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Alert! The programme for this year’s @OpenBookFest has been revealed! Click here to see it: fb.me/3EVHbDBFa

Nicola Hanekom en Leandie du Randt kan breed glimlag na 2014 kykNET Silwerskermfees-toekennings

Die pad bysterGemaklik in jou eie lyfDie afgelope naweek is Afrikaanse films behoorlik gevier tydens die jaarlikse kykNET Silwerskermfees se spoggerige toekenningsgeleentheid wat Saterdagaand plaasgevind het.

Tydends die geleentheid het Nicola Hanekom, outeur van Die pad byster wat deur Protea Boekhuis gepubliseer is, die toekenning vir Beste Kortfilm Aktrise ontvang vir haar spel in Trippie – ’n verwerking van haar suksesvolle gelyknamige toneelstuk waarvan die teks ook in Die pad byster verskyn. Stian Bam, wat teenoor Hanekom te sien is in Trippie, het op sy beurt die prys vir Beste Kortfilm Akteur ontvang.

’n Ander skrywer wat ook breed kon glimlag na die glansgeleentheid is Leandie du Randt, outeur van Gemaklik in jou eie lyf (Struik Lifestyle), wat kan spog dat sy nie net in die rolverdeling van die beste kortfilm (Vuil Wasgoed) te sien is nie, maar ook deel van die twee speelfilms wat uitgestaan het op dié aand: Hollywood in my huis en Die Windpomp. Laasgenoemde het onder meer die toekennings vir Beste Film, Regisseur, Teks en Oorspronklike Musiek ingepalm terwyl Hollywood in my huis, wat tydens die fees vir die eerste keer aan ’n gehoor vertoon is, vereer is as beide die kenners én gehoor se gunsteling speelfilm. Hanekom speel ook in Hollywood in my huis.

Baie geluk aan al die wenners! Books LIVE sien uit om te hoor of enige romans uit hierdie opwindende films sal spruit …

* * * * * * * *

Persverklaring

Die wenners van die kykNET Silwerskermfees is vanaand by ’n glansgeleentheid in Kampsbaai bekendgemaak. Die komediante Anne Hirsch en Francois Toerien, wat die gashere vir die aand was, het die gehoor laat skaterlag met hul weergawe van ’n Afrikaanse Oscars.

Karen Meiring, MNET: Direkteur van Afrikaanse kanale, het tydens haar toespraak kykNET se 15de verjaardagvieringe geloots met ’n terugblik op die geskiedenis van kykNET.

Die toekennings is hierdie jaar in twee afdelings verdeel. In die eerste afdeling kom die volledige
aanbod van Afrikaanse filmvrystellings vanaf 1 September 2013 – 31 Augustus 2014 in aanmerking vir die Jaarlikse Nasionale Silwerskermtoekennings. In die tweede afdeling is die films wat by die fees geloots is, asook die kortfilm kategorieë. Die kortfilms word gedurende die fees deur ’n paneel beoordeel terwyl die feesgangers vir die beste feesfilms gestem het. Die nominasies is op Saterdag 30 Augustus 2014 bekendgemaak en sluit kategorieë in vir Beste kortfilm, Beste Feesfilm asook Kykerskeuses.

Die wenners is:

Kortfilms

Beste Kortfilm
Vuil Wasgoed

Kortfilm Regisseur
Travis Taute en Nosipho Dumisa
Nommer 37

Kortfilm Akteur
Stian Bam
Trippie

Kortfilm Aktrise
Nicola Hanekom
Trippie

Kortfilm Teks
Daryne Joshua
Nommer 37

Spesiale Benoeming: Nuwe Ikoon
Albert Pretorius

Speelfilms

Beste Film
Die Windpomp

Regisseur
Etienne Fourie
Die Windpomp

Vroulike Byspeler
Marga Van Rooi: Die Windpomp

Manlike Byspeler
Marius Weyers
Pad Na Jou Hart

Akteur
Louw Venter
Konfetti

Aktrise
Anna-Mart Van Der Merwe
Stuur Groete Aan Mannetjies Roux

Oorspronklike Musiek
Johnny De Ridder
Die Windpomp

Teks
Etienne Fourie
Die Windpomp

Redigering
Dwaine Faria Carrao
Pad Na Jou Hart

Beste Film Nie In Afrikaans
Forgotten Kingdom

Speelfilms By Fees

Kenner Keuse
Hollywood In My Huis

Gehoor-Gunsteling
Hollywood In My Huis

Gehoor-Gunsteling Aktrise
Christia Visser
Hollywood In My Huis

Gehoor-Gunsteling Akteur
Deandre Reiners
Seun

Einde

Boekbesonderhede

Sarah Laurence Reviews How to Fix South Africa’s Schools by Jonathan Jansen and Molly Blank

How to Fix South Africa's Schools: Lessons from Schools that WorkVerdict: carrot

Despite spending the largest percentage of the national budget on education (more, as a percentage of our GDP than any other African country), only 20% of our schools are effective and we consistently appear at the bottom of student achievement league tables.

Book Details

Book Bites: 31 August 2014

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing A Girl is a Half-formed Thing
Eimear McBride (Faber & Faber)
*****
Book buff
“Off. I’m ready. Ready ready. To be this other one. To fill out the corners of this person who doesn’t sit in photo’s [sic] on the mantel next to you.” A Girl is a Half-formed Thing tracks a nameless woman’s relationship with her brother, which progresses like an elliptical orbit. He, and the ghost of his childhood brain tumour, shape her life and identity no matter how far she travels. The tale is told in a stream of consciousness that is raw and unflinching. The novel is an ambitious project, but like most works of modern art, the matter of reader enjoyment will depend heavily on personal taste.
- Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

The SonThe Son
Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker)
****
Book thrill
Nesbo’s second standalone novel (ie, one not about unkillable detective Harry Hole) takes place in Oslo’s underbelly. The Son stars a young man called Sonny, a boy of translucent innocence and great heart. He is in prison for murder – oh, and he is also a heroin addict. When he hears something that contradicts the official version of how his father, a disgraced policeman, died, Sonny wakes up from his needle-induced stupor and develops astonishing resources. Revenge, it appears, is more addictive than smack. A fat, satisfying read with no Hole and only a few holes.
– Sue de Groot @deGrootS1

The Girls from Corona del MarThe Girls from Corona del Mar
Rufi Thorpe (Hutchinson)
Book fling
*****
There’s so much staggering emotion and fearless truth in this debut novel, which questions the capriciousness of a long-standing friendship. Sweet and loving Lorrie Ann and “stone-hearted” Mia are best friends in school growing up in a depressed southern Californian town in the 90s. Two events frame their lives: Mia has an abortion at 15 and Lorrie Ann’s devoted father dies. Through showing how these two women are forced to navigate the paradigm shifts in their relationship, Thorpe creates empathetic female characters that resonate long after the last word is read.
- Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

Book details

Riëtte Grobler resenseer Ctrl Z my lewe deur Cheréne Pienaar

Ctrl Z my leweUitspraak: wortel

Ctrl Z my lewe, oor ’n tienermeisie wat ná haar matriekjaar by haar vervreemde pa in die Spaanse stad Barcelona gaan woon, is so ’n bietjie soos ’n Vrydagaand se aksiefliek.

Nes enige goeie aksiefliek is die bestemming eksoties, ontvou die storielyn vinnig, is die skurke so goor as kan kom en van die karakters nie wie hulle voorgee om te wees nie.

Book Details

Joan Hambidge resenseer In ligte laaie deur Jannie Malan

In ligte laaieUitspraak: wortek

Om met eerstehandse hartseer
tweedehands te koop

Dit is ’n bekoorlike debuut, ’n bundel waarin die jong digter reeds met ’n vaste hand die belangrikste beginsels van die digkuns begryp: die tegelykertydsaspek, die spanning tussen beeld en toepassing, ’n trefseker slot, onthoubare reëls, ’n kennis van digterlike vorme (ofskoon dit nog nie altyd in fyn balans is nie, soos “Pietà” (118), wat ’n distigon kon word; nie heeltemal ’n tanka nie op bl 39); ’n gesprek met ander digters…

Boekbesonderhede

Fact is, She’s Ours: Michele Magwood Interviews Belinda Bauer on The Facts of Life and Death

By Michele Magwood for the Sunday Times

belinda bauer

The Facts of Life and DeathThe Facts of Life and Death
Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press)
*****

We’re a parochial lot, South Africans, quick to claim our own when they make a mark overseas. This is never more true than in the book world. Lauren Beukes is recommended by Stephen King. Ivan Vladislavić is compared to WG Sebald and Paul Auster in the international press. Sarah Lotz lands a six-figure deal with a British publisher. We thumb our keypads with pride, shout it out in cyberspace, beam on the branches of Twitter.

Belinda Bauer may only have spent 10 years here in her adolescence, but we like to think of her as one of ours, too. After all, she’s the sister of Charlotte, the distinguished editor and columnist who divides her time now between Johannesburg and France, and Katy, who produced two perfectly-formed novels, Spite and The Track, in the mid-2000s. There’s a fourth sister, Lizzie, who teaches English and writes plays and short stories in her spare time. I wonder what was in the water in the Bauer household to have produced such talent.

“Books”, says Belinda, on the phone from her home near Cardiff. “The house was full of books and my parents were big readers. There was no point going to them with disputes, they wouldn’t listen. They were too busy reading. So we learned that books were special.”

The field of crime writing is becoming ever-more cluttered as new authors see it as a fast track to a book deal. Too many set about the writing as if they’re constructing Meccano sets, winching in the plot, screwing characters onto it, levering it up with the engineering of conventions. The results are hollow, forgettable books that blow away like pick-up-sticks after you’ve read them.

Bauer’s novels, by contrast, bloom with malevolence, like dripping ink into water, stories that stain the reader’s imagination. She never set out to be a crime writer. Her brilliant first novel, Blacklands, was the story of a boy who starts writing letters to a paedophile in prison. He just wants to know where the convict buried his uncle so that his Nan can have some peace. Just like that, straight out of the gates, she won the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Her publishers told her she was now a crime writer, and who was she to argue?

“I’d never read any crime novels – I still don’t – so I had no idea about the conventions, the precedents. To me Blacklands was about the relationship between a little boy and his grandmother. I was exploring how a terrible crime can ripple down through generations.”

The narrator of her latest book The Facts of Life and Death is 10-year-old Ruby Trick, pudgy and anxious and living in a septic village on the Devon coast. Her dad’s out of work, her mum’s trying to keep things afloat and Ruby frets about the dread word, “divorce”. There’s a man out there murdering young women. He makes them phone their mothers and then kills them on Facetime. If Ruby can help her father catch him, perhaps he’ll love her enough never to leave.

It has all the hallmarks of Bauer’s writing that we’ve come to expect: intense atmosphere, throbbing suspense and terrific twists. It’s no wonder she’s been hailed in the UK as the next Ruth Rendell. And that, for a girl from Pretoria. Almost.

Follow Michele on Twitter @michelemagwood

Book details

Join the Fun on Roald Dahl Day at Exclusive Books Rosebank!

Roald Dahl Day

 

Exclusive Books Rosebank would like to invite you to the Roald Dahl Day Party on Saturday, 13 September, for the relaunch of their children’s section.

The legendary children’s author Roald Dahl was born on 13 September, 1916. Roald Dahl Day promises to be packed with fun activities, party snacks, and story time. There will also be prizes for the best-dressed characters!

Don’t miss out on the fun!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 13 September 2014
  • Time: Session 1 at 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Session 2 at 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Venue: Exclusive Books Rosebank
    Maxi’s – The Mall of Rosebank
    Oxford Service
    Johannesburg | Map
  • For more information: Talita van Graan, talitav@exclusivebooks.co.za, 011 798 0000

Do Not Cross: Mike Nicol Talks to David Klatzow about Justice Denied

By Mike Nicol for the Sunday Times

david klatzow

Justice DeniedJustice Denied
David Klatzow (Zebra Press)
*****

David Klatzow lives in his face. It is lined, creased, baggy. It is skeptical. His gaze is baleful. All of life’s disappointments seem writ large there. And I don’t mean his personal disappointments; no, I mean the disappointments delivered up by the rest of us. Our human weaknesses; our “junk” science (his word) that we use to make sense of our world.

Klatzow is well known as the maverick voice of forensic science. The cops seem to have an unwritten code that goes: “Don’t talk to Klatzow at a crime scene.” His fellow practitioners won’t willingly disclose their evidence to him.

“They loathe me,” he says. “I have to fight tooth and nail to get anything. The state blocks me. I have to make an application and compel them to let me have evidence.”

He broods in his study – with its microscopes and magnifying glasses and rifles and boxes of bullets and sabres and its standing skeleton, and its hand-grenade on the desk and its book-lined walls on everything from ballistics to blood splatter – about the follies we commit.

It is the sort of study where you would write a book called Justice Denied.

When you read this, Klatzow’s latest, you begin to understand why the cops, the scientists, the advocates, the expert witnesses loathe David Klatzow. They loathe him precisely because he has their number. He knows that they distort their findings, that they lie and obfuscate and will act, not in the interests of justice, but from ego.

Which is why reading Justice Denied is a depressing experience. It collapses the world of CSI, the world we have come to believe does not lie to us about what went down at a crime scene.

The “CSI effect” it is called. The result is that the glamour of the job as seen in the TV series has enticed thousands of students to sign up for forensic science degrees. New departments to cater for the demand have become the darlings of universities across the world.

“It’s a junk degree,” says Klatzow. “You come out little better than a technician. You don’t even have the authority to sign off a post-mortem.”

A junk degree for a junk science. In 250 pages, Klatzow systematically destroys all we hold sacred: police competence at a crime scene, fingerprints, blood reports, striations on bullets, the testimony of expert witnesses. All this is left in tatters.

“Pray that you are never accused of a serious crime,” he says. “Unless you are rich, you will end up in jail.”

Recall Fred van der Vyver, charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Inge Lotz. As Klatzow narrates the case it was not only the police but the prosecutors who “blundered on until an acquittal was achieved by an overwhelming mass of evidence indicating fraud and dishonesty in the state case”.

Now consider this from the book, on the 1987 shooting of Ashley Kriel by the police:

“It was clear to me that [Professor Deon] Knobel was trying to prove that the police version was correct” – instead of properly analysing the bullet wound.

“When I met with [Lionel Shelsey] Smith [head of forensic medicine at UCT] before the trial, he became aware of the policeman’s name from the case papers. Suddenly, without any proper explanation, he did an about-turn on his report, effectively – and fatally – damaging the plaintiff’s case. He said to me in chambers that he felt he could not “drop” the policeman, as he knew him well and had socialised with him in former years.”

Justice Denied not only runs rampant through South African judicial malfeasance but draws on blunders across the world, some of which put innocent people to death. It is a handbook of how forensic science has aided and abetted miscarriages of justice.

It is a book we all need to read because the notion of justice is a cornerstone of our society. Don’t take Klatzow’s word for it, consider this from the US National Academy of Sciences:

‘The simple reality is that the interpretation of forensic evidence is not always based on scientific studies to determine its validity. This is a serious problem. [...] The law’s greatest dilemma in its heavy reliance on forensic evidence, however, concerns the question of whether – and to what extent – there is science in any given forensic science discipline.”

A serious problem, indeed.

Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeNicol and David Klatzow @DavidKlatzow

Book details

Karina M Szczurek Reviews Love Tastes Like Strawberries by Rosamund Haden

Love Tastes Like StrawberriesVerdict: carrot

Love Tastes Like Strawberries opens with an obituary of the painter Ivor Woodall. After his death, his partner Tony organises an exhibition of Ivor’s most recent portraits. All members of Ivor’s Friday life drawing classes receive special invitations to the opening. In all the addressees the invitations trigger uncomfortable memories of events from a distant and more recent past. Haden reveals their stories through the perspectives of several of the class participants. The web of intrigue tightens, forcing the characters to confront what haunts them.

Book Details

Sunday Read: Excerpt from Another Great Day at Sea by Geoff Dyer in Anticipation of 2014 Open Book Festival

 
Another Great Day at SeaGeoff Dyer is one of the exciting international authors coming to the 2014 Open Book Festival happening in Cape Town next month.

His latest book, Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, is “the definitive work of an author whose books defy definition”. It chronicles Dyer’s experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. Meeting the Captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable.

Read an excerpt from Another Great Day at Sea:

We were going to be flying to the U.S.S. George H. W. Bush from the Navy base in Bahrain on a Grumman C-2A Greyhound, an ungainly propeller plane. There was nothing sleek or speedy about it. The sky was doing what it always did at this time: waiting for the sun to show up. The temperature was pleasant; a few hours from now it would be infernal. Sixteen passengers, all but two Navy, gathered around the back of the plane to listen to the safety briefing. Our luggage had been weighed and taken away for loading. I had had to hand over my computer bag, because when we landed on the carrier—when the plane touched down and hooked the arresting wire, the “trap”—we would go from a hundred and forty miles per hour to zero in a couple of seconds. The “trap”—the first of many words that I would hear for the first time.

Get to know Dyer with this interview by Matthew Specktor for the Paris Review:

INTERVIEWER

The first thing I’d like—

DYER

Excuse me for interrupting, but—at the risk of sounding like some war criminal in the Hague who refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court in which he’s being tried—I have to object to the parameters of this interview.

INTERVIEWER

On what grounds?

DYER

It’s titled “The Art of Nonfiction.” Now I could whine, “What about the fiction?” but that would be to accept a distinction that’s not sustainable. Fiction, nonfiction—the two are bleeding into each other all the time.

INTERVIEWER

You don’t distinguish between them at all?

DYER

I don’t think a reasonable assessment of what I’ve been up to in the last however many years is possible if one accepts segregation.

Book details

Image courtesy of Dyer’s website