Otterley is on the move – both literally and figuratively! We now have a tiny office in Johannesburg which makes a wonderful change from our first storage space in my motor car! The poor old Ford had its belly almost on the ground from the weight of the books! We have also appointed a new Rep for the independent bookshops in Johannesburg, Jenny Tuckett, so that we can expand our coverage. Our main headquarters continues to be in Pietermaritzburg where we have established a firm network of contacts. In order to improve our communications, Melanie Wester has taken over the position of Business Communications so you can expect to hear more from us.
This week has been an exciting one as our latest book The Eloquent Bead: Zulu Women Communicate,edited by Stan Schoeman went to print. This book has had a gestation period of almost three years undergoing almost every conceivable problem a book can go through! We have worked tirelessly through each of the difficulties and have now come up with a superb product of which we are justifiably proud. Based on a collection of traditional Zulu beads made in the 1960s, the author examines the meaning of this beadwork, illustrated by striking photographs before tracing the development of beadwork in KwaZulu-Natal to the present day. It has become a recognised art form and examples are touring the United States as part of Washington’s Smithsonian Museum initiative. It demonstrates how the crafters of the present have cleverly adapted the past in order to make a living. It should be on the shelves soon and hopefully we can share the reviews with you.
The good news doesn’t stop there... On 29 January 2015 Mark Henning launched his latest book The Cross, The Sword and Mammon at St Stithians College, Johannesburg where he was Headmaster for many years. We also published his previous book, Zest: A Celebration of Good Schools and Good Teachers and it was highly acclaimed. His latest book has been described by Professor Jansen of the University of the Free State as follows:
"A lively, humorous and riveting account of the history of schools for English-speaking South Africans. Mark Henning gives insight into a remarkably rich part of the education vineyard with storied histories and prognoses into their future course. The schools need closer appreciation for their great contribution to South Africa culture, economy and democracy, but also for their troubled origins. There will be a new appreciation for the hardiness of these institutions over centuries. Outstanding."
And as if that is not enough we are revamping our website and Facebook page so that you can keep up to date with all our happenings!
I look forward to communicating with you more frequently and welcome any comments or feedback you may have.