Hazel Frankel (BA 1970, MA FA 2000, MA 2006) is an artist, calligrapher and teacher based in Johannesburg. Her first novel, Counting Sleeping Beauties, was runner-up for the EU Award in 2007, the year she published her poetry collection Drawing from Memory (Cinnamon Press, UK). Frankel is now completing a doctorate in creative writing through Sheffield Hallam University.
Illuminating Love (Jacana, 2011) looks at the myth that abuse does not occur in middle-income marriages. It entwines the journeys of two Jewish women: Judith, forced to leave Eastern Europe before World War II, and Cally, her granddaughter, living in South Africa. Cally uncovers her family’s history in Lithuania while transcribing her grandmother’s poems in calligraphy. Cally is simultaneously inscribing a love sampler to win back her husband, Jake, while preparing a marriage contract for new fiancés. The novel recreates Judith’s life in Europe before and during WWII and Jake’s experiences in the South African Border War.
The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street, by Denis Hirson
Denis Hirson (BA 1972, BA Hons 1973) studied social anthropology at Wits. In 1973 he left for France, where he now works as a teacher and writer. His five previously published books - The House Next Door to Africa, I Remember King Kong, We Walk Straight So You Better Get Out the Way, White Scars and Gardening in the Dark - all evoke the memory of apartheid South Africa. Last year he published an essay, Worlds in One Country: A brief survey of South African writing 19th Century to 1994 (Jacana).
The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street explores how “violence rendered things visible”. On Lemon Street in a leafy Johannesburg northern suburb in 1960, people live their lives, fall in love, suffer from loneliness. Current events including the great Clydesdale mine disaster, the Sharpeville massacre and the assassination attempt on Hendrik Verwoerd all reveal and alter the way people behave, indirectly pushing one of them to the blind need for revenge.
Donna Rachelson (BA Social Work 1987, BA Hons 1988, MBA 1994) has 25 years’ experience in strategy, marketing and change management garnered in marketing director posts at blue-chip corporations. She now runs a personal branding and marketing firm.
Branding and Marketing YOU (2001) is South Africa’s first personal branding and marketing book. Personal branding refers to how professionals can cultivate their personal brands by focusing on their “USP” (unique selling proposition) to maximise impact. Through interviews with leading South Africans, including Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal Loyiso Nongxa and Empowerdex founder Vuyo Jack (BCom 1997, BCom Hons 1998), Rachelson explains how to “package” your personal brand authentically and effectively.
Dr Karen Lazar (BA 1983, BA Hons 1984, MA 1988, PhD 1996) is a lecturer in English at Wits. In 2001, she suffered a post-operative stroke that left one side of her body paralysed. “A stroke on one hemisphere of the brain crosses over to manifest … on the opposite side of the body,” writes Lazar’s colleague, Professor Isabel Hofmeyr. “What does it mean to find oneself suddenly living at this lethal crossing?” The spatial, perceptual and subjective changes caused by the stroke force Lazar to view her new life in fragments. Hemispheres: Inside a Stroke (Modjaji, 2011) examines the process of Lazar’s re-evaluation of her world. Divided into three sections, Acute Metamorphosis, Rehabilitation and Adaptation, “Hemispheres is concerned with returning separated parts into a whole and coming home to the self. As she relearns to apprehend the world spatially in its totality, she finds the missing hemisphere and reclaims her self-regulation and with it a sense of herself as whole.”