Rešoketšwe Manenzhe joined the Pontas Agency in 2021, with her debut novel Scatterlings, which had been published by Jacana Media in South Africa in 2020. The novel swept the awards circuit at the time in Rešoketšwe’s home country. It was the Winner of the 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, Winner of the 2021 HSS Award for Fiction by a Single Author, Winner of the 2021 University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English, Winner of the 2021 South African Literary Awards, for Fiction in English in the category of "First Time Published Author," and it was shortlisted to the 2021 Sunday Times CNA Literary Awards.
Now, just over a year later, the novel has been published in English for the rest of the world with HarperVia, who acquired World English rights to the novel, excluding South Africa. Translation rights have been sold to Penguin Verlag (German), Solferino (Italian), Euromedia (Czech), and Iris Illyrica (Croatian). All other translation and audiovisual rights are currently available.
The book received a stellar review from The New York Times on Friday the 16th of December, calling Scatterlings "exquisitely intimate and globally ambitious." V. V. Ganeshananthan, who reviewed the novel, also said: "Manenzhe’s words are full of a wild, roaming intelligence that drifts into both intense philosophical exploration and acknowledgments of the unknowable. Yet the book is a swift, brutal read, full of suspense about the big and small questions of living, struggling with its characters’ beliefs about belonging and rootlessness." Read the full review here.
The weeks prior to HarperVia’s publication date, the novel gained attention from outlets such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, who included the book in their Best New Books roundups!
Scatterlings is a lyrical, moving novel and the most awarded debut title in South Africa that tells the story of a multiracial family when the Immorality Act is passed in 1927, revealing the story of one family’s scattered souls in the wake of history.
Intertwining her storytelling with ritual, myth, and the heart-wrenching question of who stays and who leaves, Scatterlings marks the debut of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa—and promises to take the Western literary world by storm as well. Read the full synopsis here.
Rešoketšwe Manenzhe is a South African poet, short story writer and novelist. Her short stories and poems have appeared in the Kalahari Review, Fireside Fiction, Praxis Magazine, Lolwe, FIYAH, and the 2017 Sol Plaatjie European Union Anthology, among others. She has won the 2019 Writivism Short Story Prize, the 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, the 2021 inaugural Akuko Short Story Competition, the 2021 HSS Award for Best Fiction, and she was the first runner-up for the 2019 Collins Elesiro Prize for Fiction. In 2021 she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times CNA Literary Awards. She holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town (UCT), which she obtained with distinction (in 2018). She has worked as a junior engineer for the South African cement company PPC, and as a lecturer and researcher at UCT’s Department of Chemical Engineering.
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