On a whim

In 2005, during a heavy bout of depression brought on by a particularly stressful summer, I decided to establish a little business called The Othello Press. I had no grand pretensions: it would be a cottage-industry publisher, selling fine fiction and hand-knitted slippers. I had recently started a job that had turned out to be the very opposite of everything I had hoped for and found myself carrying around a constantly aching heart. And so it was that on a whim The Othello Press was born. How I wish my friends had challenged my sanity then.

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‘How can you accept one book of the Bible and reject all the other?’

THIS IS a question I was once asked when I sought to draw attention to the teachings of the Letter of James. This has been my way on various occasions, for historic parallels have been drawn between early Judaic-Christianity and Islam. The question, of course, is a perfectly fair one and it is one which I intend to address here. The truth is that I do not accept this book whilst rejecting all the others. I make reference to it because I find it very interesting, in the same way that other sources interest me, but I do not ‘accept’ it as authentic on its own or in the place of others.

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Can African publishers publish African authors and keep them?

Textbooks make up ninety percent of Africa’s total book production. Whilst the continent’s population makes up twelve percent of the global figure, it produces only one percent of the world’s books. As a result, the remaining ten percent of Africa’s book production, which includes liturgical materials, academic books and gray literature, makes up a tiny and almost insignificant proportion (Chakava, 1996, pp.79-81). The affect of this situation on African authors is put by the President of the Ghana Association of Writers:

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