It's starting to feel real. My new book, that is, One Love, Ghoema Beat: Inside the Cape Town Carnival.
Random House Struik, my South African publisher, already has copies on hand. Both my North American publisher, the University of Virginia Press, and I are trying to be patient -- our copies are in the hands of the shippers. (The official publication date is May.)
Front cover. (Photograph copyright John Edwin Mason, 2007.)
The book is an exploration -- in words and photos -- of the Cape Town Carnival (variously known as the New Year's Carnival or the Minstrel Carnival). I was especially interested aspects of the Carnival that are generally hidden from the view of outsiders -- the Carnival troupes' year-round rehearsals and practices, the work of tailors and drum makers, the intense, exhausting inter-troupe competitions that last for weeks after the New Year.
You can see a selection of the photos that appear in the book in this gallery. (You can also get to the gallery by clicking on the link at the top of the page.)
My Cape Town Carnival FAQ has much more information about the Carnival, in the past and in the present.
Update, April 5th: Finally, it's here -- the actual, physical book. It's the only copy, for the time being, in the United States, and it looks terrific. The colors pop of the page. It will be in bookstores and available from Random House Struik (in South Africa) and the University of Virginia Press (in the US) beginning in May.