Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

“I wrote it for all women of colour who have felt silenced” – a Q&A with author, activist, storyteller and actress Buhle Ngaba

Carla Lever recently interviewed Buhle Ngaba, activist, storyteller, actress and the author of The Girl Without a Sound, for the Nal’ibali reading campaign’s sixth column, as published in the Daily Dispatch and Herald. Buhle discussed the importance of children having access to stories in their own language, empowering young girls in collaboration with KaMatla Productions, and the absence of African literature written by women.

Buhle Ngaba, author of The Girl Without a Sound


Your book, The Girl Without a Sound, is about a silent young girl who meets a mysterious red-winged woman and begins to discover her own voice. What was your inspiration for the story?

My aunt handed me my first book when I was six and I don’t believe I would have been the same person without that introduction to stories. So the little girl in my book is me, but I wrote it for all women of colour who have felt silenced.

A page from Buhle’s remarkable The Girl Without a Sound

Why did you decide to start tackling community storytelling?

It felt like a natural extension of my job as an actress: to share stories as far and wide as I can and to teach others to do the same. Stories can and do change how we see the world, so we have to learn how to tell our own.

Can you tell us a little about the work you do with KaMatla Productions?

A group of us started KaMatla to aid the development of the arts and storytelling amongst young people. At the moment, we are collaborating with Nal’ibali in honour of Women’s Month, meaning Girl Without A Sound will now be freely available for download in English, Setswana, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Because internet access is not evenly distributed, we will also be taking printed copies of the book to schools across the country. Starting in September, KaMatla will be running free workshops at high schools across the country, bringing the empowering teachings of Girl Without A Sound to life. We’re aiming to provide young girls with a lifelong tool kit that can be used to own their unique voices.

Is there any particular moment or piece of feedback that made all your work worthwhile?

The reading club visit with Nal’ibali to Sea View Primary in Mitchells Plain last week was spectacular – to see the book in the hands that it was written for was so special.

Why is diverse representation – in featured characters, in written languages – so important, particularly in South Africa today?

It’s important so that children can see themselves and hear the potential for magic in their own languages. That way, they discover how they can be anything they want to be. The industry doesn’t publish enough women writers and even our sections on African literature no longer reprint books by women that are vital reading. I think that the only way forward is by women writers to actively saturate the industry with our stories. If you are a writer, write! The internet gives people a platform to be what they always wanted and, though it may be imperfect, it should be something we use. I use it to share as much of my work as I can, across borders, waters and skies.

Where to for you from here?

We will keep trying to get the book into as many hands as possible. As for me, I am going to perform a short season of my one-woman show “The Swan Song” in Joburg and Cape Town early next year then I am looking towards film!

Reading and telling stories with your children is a powerful gift to them. It builds knowledge, language, imagination and school success! For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign or to enter its national multilingual storytelling competition, ‘Story Bosso’, running this September, visit

» read article

PRAESA director on the intersecting domain of children’s literacy and literature development in rural South Africa

Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) director, Dr Carole Bloch, recently published a column in the Sunday World on the Nal’ibali campaign, aimed at developing multilingual children’s literature:

We are all aware that increasing attention has been focused on the development of reading culture and on children learning to read and write in South Africa. It is a complex domain, with education-pedagogy and culture – literature, rubbing shoulder to shoulder. Yet the potential of their intersecting roles has not actually been fully appreciated. In particular, the significance of multilingual children’s literature development for the accelerated emergence of cohorts of young motivated and competent readers and writers needs urgent attention.

As any young child starts exploring print, irrespective of the setting they happen to be in, there is every good reason why they should be offered great story after story to fuel their imaginations and desire to read and write. This fact is backed up by a vast body of global interdisciplinary evidence, as is the fact that a very large percentage of these stories should be in the languages they already know and use to maximise understanding and thinking. There is further evidence, including brain research, which reveals how even the youngest children need to explore and use print at the same time as they learn the complex technical and phonetic skills. The dearth of a rich African language written treasury of stories is a daily impediment to the literacy learning progress of millions of South African children.

A parent in rural KZN getting acquainted with the books now available in her children’s schools
Photo: Rogan Ward

At a recent seminar in Cape Town, a diverse group of about 50 people met recently to reflect together on this intersecting domain of children’s literacy and literature development. Initiated by PRAESA with support from IBBY SA and PEN SA, practitioners, literacy activists, editors, publishers, policy makers and academics told success stories, raised issues and identified ‘blockages’ in what Elinor Sisulu dubbed a ‘literacy ecosystem’.

Impressive progress which has been made by a host of organisations, including Nal’ibali, Puku, Fundza and Bookdash to advocate for, create, translate distribute, enable and ensure the appropriate use of relevant stories and storybooks among those who spend time with young children. Somehow this foundational work has not yet been integrated into the broader societal transformation and educational decolonisation project. Nor have the different sectors of government and business found a way to give consistent support. Two already widely known points suffice to illustrate –the one is that only something like 5% of parent read to their children and the other is that fewer books are being bought in the system, and libraries are still being closed.

In the following weeks, specialists will focus on some of the key issues which cause both hope and despondency as we endeavour to transform children’s opportunities for learning. These issues, raised at the seminar, are ones with direct impact on the present lives and future prospects of children across South Africa.

Reading and telling stories with children in their home languages provides them with a strong foundation for language learning and increases their chances of future academic success. For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, for to access children’s stories in a range of SA languages, visit:

» read article

Win a copy of Ink – a beautifully illustrated picture book exploring a child’s growing awareness of language

Ingrid Mennen’s Ink is a picture book exploring a child’s growing awareness of language, books and reading.

The little girl Tinka becomes aware of words, language and writing. She names her family members one by one: her mum, her dad, her little brother Slip, sister Rosie and baby Jas. She draws a paper doll resembling a girl like herself on a sheet of newsprint. The paper doll is named “Ink”. With her body filled with words, Ink is the perfect companion for Tinka.

Tinka introduces her new friend to all her favourite story books, because, “A book is like a friend, with the best stories to tell”.

Thought-provoking and captivating, this picture book will appeal to young readers 4+, while adult readers will find pleasure in the simple, yet sensitive illustrations.

If you would like to win a copy of this singular book, visit our Facebook page and comment on the competition post.

Ingrid Mennen is an author of picture books including One Round Moon and a Star For Me (illustrated by Niki Daly) and Ben and the Whales. Ingrid lives in Newlands, Cape Town, with her husband. They have three grown-up children. Ink is her second book in collaboration with Irene, her eldest daughter, as illustrator.

Irene Berg is the eldest daughter of author Ingrid Mennen. She studied music in Stellenbosch and Frankfurt am Main and now she works in Germany as a musician and teacher and lives close to the Rhine with her husband, a violinist. Mother and daughter worked together on Ben and the Whales in 2012. Ink is their second book together.

Book details

» read article

Wen ’n kopie van Ink – ’n pragtig geïllustreerde boek wat ’n kind se bewusmaking van taal verken

Tinka word bewus van woorde en taal, boeke en lees.

Sy teken haarself af op ‘n vel koerantpapier. Nou het sy ‘n maat en sy noem haar “Ink”.

Met haar lyf vol woorde, is Ink die perfekte maat vir Tinka. Sy neem Ink na haar kamer om haar beste boeke vir haar te wys, want “‘n boek is soos ‘n maat, met die beste stories om te vertel”.

‘n Meesleurende en diepsinnige prenteboek vir lesers 4+ wat ook volwasse lesers se verbeelding sal aangryp.

Indien jy ‘n kopie van hierdie besonderse boek wil wen, besoek ons Facebook-blad en skryf in deur kommentaar te lewer op die kompetisie-berig.

Ingrid Mennen is ‘n skrywer van prenteboeke vir kinders, waarvan sommige in verskeie tale gepubliseer is. Sy studeer Afrikaanse en Engelse Letterkunde, Kunsgeskiedenis en Museumkunde (UP, US en UK). Ingrid woon in Nuweland, Kaapstad, saam met haar man. Hulle het drie volwasse kinders. Ben en die walvisse en Ink is saam met haar oudste dogter, illustreerder Irene Berg, geskep. Ben en die walvisse is bekroon met die M.E.R.-prys vir geïllustreerde kinderboek 2013 en die Tienie Hollowaymedalje vir Kleuterliteratuur 2015.

Irene Berg is ‘n vryskut-illustreerder en musiekonderwyser, oorspronklik van Kaapstad, en woon en werk tans in Mannheim, Duitsland. Na musiekstudies aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch en die Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kuns in Frankfurt am Main, voltooi sy ‘n kursus in grafiese ontwerp. Haar eerste twee prenteboeke, Ben en die walvisse (2012) en Ink (2016), is geskep in samewerking met haar ma, skrywer Ingrid Mennen.


» read article

Soweto Story Hour with drag queen Shenay O’Brien: pics

Capturing the imagination of children and working towards a more just society that recognises and accepts gender fluidity during childhood, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign recently hosted South Africa’s first drag queen story hour with Thiart Li, performing as Shenay O’Brien, and children from two Nal’ibali reading clubs at Ikageng Austrian Embassy Library in Soweto on Saturday 24 June.

Thiart Li, aka Shenay O’Brien, entertaining whilst educating. During these story hours, children get the opportunity to see adult reading role models defy rigid gender restrictions, and are invited to imagine a world in which all people are truly equal, and accepted for who they are.


A youngster sits on Shenay’s lap with a copy of Roald Dahl’s Matilda in her hands. Li read from this beloved children’s book as means to address the locally identified issue of abuse in schools; in the novel Matilda escapes her unbearable environment by teaching herself to read and taking refuge in her school’s library.


The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign works to spark the potential of all children through reading and storytelling in home languages as well English. Ja-nee, fun certainly was had by all!

» read article

Wenners van Media24-boekpryse vir 2017 bekend

Die wenners van die Media24 Boeke Literêre Pryse vir 2017 is Donderdag, 22 Junie 2017 in Kaapstad bekend gemaak.

Nagenoeg 80 boeke wat in 2016 by uitgewerye in die Media24-stal verskyn het, is ingeskryf in vyf kategorieë met ’n gesamentlike prysgeld van meer as R175 000.

Die oorhandiging van die pryse het saamgeval met ’n groot mylpaal – die viering van 100 jaar van boekuitgewery binne die Naspersstal.

Die wenner van die W.A. Hofmeyr-prys vir Afrikaanse fiksie is Dan Sleigh met sy historiese roman 1795, uitgegee deur Tafelberg. Dit is die derde keer dat Sleigh hierdie belangrike prys ontvang. 1795 is deur die keurders beskryf as ’n “ambisieuse museale roman waarin Sleigh se uitsonderlike kennis van die VOC-geskiedenis indringend verhaal word. Sleigh laat oortuigend sien dat gebeure uit 1795 relevant en aktueel is, veral wanneer dit gaan om verset teen verraad en korrupsie en om opstand teen die verlies van kultuur en taal.”

Die ondersoekende joernalis en etnograaf Sean Christie het die Recht Malan-prys vir niefiksie verower met sy Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard: Life Among the Stowaways oor jong Tanzaniese skeepsverstekelinge wat onder ’n oorwegbrug op die Kaapstadse strandgebied woon. Dit is uitgegee deur Jonathan Ball Publishers. Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard is volgens die keurders ’n buitengewone prestasie en ’n verruimende leeservaring. “Met groot en uitdagende kwashale gee Sean Christie ’n verrassend vars en uitdagende blik op ’n stad wat iedereen gedink het hulle ken.”

Bibi Slippers is met die Elisabeth Eybers-prys vir poësie beloon vir haar debuutbundel Fotostaatmasjien (Tafelberg), wat deur die keurders geloof is vir die omvang en verskeidenheid van die materiaal wat tot samehang gebring word en vir sy “innovering-met-gehalte”.

Die M.E.R.-prys vir jeugromans is toegeken aan Edyth Bulbring vir Snitch, uitgegee deur Tafelberg, en die M.E.R.-prys vir geïllustreerde kinderboeke aan Ingrid Mennen en Irene Berg (illustreerder) vir Ink, ook uitgegee deur Tafelberg. Dit is die tweede keer dat Mennen en Berg hierdie prys wen.

Die keurders was: Vir die WA Hofmeyr-prys: Ena Jansen, Danie Marais en Francois Smith; vir die Recht Malan-prys: Jean Meiring, Elsa van Huyssteen en Max du Preez; vir die Elisabeth Eybers-prys: Henning Pieterse, Louise Viljoen en Marius Swart; vir die M.E.R.-prys vir jeugromans: Louise Steyn, Verushka Louw en Wendy Maartens; en vir die M.E.R.-prys vir geïllustreerde kinderboeke: Lona Gericke, Paddy Bouma en Magdel Vorster.

Die Herman Charles Bosman-prys vir Engelse fiksie is nie vanjaar toegeken nie en staan oor tot volgende jaar.


Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard - Life In Cape Town's Stowaway Underground






» read article

Nal’ibali celebrates diversity with drag queen story hour in Soweto

Thiart Li/Shenay O’Brien

Capturing the imagination of children and working towards a more just society that recognises and accepts gender fluidity during childhood, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign will be hosting South Africa’s first drag queen story hour with Thiart Li, performing as Shenay O’Brien, and children from two Nal’ibali reading club Ikageng Austrian Embassy Library in Soweto on Saturday 24 June.

The programme is just as it sounds like – an engaging drag queen reading stories to children in a library, and is a response to similar activations which have been taking place in the USA with great success. During these story hours, children get the opportunity to see adult reading role models defy rigid gender restrictions, and are invited to imagine a world in which all people are truly equal, and accepted for who they are.

The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, which works to spark the potential of all children through reading and storytelling in home languages as well English, supports the initiative which is in line with the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Sustainable Development Goal number five highlights and promotes the need for gender equality, stating that is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

Further addressing the locally identified issue of abuse in schools, Li will be reading for Roald Dahl’s Matilda which features a young girl who escapes her unbearable environment by teaching herself to read and taking refuge in her school’s library.

Says Righardt le Roux, the Nal’ibali Provincial Support Coordinator responsible for the event: “The story hour ties in with Youth Month and children’s basic rights: The right to play, to education and a safe environment. We hope that through this reading we’ll begin to foster an awareness and inclusive appreciation of all our children by creating safe places of acceptance within community spaces such as libraries and reading clubs.”

Event details:
Venue: Ikageng Library
Address: 8299 Corner of Mahalefele and Khumalo, Orlando West, Soweto
Date: 24 June 2017
Time: 10:30

For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, or to access our growing collection of free children’s stories in a range of SA languages plus tips and ideas on how to read with children, visit: or or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter: @NalibaliSA.

» read article

Times Media’s book handover in conjunction with The BFG: The Big Friendly Giant to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

Times Media Films recently completed a book collection drive with the BFG for books to donate to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital library.

Over 200 boxes of books were collected, of which a few were handed over today.

This initiative plays an enormous role in the necessity of instilling a love of books and reading in children from a young age. Not only can reading be described as the apex of educational escapism, it also is both fun and informative. The patients at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will only benefit from this donation.

The unpacking commences.


Voila! Boasting classics such as Franklin W. Dixon’s Hardy Boys-series to a ‘book of the film’ version of High School Musical, the formerly empty bookshelf has now been transformed into a library.


Caron Rypstra, publicity manager: Independent Films; Pinky Mashigo, chief of operations: Nelson Mandela’s Children Fund; and Christiana Kossioris: business manger at Times Media Film proudly display the new additions to the hospital’s library.


In keeping with the hospital’s children and family-centered theme, the walls are decorated with characters who each have their own names and identities. There’s talk of creating a book series dedicated to all the characters. Watch this space…


Lulu Herkt, PR consultant for the hospital, in front of one of the hospital’s many ‘story walls’. Each wall depicts a beautifully illustrated (thank you, Piet Grobler!) version of a local children’s story. Aitsa.

» read article

Gorgeously illustrated fable creates awareness about the endangered riverine rabbit; available in both English and Afrikaans

Louisa Punt-Fouché

In Rarest Riverine Rabbit the author weaves words and images to create awareness about the tame but endangered riverine rabbit that lives on her farm in the Karoo. When Lila (an old lady that uses her walking stick to count all the animals on earth) wanders through the Karoo and meets the magnificent Bruno with his very, very long ears, his life changes forever. Rarest Riverine Rabbit is a fable that hopes to make children and adults aware of the disastrous impact we have on a precious environment. The author’s magical illustrations will also introduce young readers to the rich plant and animal life of the Karoo.

Originals or prints of the illustrations can be ordered from the author. Also visit and to read about Louisa and her husband’s projects and their attempts to save the riverine rabbit.

Louisa Punt-Fouché has more than 30 years’ experience as a clinical psychologist, researcher, and lecturer in die field of Jungian psychology. (She holds a D.Phil Degree in Psychology). Louisa is also an established visual artist, author, yoga instructor, canteadora (keeper of stories) and activist for animal rights. Three years ago she and her husband moved to the Prince Albert Valley where they live and work on the Kredouw Olive Farm. She also makes jewellery and environmentally friendly vegan olive oil products (Sasha Do No Harm) that are not tested on animals. Some of her previous books include Webs of Enchantment and Daar is kewers in my ruggraat.

In Skaarser-as-skaarste oewerkonyn gebruik die skrywer woordbeelde om die storie te vertel van die mak, maar bedreigde oewerkonyn wat op haar plaas in die Karoo woon.

Wanneer Lila (’n ou vrou wat haar kierie gebruik om al die diere op aarde te tel) deur die Karoo stap en Bruno die oewerkonyn ontmoet, word dié besonderse dier met sy lang, lang ore se wêreld op sy kop gekeer. Skaarser-as-skaarste oewerkonyn is nie ’n gewone kinderboek nie, maar ’n fabel wat ouers én kinders bewus maak van die mens se vernietigende impak op die omgewing. Boonop stel die skrywer se magiese illustrasies jong lesers bekend aan die Karoo se ryk plante- en dierelewe.

Kunswerke of afdrukke van illustrasies kan bestel word by skrywer. Besoek ook en om meer te lees oor Louisa en haar man se projekte en hul pogings om die oewerkonyn te red.

Louisa Punt-Fouché het meer as 30 jaar se ervaring as kliniese sielkundige, navorser en lektor in die veld van Jungiaanse sielkunde. (Sy het onder meer ’n D.Phil-graad in sielkunde verwerf.) Sy is ook ’n gevestigde visuele kunstenaar, skrywer, joga-instrukteur, canteadora (storieverteller) en kampvegter vir diereregte. Sy en haar man het die stad verlaat en woon en werk die afgelope drie jaar op die Kredouw-olyfplaas in die Prins Albert-vallei. Hier maak sy ook juwele en omgewingsvriendelike olyfolieprodukte (Sasha Do No Harm) wat nie op diere getoets word nie. ‘n Gedeelte van die wins word gebruik om die oewerkonyn te bewaar. Van haar vorige boeke sluit in Webs of Enchantment en Daar is kewers in my ruggraat.

Skaarser-as-skaarste oewerkonyn

Book details


Rarest Riverine Rabbit

» read article

First round of international authors for Open Book Festival 2017 announced

The authors have been announced for the seventh Open Book Festival and you can have the chance to play a part in it.

Brought to you by the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre, Open Book Festival will be presented from 6 to 10 September, once again offering a world-class selection of book launches, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses, readings, performances and more. The event, which also includes the popular Comics Fest, #cocreatePoetica, children’s and outreach programmes, takes place at The Fugard Theatre, District Six Homecoming Centre and The Book Lounge in Cape Town.

Open Book Festival has established itself as one of South Africa’s most innovative and leading book festivals. Last year, nearly 10 000 people attended the festival’s 125 events featuring 251 authors and it has been shortlisted twice for the London Book Fair Excellence Awards. It is committed to creating a platform to celebrate South African writers, as well as hosting top international authors. The festival strives to instill an interest in and love of reading among young attendees, while the programme is designed to engage, entertain and inspire conversations among festival goers long after the event.

“In addition to announcing the first round of incredible international authors for Open Book Festival 2017, we are inviting people to help be a part of it and launching a Thundafund campaign for this year’s festival,” says festival director Mervyn Sloman.

“Anyone who works on major events will have an understanding of the budgetary challenges and current financial climate that are part and parcel of the sector. Open Book is no different and while we continue to work with key sponsors, we are inviting people who recognise the value of the festival to get involved and support us, so we can retain our independence and continue to put on an event of the scale and calibre visitors have come to expect. You can support the campaign for as little as R100 and every rand makes a difference.”

To contribute visit

“We are excited to be announcing our first round of international authors and have again compiled a useful guide of their books so you can start reading now.”

Author: Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Nigeria)
Books include: Stay With Me
Why we’re excited: Ayọ̀bámi was shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2015, she was listed by the Financial Times as one of the bright stars of Nigerian literature. She has been a writer in residence at numerous institutions and she was shortlisted for the Miles Morland Scholarship in 2014 and 2015.
Author: Paul Beatty (USA)
Books include: Slumberland, Tuff, The White Boy Shuffle and The Sellout. Also poetry book Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. Editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor
Why we’re excited: The current Man Booker Winner for The Sellout.

Author: Maylis de Kerangal (France. Attending thanks to the support of IFAS)
Books include: Mend the Living, Birth of a Bridge; the novella Tangente vers l’est
Why we’re excited: Mend the Living was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016 and won the Wellcome Book Prize 2017.
Author: Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)
Books include: The Book of Memory and short story collections An Elegy for Easterly and Rotten Row
Why we’re excited: An Elegy for Easterly won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009.
Author: Nathan Hill (USA)
Books include: The Nix
Why we’re excited: Hill’s debut novel The Nix was named one of the year’s best books by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Slate and Amazon, among others. It was also the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction and will be published worldwide in 30 languages.
Author: Elina Hirvonen (Finland. Attending thanks to the support of the Embassy of Finland)
Books include: When I Forgot, Farthest from Death, When Time Runs Out
Why we’re excited: This acclaimed author, journalist and documentary filmmaker has had her work translated into seven languages. When Time Runs Out was chosen as ‘The Most Important Book of the Year 2015’ in a project by the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
Author: Scaachi Koul (Canada. Attending thanks to the support of Canada Council for the Arts)
Books include: Her debut collection of essays in One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
Why we’re excited: A culture writer for BuzzFeed, Scaachi’s writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Hairpin, The Globe and Mail, and Jezebel.
Author: Ali Land (UK)
Books include: Good Me Bad Me
Why we’re excited: Good Me Bad Me has been translated into over twenty languages. After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health nurse in hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia.
Author: Ken Liu (USA)
Books include: The Grace of Kings, The Wall of Storms, The Paper Menagerie
Why we’re excited: Liu’s short stories have won a Nebula, two Hugos, a World Fantasy Award and a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award. His short story, “The Paper Menagerie”, was the first work of fiction to win all three major science fiction awards, the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award.
Author: Fiston Mwanza Mujila (DRC. Attending thanks to the support of the Goethe Institut)
Books include: Tram 83
Why we’re excited: His writing has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Prix du Monde and he was longlisted for MB International

Author: Chibundu Onuzo (Nigeria)
Books include: The Spider King’s Daughter, Welcome to Lagos
Why we’re excited: The Spider King’s Daughter was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Author: Malin Persson Giolito (Sweden. Attending thanks to the support of The Embassy of Sweden)
Books include: Quicksand, the first of her novels to be translated into English
Why we’re excited: A former lawyer, her novel Quicksand was awarded the Best Crime Novel of the Year Award 2016, Sweden’s official suspense literature award, which is given by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy.
Author: Carl Frode Tiller (Norway. Attending thanks to support from NORLA)
Books include: The Encircling trilogy, Skråninga (The Slope)
Why we’re excited: His awards include the European Union Prize for Literature and Nordic Critics Prize. His Encircling trilogy has been twice nominated for the Nordic Council’s Prize. The trilogy is considered one of the great contemporary portraits of Nordic life. It has been adapted for the theatre and published in eighteen languages.
Author: Iman Verjee
Books include: Who will Catch us as we Fall, In Between Dreams
Why we’re excited: Winner of the 2012 Peters Fraser & Dunlop/City University Prize for Fiction for her debut novel In Between Dreams.
Author: Alex Wheatle (UK)
Books include: Crongton Knights, Liccle Bit, Brixton Rock, East of Acre Lane, The Seven Sisters, Island Songs, Checkers, The Dirty South
Why we’re excited: Known as ‘the Brixton Bard’ Alex was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008. He is UK’s most read Black British author, with his books on school reading lists, he takes part in Black History Month every year, works with Booktrust and the Children’s Discovery Centre to promote reading and represents English PEN. Crongton Knights won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016.
Author: Zoe Whittall (Canada. Attending thanks to support from Canada Council for the Arts)
Books include: The Best Kind of People, Holding Still for as Long as Possible
Why we’re excited: This award-winning Canadian author won a Lambda Literary award, was shortlisted for the Relit award, and was an American Library Association’s Stonewall Honor Book for Holding Still for as Long as Possible. She has also published three books of poetry.

The final programme will be available in early August, at which point bookings can be made at

The seventh Open Book Festival will take place from 6 to 10 September at The Fugard Theatre, D6 Homecoming Centre, and The Book Lounge, from 10:00 to 21:00 each day. For further information visit

For more information about and to support the Thundafund campaign, visit

The Open Book Festival is made possible thanks to the support of its sponsors and partners: Leopard’s Leap, The Fugard Theatre, The District Six Museum, Open Society Foundation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, City of Cape Town, Townhouse Hotel, Penguin Random House, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Pan Macmillan Publishers, The French Institute of South Africa, The Canada Council for the Arts, NORLA, the Embassy of Finland, the Embassy of Sweden, Dutch Foundation for Literature, PEN SA and the Goethe-Institut.

Stay With Me

Book details


Mend the Living


When I Forgot


One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter


Good Me, Bad Me


The Grace of Kings


Tram 83


The Spider King\'s Daughter






Who Will Catch Us As We Fall


Crongton Knights


The Best Kind of People


The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
EAN: 9780571249916
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article