Monday 9 August 2010

Autographed books to celebrate Women's Day

I'm coming out of revision hibernation to celebrate Women's Day in South Africa. Before we get to the free books, I want to share a quote that encapsulates the way I understand the essence of feminism:

I do not wish women to have power over men,
but over themselves.
(Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797)

In today's world, I fear that, more and more often, we women - drunk with a sense of liberation after millennia of patriarchy - forget that the only power worth having is that which we have over our Inner Self. If we seek only to dominate or denigrate men, we shall, in turn, become The Oppressor rather than The Equal.

True liberation for any individual comes with harmonising the male/female dualities within our own being: having power (a more appropriate word may be 'self-mastery') over the unified Self is the key to fulfilling our potential as strong women, not seeking power over the male Other. 

Today I celebrate the wonderful women in my life (my mother, my sister, my nieces), who teach me how to be an assertive, intelligent, courageous and independent individual.

And I celebrate the amazing men in my life (my husband, my father, my brother-in-law, my nephew), who teach me how to embrace a different kind of strength: that of being a gentle, compassionate, nurturing and emotional woman. 

Now for that promised Giveaway! I have four autographed books by Southern African women authors to send to four lucky readers (contest requirements below).

Two lucky winners will each receive a copy of The Bed Book of Short Stories. Published by the independent publishers Modjaji Books (named after the Rain Queen), A collection of short stories by 30 southern African women writers, some established and well known, some new writers. Contributers come from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Mocambique and South Africa. All the stories are in one way or another related to the theme of the Bed. The collection has a wide range of kinds of stories. Some are funny, quirky and strange; while other stories are tragic, violent, and sad. Writers include Jayne Bauling, Laurie Kubuitsile, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Arja Salafranca. The publication of this book was supported by the Arts and Culture Trust. 

One lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Arja Salafranca's The Thin Line, also published by Modjaji Press. Arja has received many accolades and prizes for her poetry and short fiction since the mid 90’s, and is currently the editor of the Sunday Independent’s Lifestyle section.  Hamilton Wende says of the collection: "These are wonderful stories. They chart a new direction in South African fiction, where each line, each page – each story unfolds subtly, reaching deeper and more intimately into the tender spaces that exist in all our lives between love and doubt. Reading them kept me up late at night, wanting to know more about the characters’ lives. I was enthralled by the clarity and compassion of her insights; and moved by her obvious love for our fragile country and the fierce power of our unrelinquished hopes."

And, finally, a fourth lucky reader will receive an autographed copy of Fiona Snycker's Trinity on Air, the sequel to Trinity Rising. It's four years later. Trinity is 23 and living in Johannesburg. With her university days behind her, life couldn't be better for Trinity Luhabe. She's got everything a Sandton girl needs - The Perfect Boyfriend: Ethan brings her (fat-free) breakfast in bed and takes her to craft markets on weekends. The Perfect Job: Working at Jozi Talks radio is a dream come true for Trinity. The Neighbour: Ajala is six foot five inches of mysterious Nigerian. Trinity thinks he's a pussycat. Her best friend Steph thinks he's a man-eating tiger. Looking into his business dealings could be Trinity's ticket off the traffic desk and onto hard news.

But, sadly, there's no such thing as a free lunch or a (completely) free book. To stand a chance to win one of these fantastic stories by South African women, you can do one of three things:

1. Become a follower on my Blog, Twitter or Facebook (look for the tab above that says FOLLOW ME), then leave a comment saying which you've chosen to do. And (this part is voluntary), please tweet, blog or update your Facebook status (or any other social media you prefer) with the news of this giveaway. It'll be fun to see how far in the world these books can go!

2. If you are already a follower on any of the three social media sites, just leave a comment saying where you're following me. And (this part is voluntary) please tweet, blog or status update news of this giveaway. It'll be fun to see how far in the world these books can go!

3. Just leave a comment saying that you've  tweeted, blogged or updated your Facebook status to spread the news of this giveaway. It'll be fun to see how far in the world these books can go!

The draw closes at 06h00 (South African time, that's approx 00h00 EST) on the 16th August 2010 and the four lucky readers will be announced during the day.


Lauri said...

Hi Judy! I have linked you to my blog ( hope you get some serious traffic.

I will not enter my name for any of these fantastic books since I have all of them. Thanks for doing such a great job promoting women writers in the region.

And as for feminisim- I'm with you. Being a woman is a wonderful thing, now if we can just pull all of the women up to a position where they're also able to see that.
Happy SA Women's Day!!

AE Ballakisten said...

Hi Judy, I dedicated the poem below to women on this Woman's Day - it talks to the many facets of the wonderful women who I have experienced whether its their sense of fun, caring, strength, gentleness, comfort or love.

AE Ballakisten


She is the soft breath of the afternoon sun;
she is the bold smile of a majestic hill,
the playful giggle of a forest spring,
the firm embrace of a sparrow’s
nest, a buffalo with a gentle
step, a butterfly with an
iron grip, the falling
drizzle, the rising
mist; she holds
me, cocoons
me with

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

LAURIE: Thanks for the link to spread the word about the giveaway! :) And you make an excellent point about getting to that place where all women can simply celebrate being both a woman and an individual.

AE: What a great poem to celebrate women's day! Loved the impact of that last line/word.

TRISH DONMALL: I'm adding your name in the draw, Trish, as you updated your facebook about the book giveaway! Thanks for that!

Helen Ginger said...

I followed you Judy. (I thought I was already following you, but I checked and saw that I wasn't, so I did.)

It's nice to have a celebration of women.


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

HELEN: I thought you were a follower too! Maybe it was on my old blog? Will enter your name in the draw.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Adding TESSA CONTE and READ SA(Damaria Senne) to the book draw.

Tessa, thanks for following.

Read SA, thanks for the Tweet!

Davin Malasarn said...

This is a beautiful post, Judy. As a male, I always find it interesting to learn about other people's views of feminism, and there are many. They often change my own views as I try and view all people as equal without ignoring biological differences.

Judith Mercado said...

I already follow you and look forward to your thoughtful posts always. Your Mary Wollstonecraft quote reminds me of how humbling it is that defining the empowerment of women could still be a subject of debate more than 200 years later.

Anonymous said...

I am a new follower and I would love to read any of the books in this contest.

I am very glad to find your blog.


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

DAVIN: You're so right! Biology just can't be ignored in gender discussions. I deal with it by seeing that all (irrespective of biology or gender or race) have *equal potential* to fulfill as individual souls. This potential should be seen within the context of our differing personal circumstances; this is where power over the Self comes in (or self-mastery. (Sorry, that's a very superficial explanation of the evolution of the soul, but not really the type of theory that can be discussed in a comment! Much better suited to a discussion over coffee and cake!) :)

JUDITH: As always, great to have you pop in and visit the blog.

CAROL: I'm glad you found my blog too! :) Welcome.

I've entered you all in the book draw.

Pamala Knight said...

Hi Judy!
What a fabulous post along with the awesome giveaway. Wise words of encouragement teach us to reflect on the paths tread and the one's before us too. Thanks for the reminder.

I know that I follow you on Facebook and I thought I was a follower here but I wasn't. I corrected the oversight ;-). I think we're twitter co-dependent as well. I'll rush out to check right now.


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

PAMALA: *waves back* LOL, co-dependent is as good a way as any describe social media!! Entered you in the draw! :)

PETRO SCHONFELD NHLAPO has updated her Facebook status and has also been entered in the draw.

Anita said...

This is a wonderful idea. God knows I'm trying to become more courageous and independent myself.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

ANITA: With your exciting MFA course (and 4 kids and a husband and a job...), I think you're doing a *marvellous* job of being courageous and independent!! Have entered you in the draw. :)

Lilly Gayle said...

HI Judy.
Thanks for visiting my blog today. Love your feminist quote! IMHO, THIS sums it up to a tee without being offensive. I think even my great-grandmother would agree. Women should have power over themselves and STOP giving it away to men. The people who hurt us the most usually do so because we allow it.