Time of the Writer festival rings in changes

Time of the Writer festival rings in changes

Books, Durban
I was excited to read that the 19th Time of the Writer Festival, which takes place in the middle of March this year, has taken heed of South African author, Thando Mgqolozana’s, statements about South African literature. In opting out of a “white literary system” at the Franschhoek Literary Festival last year, Mgqolozana elicited a national discussion around the idea of “decolonising the literary landscape” in South Africa. At the heart of his position are the concepts of increased diversity, access and inclusiveness. It’s an important discussion to be had and one we need to take seriously – as writers, readers and consumers. In an attempt to facilitate the discussion, this year’s Time of the Writer includes a special programme under the theme Decolonising the Book. A thorough interrogation of…
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Calling all young writers

Calling all young writers

Books, Durban
Time is running out for young writers to submit their short stories for the annual Schools Short Story Competition, which is part of the Time of the Writer festival. The competition is open to all South African high school learners and is an excellent springboard for future South African writers. In a world where a culture of reading and writing must be nurtured, this is an important initiative that encourages our youth to express themselves creatively. The 19th Time of the Writer, hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts, learners to submit their short stories for the annual Schools Short Story Competition by this Friday (26 February). Winners will be awarded cash prizes, book vouchers and complimentary tickets to the festival. For more information on the festival or the competition, visit…
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On my desk

On my desk

Books
Happiness is a Four-letter Word by Cynthia Jele (Kwela) She may have written a novel categorized as chick lit, but South African author, Cynthia Jele, is no literary lightweight. Her debut novel Happiness is a Four-letter Word has earned her two literary awards and has just been adapted into a major motion picture – it hits cinemas throughout South Africa on February 19. The novel has been re-auditioned to coincide with the launch of the film, starring Khanyi Mbau, Renate Stuurman and Mmabatho Montsho. Nandi, Zaza, Tumi and Princess are four friends living fast and fabulous lives in Sandton. But fast and fabulous is just what’s on the surface – each has her own demons to deal with. As Nandi makes the final arrangements for her wedding, she can’t help…
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On My Desk

On My Desk

Books
The Bangkok Asset by John Burdett (Corsair) This is the sixth novel in John Burdett’s Bangkok series. Hero, Sochai Jitpleecheep, is a tortured Buddhist detective with the Royal Thai police force. In this novel, Sonchai and his partner, Inspector Krom, witness a deadly demonstration of superhuman force from a man who appears to be controlled by a CIA operative. Many questions arise – have the Americans created some sort of super-soldier? Are they testing him in Thailand? Why is everyone turning a blind eye? The case will take Sonchai to a hidden Cambodian jungle compound for American vets. Here he learns some devastating truths about government secrets and his own demons. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton) The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is a collection…
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South African wins a Michelin Star

South African wins a Michelin Star

Books
Jan van der Westhuizen has just become the first South African to receive the honour of a Michelin Star for his restaurant, JAN. Situated in the South of France, the restaurant was also voted one of the best restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveller in 2015. (more…)
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On my desk

On my desk

Books
Clairwood: The Untold Story by Juggie Pather As a child I spent many hours in the bustling Clairwood area. My family’s clothing business was situated behind the Moon Hotel mentioned by Dr Juggie Pather in his book Clairwood: The Untold Story. I had my ears pierced at the age of three at a jeweller on the main street, I ate my first bunny chow bought at the café two doors away. But as a child I never considered the place itself – never thought about the rich history and culture associated with it. In this book, Pather documents a five-year journey of information gathering and research. The aim of this book is to trace the lives of indentured Indian labourers who, after completing their term of indenture on the sugar-cane…
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Pan Macmillan SA acquires book by Trevor Noah

Pan Macmillan SA acquires book by Trevor Noah

Books
This week, we heard that South African wonder boy, Trevor Noah, is writing a book about growing up in South Africa, and Pan Macmillan South Africa has announced that it will publish this book in November this year. The book will be a collection of personal stories about growing up in South Africa during the tail end of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that ensued. While he bases his social and political commentary in comedy, Noah’s incites are insightful and noteworthy. (more…)
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On my desk

On my desk

Books
The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts (Little, Brown) It’s the sequel many have been waiting for with bated breath – I certainly have. Gregory David Roberts has finally published the sequel to his acclaimed novel Shantaram. It’s another tome but if the first novel is anything to go by, it’s going to be another amazing adventure with Lin and a host of unforgettable characters. Lin is an Australian fugitive who works as a forger for the Bombay mafia. Two years since the events of Shantaram, much has changed for Lin – his father has died, his soul mate, Karla, is married to an Indian media tycoon and Lin returns from a smuggling trip to a city that appears to have changed dramatically. The new mafia leadership is increasingly violent…
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