Yewande Omotoso and Jumoke Verissimo featured at the Johannesburg, South African edition of Literary Crossroads at Goethe Institut on May 17, 2016. Their topic of discussion was Quo Vadis Africa: The Power of Words – The Power of Words? The event was moderated by Ndumiso Ngcobo.
Yewande is famous for her 2011 book Bom Boy (our review) which went onto shortlists galore. Her new book The Woman Next Door promises to have the same impact in the market. The book is described thus on her publisher Random House’s website,
“Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility which they prune with a zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty.
But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared. But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship? Or is it too late to expect these two to change?”
On the part Jumoke Verissimo’s newest book is The Birth of Illusion a collection of 61 poems in three sections. The poems are described as having angry, vivid and full of imageries that capture human condition in its many forms. The poet’s style is dynamic as she tries to engage the concept of pain in its many dimensions, even in the context of intimacy. There is emigration and the consequences of war and its victims, there is also some room for love in the third section, where the poet explore the matters of the heart. Read more about the collection here.
The event featured guests like Akin and Kole Omotoso and Niq Mhlongo who had done an event earlier in the day with Jumoke.
Here are images from the event courtesy of our friends at Goethe Joburg. The photographer is Shirin Motala.