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March 2018 Fiction: Literary

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We Kiss Them With Rain
By (author): Futhi Ntshingila
9781946395047 Paperback, Trade English General Trade : Age (years) from 16 FICTION / Literary Mar 23, 2018
$22.50 CAD
Active 5.25 x 8.25 x 0.37 in 172 pages Catalyst Press
 
USBBY Outstanding International Books List 2019, Joint winner

Selected as a 2019 Outstanding International Book by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY)

Ntshingila's lyrically wrought North American debut is a slim yet satisfying novel sure to trigger a wide range of emotions."Kirkus, starred review

"It is a story about joy and hope and courage, and what it means to lift up others and be lifted oneself, and how one young girl found her voice in a world seemingly determined to take it away."Shelf Awareness, starred review

The terrible thing that steals 14-year-old Mvelo’s song leads to startling revelations and unexpected opportunities.

Life wasn’t always this hard for 14-year-old Mvelo. There were good times living with her mother and her mother's boyfriend. Now her mother is dying of AIDS and what happened to Mvelo is the elephant in the room, despite its growing presence in their small shack. In this Shakespeare-style comedy, the things that seem to be are only a façade and the things that are revealed hand Mvelo a golden opportunity to change her fate.We Kiss Them With Rain explores both humor and tragedy in this modern-day fairy tale set in a squatter camp outside of Durban, South Africa.

Futhi Ntshingila: Futhi Ntshingila grew up in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Now she lives and works in Pretoria. She is a former journalist and holds Masters Degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. She loves telling stories about the marginalized corners of society, which includes women and children in South Africa and particularly those who live in the squatter camps. In her two novels, she features strong women who empower themselves despite circumstances that seek to disempower them.We Kiss Them With Rain is her debut into the North American market.

"It is a story about joy and hope and courage, and what it means to lift up others and be lifted oneself, and how one young girl found her voice in a world seemingly determined to take it away." Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Ntshingila takes what could be mere tearjerking manipulation and turns Mvelo’s path into something at once dramatic and prosaic. In other words, a 14-year-old pregnant by rape, orphaned by AIDS, and uncertain of her future sounds and feels like a full human instead of a line in a news story. Highly recommend." — Bethanne Patrick,Lit Hub

"[T]he novel’s overall passionate restraint, which, along with some wonderful characters—Zola, Mvelo’s mother, once a dedicated runner; Nonceba, a skilled lawyer and possibly also a witch; Sipho, a good man trying to do better—makes it a joy to read, despite Mvelo’s bleak circumstances. Ntshingila’s prose is as graceful as it is forceful, conveying her deep-seated faith in truth to overcome the world’s ugliness."—Politics and Prose Bookstore (Staff Pick)

"Futhi Ntshingila weaves a beautiful narrative full of three-dimensional characters. She brings them, as well as the South African culture and landscape, to life vividly and entertains us as well as informs. It is a much-needed look at the AIDS crisis and a continent and country that has been hit so hard. In doing so, however, it still provides us with much hope for the future." —A&U Magazine

“Full of heart and hope despite the emotionally challenging subject matter […] A haunting, all-too-true story with plenty of compelling depth.”Booklist Reviews

“Those who appreciate realistic fiction will enjoy this novel in which young female characters learn to love themselves, no matter the circumstances.”School Library Journal

"Ntshingila’s prose is as graceful as it is forceful, conveying her deep-seated faith in truth to overcome the world’s ugliness." — Laurie G., bookseller Politics and Prose

"Taking place mostly in Durban, South Africa, the tale doesn't shy away from the reality of AIDS, poverty, or rampant sexual abuse, but instead of making those subjects its sole focus, Ntshingila folds them in with the other realities of life: love, joy, and hope. Ntshingila's lyrically wrought North American debut is a slim yet satisfying novel sure to trigger a wide range of emotions." Kirkus, starred review

"Reading the story of Mvelo, a 14-year-old girl whose life is impacted by many twists of fate, hardship, love, and an incredible community of supporters—and whose tragic journey resolves in the most wonderful of ways—brings back a history of a still raging epidemic that has seemed to disappear from the media’s attention in this country." –Lucy Kogler,Lit Hub,

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