English Press Releases


South African author gets German Book of the Month accolade.

From Rock to Kraut by Anli Serfontein

Trier, Germany 09/05/08 - A book on Germany by a South African-born journalist has just been selected by her German publisher as Book of the Month. ”From Rock to Kraut”, Anli Serfontein’s book about her experiences and difficulties of settling in Germany was chosen by veteran publisher Vito von Eichborn as Book of the Month and will appear at the end of August on the German market in a new edition.

What makes the choice more remarkable is that an English language book is being released onto the German book market. Von Eichborn, the founder of the renowned Eichborn Publishing House, is one of Germany’s most innovative publishers. Each month the well-known publisher singles out one book that he believes deserves a wider readership, from among the 500 books published monthly by digital publisher Books on Demand. He was so convinced of the book, that he was prepared to take the risk. “This belongs to the best I have read in a long time”, he wrote.

He praised the book as being “funny and true-to-life, thoughtful and precise and entirely entertaining. And when one has read it, one sees us and oneself in a little bit of a new light.”

In her book, Serfontein takes the reader on a journey through everyday life in Germany, as she struggles to deal with convoluted red-tape, arrogant teachers, extreme tidiness and the inability of 80 million people to queue. Living in a wine-producing region, she battles to keep up with the locals and their town, and wine and harvest- festivals.

Her tale is spiced with accounts of her travels as a BBC television producer, meeting populist Dutch right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn at home in Rotterdam days before his murder or speaking to the last surviving officer to be with Hitler in the Berlin bunker during the last days of the war.

From Rock to Kraut  was first published in Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA  in March 2008. It has been widely applauded among other by both the South African expat community newspapers in London. In May the book made it onto the Editor’s Choice List of the South African Times in London – a list headed by Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare and two other award winning books. The Times wrote, "Her tale will appeal to anyone building a home outside of South Africa.". It is estimated that one million South Africans have left the country in the last decade, many of them finding a home in the USA.

The book will be on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. In the USA it is available from online bookshops Amazon.com, Blackwells, Borders and Barnes&Noble. For more information on the book visit the website: www.fromrocktokraut.com

From Rock to Kraut, Anli Serfontein, Trade Paperback 216p, Lightning Source / BoD, Norderstedt, $22.95

For Editors Background Information

Anli Serfontein

Anli Serfontein grew up in Johannesburg where she attended Wits University and graduated in 1982 with a BA in Comparative Literature and Drama and Film. She pursued her film studies in The Netherlands in the eighties before returning to South Africa in 1986. She spent nine years working for the foreign press in South Africa as a television producer and journalist. In 1995 she turned her back on full-time journalism, married and moved to Germany. Anli now lives with her family in Trier on the Moselle: Germany’s oldest town and the birthplace of Karl Marx. This is her first book and she is currently working on her second one. For more information visit her website: www.serfontein.org

Books on Demand, Norderstedt, Germany

Books on Demand (BOD) is a digital publishing facilitator for small publishers and authors. BoD publishes about 500 titles a month and is a market leader in print-on-demand, digital-publishing in Europe. It has branches in Switzerland, Scandinavia and France and is a subsidiary of the biggest book retailer in Europe, Libri. In the UK and the USA, BOD co-operates with digital publisher Lightning Source.

Vito von Eichborn - Edition BOD

Each month the renowned publisher singles out one book, from among the 500 books published monthly by Books on Demand, which he believes deserves a wider readership. The chosen book is then released in a new edition under his auspices onto the wider book market. In the past two years, several of those books, made it onto German bestseller lists