The Lockdown Collection

Melinda Ferguson

ISBN:

9781928421269

Publisher:

Melinda Ferguson Books

Date Released:

June 2020

Price (incl. VAT):

R 335.00

Format:

Soft cover, 296pp


About this book:

Sentenced to Lockdown, regarded as "non-essential", a group of 40 South African writers get together in a virtual Corona Collective, to pen The Lockdown Collection. This historical gem showcases a list of South Africa's most celebrated writers, disruptors and thinkers, including: Sisonke Msimang (Always Another Country), Fred Khumalo (Bitches Brew), multi-disciplinary poet, Lebo Mashile and Pumla Dineo Gqola (Rape A South African Nightmare). There's the comic genius of Ben Trovato (Durban Poison) and Everyday Zulu Melusi Tshabalala, while the likes of  Khaya Dlanga, Dudu Busani-Dube, Rahla Xenopoulos and Haji Mohamed Dawjee dig deep to find true meaning in the time of Corona.  Profound, insightful, angry, tender and searing, at times the work is even hilarious.
"I jotted down a list of dream authors and decided to take my chances to see whether any one of them would agree to go on this mad venture with me," says maverick publisher, compiler and contributor, Melinda Ferguson, "I hoped a few of them would say "yes". Turns out all 40 of them did."

Compiled from the best of the two hit e-books Lockdown and Lockdown Extended, that Ferguson launched, back to back during the first four weeks of lockdown, as well as including new essays by the likes of New Frame's Richard Pithouse, Kharnita Mohamed and Carsten Rasch, the work brilliantly tries to make sense of a world held hostage by a virus.

There's Lebo Mashile's sassy critique of Black Twitter and no-holds barred attack on the state of arts and culture in South African Lockdown, while Sisonke Msimang refuses to call this time of Corona an "opportunity" to get get zen via meditation apps, but rather to see the global lockdown for what it is - a crisis. The theme of crisis is evident throughout the book, but especially visceral in respected academic, Kharnita Mohamed's brilliant essay on crises in universities, tracking the Rhodes Must Fall movement In 2016/2017, the death of UCT student Uyinene in 2019, to the current challenges that the Coronavirus has created on campuses and households across South Africa. Melinda Ferguson's Wounded Healers opens a portal to the possibilities of global healing,  as she attends around the clock 12 step meetings for addicts on Zoom, seeking recovery and redemption. Then there's award winning author, Fred Khumalo, who ponders his role as a writer, while getting obsessed with Tiger King, while celebrated news editor, Ferial Haffajee feels deep loss as her beloved Joburg shuts down. Khaya Dlanga has to field off mourners at a church service in the Eastern Cape, due to limited numbers at funerals, according to Disaster Regulations, as he mourns his brother, Nganga, who took his life, just two days before Lockdown. Marianne Thamm encourages us to create a room in the mind to travel to far off places, which allows fiction writers Phumlani Pikoli, Steven Sidley, Kelly Eve Koopman and Rof Maneta to do just that. And then there are those who wrestle with the gods: Sara-Jayne Makwala King longs to delete her prayer app, but finds herself on her knees and desperate enough not to, while Dave Muller gets up close and personal with his maker as he contemplates the advent of our planet's First Lockdown.

While Melusi Tshabalala writes steamy WhatsApp love letters  to his "thikin" during isolation,  Haji Mohamed Dawjee sees Lockdown as an ICU room, but insists on the duality of hope and despair. 


Pre-order: Takealot

Readers say

"An important contribution in global literature, each and every piece is a classic work in its own right and speaks to the extraordinary depth of writing talent in this country. My hope is that this book will be bought for every library, high school and university in this country."

– Elinor Sisulu


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