Press release: Jolyn Phillips receives NiHSS Award for Tjieng Tjang Tjerries

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The third Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Awards 2018 announced Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories by Jolyn Phillips (Modjaji Books) the winner of the Best Fiction (single author) category.

“The book’s quality and style of writing is of high standard. Its content is South African. Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories … is a long-awaited body of knowledge about the lives of the very ordinary, the poor and marginalised. It is a strikingly original work of narrative fiction based on the mimetics of life. The texture of the writing is finely laced and covers a wide range of emotional modalities from the tragic to comical.” – Judging Panel Comment

"We at Modjaji Books are thrilled and honoured that Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories has been seen and appreciated in the way that we saw the collection right from the outset. We congratulate Jolyn and we look forward to a brilliant career from this talented young writer." – Colleen Higgs

"Thanks to Modjaji Books that took a chance with me and the book and the University of Western Cape for the support it afforded me to finish writing the book and hone my craft. The prize money gives one a little breathing space. It is wonderful that Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories has been honoured as a debut collection and two years after publication. This prize feels like another chance which as I know is difficult for short stories. Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories opens possibilities for myself that I could not dream about." – Jolyn Phillips


“An impressive debut that brings across voices never heard before in South African English – not only in rhythm and timbre, but plumbing the unspoken. With such a remarkable ear, Jolyn Phillips is a young writer to watch.” – Antjie Krog

“It is rare that one encounters a debut as good as this one. Humane, humorous and completely original, these sparkling stories gives a voice to a South African community too long ignored by the literary canon. Jolyn Phillips is a gifted young writer to watch.” – Meg Vandermerwe (Zebra Crossing and This Place I Call Home)

“A most original new voice in South African literature” – Shaun Johnson (The Native Commissioner)

The author

Jolyn Phillips (Photo credit: Modjaji Books)

Jolyn Phillips was born and grew up in Blompark, Gansbaai on the Western Cape coast. She is currently working on her PhD in Language Education at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and is a 2014 Mandela Rhodes Scholar. In 2013 she completed a Masters in Creative Writing at UWC. Since 2012, she has participated in the Open Book and the Franschhoek Literary Festivals. Her writing has also been published in Aerodrome, an online literary website, an anthology This Land I Call Home (UWC CREATES) and Ghost Eater and Other Stories (Umuzi). Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories is her first book.

The publication

Title: Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & other stories
Author: Jolyn Phillips
ISBN: 9781928215172
Price: R160
No of pages: 88
Format: B format paperback
Publication date: 20 April 2016

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