spot” offers a “unique perspective on the volatile and hybrid character of South Africa, past and present” in a range of stories spread over 40 years or so of South African experience. The narratives “defy conventional short story constraints”, portraying women at different moments of discovery or development. “Childhood, girlhood, wifehood, motherhood – what lies beneath these states is explored, both delicately and doggedly," say the cover notes. The cover illustration is by Dina Cormick.

“uMamazane” is an early Zulu novel telling the story of a young woman who is torn between two suitors and of her son’s rise to a position of importance in the community. It has long been treasured by Zulu-speaking readers, not only for its human interest as a love story but for its accurate and affectionate portrayal from within the old Zulu way of life. There is an accompanying English translation by A T Cope and D M Mzolo which mirrors the author’s leisurely and lyrical Zulu

Both publications are available on mail order from Solo Collective, 4 Elgin Drive, Cowies Hill, 3610. “The Blood Spot” is a 248-page A5 paperback format at R61 while “uMamazane” is a softcover volume in A5 format with 160 pages at R52,50. There is an additional postage charge for each book of R3,10. More details from (031) 266-5178. Fax (031) 262-9280.


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