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All the Events to Look Forward to at the 2015 Kingsmead Book Fair in Johannesburg

Are you ready for the 2015 Kingsmead Book Fair? The excitement is in the air as the fourth annual festival prepares to kick off on Saturday, 23 May, at Kingsmead College in Melrose, Johannesburg.

From politics to poetry, lifestyle and memoir, the 2015 Kingsmead Book Fair has something for everyone. Throw in a few critically acclaimed international authors and we can’t think of a better way to spend your Saturday. Remember that entrance is R30 per person and each sessions costs R50. Book your tickets now on Webtickets to avoid disappointment.

Here are a few of the highlights to look forward to this year:

2015 Kingsmead Book Fair



To Catch A CopBest White and Other Anxious DelusionsOne Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoTo Quote MyselfThe Texture of ShadowsTriumphs and HeartachesThe New Radicals

11:15 AM to 12 PM: “The Opinionistas” – Marianne Thamm (To Catch A Cop) shouts the odds with fellow columnists Darrel Bristow-Bovey (One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo), Khaya Dlanga (To Quote Myself) and Rebecca Davis (Best White and Other Anxious Delusions) about the job of the commentator.

“Telling War Stories” – Mosibudi Mangena (Triumphs and Heartaches: A Courageous Journey by SA Patriots), Mandla Langa (The Texture of Shadows) and Glenn Moss (The New Radicals: A Generational Memoir of the 1970s) revisit the end years of apartheid with journalist David O’Sullivan, who covered some of the worst of the madness.


A Life DigestedHunger for FreedomThe Search for the Rarest Bird in the WorldImtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the GiversColour Blind FaithDon't Film Yourself Having SexThis One Time

11:15 to 12 PM: “A Hunger for Life” – MasterChef judge and one of South Africa’s favourite celebrity chefs, Pete Goffe-Wood (A Life Digested) reminisces about his entertaining culinary adventures through the years with Anna Trapido (Hunger for Freedom).

3 to 3:45: “Paying it Forward” – Journalist and broadcaster Bruce Dennill introduces Shafiq Morton (Gift of the Givers) and David Gemmell (Colour Blind Faith: The Life of Father Stan Brennan) and asks what place mercy and compassion can play in society today.

“Digital Overload?” – Digital doyen Ben Williams discusses the pros and cons of technology with Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer (Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex), techno guru Toby Shapshak and Alex van Tonder (This One Time).

4:15 to 5 PM: Vernon RL Head (The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World) and Prof John Ledger (editor of Environment Magazine) share their fervour for bird watching with fellow enthusiast and author Hamilton Wende.


Weeping WatersEsther's HouseBlacklandsPower Play

1:45 to 2:30 PM: “Gained in Translation” – Carol Campbell (Esther’s House), Jaco van Schalkwyk (The Alibi Club) and Karin Brynard (Weeping Waters) discuss the publication of their Afrikaans books in English, and the light a different language throws on their stories. Chaired by Lood du Plessis.

4:15 to 5 PM: “The Gory Details” – Belinda Bauer (Blacklands), Mike Nicol (Power Play) and Karin Brynard (Weeping Waters) discuss their research and the importance of forensic accuracy in their crime novels.

History and Place

Inside OutThe Joburg BookValleys of SilenceImperfect SoloWorld War One and the People of South Africa
JimfishA Man of Good HopeRhumba

10 to 10:45 AM: “Drilling into Jozi” – Tanya Zack (Wake Up, this is Joburg) and Nechama Brodie (The Joburg Book) excavate a city that’s rarely seen. Chaired by author Hamilton Wende (Valleys of Silence).

“Tails and Trails Through South Africa” – Author Steven Boykey Sidley (Imperfect Solo) sifts the sands of history with Hazel Crampton (The Side of the Sun at Noon), and eminent historian and raconteur Bill Nasson (World War One and the People of South Africa).

1:45 to 2:30 PM: “A Long Way From Home” – Christopher Hope (Jimfish), Jonny Steinberg (A Man of Good Hope) and Elaine Proctor (Rhumba) consider the agony of exiles and émigrés, and of writing away from their homeland.


A History of LonelinessThe Last Road TripBodyguard: AmbushThe Paying GuestsThe Dream HouseThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas

10 to 10:45 AM: “A Song for the Dispossessed” – Loss takes many forms in the moving novels of John Boyne (A History of Loneliness), Gareth Crocker (The Last Road Trip) and Carol Campbell (Esther’s House).

12 to 1 PM: Bodyguard: Ambush – Chris Bradford offers the audience a taste of the Young Samurai series as well some of the skills he’s learnt in this area.
Interactive, entertaining and full of action.

12:30 to 1:15 PM: “Sense and Sensibility”- Sarah Waters (The Paying Guests) and Craig Higginson (The Dream House) consider how a sense of place shapes a story.

3 to 3:45: “Faith, Hope & Hell” – Acclaimed Irish author John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, A History of Loneliness) appraises the major themes of his broad body of work and shares his life as a writer with Michele Magwood.
Special Performance

Here I Am

6 to 7:15 PM: PJ Powers (Here I Am) – “You have made a tremendous impact both on and off the stage, and you are one of those young people on whom the country pins so much hope.” – Nelson Mandela to PJ Powers, 1989

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Which events are you going to attend? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.


Book details

Picture: The first Times Talks event of 2015 with Jodi Picoult at Kingsmead College


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