“I stand in front of the mirror as I remind myself that I don’t have to wear the uniform anymore. I don’t have to dress myself in men’s attire. I can grow out my nails, and paint them with polish. I am finally free to have my ears pierced. I can speak in the voice that I’ve spent so many hours cultivating with my speech therapist. I don’t have to hide my disgust anymore at being called “boet” or “sir”. I no longer have to tolerate any references to my deadname.”
Anastacia has fought hard for her right to live, held back for decades by a body that didn’t fit, and an identity that never belonged to her. At first, it had seemed impossible – like transition was some romantic, impractical ideal that was incompatible with reality. But now, after five months of hormone therapy, countless sessions of painful laser hair removal, multiple appointments with doctors and psychologists, it is very much a reality.
Born into a Jewish family in Johannesburg and raised by her parents as a boy, Anastacia Tomson was never sure just how much of her persistent internal discomfort to blame on an often troubled family life. She qualified and practised as a doctor, but it would take a great deal more clear-sighted and difficult questioning to finally find peace and self-acceptance, as a woman. This memoir is a clarion call for a more nuanced understanding of trans people and the concepts of sex, gender and identity.
About the Author
Anastacia Tomson grew up in Johannesburg and graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Pretoria. She has worked as a general practitioner both in the public and private sectors, as well as having a background in freelance journalism. Anastacia has a passion for activism and advocacy, with a specific interest in promoting access to healthcare for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. She is a vocal feminist and strives to further the visibility and understanding of transgender issues at every opportunity.
View Anastacia‘s website HERE
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Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers
In the summer of 1990, Cathy’s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out. It was two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school. Sitting by his unconscious body in hospital, holding his hand and watching his heartbeat on the monitors, Cathy and her parents willed him to survive. They did not know then that there are many and various fates worse than death.
This is the story of what happened to Cathy and her brother, and the unimaginable decision that she and her parents had to make eight years after the night that changed everything. It’s a story for anyone who has ever watched someone suffer or lost someone they loved or lived through a painful time that left them forever changed. Told with boundless warmth and affection, The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink is a heartbreaking yet uplifting testament to a family’s survival and the price we pay for love.
About the Author
Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London. An ex-bookseller, she is now Project Director of the charity Quick Reads and Books Editor of the Bookseller magazine.
View Cathy‘s website HERE
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Published by Pan Macmillan
My Cape Malay Kitchen is Cariema Isaacs’s heartfelt and poignant account of the extraordinary relationship between herself and her father and how that was reflected in their shared passion for food and cooking. She recollects all of the dishes they cooked and ate together, and shares her childhood memories of growing up in Bo-Kaap (the Cape Malay Quarter in Cape Town), lending insight into the culture, religious ceremonies and family events that have shaped the Cape Malay community into what itis today.
But My Cape Malay Kitchen is also a book about flavourful food, richly spiced curries, indulgent cakes and decadent desserts. Cariema‘s refreshing approach to food showcases many of the much-loved Cape Malay vintage recipes as well as a selection of modern dishes, and is ideal for anyone who needs a little inspiration in the kitchen.
About the Author
Cariema Isaacs was born in Scotcheskloof in Bo-Kaap. She has a natural flair in the kitchen, and from an early age was familiar with ingredients that her grandmother would transform into the most scrumptious dishes. Cariema lived in Cape Town for most of her life, before moving to Johannesburg and thereafter Dubai, where she and her husband raise their two teenage sons. My Cape Malay Kitchen is her first book.
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Published by Struik Lifestyle (An imprint of Penguin Random House)