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Notes From the Launch of Home Away (Plus: Photos and Videos)

Louis Greenberg

Louis Greenberg and SA PartridgeLouis Greenberg and Colleen HiggsLouis Greenberg and Sarah LotzLouis Greenberg and Lauren BeukesLouis Greenberg and Liesl JobsonLouis Greenberg and Helen MoffettLouis Greenberg and Rustum Kozain

Home AwayHome Away – the world in one day, in a book; a collection of writing on hours and cities edited by Louis Greenberg – was launched at the Book Lounge last night to the expected standing-room-only crowd. (24 contributors – you knew it would be a big launch!) Book Lounge owner Mervyn Sloman called the collection “a gift to book shops and booksellers” and welcomed the Johannesburg-based Greenberg to his first Book Lounge experience – which, as he affirmed, he thoroughly enjoyed.

Greenberg described Home Away‘s format: 24 South African writers – exiles, immigrants, inziles – write about 24 cities at alloted hours, making up a single calendar day (and a read that will last a lifetime). The book takes on the wider theme of travel – see the suitcase on the stunning cover – and questions to what extent we ever feel at home.

While the book’s cover makes use of the suitcase, so do several of the stories: Colleen Higgs“The Warm Arms of Kampala” begins with lost luggage, and read far enough into Richard de Nooy‘s “Stowaway” and you will discover that it is, in fact, narrated by a suitcase.

Greenberg’s aim for the collection was to “shatter perceptions” about South Africans, where white is white, black is black, and ideas about heritage extend only so far. Eight of the writers in the collection were present to read from their stories – including Greenberg, who was pressed by Lauren Beukes to read “Last Chance at the End of the World”, in what she called “an ambush reading”.

The proceeds from Home Away go to the Adonis Musati Project in the Western Cape and Kids’ Haven in Gauteng. Get your copy now!

Here follow video clips and photos from the launch:

Videos

Sally Partridge: Triolet, Mauritius (1 AM) “The Expedition”
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Colleen Higgs: Kampala, Uganda (6 AM) “The Warm Arms of Kampala”
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Sarah Lotz: Maun, Botswana (8 AM) “Maun of the Dead”
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Louis Greenberg: Ushuaia, Argentina (9 AM) “Last Chance at the End of the World”
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Lauren Beukes: Tokyo, Japan (11 AM) “Unathi Battles the Killer Hairballs”
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Liesl Jobson: Between Here and British Columbia (1 PM) “The Exact Location of the Exit”
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Helen Moffett: Fairbanks, Alaska (9 PM) “Anxious in Alaska”
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Rustum Kozain: Royaumont, France (10 PM) “Royaumont Hash-Up”
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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 16th, 2010 @20:59 #
     
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    Thanks for this great coverage, Sophy and Ben; it captures all the fun of the launch. Thanks also to Mervyn Sloman and the Book Lounge staff for hosting the gaggle of us; to the Zebra Press team for turning the idea into a universally fetishised book; to all the writers who came to read; to all the writers who couldn't be there; to Gayle McWalter of the Adonis Musati Project and her colleagues for joining the party; and especially to the readers for whom we made the book.

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