Launch of “Finding Soutbek” – debut novel of Karen Jennings

On June 14th, 2012, posted in: Academic, Culture, English, Featured, Galleries, News, Past Pupils, Wynberg Stars by

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Last night, 13 June, I was privileged to be invited to attend the launch of the debut novel Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings at the Book Lounge.  An award-winning short-story writer,  holding a double masters degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she is currently working towards her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Clutching my camera and a glass of wine, I moved to the corner of a very crowded room where I could lurk unobtrusively. Fortuitously, I found myself standing next to her publisher, Bernadette Jansen op de Haar, who had flown out from London to be at the launch. For a moment it felt as though my blood was standing still…

“I couldn’t not publish it. … It’s a remarkable book… saying very important things.”

The word “remarkable” was used several times by her interviewer, Rustum Kozain – Winner of the Ingrid Jonker and Olive Schreiner awards for his poetry –  as he read extracts from her novel to illustrate points he was making.  “Get a copy while you can” this award-winning poet and lecturer exhorted us.

Quietly observing this Wynberg woman (who has just adjudicated all of the Wynberg Girls’ High Eisteddfod entries in Creative Writing) I was conscious of the enormous respect Karen commands as a writer.

~ o ~

As a teacher, sometimes, you can walk along a short path with people like these…

 

Colleen Higgs & Karen Jennings

Picture 9 of 9