A Room of One's Own welcomes Maggie Messitt for a reading and book-signing of her new book The Rainy Season!
Just across the northern border of a former apartheid-era homeland sits a rural community in the midst of change, caught between a traditional past and a western future, a racially charged history and a pseudo-democratic present. The Rainy Season, a work of engaging literary journalism, introduces readers to the remote bushveld community of Rooiboklaagte and opens a window into the beautifully complicated reality ofdaily life in South Africa.
Home to Shangaan, Sotho, and Mozambican Tsonga families, Rooiboklaagte sits in a village where an outdoor butchery occupies an old petrol station and a funeral parlor sits in the attached garage. It's a place where an AIDS education center sits across the street from a West African doctor selling cures for the pandemic. As the land shifts from dusty winter blond to lush summer green and back again, the duration of northeastern South Africa's rainy season, Regina, Thoko, and Dankie all face the challenges and possibilities of the new South Africa.
An independent narrative and immersion journalist, Maggie Messitt has spent the last decade reporting from inside underserved communities in southern Africa and middle America. Typically focused on complex issues through the lensof every day life, her work is deeply invested in rural regions, social justice, and environmental sustainability. A dual-citizen, Messitt lived in South Africa from 2003 to 2011. During this time, she was the founding director of a writing school for rural African women, editor of its community newspaper and international literary magazine, and a freelance reporter. Messitt currently resides in southeast Ohio where she's completing her doctorate in creative nonfiction at Ohio University. You can learn more about her at her website, www.maggiemessitt.com.