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Saturday, October 11, 2008


Adams Booksellers of Musgrave and Modjaji Books to launch Tracey Farren’s ground-breaking first novel:

Whiplash, Tracey Farren’s ground-breaking first novel about Tess, a prostitute on the streets of Muizenberg , Cape Town, will be launched on October 16 by Adams Booksellers of Musgrave and Modjaji Books.

Born and raised on the South Coast of KZN, Tracey Farren now lives in Cape Town with four dogs, a surfer and her two teenage children. She has a psychology honours degree from UCT and worked as a freelance journalist before turning to writing fiction. She writes film scripts and is deeply into her second novel.

The film has received strong critical acclaim and an agency sex worker wrote to Tracey about her response to reading Whiplash: "Although I can't say I had the hard times that Tess had, and never had a dependency, I could totally relate to the lifestyle. You really got the street worker's lifestyle on the mark. It has its real life moments. I could feel how human she is, that she has the same feelings and emotions just like any young woman not in that industry would feel.

“She also wants to love and be loved,” the sex worker continues. “I really enjoyed it. I read it in two days, that's with working all day. Whoever says they hate it, is prejudiced against the less fortunate and has no compassion or understanding. Probably one of those who goes around saying prostitutes break up homes and spread STDs. They don't realise that it's errant husbands that break up homes and all promiscuous people spread STDs. I hate those unenlightened idiots who think they can stand and judge others. There is a Tess around every corner, and if more people were aware of this, most of the Tess’s out there could be helped. I felt for Tess like I felt for the hijacker in Tsotsi. She is only human like all the rest of us, but for some wrong turns in life."

Modjaji Books was started in 2007 by Colleen Higgs, previously with the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, as a new independent press publishing the works of Southern African women only. Prior to this, only Oshun, an imprint of the Struik group, published women’s writing in SA and this was aimed at a ‘lighter’ market. The focus of Modjaji, which means ‘Rain Queen‘, is on literary fiction and poetry