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International Publishing Rights Secured for a Number of Local NB Authors

Niq Mhlongo, Sifiso Mzobe, Kgebetli Moele, Karel Schoeman and Wilma Stockenström are among a number of authors whose books will soon appear in North America, Europe and Asia.

Way Back HomeYoung BloodRoom 207Hierdie Lewe

South Africa’s largest general publishing house, NB Publishers have concluded negotiations with overseas publishers for the sale of the international translation and publication rights to a number of titles.

The titles have been published under the NB imprints Kwela, Tafelberg, Human & Rousseau and Lux Verbi.

Mhlongo’s latest novel, Way Back Home (Kwela), will be published in Germany by Wunderhorn Verlag as part of its AfrikAWunderhorn collection. Mhlongo, whose books have previously been published in the United States, Spain, Italy and France, is also the author of two more Kwela titles, Dog Eat Dog (translated into Spanish as Perro Come Perro) and After Tears.

In 2015, Mzobe’s award-winning novel Young Blood (Kwela) will be published by Peter Hammer Verlag, a prominent independent publisher in Germany. Young Blood won the Sunday Times Literary Award, the Herman Charles Bosman Prize, the SALA Award for a debut work, and the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

Jensen & Dalgaard acquired the Danish translation rights to Room 207 by another Kwela author, Moele. Depending on the success of this venture, Moele’s other novels, Untitled and The Book of the Dead, will also be translated into Danish. Room 207 has already been translated into Italian and French.

Rights have also been negotiated for several Afrikaans works of fiction, including three novels by Human & Rousseau author Karel Schoeman. In the US, New York publisher Archipelago Books will publish Schoeman’s Hierdie Lewe/This Life. Archipelago have in the past published Breyten Breytenbach and Herman Charles Bosman.

In Europe, Brevier Uitgeverij will publish a Dutch translation of Hierdie Lewe, while French publishing house Libretto will reissue its translation of ‘n Ander Land to coincide with its publication of Verliesfontein in French.

In August, Open Letter Books will publish the American edition of multi-award-winning author Ingrid Winterbach’s novel The Elusive Moth (Human & Rousseau). Editions Phébus acquired the French translation rights to this novel and intends to publish it in 2015. A number of Winterbach’s other novels have already been published in the US and the Netherlands.

Wilma Stockenström’s novel Die Kremetartekspedisie (Human & Rousseau) is still in demand and will be published in Turkish by Everest Yayinlari, and in the US by Archipelago Books.

“We are excited about and proud of the international demand for books published by NB Publishers. While we have worked hard to achieve this, the demand is mainly due to the outstanding quality of our authors’ works, which deserve a worldwide readership,” NB Publishers manager of contracts and rights Catrina Wessels says.

“To ensure international exposure and recognition for our authors we maintain close relationships with overseas publishers and we have an established network of sub-agents in various countries promoting our books. It is wonderful when everything falls into place and one of our titles finds new readers on the international stage.”

NB Publishers has also sold the following rights

  • Vuurbaak Uitgevers will publish Esta Steyn’s book Die grafte jubel (Lux Verbi) in the Netherlands.
  • IB Tauris, an independent publisher with offices in London and New York, recently published Xolela Mangcu’s biography about Steve Biko, Biko: A Biography (Tafelberg).

The translation and/or publication rights for several children’s and youth books have also been negotiated, including Balaclava Boy by Jenny Robson (Germany, Ireland and Korea), Huberta’s Journey by Cicely van Straten (Korea), and Dreaming of Light by Jayne Bauling (Korea), all published by Tafelberg.

SA Partridge‘s Dark Poppy’s Demise (Human & Rousseau) and Lauri Kubuitsile‘s Signed, Hopelessly in Love (Tafelberg) are now both available in Slovenian, while another youth novel by Jenny Robson, Monday Evening, Thursday Afternoon (Tafelberg), is available in the Netherlands as Mijn vriendin, Faheema.

In 2013, Balaclava Boy was also nominated for Germany’s sought-after award for children and youth literature, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.

Irma Joubert’s trilogy Pérsomi, Anderkant Pontenilo and Kronkelpad remain popular in the Netherlands, and Joubert has been on the topseller list for Christian fiction for the past two years – a first for Christian fiction in the Netherlands.

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