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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Jassy Mackenzie: our July sunshine noir author

A new month calls for a new local thriller author sending shivers down readers across the continent’s spine.

This month, the co-author of the popular Detective Kubu series, Michael Sears, had the opportunity to interview Jassy Mackenzie for The Big Thrill – the magazine for international thriller writers. Jassy was born in Zimbabwe, but currently resides on a small farm near Johannesburg.

She exchanged romance novels for noir, and has written four successful novels featuring her P.I. Jade de Jong. Her fifth book in the series, Bad Seeds, was recently published.

Here, Michael and Jassy discuss her attraction to mysteries and her new book. Intrigued? Read on…

Over the last several years you’ve been writing romances. Why did you decide to take a break from thrillers and what drew you back?

While I was writing Pale Horses, my mother became ill and passed away – it was a very sad time for the family and I decided I needed to do something different to cheer myself up. So I wrote a humorous erotic romance, Folly, which became a bestseller in South Africa, and I followed it up with a few others. I didn’t plan on leaving it too long before returning to the thrillers, especially since I had some readers contacting me to ask when I was going to stop writing these silly romances and get back to proper storytelling! Bad Seeds took longer than anticipated to write, firstly because life got in the way, and secondly because I didn’t feel the plot was pulling together believably enough, so I left the story for a while. In fact, the delay was a good thing because when I came back to the book and did further research, I discovered a recently published news report on Pelindaba that provided astonishing new information, and the perfect solution to my plotting dilemma.

In Bad Seeds, Jade is faced with a plot to steal weapons-grade uranium from a nuclear research center near Johannesburg. To non-South African readers that may sound far fetched, but there is just such a research center here, South Africa did build nuclear weapons in the apartheid days, and the material is still in South Africa. The plot is completely believable, and, although you changed the name of the research center, the background is real. How much of the plot is based on fact, and how much is pure invention?

Pelindaba has a fascinating, if rather dark, history – and a surprising number of the facts about my fictitious nuclear research center, Inkomfe, are based on factual news reports about Pelindaba. The plight of the apartheid-era workers who fell ill from radiation-related causes is documented in a number of articles – the best one titled “Apartheid’s Nuclear Shame”. The report which ended up being the game-changer that allowed me to finish the book, was about the nuclear ingots. Yes, there really is a stash of highly enriched uranium ingots at Pelindaba from the dismantled weapons. Yes, the U.S. is extremely concerned about it. Yes, if they were stolen, these ingots could be used by terrorists because there’s enough material to create half a dozen mega-bombs. And yes – there have been attempted raids on the research center, some of which have come very close to succeeding.

To complicate things, Jade finds herself in a serious conflict of interest between her client – Ryan Gillespie, head of security at the plant – and her mark – Carlos Botha, a consultant who has been behaving suspiciously. Then she gets emotionally involved, which makes it worse. The two men keep her guessing. You once called Jade “immoral,” but she does seem to try to do the right thing when the chips are down. Is that how you see her?

Yes, Jade always tries hard to do the right thing, although it’s her version of it, rather than society’s version, or the law’s version. Deep down, I think most of us would love to be renegades from time to time, especially when we see a situation we perceive as being unfair. Sometimes the law doesn’t resolve injustices the way it should, and we dream of being able to intervene and set things right … Jade gets to actually do it.

Continue reading their interview here.

Bad Seeds

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Two Sunshine Noir authors longlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Short Story Dagger Award 2017

Leye Adenle and Ovidia Yu have been longlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Short Story Dagger Award for the best short story of 2017.

Adenle’s “The Assassination” and Yu’s “Snake Skin” were both published in the short story collection, Sunshine Noir, edited by Annamaria Alfieri and Michael Stanley.

Sunshine Noir contains 17 short stories and the theme is that “they are all set in dry, hot places and bright sun – where the shadows are the darkest,” says Michael Sears, one half of the Michael Stanley-duo.

The CWA Crime Dagger Award honours any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK.

About Sunshine Noir:

In these stories, seventeen writers from around the globe tell of dark doings in sunny places.

Join them in the Dominican Republic, the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, chic Mykonos, Seville at midnight, and on the morning beachfront of Ghana where a man has revenge on his mind. Follow an NGO worker kidnapped in Yemen, an engineer repairing a dam in turmoil-torn Ethopia, a foolish young Englishman hitchhiking across the Sahara. You will visit historic instabul and Mombasa and learn the secrets of family conflicts in Singapore, in Puerto Rico, in New Orleans.

The authors of these tales will convince you that evil under the sun makes for the most compelling, most entertaining crime fiction anywhere on earth.

Click here for more on the CWA Short Story Dagger Award.

Sunshine Noir

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Sunshine noir fans, get your monthly dosage of local thriller authors here…

Watch this space for news on the best thriller and crime fiction authors Africa has to offer.

BooksLIVE will be publishing pieces on local sunshine noir authors on a monthly basis, as featured in International Thrillers Writers’ “Africa Scene”. “Africa Scene” is the brainchild of South African thriller writer par excellence, Mike Nicol, and is available on the e-magazine, Big Thrill.

Mike Nicol

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Michael Sears

 
Nicol initiated Africa Scene with a monthly “Newsletter from South Africa” covering local crime fiction and thrillers; author Michael Sears – who makes part of the duo Michael Stanley (with Stanley Trollip) renown for their Detective Kubu-series – took over from Nicol and broadened it to “Africa Scene”. Sears included pieces about African authors writing in other countries.

“The idea is really to showcase the excellent writers in the genre that we have here and generate more interest in Africa’s “sunshine noir” overseas,” says Sears of this new collaboration.

Intrigued? Read an excerpt from Sears’s recent interview with Nicol on his Barry Ronge Fiction Prize-longlisted Agents of the State which appeared in the Africa Scene-section of The Big Thrill:

Deon Meyer has said of Mike Nicol that his style is “by far the best in South Africa” and that he creates “deliciously complex characters.” The Pretoria News said of his previous book, Power Play, that it “proved once again that Nicol is a master of the genre.”

So when Nicol comes out with a new thriller, it’s always an event on the South African book scene. And his books are also enthusiastically received internationally, with Power Play making the Krimizeit top 10 in Germany, and being short listed for major thriller awards in Holland and France. If you like sunshine noir and haven’t read Nicol, you’re missing out.

In his latest book, Agents of the State, we meet again the lead characters in Of Cops & Robbers. There we wondered if the police and the crooks were actually on different sides. In the new book, we wonder if the agents of the state are the good guys or the bad guys. The answer is probably maybe. Nicol never has simplistic dividing lines.

Agents of the State is set in a dystopian South Africa with a “president for life” and all the trappings of the classic corrupt African dictatorship. Did you feel this extrapolation was needed to justify aspects of the story, or do you see South Africa as de facto there already?

I have to admit I’d never really thought of the background to Agents of the State as dystopian, especially if by that you mean repressive and unpleasant. Certainly, the book is set in a politically troubled time when the president is out of touch and paranoid, but for the rest, society is still a going concern: the hospitals function, the restaurants and shops are open, there are people in the streets, planes are landing at and taking off from the airports, kids are at school, there are sunbathers on the beaches, people meeting in the grand hotels for cocktails, the cellphone networks and the internet are up and running. However, there are some severely compromised government institutions, state security being one of those. But that this chaotic shadow world exists in parallel with the ordinary world seems to me a condition that has been present in most societies for centuries.

Indeed, the president fits the mold of the corrupt African dictator, which was a necessary condition of the story. As to whether South Africa is there already: no, I don’t think so. But that is not to say that we aren’t lurching about on the edge of totalitarianism what with the Secrecy Bill and the Hate Speech Bill, the rampant racism, let alone the audacious attempts by the president et al to “capture” various organs of state.

For some years now I’ve felt that the state – certainly what is referred to as the deep state, that combination of the intelligence services, the police, politicians, and organized crime – is where I should locate my crime fiction. It is where the most serious crime is being committed in this country. If the social aspect of crime fiction is about presenting society in extremis, then it seems to me that the espionage novel offers an opportunity to explore the underlying tensions in South Africa now. And there is a strong tradition in South African literature of opposition to and critique of the exigencies of our governments and leaders, again a territory ideally suited to the espionage novel.

Continue reading their interview here.

With names like Paige Nick, Leye Adenle, and Paul Mendelson to look forward to we expect each and every local thriller fan to shiver with antici…pation.

‘Til the 23rd of June!

Agents of the State

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Of Cops and Robbers

 
 
 
 
Power Play


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Lank verwagte Eindspel tref die rakke

Eindspel

Aanhangers van Wilna Adriaanse se immgergewilde Dubbelspel (2014) kan al die dae begin aftel tot hulle weer met Ellie McKenna kennis maak.

In Eindspel word die leser weer aan Ellie voorgestel, wat deesdae ‘n salige bestaan op die platteland maak. Sy help selfs uit as kerkorrelis en geniet die alledaagse lewe.

Tog bly die nimmereindigende soektog na haar pa se moordenaar by haar spook.

Een Sondag stap twee vreemde mans by die kerk in en Ellie weet met die eerste oogopslag dat hulle opsoek is na haar…

Berei jou voor vir ‘n boeiende spanningsverhaal soos net Adriaanse kan!

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Imagining ourselves into existence: First ever Abantu Book Festival in Soweto a roaring success

Words and images by Thato Rossouw

My Own LiberatorUnimportanceSweet MedicineAffluenzaNwelezelangaThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesRapeFlying Above the SkyNight DancerBlack Widow SocietyThe Everyday WifeOur Story Magic

 
“A conquered people often lose the inclination to tell their stories.”

These were the words of former Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke at the inaugural Abantu Book Festival, in discussion with readers about the importance of black people telling their own stories and having spaces where they can share them with one another. “We have stories to tell, they are important, and they are liberating in nature,” he said.

 
Moseneke’s words came as a preamble to compliment the authors Thando Mgqolozana and Panashe Chigumadzi, and the rest of their team members, for organising a festival that not only celebrated black writers, readers, pan-African book stores, and online platforms that celebrate African literature and narratives, but also gave them a safe space to speak freely about the issues they face in their struggle to liberate themselves.

The festival, which was themed “Imagining ourselves into existence”, came as a result of Mgqolozana’s decision early last year to renounce white colonial literary festivals. In an interview with The Daily Vox in May last year, Mgqolozana told Theresa Mallinson that his decision to reject these festivals came from a discomfort with literary festivals where the audience was 80 percent white. “It’s in a white suburb in a white city. I feel that I’m there to perform for an audience that does not treat me as a literary talent, but as an anthropological subject,” he said.

 
The three-day festival took place at two venues: the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre, which hosted free events during the day, and the Soweto Theatre, which hosted events in the evening. These evening festivities cost R20 per person and featured over 50 poets, novelists, essayists, playwrights, literary scholars, screenwriters, performing artists and children’s writers from across Africa and the diaspora. Some of the writers and artists who were present at the festival include Niq Mhlongo, Unathi Magubeni, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Thandiswa Mazwai, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Lebogang Mashile and Chika Unigwe, among many others.

 
The first day of the festival began with a discussion featuring four black female Fallist writers, Dikeledi Sibanda, Mbali Matandela, Sandy Ndelu and Simamkele Dlakavu, titled “Writing and Rioting Black Womxn in the time of Fallism”. The discussion covered topics ranging from the role of the body, particularly the naked body, in challenging old narratives, to writing and rioting as acts of activism. It was then followed by a highly attended talk with Justice Moseneke entitled “Land and Liberation”, a concert by the group Zuko Collective at the Soweto Theatre, as well as speeches and performances at the opening night show.

Some of the riveting discussions at the festival were titled: “Land and Liberation”, “Women of Letters”, “Writing Today”, “Cut! Our Stories on Stage and Screen”, “Ghetto is Our First Love”, “Creating Platforms for Our Stories” and “Writing Stories Across and Within Genres”. The festival also included seven documentary screenings, poetry performances, a writing masterclass with Angela Makholwa and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, and performances every night at the Soweto Theatre by Zuko Collective.

 
Dr Gcina Mhlophe gave the keynote address at the festival’s opening night, which was preceded by the singing of the decolonised national anthem and a rendition of the poem “Water” by poet Koleka Putuma. Mhlophe reminded the audience that, while it is important for us to celebrate young and upcoming artists, it is also important to remember and celebrate those that came before them. She sang and told stories about people like Mariam Tladi and Nokutela Dube and spoke about their role in the development of the arts. Dube was the first wife of Reverend John Langalibalele Dube who was the first President General of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) which was later renamed the African National Congress (ANC).

 
The festival ended with a sold-out event at the Soweto Theatre that featured a discussion on “Native Life in 2016” between Chigumadzi and I’solezwe LesiXhosa editor Unathi Kondile, facilitated by Mashile; a performance by Zuko Collective; and a Literary Crossroads session with Unigwe, facilitated by Ndumiso Ngcobo.
 

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The hashtag #AbantuBookFest was on fire for the duration of the festival and long afterwards:


 
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Book Bites: 28 August 2016

Published in the Sunday Times

The Private Lives of the TudorsThe Private Lives of the Tudors
Tracy Borman (Hodder & Stoughton)
Book buff
*****
Whether it was the scandals in court or the constant beheadings, people can’t devour the grisly details of the Tudors fast enough. Historian Tracy Borman has pored over household records and first-hand accounts to reveal the most intimate details of life at court. Despite the enticing title, the book has no new secrets to tell, but instead focuses on the fascinating minutiae, such as how many attendants were required to witness the consummation of a marriage, childbirth, or even using the lavatory. A treasure-trove of facts and a must-have resource for history buffs. – Sally Partridge @sapartridge

Red DirtRed Dirt
EM Reapy (Head of Zeus)
Book thrill
****
Wasted on cheap wine, high on acid, weed and any other substance they can lay hands on, three young people run from their past in Ireland to make a fresh start in Australia. But it’s tough going, a constant struggle to make ends meet. One of the three jumps out of a moving car in the outback during a bad acid trip, another narrowly escapes becoming a sex slave, and the other kills a man. This refreshing debut novel from EM Reapy is vividly written in Irish brogue and tells of their aimlessness in the Oz underbelly. – Gabriella Bekes @Gabrikwa

Apartheid and the Making of a Black PsychologistApartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist
N Chabani Manganyi (Wits University Press)
Book real
***
It has become apparent with urbanisation that depression, bipolar and stress-related mental issues affect us all. This opens a dialogue; a much-needed public awareness. This memoir – about an unsung hero in South African psychology – encourages that dialogue. It’s about how Professor N Chabani Manganyi grew up in Mavambe, Limpopo in the 1940s, how he went to Yale University, and how he became a clinical practitioner and researcher. It is also about how he was a dedicated black intellectual activist during the apartheid years and, finally, a leading educationist in Mandela’s cabinet. Although academic, it is inspiring reading. – Nondumiso Tshabangu @MsNondumiso

Cold Case ConfessionCold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder
Alex Eliseev (Pan Macmillan)
Book real
****
It all hinged on a chance finding. In the Johannesburg suburb of Kenilworth, peeling away the carpet tiles, Jeffrey Marshall discovers “an A4 sheet of paper folded in half, with other papers sandwiched in between”. If not for that, Betty Ketani would have been another missing-person case. And, just like that, a warped world begins to unravel. You may begin to suspect that you are reading a work of fiction but everything in this book actually happened. Journalist Alex Eliseev will take you on a ride comparable to any best-selling crime novel. – Chantelle Gray van Heerden @CGrayvH

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2016 Bloody Book Week crime fiction festival – programme revealed

2016 Bloody Book Week crime fiction festival - programme revealed
The Sunday Times Big Pub Quiz BookDark ForcesA Time Of Torment
DominionRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysteryCold Case ConfessionThe Griekwastad MurdersA Citizen's Guide To Crime Trends In South Africa

 
Alert! The programme for the 2016 Bloody Book Week has been released, including international authors Stephen Leather, John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard as well as local luminaries Sally Andrew, Alex Eliseev, Jacques Steenkamp, Anine Kriegler and Larry Benjamin.

The festival, which focuses on crime fiction and is organised by Jenny Crwys-Williams’s company Jenny & Co, will take place from Thursday, 28 July to Sunday, 31 July in venues around Johannesburg.

Check out the programme:

THURSDAY 28 JULY 2016

The Bloody Crime Quiz with Quiz Master Larry Benjamin

We test your knowledge of all things criminal. Crime cases, crime books, crime writers and of course, Jack Reacher! And Sally Andrews, author of Recipes for Love and Murder. Come have some fun.

Where: Stanley Beer Yard, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 6:30 for 7 PM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 long: 28.001041
Cost: R250 pp (price includes a prego roll and a glass of wine)
Bookings: bookings@jennyandco.co.za

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FRIDAY 29 JULY 2016

The Boys’ Own Breakfast with Stephen Leather chatting to Ben Williams

Be among the first in South Africa to read Stephen Leather’s latest book, Dark Forces.

Where: The Social Kitchen, Exclusive Books, Hyde Park
Time: 7 – 9 AM
Bookings: For Fanatics members only. To get a free seat, check correspondence from Fanatics and click to enter the draw ASAP.

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The Girls’ Own Roedean Breakfast with John Connolly

Where: Roedean Senior School Library, Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown
Time: 7:15 for 7:30 AM
GPS: lat: -26.1779935 long: 28.0476069
Cost: R120 pp
Bookings: For old girls only. 011 647 3203 or SAORA@roedeanschool.co.za

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The Teenagers’ Own Adventure Time with John Connolly & Jennifer Ridyard

Where: The Auditorium, Roedean Senior School, Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown
Time: 10:45 – 11:50 AM
Bookings: For senior school pupils only

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Veldskoene, Tannie Maria & Death on Route 62 with Sally Andrew

A first novel that wormed its way instantaneously into all our hearts – plus one of Tannie Maria’s best cakes!

Where: Delta Cafe, 20 Marlborough Road, Craighall Park
Time: 10 for 10:30 AM
Cost: R205 pp
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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Cold Case Justice with Alex Eliseev

Cocktails, canapes and readings from an extraordinary case.

Where: The Lobby, 54 on Bath, Rosebank
Time: 6 for 6:30 PM
Cost: R150 pp
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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Music & Murder with John Connolly & music man Charles Leonard

A unique evening of murderous music and tales.

Where: Stanley Beer Yard, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM, after which the public can join in!
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R195 pp (includes welcome drink)
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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SATURDAY 30 JULY 2016

In Their Own Words with Alex Eliseev

The cold case of the century through the words of the protagonists.

Where: JoziHub, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 10 – 11 AM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R90 pp (does not include drinks)
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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Konfyt and Murder with Sally Andrew & Andre Croucamp

In which author Sally Andrew is quizzed by delicious dress designer Andre Croucamp on veldskoene, dressing down and much, much more!

Where: Bean There Coffee Company, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 10 – 11 AM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R115 pp (does not include drinks)
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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Fresh Blood: Past, Present and Future with John Connolly

Raconteur and writer John Connolly talks crime fiction across the decades with Jenny Crwys-Williams.

Where: Antiques & Heritage of Europe, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 10 – 11 AM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R115 pp (does not include drinks)
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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Mind Over Murder with police forensic psychologist Gerard Labuschagne, Jacques Steenkamp and joint author of A Citizen’s Guide to Crime Trends in South Africa Anine Kriegler

Three experts in their field discuss crime SA-style.

Where: JoziHub, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R90 pp
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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In Conversation: Jenny Crwys-Williams engages with Stephen Leather: his life, his adventures, his books, and all …

Will Stephen Leather tell all to Jenny Crwys-Williams?

Where: Antiques & Heritage of Europe, 44 Stanley Precinct, Milpark
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R115 pp
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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A Winter’s Tale … Dinner with John Connolly and Writers Write

Where: The Bowery, 3 Sandown Valley Crescent, Sandton
Time: 6 for 6:30 PM
Cost: R320 pp
Bookings: news@writerswrite.co.za

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SUNDAY 31 JULY 2016

The Killer Lunch: A Murderous Mix

Fancy having one of SA’s hottest crime writers at your table? Join Jenny Crwys-Williams and forensic psychologist Gerard Labuschagne plus eight authors in celebrating the world’s most popular literary genre: crime writing.

Where: Il Giardino, Stanley precinct, Milpark
Time: 12:30 for 1 PM
GPS: lat: -26.202209 – long: 28.001041
Cost: R480 pp
Bookings: www.webtickets.co.za

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Winners of the 2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards announced!

Adults OnlyBloody SatisfiedIncredible Journey

 
Alert! Tattoo Press and Burnet Media are proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards for Die Laughing – “stories of wit, satire and humour”.

The winning tales were revealed on Wednesday morning at the National Arts Festival and were selected from a shortlist of 20 stories, announced earlier this year.

 
Here are the winners of the 2016 Short Sharp Stories Awards:

JUDGES’ CHOICE:

BEST STORY:

This Could Get Messy by Greg Lazarus

“A simply wonderful story about love …
Funny, with its twists and turns, chuckles and sadness.”
 

THE RUNNERS-UP:

This Is Not A Joke, Maureen by Gail Schimmel

“Really funny despite its dark subject matter.
The depiction of the humourless mother is exquisite.”
 

Angel Heart by Kobus Moolman

“Unconventional, with an adventurous play of syntax,
and a truly original imagining of Jesus. Bizarre, and intriguing.”
 

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Learning a New Language by Fred Khumalo

“Tongue-in-cheek action which shows up misogyny …
and makes a statement as to learning to appreciate women.”
 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Jim Goes to Durban by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay

“Good, honest, laugh-out-loud slapstick.”
 

Number One With A Bullet by Christopher McMichael

“Truly laugh-out-loud funny, with a satirical edge.”
 

The Derby by Ofentse Ribane

“Written with a sharp energy and an original take.”
 

The Viewing Room by Diane Awerbuck

“A sophisticated, melancholy and quirky story.”
 

The Seduction of Ozzie Stone by Stephen Symons

“The ironies, the plot, it all comes together in easy-flowing, integrated writing,
and leaves one smiling wistfully.”

What did the judges have to say about this year’s Short Sharp Stories?

Karabo K Kgoleng: “There are so many things to consider when you have to judge short stories. The lesson in the judging process, for me, is that I have to always contend with the competing imperatives – mostly style and politics. Death and laughter are encapsulated in the stories that scored for me, the stories that balance these, bearing in mind that I must personally respond to the story.”

Ken Barris: “One’s sense of humour is so subjective that it was a challenge to evaluate the Die Laughing entries. How does one judge the quality and quantity of funny? The tales that stood out were subtle and finely observed, viewed the world from an intriguing position, or were edgy and engaging in style. Most important, the best made me laugh.”

Karina M Szczurek: “I am thrilled with the intriguing interpretations of this year’s theme. The inventiveness, the mix of raw and honed talent, and the dark humour make for a rewarding read.”

Earlier this week Lidudumalingani won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story “Memories We Lost”, which was published in the 2015 anthology Incredible Journey: Stories that Move You.

The 2014 anthology Adults Only: Stories of love, lust, sex and sexuality edited by Joanne Hichens won the Edited Fiction Volume Award at the inaugural National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Book, Creative and Digital Awards.

This new collection features a foreword by Evita Bezuidenhout, an introduction by Darrel Bristow-Bovey and was edited by Hichens, who is also the curator of the Awards. Keep an eye on Books LIVE for the release date of Die Laughing.

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#STBooks column: Krimi or krimmie by Jennifer Platt

By Jennifer Platt for the Sunday Times

I feel deep embarrassment when I have one of those moments where either I don’t know how to properly pronounce a word that I must have read a million times (this happens often), or when I have to write a word down that I’ve heard a few times but don’t really know how to spell. That happened with the word krimi.

Weeping WatersHour of Darkness

 
It has been swirling around the litmosphere when people talk about crime thrillers. And people are now discussing how some of the most original, solid, hard-boiled crime thrillers (krimis) are being written by women. In South Africa we have Karin Brynard and Michéle Rowe, to name but two; and you can see the pattern in Kati Hiekkapelto’s Finnish detective series starring Anna Fekete; the Nordic noir rockstar Camilla Läckberg; and Iceland’s Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Then there are the police procedurals where US author Elizabeth George’s series on Inspector Thomas Lynley shines, Susie Steiner’s Missing, Presumed is a clever, witty and literary take on the usual cop drama, and Alex Marwood’s latest The Darkest Secret is taut and compelling.

Back to the word krimi. I thought it was spelt “krimmie”, a localised term. So I went down the rabbit hole of the internet and found the word on Wiktionary. It’s German in origin, shortened from kriminalgeschichte (crime story).

Intrigued, I thought about the origin of other genres and went back down the rabbit hole again.

The term science fiction first appeared in ads for Air Wonder Stories magazine in 1929. Before, those stories were called scientification. And the abbreviated form sci-fi was only used from 1955.

When and where the romance genre began is a bit more difficult to pin down. Apparently it’s from the Latin word Romanicus (to write in a Roman style), which came to mean “written in French”, French being one of the Romantic languages that evolved from Latin. The less serious stories (usually about chivalrous heroes, knights, magic and dragons, often in imaginary, otherworldly settings), were usually written in French. The term then included all sorts of tall tales, but finally came to mean a love story.

Currently trending is “spec-fic”, short for speculative fiction. The term has been around for ages but was made popular in 1947 when Robert Heinlein used it in an essay called “On the writing of speculative fiction”. It’s an umbrella term that encompasses many different genres from dystopian fiction to alternative history, but it’s the “what if?” story. Not always that hard to imagine.

Follow @Jenniferdplatt

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2016 Open Book Festival: Confirmed international and local authors announced

2016 Open Book Festival: Confirmed international and local authors announced

 

Alert! The Open Book Festival has announced the first group of confirmed international and local authors for this year’s event.

The sixth annual Open Book will take place from 7 to 11 September in Cape Town.

This year’s festival will comprise more than 100 events, at The Fugard Theatre, the District Six Homecoming Centre and The Book Lounge.

The final programme will be available in early August, and tickets will be available on Webtickets.

“We are thrilled to be announcing the first group of authors for Open Book Festival 2016,” festival director Mervyn Sloman says. “We have confirmed participants joining us from Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ghana, Holland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Reunion, United Kingdom and USA.

“As always we look forward to an outstanding collection of powerful South African writers talking about their work on the international stage that Open Book provides.

“I can’t wait to see the impact the likes of Pumla Dineo Gqola, Fred Khumalo, Bongani Madondo, Mohale Mashigo and Yewande Omotoso are going to have on Cape Town audiences. These writers are the tip of a very exciting iceberg that gives us cause for celebration in the SA book world that has many real and difficult challenges.”

RapeBitches' BrewSigh The Beloved CountryThe YearningThe Woman Next Door

 

Check out the confirmed international authors:

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Adeiye “MC Complex” Tjon Tam Pau is a coach and workshop master for Poetry Circle Nowhere – a collective of writing performers in the Netherlands – and is active in the Dutch and international hip-hop scene.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullReacher Said Nothing
Andy Martin is a lecturer in French literature and philosophy at the University of Cambridge. Most recently he published Reacher Said Nothing, a book about Lee Child writing his 21st Reacher novel, Make Me
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Bear's Surprise
Benjamin Chaud was born in Briançon in the Hautes-Alpes and he studied drawing and applied arts at the Arts Appliqués in Paris and the Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg. His award-winning books have been translated into over 20 languages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Fishermen
Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria and is currently the professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, was an international hit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullWhat Belongs to You
Garth Greenwell‘s novella Mitko won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award. What Belongs to You is his debut novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullDaydreams of Angels
Heather O’Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist. Lullabies for Little Criminals, her debut novel, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim. She has since published the novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and the short story collection Daydreams of Angels.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullDracula
Hippolyte resides in Reunion but was born and raised in the Alps, where he got his interest in comics by reading old American comic books. He gained success with his adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, published in two volumes by Vents d’Ouest in 2003 and 2004.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

nullThree Words
Indira Neville is a New Zealand comics artist, community organiser, editor and commentator. She has been making comics for over 20 years. Recently, she co-edited the anthology Three Words, a collection of Aotearoa/New Zealand women’s comics.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe World According to Anna
Jostein Gaarder is the author of several novels, short stories and children’s books, including Sophie’s World, which was translated into 60 languages and has sold over 40 million copies. His most recent novel translated into English is The World According to Anna.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

nullThe Prophets of Eternal Fjord
Kim Leine is a Danish-Norwegian novelist. He received the Golden Laurel award and the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for his novel, The Prophets of Eternal Fjord.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Scattering
Lauri Kubuitsile lives in Botswana. She has written children’s books, short stories, novellas and several romance novels. The Scattering, her most recent novel, was published this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Gonjon Pin and Other Stories
Martin Egblewogbe is a short story writer, lecturer in Physics at the University of Ghana and the co-founder of the Writers Project of Ghana. His short story “The Gonjon Pin” is the title story in the 2014 Caine Prize collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullBorderline
Journalist Michela Wrong has spent nearly two decades writing about Africa. In 2014 she was appointed literary director of the Miles Morland Foundation and is a trustee of Human Rights Watch Africa, the Africa Research Institute and the NGO Justice Africa. She is the author of a number of non-fiction books. Borderlines is her first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullNemesis
Misha Glenny is a distinguished investigative journalist and one of the world’s leading experts on cybercrime and on global mafia networks. He is the author of several books, most recently Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullWhen the Moon is Low
Nadia Hashimi‘s parents left Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. She was raised in the United States and in 2002 made her first trip to Afghanistan. Her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was an international bestseller. When The Moon Is Low followed in 2015 and her latest novel is due in 2016.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullBinti
Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Her novella, Binti, recently won a prestigious Nebula Award.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Winter War
Philip Teir is considered one of the most promising writers in Finland. His poetry and short stories have been included in anthologies, including Granta Finland. The Winter War is his first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullCarnival
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war during the 1970s and 1980s. He emigrated to Canada in 1992 and now lives in Montreal. His first novel, De Niro’s Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His most recent novel, Carnival, won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullStalin's Daughter
Rosemary Sullivan is the author of 14 books, including biographies, children’s books and poetry. She is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in Ontario and was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest civilian award) for outstanding contributions to Canadian Literature and Culture.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullYour Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Sunil Yapa is the son of a Sri Lankan father and an American mother. He received his MFA from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, was awarded the Alumni Scholarship & Welfare Fund Fellowship, and was twice selected as a Hertog Fellow. He is the recipient of the 2010 Asian American Short Story Award. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is his first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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