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A memoir of a young woman in apartheid South Africa


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Author:Ruchel Louis Coetzee

Imprint: Joshua Tree Publishing

13-Digit ISBN: 978-0-9829803-0-9

10-Digit: 0-9829803-0-2

Specs: 6" x 9 " Perfect Bound  324 Pages

Publication Date: January 1, 2011

Retail Price: $21.95

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Unexpected challenges, an unexpected love story, “Pulani” shows us life in Apartheid South Africa as told by a young girl who saw her country and her life change forever.

South African author Ruchel Louis came of age during apartheid’s last turbulent days. “Pulani” is her African name. It means “rain.”

Pulani’s journey from the princess gates of childhood to teen pregnancy to an early adulthood is set against the South African veld, with its endless sky, native tribes, a mix of Boer and British cultures—and a growing climate of cultural mistrust, racial injustice, violence and murder as society falls apart. Pulani must learn very early what it means to be strong.


Ruchel’s story is a must-read in the category of African coming-of-age memoirs. It belongs on your bookshelf as a counterpoint to Tracy Kidder’s “Strength in What Remains” and Ishmael Beah’s “A Long Way Gone.”  A captivating story of Apartheid South Africa through the eyes of a young girl.”

—Davia Mazur, Esq., VP Cultural Arts and Programming,
David Posnack JCC, Jewish Book Festival Committee

Ruchel Louis Coetzee

Author Ruchel Louis Coetzee was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, a city known for an abundance of colorful flowers and the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer matches. She grew up during the last turbulent days of Apartheid, and saw her country and her life change forever. Pulani is her African name. It means “rain”.

Ruchel and her family moved to the United States in 1993. In 1995 she fulfilled her dream, and founded a film and video production company called Successful Images, Inc. rebranded to Ruchel LLC. Her corporate and nonprofit videos have won numerous Addys, Auroras, and Telly awards, and she is known for her skills as an interviewer. Ruchel produced her first feature film “Gringo Wedding”, a romantic comedy geared towards the Latin American community. It received two film festival awards. She has written several articles for newspapers and magazines and has been a guest speaker at various corporate networking groups. PULANI is her first novel.

A full-time producer and writer, Ruchel’s next release is her cookbook. PULANI’S KITCHEN—Simple Healthy Meals Inspired By Life In South Africa. The cookbook is a result of the numerous requests for her famous carrot cake, “afriscotti” (South African version of biscotti), mamoul (Lebanese date cakes) and other recipes mentioned in PULANI. More than just a collection of recipes, PULANI’S KITCHEN is geared to those who have no time to spend in the kitchen or who are just learning to cook, and presents the process of meal preparation so it fits easily around a busy life.

For more, visit her website at