The annual Exclusive Books Homebru promotion is almost here! …a fact that provides an opportunity to answer one of the most commonly asked questions in our stores: “Why are the South African books put on separate shelves from the rest?”
There are a variety of reasons, ranging from commercial to aesthetic, but perhaps the most important one is – “Because South African books are unlike any the rest of the publishing world produces”.
The flavours of our books – whether they fall into the crime, romance, literary fiction or non-fiction genres – are different; and they’re savoured most by South African readers. Putting local books amongst all the thousands of others in our stores risks their getting lost. We want our readers to find our books.
It’s certainly not that South African books aren’t world-class. We have produced two Nobel Prize laureates in literature (amongst ten laureates overall); our King of Crime, Deon Meyer, is read all over the world in twenty-five languages; no one can deny the influence of The Story of an African Farm, Long Walk To Freedom or I Write What I Like.
We don’t seperate South African books because we feel sorry for them or because they need a little help. They simply deserve their own platform. Our HomeBru promotion is important in this respect: it’s our way of introducing South Africans to fresh reads, from voices new and well-established, engaging in the conversations that South Africans love to have – and sometimes the ones we want to avoid. Each book is chosen for its impact, originality and potential. The twenty-eight titles as chosen by Exclusive Books this year comprise a vibrant palette of South African ideas.
And without further ado here they are!
We would love to hear what you think of our selection in the comments below.
The Exclusive Books HomeBru promotion runs from 1 May to 27th June, in stores and online.