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Do you know your sonnets from your epigrams? 10 terms you need to know to understand poetry, via @HuffPostBooks:

Michael Stanley’s Deadly Harvest Shortlisted for 2014 International Thriller Writers Award

Deadly HarvestAlert! Deadly Harvest, the latest novel by Michael Stanley (writing duo Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip), has been shortlisted for this year’s International Thriller Writers (ITW) Thriller Awards.

The pair’s previous book, Death of the Mantis, won a Barry Award in 2012.

Deadly Harvest, the fourth book in the Detective Kubu series, has been nominated in the “Best Paperback Original Novel” category of the 2014 ITW Thriller Awards along with Allison Brennan’s Cold Snap, Kendra Elliot’s Buried, Susan Elia MacNeal’s His Majesty’s Hope, Jennifer McMahon’s The One I Left Behind and Nele Neuhaus’ Snow White Must Die. The other categories are “Best Hardcover Novel”, “Best First Novel”, “Best Short Story”, “Best Adult Novel”, and “Best eBook Original Novel”.

The winners of the awards will be announced on 12 July at ThrillerFest IX to be held in New York. Best of luck to Sears and Trollip!

We’re thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2014 ITW Thriller Awards:


Linda Castillo – HER LAST BREATH (Minotaur Books)
Lee Child – NEVER GO BACK (Delacorte Press)
Lisa Gardner – TOUCH AND GO (Dutton Adult)
Stephen King – DOCTOR SLEEP (Scribner)
Owen Laukkanen – CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE (Putnam Adult)
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – WHITE FIRE (Grand Central Publishing)
Andrew Pyper – THE DEMONOLOGIST (Simon & Schuster)

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Rebecca Kelley Reviews October by Zoë Wicomb

OctoberVerdict: critical carrot

“Mercia Murray is a woman of fifty-two years who has been left.” So opens Zoë Wicomb’s latest novel, October (The New Press). In a different kind of post-breakup tale, Mercia would cry over a carton of ice cream before pulling herself together and embarking on an exciting adventure of self-discovery. She would open a cupcake shop, maybe, or renovate a Tuscan villa. This is not that story.

It is October, a dark and drizzly time in Scotland, where she has been living for the last 25 years. Mercia packs her bags and returns to her homeland of South Africa. On the other side of the world, it’s the heart of spring. But there are no easy metaphors of hope and renewal here. Spring — and home — can be deceiving.

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Riette Rust resenseer Ritmes van ons lyf deur Christina Landman, Nicki Spies en Ralph Barnard

Ritmes van ons lyfUitspraak: wortel met kritiek

In Ritmes van ons lyf (Naledi, 2014) gee drie kenners raad oor hoe jy en jou maat weer op dieselfde seksuele ritme kan dans.

Afrikaanse niefiksie oor seks is beslis nodig, want in baie verhoudings skiet kommunikasie oor intimiteit steeds tekort. In dié boek is daar onder meer nuttige raad aan vroue wat sukkel om ’n orgasme te kry en aan mans wat ’n lae libido het, maar soms is die oplossings ’n bietjie simplisties. Die skrywers kon byvoorbeeld meer as net die druktegniek vir premature ejakulasie voorgestel het.


Erika de Beer resenseer Raaiselspieël deur Chanette Paul

RaaiselspieelUitspraak: wortel

Wanneer Nils van der Sluijs vermoor word, tref dit sy heldersiende dogter, Frieda Fouché, etlike kilometers daarvandaan dadelik soos ’n weerligstraal.

Dis nie of Nils, wat kunstenaarsroem gesmaak het met sy naakstudies van vet vroue, en sy dogter so na aan mekaar was nie.

Boek se tuisblad

NoViolet Bulawayo Gives Her Etisalat Prize Fellowship to Runner-up Yewande Omotoso

We Need New NamesBom BoyNoViolet Bulawayo, winner of the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature for debut fiction, has announced that she will be giving the fellowship included in the prize to the runner-up, Bom Boy author Yewande Omotoso.

The fellowship consists of four months at the University of East Anglia in Norwich under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland. It was announced yesterday by the Etisalat Prize that Bulawayo “has, in a genuine demonstration of sportsmanship, gifted her runner-up, Yewande Omotoso the Fellowship attached to her winning”.

“I have gifted it to my runner-up, Yewande Omotoso in the hope that her participation would further promote the values that Etisalat Nigeria sought to achieve with this literary prize,” Bulawayo says, explaining that her Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University means that she would not be able to take advantage of the other fellowship.

Bulawayo has been on a roll this year with her debut novel We Need New Names winning the Etisalat Prize in February, the 2014 PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction in March and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes this month.

Winner of the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, NoViolet Bulawayo has, in a genuine demonstration of sportsmanship, gifted her runner-up, Yewande Omotoso the Fellowship attached to her winning.

Expressing her magnanimity, the author of ‘We Need New Names’ Bulawayo said “My prior commitment to a fellowship at Stanford University will not permit me to take advantage of the Etisalat Fellowship aspect of the prize and I have gifted it to my runner-up, Yewande Omotoso in the hope that her participation would further promote the values that Etisalat Nigeria sought to achieve with this literary prize”.

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Images courtesy Boston Review and Charlotte’s Web

Rob Gaylard Reviews A Passion for Freedom by Mamphela Ramphele

A Passion for FreedomVerdict: carrot

Mamphela Ramphele’s name will always be linked with that of Steve Biko – as she points out, she is a kind of honorary “widow” – but here in A Passion for Freedom (Tafelberg) we have her own story, in her own words. It is a story of loss and (although this sounds clichéd) survival and triumph over adversity. It is told dispassionately and honestly, with grace and dignity.
Her academic training affords her a degree of detachment – she is, to use her own term, a kind of “participant observer” – and allows for perceptive analyses of her position as a black female activist in the struggle, as a community health worker, as a medical doctor – and eventually as an academic, as vice- chancellor of UCT, as a director of the World Bank, and lately as the leader of Agang and now presidential candidate for the DA.

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JM Coetzee, Ivan Vladislavić and NoViolet Bulawayo to Attend the Worlds Literature Festival in Norwich

Writers’ Centre Norwich will host an evening with JM Coetzee, Ivan Vladislavić, NoViolet Bulawayo, Chinese-British novelist Xiaolu Guo, and German author Julia Franck as part of the Worlds Literature Festival.

The Childhood of JesusDouble NegativeWe Need New Names
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for LoversThe Blind Side of the Heartnull

The star-studded event will take place on 19 June, at the Norwich Playhouse, Norwich, England, with tickets costing £12 (+/-R210).

Press release:

Writers’ Centre Norwich would love you to join us in welcoming Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee back to Norwich, City of Literature, for a very special Worlds Literature Festival event.

In years past Coetzee has wowed Playhouse audiences with sharp new prose and an even sharper presence, and this time will be no exception. The Man Booker prize winning author of Life & Times of Michael K and Disgrace is highly sought-after the world over but rarely appears; we’re promised a special and electric evening that you won’t want to miss.

Coetzee will be joined by international talents NoViolet Bulwayo (We Need New Names), Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers), Julia Franck (The Blind Side of the Heart) and Ivan Vladislavić (Double Negative) for an evening of world literature that will invigorate and absorb you.
Book your place now.

About the authors

JM Coetzee was born in South Africa in 1940. He won the 1983 Booker Prize for Life & Times of Michael K and then again with Disgrace in 1999. In 2003 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Coetzee lives in Australia.

Julia Franck was born in 1970 in Berlin. She studied Ancient American Studies, Philosophy and German Literature at the Free University Berlin. Her books include The New Chef, Love servants, Stories to Touch and Campfire. Her novel The Mittagsfrau Franck was awarded the 2007 German Book Prize and has sold over 1 million copies.

Xiaolu Guo was born in a fishing village in south China. She studied film at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before she moved to London in 2002. Her first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers was shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. In 2013 she was named as one of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists.

Ivan Vladislavić is the author of the highly praised The Restless Supermarket, as well as award-winning non-fiction, Portrait with Keys, which won the Alan Paton Award. Originally part of a collaborative project with photographer David Goldblatt, Double Negative won the University of Johannesburg Creative Writing Prize 2010/11. Vladislavić currently lives in Johannesburg.
(Supported by And Other Stories)

NoViolet Bulawayo was born and raised in Zimbabwe and recently won the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature for her acclaimed debut novel We Need New Names. In 2011 NoViolet won the Caine Prize for African Writing and her work has also been shortlisted for the 2009 South Africa PEN Studzinsi Award. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship, and she is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

“Her honesty, her voice, her formidable command of her craft – all were apparent from the first page” – Junot Díaz on Bulawayo


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Images courtesy of Writers’ Centre Norwich

Keith Millar Reviews Half of One Thing by Zirk van den Berg

Half of One ThingVerdict: carrot

Zirk Van Den Berg has produced a terrific read with his latest book Half Of One Thing. It is a historical war adventure, a love story and a spy thriller all intriguingly interwoven against the backdrop of the 2nd Anglo Boer War.

Gideon Lancaster is a New Zealand soldier fighting for the British forces during the Boer War. His mother was born in Holland and, as a consequence, he is fluent in Dutch. Using this skill, he is able to infiltrate a Boer Commando as a spy for the British. As he gets to know – goes into battle with and learns to admire – the men in the commando, he finds himself conflicted as a far as loyalties are concerned.

Book Details

Sarie se jonger lesers, Nina Swart en Cailin Spickett, resenseer Amper Einstein, Die land verby donker en ander jeugboeke

Amper EinsteinDagboek van 'n wimpIn die land verby donkerEendag op 'n reendagGalopRoald Dahl se vreeslike versies

Uitspraak: wortels

Dis vir my soms moeilik om ʼn jeugboek te oordeel, omdat ek nie self kinders het nie en dit regtig baie jare gelede was dat ek self vanuit ‘n jonger perspektief jeugverhale gelees het. Wat dalk vir my na ʼn oulike boek klink, is vir ʼn jongmens van vandag dalk glad nie so boeiend en leesbaar nie. Tye het baie verander en hoe ek groot geword het en die dinge wat my gefassineer het, verskil baie van die omstandighede waaronder die jeug vandag grootword. Hulle staan baie ander uitdagings in die oë en kan dalk ʼn storie oor die stad en dinge wat daar gebeur meer waardeer as die ongekompliseerde koshuisstories wat ek so graag gelees het.


JB Roux resenseer Tirza deur Arnon Grunberg, vertaal deur Lina Spies

TirzaUitspraak: wortel

Die Nederlandse skrywer Arnon Grunberg, in sy vroeë veertigs, is baie suksesvol, veelsydig en produktief. Die hoofkarakter in Tirza is Hofmeester, ’n nie-so-suksesvolle-nie teksredakteur. Hy het hom, veral nadat sy vrou hom vir haar jeugliefde verlaat het, daarop toegespits om Tirza, hul jongste dogter, groot te maak. (Daar is ook ’n ouer dogter, Ibi, vir wie Hofmeester minder lief is, waarskynlik omdat sy altyd deur hom kon sien en gevolglik nie ontvanklik is vir sy versmorende liefde nie.)

Hofmeester se strewe om ’n goeie pa vir Tirza te wees, is bewonderenswaardig. Of so lyk dit. Sy liefde vir Tirza grens aan sonde. Hy kom daarby nie goed met ander mense oor die weg nie en het verwronge idees oor geluk, liefde en seks.