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Right! That's a wrap of our #ManBooker2014 coverage. Congratulations to Richard Flanagan bookslive.co.za/Yq9F

Herrie rondom Sonja Loots se aanmerking: “Ek is nie so groot op huisvroue nie”

SirkusboereSonja Loots het Sondag ‘n hele paar mense ontstel met ‘n gewaagde rubriek waarin sy aankondig: “Die woord ‘tuisteskepper’ veroorsaak ’n skerp kramppyn en ‘voltydse mamma’ maak my naar.”

Die bekroonde Sirkusboere-skrywer verduidelik dat hierdie sogenaamde beroepskeuse nog nooit enige “nuuswaardige” vrouens opgelewer het nie en noem dat sy al probeer het om haar “vooroordele te bowe te kom”, maar dat die gebrek aan “nuusberigte oor huisvroue wat ’n nuttige bydrae tot die samelewing lewer” haar argument staaf.

Ek is nie so groot op huisvroue nie. Dit is ’n soort allergie wat met die jare ál erger word. Die woord “tuisteskepper” veroorsaak ’n skerp kramppyn en “voltydse mamma” maak my naar. Ja, teen hierdie tyd het jy reg geraai: Ek is een van daardie werkende vroue wat hul kinders van nege tot vyf afskakel en in ’n kas bêre.

Wanneer ek aan ander vroue voorgestel word, vra ek so gou moontlik of hulle ’n werk het. As die antwoord nee is, vryf ek aan die bossie knoffel om my nek en mik vir die naaste nooduitgang. Ek wil asseblief nie haar vriendin word nie, want dan gaan sy my weeksoggende bel sodra ek my kantoordeur oopgesluit en agter my lessenaar plaasgeneem het.

Dit is te verstane dat hierdie artikel nie ligtelik deur die publiek ontvang is nie. Sosiale media het gegons met klaers wat haar van verskriklike dinge beskuldig en selfs aantuigings van haatspraak maak. Een ontstoke leser, Liezel Lüneburg, het haar misnoë in ‘n bloginskrywing op Die Laevelder uitgespreek.

Lees haar artikel:

Óf Sonja haat werklik huisvroue óf sy was net lus om ʼn paar mense se hokke te skud – dalk het sy reklame nodig. In ieder geval het die aanslag gewerk. Haar mening oor huisvroue beklee die topposisie op Netwerk24 se webwerf met Tim du Plessis se artikel oor die huidige stand van sake in Suid-Afrika in die tweede plek en President Zuma se skokkende onthullings dat korrupsie maar net ʼn Westerse konsep is, in die derde posisie. Kan jy nou meer…

My eerste reaksie op Sonja se vernederende artikel is om haar die handskoen toe te werp en op die oorlogspad te klim. Maar, helaas, ‘n mens moet tog besef dat die oorlogspad nie noodwendig die mees produktiewe weg is nie. Veral nie in ‘n wêreld waar nie-werkende vroue deesdae as’t ware as ʼn minderheidsgroep beskou kan word nie. Dertig, veertig jaar terug was dit ʼn ander saak en het die maritale mag van die man menige vrou stewig in die kombuis vasgedruk. Tye het egter verander en tans, as ek dit nou reg verstaan, bevind die meeste vroue hul in die arbeidsmark.

Marike van der Watt het ook op Loots se artikel gereageer met ‘n kort, maar kragtige, artikel op LitNe. Sy spreel feminisme as konsep aan en herinner Loots ook aan ‘n aanmerking wat sy onlangs oor George Eliot se werk gemaak het: “En dan is daar George Eliot se Middlemarch, wat my altyd troos as ek my ontstel oor die onbelangrikheid van my lewe en dié van die mense om my.”

Lees Van der Watt se artikel:

Dalk moes Loots eers weer hierdie aanhaling gaan lees het voor sy ’n vet swart kruis oor die bestaan van duisende vroue gaan trek het – vroue wat baie opgeoffer het vir ’n stil lewe sonder finansiële gewin of kwantifiseerbare prestasies. Vroue wat nié leef soos die handjievol Susantjie-Antjies of die Zumas of die desperate huisvroue met hulle kiste vol skoene nie.

Wat ek van feminisme verstaan, is dat dit aan ’n vrou die vryheid bied om self oor haar lewe te besluit – of sy kinders wil hê of nie, of sy ’n loopbaan wil volg of nie, of sy eers huisvrou wil wees en daarná ’n loopbaan wil bou of omgekeerd. Maar Sonja Loots se gewraakte skrywe het my met verbasing laat besef dat sekere vroue wat vandag uit die feministe se stryd voordeel trek, hulle vryheid as wapen gebruik téén vroue wat kies om die tradisionele rol te vervul.

Boekbesonderhede

Sue Grant-Marshall Reviews The Keeper by Marguerite Poland

The KeeperVerdict: carrot

WHEN the tally is made of great South African authors who have contributed to a keeping of the history, intransigent beauty and changing cultures of our extraordinarily diverse country, Marguerite Poland’s name will be there.

Book Details

Riaan Grobler resenseer Draalnoot vir ’n janfiskaal deur Henry Jack Cloete

Draalnoot vir ’n janfiskaal Uitspraak: wortel

Dít is juis waar Draalnoot se uniekheid lê: Die leser se verwagtinge en voorspellings lei selde tot enigiets. Dit is ’n verhaal wat telkens sy eie koers inslaan en waar die grense van wat werklik is subtiel (en soms blatant) verskuif word.

Dit is belangrik om te besef hoewel selfdood sentraal tot die tema staan, dié roman geensins selfmoord ophemel of verromantiseer nie. Dit is eerder hiperboliese kritiek op die samelewing se voyeurisme en toets die grense van aanvaarbare teenoor onaanvaarbare vermaak – of die sogenaamd normale teenoor die absurde.

Boekbesonderhede

André Bartlett resenseer Gesprekke oor die lewe deur Izak de Villiers

Gesprekke oor die lewe: Die laaste gedagtes van IL de VilliersUitspraak: wortel

Die bundel Gesprekke oor die lewe, wat pas onder sy naam en onder die samestellershand van Amanda Botha verskyn het, bevat ’n versameling van preke en kanselgebede uit hierdie fase van sy lewe.

Uit dié preke blyk duidelik dat sy prediking, soos sy persoonlikheid, eiesoortig van aard en nie gebonde aan een of ander konvensionele patroon was nie. Filosofiese en literêre verwysings word met anekdotes uit sy eie lewenservaring en historiese vertellings afgewissel. Geen teologiese hoogvlugte nie, maar diepsinnige nadenke oor die lewe en veral oor God se teenwoordigheid in die lewe word op verrassend eenvoudige manier aangebied.

Boekbesonderhede

Waiting for the Vegetarians

Sophy Kohler muses on the Richmond Bookbedonnerd book festival, now in its seventh year, taking place from 23 to 25 October. View the programme at Richmondnc.co.za.

For Boekbedonnerd organiser Darryl David, Richmond is the perfect place for a literary festival — it is in the middle of nowhere, so once you convince your participants to make the trip, they are compelled to stay. But are they? A friend had her husband keep the car running while she delivered her talk. They lasted less than two hours, unprepared to face a room in the eerie motel alongside us and Norman Bates.

Richmond lies on the N1, just beyond the comfier bounds of the Western Cape and roughly equidistant between Johannesburg and Cape Town. My boyfriend and I have done the drive from both sides now. It’s an extra hour versus the Freestate (Dis mos mielies!).

Few people set off with Richmond in mind as their final destination, it is a conduit and one less desirable than Graaff-Reinet or even Colesburg. But it has modeled itself as a “book town” for the purposes of tourism — you can find Willard Price in hardback — and books journalists know Richmond for Boekbedonnerd, now in its seventh year. The festival traps no more than four gullible reporters annually (two of them I can usually account for) and a handful of the rarest authors you will ever see. And this weekend, it is happening again.

The permanent residents are a Lynchian ensemble cast — a hunchback rides around on a disability moped offering to show unsuspecting visitors “his snakes” and The Giant is there, somewhere, too. In one bookshop, a sign proclaiming “Welcome to the Old South Africa” is only slightly more unsettling than the massive giraffe that looms in the passage behind it — a taxidermist’s magnum opus.

null

We joke about buying property in Richmond; it seems a natural halfway point between the two cities that divide our lives and has become an unlikely constant in our relationship. But beneath our banter is something more serious — we are aware of the pull of the margins, the allure of the Karoo’s timelessness; we are attracted to this strange nowhere.

During one of the long drives we plan a restaurant, a gastronomical companion piece to the festival, a refreshment station to ward off scurvy and stasis, born out of endless days of lamb chops and chips. Like the town’s other restaurants it would be open for two days a year, its staff brought in from the township or the prison for their lucky moment of employment.

We imagine the Double R spliced with Leo’s, a place where local authors fight to swap eponymous dishes beneath the mounted heads of sable antelope; where Rian Malan would kill for A Change of Sliced Tongue and Antjie Krog only ever orders My Artichoke’s Heart.

Our signature dish, Ah, But Your Lamb is Beautiful, would take care of the Karoo’s staple menu item and appease any regulars who feel threatened by change. And, while our morning customers may be restricted to a Story of an African Farm Breakfast, for lunch we’d allow a choice between The Seed Loaf is Mine and the more decadent Daughter’s Burger.

Our cocktail list would be equally ostentatious with Rumours of Cane and Portrait with Key Limes likely to be favorites. Layers of chocolate sponge cake and white mousse will embrace in our famous dessert, The Quiet Violence of Creams. But perhaps our real monkey maker will be the 24-hour pizza special, Gobbling at Night.

But Richmond’s hallucinatory effects wear off when you hit the edge of the dome, 20 kilometres out, and our desperate attempts at entertaining ourselves are short-lived. We are left with the sense that Richmond’s own humour will always be better than our best attempts at faking it, that we will never be as interesting as its residents, nor have enough backbone to rejoin the past.

But I still imagine JM Coetzee, that prodigal son, wandering into our little diner (heavy curtains, red plastic booths, neon lights) to find that someone’s named a sandwich after him. And he’ll sit down and order a glass of tap water and the Book of Raw, because nobody liked White Whiting.

~ ~ ~

 

Tom Peck Reviews Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story by Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman

Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp StoryVerdict: carrot

There are two principal claims in this book that will surprise even the biggest Pistorius trial addicts, of which there are millions around the world. Firstly, that the athlete had had a lengthy phone conversation with a contact in his phone called “Babyshoes”, now known to be his ex-girlfriend Jenna Edkins, the day before the shooting. He had also sent her several text messages in the hours after he accidentally discharged his firearm in Tasha’s Restaurant a month before. (Pistorius had told the court he “couldn’t remember” where he went and what he did that evening.)

Book Details

Programme for the 2014 McGregor Poetry Festival (23 – 26 October)

 
The programme for the 2014 McGregor Poetry Festival, which is taking place this weekend from 23 – 26 October, features an exciting line-up with something for everyone: Poetry readings, discussions, excursions, film screenings, art exhibitions and music in celebration of the written word with award-winning artists and budding wordsmiths alike.

Ride the TortoiseLovely Beyond Any SingingWhoever Fears the SeaDie roebaijat van Omar KhajjamSolank verlange die sweep swaaiHomemaking for the Down-at-Heart
Bad SexKop op \'n blokEcological IntelligenceNaweekThe Halo and the Noose
KaleidoskoopNow The World Takes These BreathsIngrid JonkerThe Animal GazeThese are the Lies I Told YouThe Last to Leave

Books LIVE community members Helen Moffet, Liesl Jobson, Daniel Hugo, Leon de Kock, Finuala Dowling, Justin Fox and Patricia Schonstein join Amy Kaye, Ian McCallum, David Messineo, Toast Coetzer, Marié Heese, Bob Commin, Joan Metelerkamp, Wilna Snyman, Adrian van Wyk, Danie Marais, Philip de Vos, Kerry Hammerton, and many more for four days of poetic festivities.

Ticket prices vary and can be bought at the door or via Computicket. Venues are scattered all over the beautiful town of McGregor and include Temenos, Wahnfried, the Edna Fourie Gallery, Villagers, Green Gables and the local pubs.

Have a look at the programme:

2014 McGregor Poetry Festival Programme

Book details

  • Die roebaijat van Omar Khajjam: 50 kwatryne vertaal deur Daniel Hugo by Omar Khajjam, edited by Daniel Hugo
    EAN: 9781485300861
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Join Tim Couzens for the Launch of The Great Silence at the National Museum of Military History

Book Launch: The Great Silence

 
The Great Silence: From Mushroom Valley to Delville Wood, South African Forces in World War OneSunday Times Books and Art Publishers invite you to the launch of The Great Silence: From Mushroom Valley to Delville Wood, South African Forces in World War One by Tim Couzens.

Couzens will speak about South Africa’s military history, in particular about the sacrifices South Africa made during the Great War from 1914 to 1918.

The launch will take place on Tuesday, 4 November, at the Ditsong National Museum of Military History at 6 PM.

See you there!

Event Details

Book Details

  • The Great Silence: From Mushroom Valley to Delville Wood, South African Forces in World War One by Tim Couzens
    EAN: 9781920380359
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Karina M Szczurek Reviews Entanglement by Steven Boykey Sidley

EntanglementVerdict: stick

Entanglement is rich in ideas and insights, but its somehow disjointed plot takes away from the impact of an otherwise stimulating read. It is almost as if the narrative was just a vehicle for showcasing a few clever turns of phrase, delivering a good punchline or two, and accumulating funny anecdotes on the way to a strangely unsatisfying conclusion.

Book Details

Daniel Hugo resenseer Breyten Breytenbach – A Monologue in Two Voices deur Sandra Saayman

Breyten Breytenbach - A Monologue in Two VoicesUitspraak: wortel

Die insigte, inligting en toeligting (in die vorm van die afdrukke van kunswerke) maak van dit ’n onmisbare bydrae tot die akademiese gesprek om Breytenbach se werk.

Daarby skryf Saayman besonder toeganklik en word die leser nêrens oorweldig deur vakjargon nie. Dit is die soort boek wat ’n mens se lewe verryk.

Boekbesonderhede