A site showcasing treasures you might have missed!
Welcome to ​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Minerva Reader, a literary bookclub of sorts, a bookclub of one, created with the intention of paying homage to wonderful books, treasures that readers might have missed. 

I started this site to feature hard-to-classify, between-the-genre works. I’m looking for books that strike a chord in your heart and leave vivid, haunting images that will forever dance like the secret shadows on a back-alley wall.

You might wonder why it's called The Minerva Reader. Back in 1995, in Johannesburg, South Africa, I saw an advert for a publishing house in London, UK and they were looking for unsolicited manuscripts. They called themselves Minerva and they were incredibly good at passing themselves off as the traditional publisher by the same name, only the latter was legit and they published beautiful and unusual literary  books. 

The shysters I contacted operated a smooth scam and I was taken for a ride. Later reports say “They went bust (in 2002) because they were a scam. They were sued by more than 40 of their authors, and were the subject of two exposés on the BBC.” Which is satisfying to know!

Now, many years later, I published my seventh book, No Fury Like That, with my dearly beloved publisher, Inanna Publications – so yes, after a wobbly start, the goddesses have indeed been kind to me!

The Minerva Reader is my way of paying homage to the goddess Inanna who has been so kind to me. In case your mythology is a bit rusty, Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war. She was also seen as the bright star of the morning and evening, Venus. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, handicrafts, poetry, the arts in general, and later, war.

I keep a single, taped-up copy of that book, Single Girls Go Mad Sooner, and I like the front cover image (shown below). I keep it as a memento of past experiences that while disappointing, were nevertheless the brave efforts of a determined spirit.

About Inanna Publications: 

And Inanna Publications and Education Inc. is one of only a very few independent feminist presses in Canada committed to publishing fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by and about women, and complementing this with relevant non-fiction, that bring new, innovative and diverse perspectives with the potential to change and enhance women’s lives everywhere.

Inanna's aim is to conserve a publishing space dedicated to feminist voices that provoke discussion, advance feminist thought, and speak to diverse lives of women. Inanna has always been particularly interested in ensuring that the voices of disenfranchised and marginalized women are heard and they are committed to working closely with talented, emerging writers, as well as established writers.

Founded in 1978 with the goal of making current writing on a wide variety of feminist topics accessible to the largest possible community of readers, Inanna is the proud publisher of one of Canada’s oldest feminist journals, Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme. While many of Inanna's previous titles were published in response to the needs of the educational market, the level of response and trade sales received by many of the titles encouraged Inanna to move in a new direction and, in 2004, the Inanna Poetry and Fiction Series was lauched. 

The editorial policy is to publish visionary books that reflect the depth, breadth and diversity of women’s lives across Canada and around the world. Priorities are to publish literary books, in particular by fresh, new Canadian voices, that are intellectually rigorous, speak to women’s hearts, and tell truths about the lives of the broad diversity of women—smart books for people who want to read and think about real women’s lives.
Inanna publications are important resources, widely used in university courses across the country. Inanna's books are essential for any curriculum and are indispensable to the feminist reader.

Inanna Publications is a member of the Association for Canadian Publishers, the Ontario Book Publishers Organization, and the Literary Press Group of Canada.

Please note: Best Wishes to all for a great 2019! P.S. The Minerva Reader will not be featuring a book a week, but will be posting irregularly, as a book pops up, which I hope does not deter you!