Our exciting partnership with Blackbird Books
In January 2023 we announced an exciting partnership with South African publisher Blackbird Books, with the aim of helping bring more African literary voices to a wider global audience.
Blackbird Books was founded in August 2015 by publisher Thabiso Mahlape. Its launch was a ground-breaking move for the South African literary landscape and since its inception they have been pioneering and establishing a home for new African narratives, especially for black authors. Blackbird Books is concerned with publishing stories that cut to the core and reflect the African experience. They provide this platform to brilliant authors, concentrated on young black authors, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to tell the stories that shape and showcase the wealth of their African experiences.
Lauren Wolff-Jones, Legend Press Commissioning Editor comments: “I am so incredibly proud of all Legend Press and our authors have achieved over the years. The list has grown into a collection of established literary talent, as well as original debuts, and what this partnership offers is an opportunity to continue discovering new talent. Working with Blackbird and Rising Action is such a natural extension of our list, providing stories that will not only entertain, but also inspire. I couldn’t ask for better allies to work with and am thrilled for readers to discover all the brilliant books we’ll be releasing next year.”
Thabiso Mahlape, Founder and Managing Director of Blackbird Books comments “New talent is my passion, what I seek to do with Blackbird Books is a continuous exploration of how we can amplify these voices. Collaboration is the one strategy that makes the most sense to me and so I am very excited about this partnership and what it means for our authors. It’s a privilege to be able to showcase our talents to a wider audience. I am equally thrilled to be working with Legend Times team and look forward to making the relation stronger.”
Invisible Strings by Naledi Mashishi
Out 20th July 2023
Mamokgethi’s life is brought to an abrupt halt by an unplanned pregnancy. As her daughter Thato grows, she begins to develop otherworldly powers ranging from visions, to seeing the dead, to healing by touch.
A young pastor, Solomon, is desperate to prove himself by preaching the word of God to a large and loyal congregation. When he discovers Thato’s powers, he makes Mamokgethi a tempting offer: in exchange for money, he would pass off Thato's healing powers as his own. As the pastor’s popularity and thirst for power grows, Thato is burdened with events beyond her control.
Invisible Strings is a story about the past bleeding into the present, the living and the dead, and the danger that can come with authority.
No Be from Hia by Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda
Out 7th September 2023
Maggie and Bupe are cousins on either side of the world who couldn't be more different. Zambian- Nigerian and Zambian-Jamaican, both yearn for their disbanded family to reunite. When Bupe leaves Brixton to go to secondary school in Zambia, she brings light and disorder to Maggie's world. However, the girls are surrounded by dark family secrets such as the mysterious death of their late grandmother, and Maggie's missing Nigerian father.
From the blazing streets of the Brixton riots, to multi-party elections in Zambia and glitzy Independence Day celebrations in Lagos comes a heart-warming story that breathes life into the modern-day result of postcolonial Africa and 20th Century migration.
An Image in a Mirror by Ijangolet S. Ogwang
Out 22nd February 2024
Set between Uganda and South Africa, An Image in a Mirror is the story of Nyakale and Achen, identical twins pulled apart by their mother’s decision to give one of them away to her sister for a chance at a better life.
At the heart of this beautifully woven tale is a coming-of-age story of two young women growing up in separate worlds that are as different as they are similar.
When the sisters finally meet after twenty-two years, how mirrored will each feel by the other?
The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni
Out 16th July 2024
Nwelezelanga is born an albino. Convinced by the midwife that an albino child is a curse, her mother places her in a river to drown.
However, fate has other plans and the baby is rescued and raised by a traditional healer. She grows into an old soul with mystic abilities and her story unfolds as she lives a rural life, connected to the earth and ancient rituals.
The Star Child is magical and poetic with an assured voice and eloquent prose, Magubeni invites us into the life of this extraordinary being, Nwelezelanga, the child who should not have been.
All Gomorrahs are the Same by Thenjiwe Mswane
Out 22nd October 2024
An epic tale narrated through the eyes of three women.
Makhosi battles inner turmoil, unable to express her anger to her mother, Duduzile, a hardworking woman losing touch with her daughter. Nonhle, Makhosi's younger sister, watches the growing gap between them.
The narrative unfolds the complex conversations within families—womanhood, parenting, sexuality, and mental health. It's an epic tale told through the eyes of three women, navigating the delicate threads of love, pain, and resilience within the intricate dance of family bonds.