Barring her great showing at the 2008 BTA Anglo Platinum short-story competition in which she won first and fourth prize, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele was a relative unknown when she turned in the manuscript for her novel Happiness is a Four-letter Word.
There was also an outside chance that the book, like many other books of the day, would fall through the cracks. That was more than four years ago and a lot has happened since then.
The book has been awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ prize for best first book in the Africa region and the M-Net Literary award in the film category.
And, in what is one for the books, so to speak, the novel is the first book by a South African black female author to be adapted into a movie. Filming started in mid-July in Johannesburg.
Read it at the M&G.
Image – M&G