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Penguin SA

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Penguin Books to Publish Four Karin Brynard Novels

Marking a significant book deal it was announced yesterday that Penguin Books (South Africa) has won at auction the publishing rights in four novels by rising star Karin Brynard.

The award-winning Stellenbosch author and journalist has two novels to her credit, Plaasmoord (Human & Rousseau, 2009) and Onse vaders (Human & Rousseau, 2012), which won her instant critical acclaim and commercial success.

Penguin bought South African rights in the English translations of these two books (respectively Weeping Waters and Our Fathers), and world Afrikaans rights and South African English of her next novel, Tuisland. The novels, all of which are to be released simultaneously in print and digital formats, will appear in 2014 (Weeping Waters and Tuisland) and 2015 (Our Fathers and the English translation of Tuisland).

The closely contested auction was staged by Brynard’s veteran UK agent Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.

Penguin Books South Africa CEO Stephen Johnson said, “Charlotte Brontë wrote in her The Professor (1857) that ‘Novelists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life’. It thrills us no end at Penguin Books that this splendid writer, whose work exemplifies the portrayal of life as it is lived on Africa’s southern tip, in all its complexity, has entrusted to us the fruits of her humane insights. We are more than pleased to welcome Karin Brynard to the Penguin Books family, a space and place of great writers, many of whom are without parallel. Karin will, we are certain, be at home here.”

Karin Brynard said, “I am so very pleased to become part of the Penguin family, such a powerful international brand, with their commitment to these books. It will be a privilege to work with Frederik de Jager.”

Agent Isobel Dixon said, “Karin’s novels gripped me at once when I began reading the Afrikaans: her recurring hero Albertus Beeslaar is an appealing Wallander for South Africa, and with her journalist’s eye for detail she brings to life diverse South African characters and settings – the Kalahari, Soweto, Stellenbosch – all skilfully interwoven into thrilling plotlines. I’m delighted with Penguin’s commitment and look forward to sharing her work with English readers in South Africa – and in due course also abroad.”

Penguin Books South Africa Publishing Director Frederik de Jager said, “It is a really big deal for Penguin to have won the right to publish this special author, and our having signed up no fewer than four books demonstrates the seriousness of our intent. This will enable us not only to manage her oeuvre and her further development as an author, but also to grow her sales in her home market.”

Karin Brynard was born in Koffiefontein in the Free State and studied at the University of Pretoria. As a political reporter for Rapport she covered the liberation struggle and the release of Nelson Mandela. Her debut novel Plaasmoord won the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and the M-Net Book Prize in the film category.

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Met die voltrekking van ’n betekenisvolle boeketransaksie word vandag bekend gemaak dat Penguin Books (Suid-Afrika) in ’n veiling die publikasieregte in vier romans deur die opkomende ster-skrywer Karin Brynard bekom het.

Die bekroonde Stellenbosse skrywer en joernalis het twee romans op haar kerfstok, Plaasmoord (Human & Rousseau, 2009) en Onse vaders (Human & Rousseau, 2012), wat albei vanuit die staanspoor kritiese en kommersiële suksesverhale was.

Penguin het Suid-Afrikaanse regte in die Engelse vertalings van hierdie twee boeke gekoop (onderskeidelik Weeping Waters en Our Fathers), en wêreld- Afrikaanse regte en Suid-Afrikaanse Engelse regte in haar volgende roman, Tuisland. Die romans, wat almal gelyktydig in druk- en digitale formaat vrygestel sal word, verskyn in 2014 (Weeping Waters en Tuisland) en in 2015 (Our Fathers en die Engelse vertaling van Tuisland).

Die veiling, wat deur strawwe mededinging gekenmerk was, is aangebied deur Brynard se veteraan-agent, Isobel Dixon van Blake Friedmann Literary Agency in Londen.

Die uitvoerende hoof van Penguin Suid-Afrika, Stephen Johnson, sê: “Charlotte Brontë het in The Professor (1857) geskryf: ‘Romanskrywers mag hulleself nooit toelaat om moeg te raak vir die bestudering van die werklike lewe nie.’ Dit is vir ons by Penguin ’n grenslose vreugde dat hierdie uitsonderlike skrywer, wie se werk gekenmerk word deur die uitbeelding van die lewe soos dit in al sy kompleksiteit aan die suidpunt van Afrika geleef word, die vrug van haar menslike insigte aan ons toevertrou het. Ons is meer as verheug om Karin Brynard in die familie van Penguin Books te verwelkom, die tuiste van groot skrywers, waarvan baie hulle gelyke nie ken nie. Ons is seker daarvan dat Karin hier tuis sal voel.”

Karin Brynard sê: “Ek is so baie gelukkig om deel van die Penguin-familie te word, so ‘n kragtige internasionale handelsmerk, met hulle toewyding aan hierdie boeke. Dit sal ‘n voorreg wees om saam met Frederik de Jager te werk.”

Agent Isobel Dixon sê: “Karin se romans het my aangegryp toe ek die Afrikaans begin lees het: haar terugkerende held Albertus Beeslaer is ‘n treffende Wallander vir Suid-Afrika, en met haar joernalistieke oog vir detail blaas sy lewe in uiteenlopende Suid-Afrikaanse karakters en omgewings – die Kalahari, Soweto, Stellenbosch – en weef sy hulle met groot vaardighed in opwindende intriges in. Ek is uiters bly oor Penguin se verbintenis en sien daarna uit om haar werk te deel met Engelse lesers in Suid-Afrika, en mettertyd in die buiteland.

Die direkteur: uitgewery van Penguin Suid-Afrika, Frederik de Jager, sê: “Dit is van werklik groot betekenis vir Penguin om die reg te bekom om hierdie baie spesiale skrywer te publiseer, en die feit dat ons nie minder nie as vier boeke gekontrakteer het, spreek van ons erns met haar werk. Dit sal ons in staat stel om nie net haar oeuvre en haar verdere ontwikkeling as skrywer te bestuur nie, maar ook om haar verkope in haar tuismark te laat groei.”

Karin Brynard is in Koffiefontein in die Vrystaat gebore en het aan die Universiteit van Pretoria gestudeer. As politieke verslaggewer van Rapport het sy die vryheidstryd en die vrylating van Nelson Mandela gedek. Sy was ook adjunkredakteur van Insig. Haar debuutroman, Plaasmoord, is bekroon met die Universiteit van Johannesburg-debuutprys asook die M-Net-boekprys in die filmkategorie.

Image courtesy Nicole Palmer of Dance Photography

 

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