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About Rape

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About About Rape

What Every South African Should Know About Rape is a new book that started life as a blog on BOOK SA on the 1st of April 2008, and will be launched as a softcover and e-book during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence this December.

About Rape is BOOK SA’s first book-activism blog, which we plan to develop as a resource for all to use in the fight against violence in South Africa.

Every week, we will publish answers to rape-related questions on the blog, starting with “What is Rape?”. Members of the BOOK SA community – and the general public – will be welcome to augment or challenge our answers by posting comments (click here to register to post comments, and click here to login).


Joanne HichensJoanne Hichens is the co-author, with Mike Nicol, of Out to Score, a crime novel. She holds Honours degrees in both Fine Art and Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. She also has written youth literature and lives in Cape Town.

Ben WilliamsBen Williams is the editor of BOOK SA. He first arrived in South Africa from Chicago, USA, in 1995. He is a writer who has been active in the world of SA books and publishing for many years, and was the director, with Antjie Krog, of the 2004 Tradewinds International Literature Festival. Williams is the author, with Parvati Narshi, of a book on Indian cuisine, The Masala Cookbook. He lives in Cape Town.

Editorial Board

The About Rape editorial board is not actively involved in writing the book or managing the blog. Members of the Board will provide direction to the authors, suggest resources to use, and solicit comment from people involved in gender activism across South Africa.

Pregs GovenderPregs Govender was an ANC MP in the first parliament after 1994, and grew to prominence through her work on the Women’s Budget and as head of the Women’s Committee. She is a prominent gender activist and recently published a memoir, Love and Courage: a story of insubordination.

Mmatshilo MotseiMmatshilo Motsei is the author of, most recently, The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court, a book that uses the Jacob Zuma rape trial as a lens to examine gender power relations in South Africa. Listen to Mmatshilo’s podcast on writing, healing and activism with Victor Dlamini.

Nombuso MthethwaNombuso Mthethwa (aka Zani, the poet) is a Durban-based gynaecologist who is passionate about imparting knowledge on women’s health issues. She does this through a local radio station and working with the Red Cross in a rural hospital, among other activities.

Margie OrfordMargie Orford is the author of two crime novels, Like Clockwork and Blood Rose, and a and is a patron of Rape Crisis Cape Town. Read Margie’s article, “Rape: A Life Sentence for the Victim”.

Chris Hedges

Chris HedgesAbout WarWhat Every South African Should Know About Rape was inspired by American journalist Chris Hedges’ book, What Every Person Should Know About War, a Q&A breakdown of the individual’s experience of war, published at the time of the second US invasion of Iraq. The book’s format, comprising a series of bite-sized Question-and-Answer sets, suits online forums perfectly, and its style – the first and second person are used in the questions (Will I be killed?) and answers (It’s very likely that you’ll be killed) – lends itself to emotional impact beyond that generated by the stark facts.

BOOK SA thanks Mr. Hedges for granting permission to emulate his work.

Photographs of Motsei, Mthethwa and Williams courtesy Victor Dlamini; photograph of Hedges courtesy the Harvard Gazette.


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