Tag Archive for 'South Africa'

Accolades for This Thing Called The Future

J.L. Powers

I’m proud to take a moment to put Catalyst Book Press and Fertile Source founder and editor Jessica Powers in the limelight for recent accolades for her book, This Thing Called the Future (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). Not only listed by Kirkus as a Best Young Adult Book of 2011, This Thing Called the Future appeared this winter on the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YLSA) 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.
Here’s what Kirkus had to say about This Thing Called The Future:
 
Set in an impoverished South African shantytown where post-Apartheid freedom is overshadowed by rampant AIDS and intractable poverty, this novel takes a loving, clear-eyed look at the clash of old and new through the experience of one appealing teenager. Khosi, 14, lives in an all-female household with her sister, Zi, and frail grandmother, Gogo, subsisting on Gogo’s pension and Mama’s salary as a teacher in the city (she comes home on weekends). Everyone in Khosi’s world is poor. Where the struggle to survive is all-consuming, family loyalty trumps community.
 
Clashes between Zulu customs and contemporary values further erode cultural ties and divide families. A scholarship student, Khosi loves science, but getting to school means dodging gangs and rapists hunting AIDS-free virgins. After a witch curses Khosi’s family and Mama falls ill, Khosi and Gogo seek aid from a traditional Zulu healer, which Mama dismisses as superstition while fear and poverty keep her from accessing modern medicine. As stresses mount, Khosi’s ancestors speak, offering her guidance. Supported by them, her family and classmate Little Man, Khosi vows to create a better future by synthesizing old and new ways, yet the obstacles she faces—some inherited, others newly acquired—are staggering. A compassionate and moving window on a harsh world. (glossary of Zulu words) /(Paranormal fiction. 12 & up).
For a closer look at Jessica’s writing process, read the interview with Jessica that we ran last year at The Fertile Source as well as an earlier interview hosted at Feral Mom, Feral Writer about her tri-part focus at that particular time as press founder, editor and author of The Confessional.
Congratulations, Jess. I’m so proud to work with you.

Jessica with Nesta (five months)




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