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Five More International Authors Confirmed for 2015 Open Book Festival

Alert! The Open Book Festival has announced five more international authors for this year’s event.

Early in February, Open Book announced that Patrick Gale, Neel Mukherjee, Karen Joy Fowler, Saskia Goldschmidt, Okey Ndibe and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor will be guests at this year’s festivities.

Festival organisers have now confirmed that children’s book author and illustrator Chris Riddell, American journalist and LGBT rights activist Masha Gessen, vice-president of Ukrainian PEN Andrey Kurkov, Helen Macdonald, who won the Samuel Johnson Prize for her book H is for Hawk, and Laura van den Berg, whose debut novel Find Me was recently released, will be in Cape Town for the event.

The Sleeper and the SpindleThe Man Without a FaceUkraine DiariesH is for HawkFind Me

Read the press release for more details:

Press release

It feels like the year has barely started and yet, here we are in March. Time is moving quickly, which is great if you’re waiting for September to arrive, and transform Cape Town into a hub for all things literary.

Each year we’ve been lucky enough to be joined by an amazing children’s book author and illustrator and 2015 is no different. Chris Riddell, has confirmed he will be in Cape Town! Well known for his collaborative work with Paul Stewart, Russell Brand and Neil Gaiman to name just a few. He is also the author behind the Ottoline and Goth Girl series (amont others). Not to be missed!

As exciting on a different front, are Masha Gessen, Andrey Kurkov, Helen Macdonald and Laura van den Berg.

Gessen is a Russian/American journalist, author and activist who has written extensively on LGBT rights. Her latest book, The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, will be released in April 2015.

Andrey Kurkov, respected author and social commentator and vice-president of Ukrainian PEN has several novels under his belt. In 2014, he published, The Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, the diaries he kept over the course of the Ukrainian revolution which began in November of 2013.

Helen Macdonald has a long standing love of falconry and following the death of her father, made the decision to train a goshawk. The book about her experiences, H is for Hawk, won the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize as well as the Costa Book Award.

Laura van den Berg has published two short story collections, and has just released her much anticipated first novel, Find Me.

They will be joining Karen Joy Fowler, Patrick Gale, Saskia Goldschmidt, Neel Mukherjee, Okey Ndibe and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor.

The Open Book School Library Project is one that is close to our collective hearts. We are delighted to announce that we will be working with St Mary’s Primary in 2015 and look forward to getting to know the teachers and learners. We have made some changes to the project which we think are going to grow the positive impact we are able to have on learners. Instead of a library – which has to be staffed and is not always easily accessible – we will be putting ‘Open Boxes’ into their Grade R through to Grade 2 classes. The boxes will include a great selection of books, games, DVDS and other resources of value to the teachers. As always, we will run exciting book related events at the school, in particular for those grades we are working with most closely.

In other news, the Open Book Mentoring Programme has started. Aimed at aspiring writers, the month long programme is currently running at Central Library and will be moving to Westridge High School in April.

14 – 21 March is Library Week, so it makes sense that we are involved in celebrating with some of the fantastic public libraries. Together with Su Opperman (CCIBA), Rondebosch Library and Central Library, we have organised two ‘Draw Your Own Super Hero’ workshops – places are limited, so be sure to RSVP!
Rondebosch Library: 18 March 2014 @ 15.15 to 16.30
RSVP: 021 689 1100 or
Central Library: 25 March 2014 @ 16.00 – 17.00
RSVP: Tania Blignaut

If you would like further details about the festival or events through the year, please contact Frankie ( For further details regarding Poetica, please contact Mbali or Siphokazi.

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Open Book is organised in partnership with The Fugard Theatre, The District 6 Museum, The Townhouse Hotel, Equal Education, The Bookery, The Dutch Foundation for Literature, The French Institute, The Confucius Institute, Central Library, SA PEN, The Goethe Institute, UCT Creative Writing Department and sponsored by Pan Macmillan, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball and Penguin Random House.


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