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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

WiSER discussion: Christa Kuljian on the case of human origins

Christa Kuljian, the author of the acclaimed Darwin’s Hunch: Science, Race and the Search for Human Origins will be in discussion with Hlonipha Mokoena on Wednesday 17 May, at Wits University’s WiSER Seminar Room. The discussion will be chaired by Sarah Nutall.

Scientists and their research are often shaped by the prevailing social and political context. Darwin’s Hunch, recently shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction, explores this trend, and provides fresh insight on the search for human origins in South Africa over the past century.

Kuljian asks “What impact did colonialism have on the views of scientists studying human evolution in the early twentieth century? What influence did apartheid have on the search? How have the changing scientific views about race, and racism, affected efforts to understand human evolution?”

Darwin’s Hunch was published in November 2016. We will take a close and sustained look at the arguments Kuljian makes, the pressures that her book puts on the scientific community in South Africa, the implications of publishing this book at this time, and the outcomes and challenges, political and social, of what we now know, through this detailed and meticulous research.

Professor Mokoena will engage Christa Kuljian in bold, outspoken and forthright discussion on this complicated and contested topic.

Event Details

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Writing oral histories workshop with Michael Nest

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Eseltjiesrus Giant Book Fair: buy a book and baie donkey

This is probably the single biggest book sale in the Western Cape.

More than twelve thousand new and fresh pre-owned books go on sale at rock-bottom prices.

Enjoy the hunt for treasures – and, best of all, you will come to the aid of the donkeys at Eseltjiesrus.

There is no better way to beat the winter blues than snuggling up in front of a fire with a good book, some good coffee or a glass of the local wines.

The upcoming fabulous Book Fair in McGregor is in aid of rescued and destitute donkeys at the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary. In short, you will be turning a page for a donkey.

The Book Fair, held this year from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May, is known among book lovers as one of THE book events of the year in the Western Cape.

There will be over twelve thousand books on sale – about half of them brand new, and some fresh and pre-owned and pre-loved (but not dog-eared, or battered!).

Treasure trove
Whether you are into science fiction, cookery books, rare books, crime stories, history, children’s books, coffee table books, photography, science, art, travel, or just a jolly good read, you will find it here amongst this treasure trove.

New stocks will put out every day over the bookfair weekend!

By stocking up on a few titles from your favourite authors, you will also be helping to care for the donkeys at the Sanctuary. Many of these long-suffering beasts of burden were destitute, but have now been rescued and are now enjoying their retirement in a kind and caring environment. You can be a part of this: visit the Sanctuary and spend some quality time with these lovely creatures.

Make a day trip, or plan a weekend around the Book Fair. Book a romantic cottage, and a table at one of the wonderful local restaurants, visit art galleries, go for a hike or a massage, or do some birdwatching, and last, but certainly not the least, taste some of the great wines of the area.

Time to gather family and friends – or just that one special person – and join the buzz that is the Eseltjiesrus Book Fair.

Book Fair details
Place: Community Hall (on the left as you enter McGregor)
Date/time: Friday 19 to Sunday – 21 May (10h00 to 17h00)
Contact: or 023 625 1593

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Reading: Nick Mulgrew at Bridge Books

Join us for a reading by Nick Mulgrew from his Edge Hill Award-nominated debut Stations, and a new story from his forthcoming collection The First Law of Sadness.

Event Details

Book Details


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Literary Crossroads with Imraan Coovadia (SA) & Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria)

Literary Crossroads is a series of talks where South African writers meet colleagues from all over the continent and from the African diaspora to discuss trends, topics and themes prevalent in their literatures today. The series is curated by Indra Wussow and Sine Buthelezi.

The guest speakers for the upcoming talk (to take place on May 16) will be Imraan Coovadia and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. The discussion will be moderated by Danyela Dimakatso Demir.

About the guests:

Imraan Coovadia is a writer and director of the creative writing programme at UCT. His most recent novel is Tales of the Metric System (2014), which appeared in the US, South Africa, India, and Germany.

He is the author of The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012), winner of the M-Net Prize, and a collection of essays, “Transformations” (2012), which won the South African Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction. In 2010 his novel High Low In-between won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg prize. He has published a scholarly monograph with Palgrave, “Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul” (2009), two earlier novels, and a number of journal articles. His fiction has been published in a number of countries, and he has written for many newspapers, journals, and magazines here and overseas, including the New York Times, N+1, Agni, the Times of India, and Threepenny Review.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is a Nigerian writer and journalist. His debut collection of short stories The Whispering Trees was long-listed for the Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014, with the title story shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. His debut novel Season of Crimson Blossoms was published in the UK in May 2016 by Cassava Republic Press. Abubakar is a Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow (2013) and a Civitella Ranieri Fellow (2015). In 2014, Abubakar was named in the Hay Festival Africa39 list of the most promising writers under the age of 40 who will define future trends in African writing. Abubakar is the recipient of the 2016 Goethe-Institut & Sylt Foundation African Writer’s Residency Award. He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.

Event Details

The Institute for Taxi Poetry

Book details

Tales of the Metric System


The Whispering Trees


Season of Crimson Blossoms

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Jacana Masterclass with Patrick Conroy, author of Everest Untold

Patrick Conroy, author of Everest Untold, will present a Jacana Masterclass on writing non-fiction. The fee includes a copy of the book.

The Masterclass is a chance for writers to interact with published authors to get advice on sharpening their skills, and learning what it takes to get published.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 20 April 2017
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Bridge Books, 85 Commissioner Street
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Cover charge: R150
  • RSVP:, +27 79 708 4461

About the author and the book:
Patrick Conroy was only 23 in 1996 when Radio 702 chose him to travel to Mount Everest in Nepal to cover what was to become the greatest tragedy in climbing history.
Heart-chilling audio in once thought to be lost audio files which reveal some of the mysteries of the death of a South African.
Media coverage from both eNCA, where Patrick covers the Africa beat, as well as Talk 702.

Told with the immediacy of a diary, which is where the book began, Patrick takes us on a journey to the highest mountain in the world, where one of the greatest tragedies in climbing history was about to unfold. Filled with photographs and sketches from his notebooks we become part of the 702 team sent to cover the South African Everest Expedition of 1996. It would turn out to be the deadliest climbing seasons in the peak’s history. Twenty years later the controversy around what truly happened on the mountain continues to rage.

Conroy kept a meticulous diary and recorded many hours of radio communications between the climbers. Now, two decades later, his memoirs reveal a remarkable and untold story of what happened on the mountain that fateful year.

Everest Untold includes hidden insights and never before revealed transcripts that shed new light on the 1996 disaster, including the mysterious disappearance of one of the South African team members in the death zone.

Conroy’s hidden story reopens the debate on the risks of high-altitude mountaineering and what it meant to a young democratic South Africa unaware of the dangers that lay ahead.

Everest Untold: Diaries From The First South African Everest ExpeditionBook Details

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Book launch: Dancing the Death Drill by Fred Khumalo

The Steve Biko Foundation invites you to the book launch of Dancing the Death Drill by Fred Khumalo.

With a captivating blend of pathos and humor, Fred Khumalo brings to life a historical event, honouring both those who perished in the disaster and those who survived.

The novel recounts the final, doomed voyage of the SS Mendi, a steamship carrying over 800 men from the South African Native Labour Corps to serve in World War I. The ship sank off the Isle of Wight in February 1917 and the novel’s publication marks the centenary of the tragedy.

Spanning continents and generations, Dancing the Death Drill transports the reader from the battlefields of the Boer War to the front lines in France and beyond.

Fred Khumalo is the author of the novels Bitches’ Brew, which was a joint winner of the 2006 European Union Literary Award, and Seven Steps to Heaven. His memoir, Touch My Blood, was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize for non-fiction in 2007.

Event Details

Book Details

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Kingsmead Book Fair line-up announced!

Authors, editors, poets and publishers will congregate at Kingsmead College on Saturday 13 May from 9:30 AM to 6 PM for the sixth annual Kingsmead Book Fair.

Bibliophiles can expect an assortment of literary discussions including deliberations on political unrest in South Africa, culinary conversations with some of South Africa’s most prolific food-writers, and the nitty-gritty behind the art of short story writing.

Fans of mega-selling author Lesley Pearse, pay heed: the illustrious writer will share the secrets of her success with the Sunday Times’ very own Michele Magwood in Kingsmead’s Music Centre at 09:30 AM. Pearse has authored 21 books, including Dead to Me, Without a Trace, and Survivor.

On the local front the likes of Jonno Proudfoot, author of the Real Meal Revolution: Banting 2.0, award-winning journalist and author Zubeida Jaffer (On Trial with Mandela), the acclaimed novelist and short story writer Yewande Omotoso (The Woman Next Door), and renowned poet Phillippa de Villiers Yaa (The Everyday Wife) will participate in discussions, debates and – in Proudfoot’s case – a culinary demonstration.

Kingsmead Book Fair supports numerous literary projects across the country, encouraging and instilling a love of reading and contributing to South African literacy rates across the board. The Link Reading Programme, Alexandra Education Committee, Sparrow Schools, Read to Rise, and St Vincent’s School for the Deaf are all supported by this singular book fair.

The full programme for this year’s fair – aptly themed ‘Worlds Within Words’ – is available here.

Tickets can be purchased online via Webtickets.

‘Til May 13th!

Dead to Me

Book details


Without a Trace




Real Meal Revolution


On Trial with Mandela


The Woman Next Door


The Everyday Wife

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Check out the programme for this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival!

The quaint Western Cape town of Franschhoek will be accommodating South Africa’s literary greats from Friday 19 May to Sunday 21 May.

This annual literary festival’s 2017 line-up can only be described as one which skrik’s vir niks.

Festival-goers can expect discussions and debates featuring Rebecca Davis, author of Best White and Other Delusions, in conversation with agricultural economist Tracy Ledger (An Empty Plate) and African diplomacy scholar Oscar van Heerden (Consistent or Confused) on the ever-dividing rift between South Africans; the Sunday Times‘ contributing books editor Michele Magwood asks publishers Phehello Mofokeng (Geko Publishing), Thabiso Mahlape (BlackBird Books) and short story writer Lidudumalingani Mqombothi (recipient of the 2016 Caine Prize Winner for Memories We Lost, published in The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things) whether there’s a shortage of black fiction authors; and poet Rustum Kozain (Groundwork) will discuss Antjie Krog, Lady Anne: A Chronicle in Verse with the acclaimed poet herself.

And that’s just day one!

Find the full programme here.

Tickets are available from


Best White and Other Anxious Delusions

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Lady Anne


An Empty Plate


The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories

  • The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2016 by Caine Prize
    EAN: 9781566560160
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!


Consistent or Confused

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Book launch – Lady Anne: A Chronicle in Verse by Antjie Krog

Lady Anne : A Chronicle in Verse Antjie Krog will be giving a reading at the launch of the English translation of Lady Anne: A Chronicle in Verse.

Event Details

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