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Archive for the ‘Franschhoek Literary Festival’ Category

Franschhoek Literary Festival: Day Two

The second day of the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival’s programme featured topics as diverse as implications of media censorship, the responsibilities of opinion pieces, cultural appropriation, the Karoo as literary muse and questions regarding feminism and who ‘owns’ it.

After the mandatory drink or two – besides the perennially favourite mahala glass of Porcupine Ridge Wine – at the Elephant and Barrel, festival-goers and authors alike bid FLF 2017 goodbye.

Check out #flf2017 for more!


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Franschhoek Literary Festival: Day One

From great discussions about identity politics to the psyche of apartheid spies; speculative fiction and Holocaust denialism; women who write crime fiction and debates about whether writers are made or born -the first day of the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival provided enough stimulating conversation to exercise festival goers’ brain muscles, and festival-sponsor Porcupine Ridge supplied enough wine to keep them hydrated.

Hotter than expected, veteran FLF’ers were often heard remarking that “it ALWAYS rains during Franschhoek,” yet the pleasant weather made for an excellent excuse to enjoy a glass of in vino veritas.

To whet your appetite for whatever Saturday might bring, here are a few tweets of the vet pret first day of Franschhoek Literary Festival:


 


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Ten talks to attend at the 2017 Franschhoek Literary Festival

Everyone’s favourite Porcupine Ridge-sponsored, vineyard-surrounded literary festival is around the corner.

Yes, you read correctly. The Franschhoek Literary Festival is coming up on the weekend of the 19th – 21st of May.

With a programme which skriks vir niks, it can be rather daunting to decide which discussions you’d like to attend.

Enter Kate Sidley. Kate recently compiled a list of 10 must-see discussions for the Sunday Times, which can be viewed here.

‘Til the 19th!


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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 www.webtickets.co.za.

 
 

Best White and Other Anxious Delusions

Book details

 
 

Groundwork

 

 
 

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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Not welcome: Thabiso Mahlape and Lauren Beukes on Eugene de Kock’s presence at the Sunday Times Literary Awards shortlist event

Anemari Jansen, Eugene de Kock, Annie Olivier
Anemari Jansen, Eugene de Kock, Annie Olivier at the Franchhoek Literary Festival

 

Eugene de KockEugene de Kock

 

Lauren Beukes and Thabiso Mahlape spoke to Books LIVE about Eugene de Kock’s presence at the Franschhoek Literary Festival this weekend.

Eugene de Kock: Assassin for the State, a biography by Anemari Jansen written with the full co-operation and consent of the former Vlakplaas commander, was longlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in April, and De Kock was in attendance at the shortlist announcement on Saturday night.

More about the book.

De Kock, who was known as “Prime Evil” for his apartheid-era crimes, was spotted by Books LIVE at the French Connection restaurant on Saturday afternoon and also attended a panel discussion on Friday, as tweeted by Cover2Cover Books managing director Palesa Morudu:

According to Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko, De Kock was at the Sunday Times Literary Award event as a guest of the publisher of Anemari Jansen’s biography, not as a guest of the Sunday Times. “De Kock was not acknowledged in any way,” Siqoko says. “We only acknowledge the sponsors, authors and publishers at the Sunday Times Literary Awards events.”

Author and journalist Jacques Steenkamp tweeted from the festival:

Internationally acclaimed author and former journalist Beukes, who asked De Kock to leave the shortlist event, says: “There were black writers and publishers who were visibly upset that he was there, some of whom were victims of his operation, who had lost family members. There was talk of staging a walk-out in protest and maybe we should have done that.

“But I was angry that the writers should have to leave an event celebrating them. I walked over to him standing by the stairs and asked if he was Eugene de Kock. I said, ‘It’s inappropriate that you are here. People are in tears that you are here and I think you should leave.’

“He said ‘Thank you for telling me’, and left.

“But this story is not about me. It’s about the black writers and publishers who were traumatised by having him there.

“Yes, we need forgiveness and yes, he’s served his time. We also need compassion and sensitivity about inviting him to a private party where there are people who have suffered terrible loss directly because of him.”

Beukes tweeted:

Mahlape, a publisher at Jacana Media and the head of its new division BlackBird Books, says she was shaken when she realised De Kock was present at the announcement.

“I stayed away from the news of Eugene asking to be let out and eventually being let out,” she says. “I never imagined I would ever run into the man. In my head he would go find a farm and live as far as possible from people.

“When I heard he was at the festival and had even cried at a session I was quite detached. My one question is, why does he think he can just socialise? And then I saw him. I was standing with [Modjaji Books publisher] Colleen Higgs and [author] Rehana Rossouw. I saw Rehana’s jaw drop, I turned around and there he was.”

Mahlape says seeing De Kock brought to mind a number of other racially charged events, specifically Pretoria High Court judge Mabel Jansen’s recent remarks on rape and black culture, published on Facebook to widespread condemnation.

“My immediate response was to get away, so I went upstairs. But when the energy in the room changed everything last week came back. The judge had called my people culturally rapists or sadists and when he came up the stairs that hit me. There, right in front of me, was the man who was responsible for the breaking of so many black men and as a result black families. I wept, I never expected that to happen; my own feelings overwhelmed me.

“I had also been in altercation during the day with another man, a festival goer, so I may have been tired. But I cried, and that’s when Lauren went over to him and asked him to leave. And he said ‘thank you’ and left.”

Mahlape’s BlackBird Books recently published the debut novels of Panashe Chigumadzi and Nakhane Touré. She is also the publisher of Thando Mgqolozana, who was responsible for the Franschhoek Literary Festival making international news last year, when he publicly condemned South Africa’s “white literary system” and announced that he would be boycotting such festivals in future.

In the Sunday Times it was erroneously stated that De Kock left before his exchange with Beukes.

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Main image: Esa Alexander


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‘I’m stubborn; I was destined to be a writer’ – award-winning Nigerian author Chinelo Okparanta chats about her writing

Chinelo OkparantaHappiness, Like WaterUnder the Udala TreesNigerian-American author Chinelo Okparanta is currently in Cape Town for the Franschhoek Literary Festival.

Okparanta is the author of two books: a collection of short stories called Happiness, Like Water, and a novel, Under the Udala Trees, released this year.

Okparanta was shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, and Happiness, Like Water was shortlisted for the the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature and won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award. She is the winner of an O Henry Prize, was one of Granta’s New Voices for 2012, and was featured on the Guardian’s list of the best African fiction of 2013.

None other than Zakes Mda says: “Under the Udala Trees bowled me over.

Okparanta was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and lives in New York. Books LIVE’s Jennifer Malec caught up with her recently ahead of her trip to South Africa.

You can read Malec’s review of the book in full here, and the complete interview in full here:

Books LIVE: First, thank you for an extremely complex novel. It seems to me that, considering the subject matter you deal with, it would have been easier to write black and white, morally unambiguous characters. But this is not the case, and even characters such as Chibundu and Ijeoma’s mother are not “bad” people; it could be argued they suffer as much from the disjunct between society’s expectations and their own actions as Ijeoma does. Did you actively work on creating sympathetic antagonists?

Chinelo Okparanta: First, thank you for reading and engaging so deeply with my work.

To answer your question, it seems to me that the best books are often those in which the dignity of the characters are upheld. Also, those in which the characters are nuanced. I tried to keep this in mind while writing Under the Udala Trees. Chibundu, as you mention, is as much to be pitied as he is to be rebuked. We would have a hard time completely condemning him. He is a hopeful man – simply wants what he wants. Unfortunately, that hopefulness is both his strength and his weakness. How does one balance out hope with unrequited love? Chibundu certainly tries.

I admire the way that the same-sex relationships in the novel are not foregrounded; they are part of a more complex matrix of stories. How far along the publication process were you when same-sex relationships were criminalised in Nigeria in January 2014? Did you alter the book in any way, plot-wise or writing-wise, after that development?

The novel is ultimately just a story about people struggling to live out their lives the best way possible, even in the face of societal pressures, discrimination and in some cases, outright abuse. I completed the novel a month or two before Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill criminalising same-sex relations. With or without the bill, Nigeria is a very homophobic country. With or without the bill, I would have (and had indeed) already written the novel. But I thought it was important to add the author’s note regarding the signing of the bill in order to help readers – especially those who are not familiar with Nigeria – to contextualise the story. Ultimately, though, the novel is a story of individuals living in Nigeria, under a particular system of things. It is only about the bill insofar as the bill affects the day-to-day lives of the nation’s citizens.

Storytelling plays an important role in the book. Did traditional Nigerian folktales and proverbs play an important role in your life growing up?

Yes, definitely. My mother gathered me and my siblings around her, in the evenings when NEPA (the National Electric and Power Authority) took light, and she told us folktales. Sometimes there was singing and clapping involved. Dinner first, then folktales, then off to bed. This was what we did in place of watching television. Her tales were always peppered with proverbs. Nigerians often speak in proverbs. Sometimes, she read to us from books instead.

You moved to the States as a child, but your writing doesn’t betray that distance. Did your family continue to surround you with Nigerian tradition and language after the move? Do you often spend time in Nigeria?

I moved to the US as a child, but I’m lucky to have a family that upholds traditions (but also one that allows room for change). Sometimes I don’t feel that I ever left Nigeria. And sometimes I do. After the move, we continued to speak Igbo at home, we continued to eat fufu and soup, beans and yam, etc. We continued to sing and dance to Nigerian music, etc. These days I go home as often as I can. In the past year or so, I’ve been back to Nigeria at least three times.

Do you think you would have written the same book if you had stayed in Nigeria? Or how do you think it may have differed?

Would I have written the same book? I don’t know. The “correct” response would be to say, “Probably not.” But who knows. My mother says I began reading and writing at age two. She also says I’m stubborn. Perhaps I began reading and writing so early because I was destined to be a writer, and perhaps given my stubbornness, it’s likely that I would have been stubborn in the issues I chose to write about, regardless of the sociocultural context. Or maybe I’d be married with five kids and no time to write, if I had stayed. It’s hard to know.

This is your first full-length novel. How long did you work on the manuscript for – is this specific book years in the making or are you working on a number of longer projects simultaneously? If the latter, why did you decide to complete this one first?

I began working on the novel at the same time that I was working on my collection of short stories, Happiness, Like Water. The collection was completed first, and during its pre-publication and post-publication period, I had to take time off from working on the novel to focus on the collection’s edits, and then later, on promoting the collection. I went back to the novel in mid 2013 and finished it very early in 2014, maybe a little earlier, I can’t quite remember now. Anyway, the point is that there’s no rationale behind what book came out first, just that it was ready when it was ready.

Was the Biafran War something your parents and grandparents spoke freely about? If not, was it difficult for you to broach the subject, or did you learn more about it from other resources?

My mother spoke freely of it. She lost her father in the war, so my siblings and I grew up always knowing that story. It was a devastating time for her family, and of course, there are always lingering effects to having lived out a war.

But I also had to do my research for the novel. I conducted some interviews, read old newspapers, watched the BBC documentaries on the war, studied old photographs, that sort of thing. One photo was of a man carrying a casket on the back of his bicycle. Only, the casket was too small and the feet of the deceased stuck out from the bottom of the wooden box. When I did my research, there were so many photos of kwashiorkor children, distended bellies and all, photos of the dead and the decapitated, photos of soldiers who are now long gone. But for whatever reason it is the photo of the casket on the bicycle that particularly sticks to me.

Some descriptions in the book are quite poetic. Do these images come to you as you are writing, or do you carry a notebook around to jot down moments of inspiration?

I don’t carry a notebook, but I do carry a smart phone with a “Notes” application. Images generally come to me as I’m writing, but if an idea comes to me when I am not writing, I try and make a mental note of it. If I don’t trust myself to remember, then I might jot myself a note on my phone.

A naming question, just out of interest: The names in the book are meaningful, and quite beautiful to my South African ears. I noticed that like your characters Chibundu and Chidinma, the names of you and your siblings – who you mention in the acknowledgements – also all start with “Chi”; what does that prefix mean?

The essential translation of “Chi” in English is “God.” But specifically it refers to the personal gods that we Igbos traditionally had. “Chukwu” was the supreme God, while each person had his/her own personal god(s). So, the name Chidinma means “God is good.” Chibundu means “God is life.”

It seems to me that Ijeoma does not reject tradition – both societal and biblical – rather she forges a path for herself and proves that you can discard some aspects of tradition without threatening the whole. Do you think such a stance could be a viable option for a Nigerian youth, today or in the future?

Yes, it’s definitely a viable stance. No doubt, tradition has its place. But it is also the nature of tradition to evolve.

Follow Jennifer Malec on Twitter @projectjennifer

 
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The 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival is underway!

2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival opening

 
The 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival – the 10th edition of the festival – is taking place on the 13, 14 and 15 May.

Also see:

 
 
Check out tweets from the festival:



 

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Follow Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer), Jennifer Platt (@Jenniferdplatt), Michele Magwood (@michelemagwood) and Helené Prinsloo (@helenayp) for more!

All you need to know about the international authors at the 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival

 


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All you need to know about the international authors at the 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival

All you need to know about the international authors at the 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival

 
The Franschhoek Literary Festival will take place on the 13, 14 and 15 May this year. Here’s all the information you need on the authors, illustrators and publishers visiting from distant lands.

The programme for this year’s FLF was recently released, and tickets went on sale today (16 March) from Webtickets.

For more information, check out the FLF website.

nullThe Frozen DeadBernard Minier, a French crime writer who lives near Paris. The Frozen Dead, his first novel, has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He has now written four novels, and is the first and only author to win the Cognac Crime Festival Prix Polar twice, in 2011 and 2015.


Events:

Friday 13 May: [24] 13h00 The French connection

Saturday 14 May: [57] 10h00 Criminal boundaries

and [89] 14h30 The horror, the horror
 
 

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nullUnder the Udala TreesChinelo Okparanta was born in Nigeria, and now lives in USA. She is the author of Under the Udala Trees (2015) and a short story collection, Happiness, Like Water (2013). Okparanta was one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize in African Writing.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [46] 16h00 Finding your first story

Saturday 14 May: [67] 11h30 Writing relationships

Sunday 15 May: [128] 13h00 Writing from the outside
 
 

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nullAsylum CityLiad Shoham is an Israeli writer and attorney. He still works as an attorney and writes legal thrillers. Shoham is considered Israel’s leading crime writer, and has written eight bestselling novels, which have been translated to seven languages.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [36] 14h30 Crime procedural

Saturday 14 May: [57] 10h00 Criminal boundaries
 
 
 
 

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27 April update: With regret, Margo Jefferson has had to withdraw from the festival for family reasons.

nullNegrolandMargo Jefferson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic, and the author of a new memoir, Negroland. She teaches in the writing programme at Columbia University.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [43] 16h00 Writing, hearing, playing – and all that jazz

Saturday 14 May: [77] 13h00 Are cultural journalists an endangered species? and [93] 16h00 In conversation

Sunday 15 May: [113] 11h30 As I recall
 
 

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27 April update: With regret, Marie-Caroline Aubert has had to withdraw from the festival.

nullEn vrilleMarie-Caroline Aubert, is the French publisher of many South African writers, including Deon Meyer, Mike Nicol, and soon Karin Brynard (May 2016). She has translated some high profile authors, including Ruth Rendell and Arthur Miller, and also reviews books. She joined Éditions du Seuil in 2011, and specialises in genre literature.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [24] 13h00 The French connection

and [44] 16h00 Traditional publishing in the spotlight

Sunday 15 May: [127] 13h00 Breaking the barrier
 
 

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nullnullOlajumoke Verissimo is a Nigerian writer, researcher and editor, and the author of two books of poetry: I am memory (Dada Books, 2008) and The Birth of Illusion (Fullpoint 2015). Her first collection won the Carlos Idzia Ahmad Prize, First Prize for a first book of Poetry (2009), while her second won the Mother Drum Golden Award for Excellence for poetry. She is the Creative Director of Ibadan Poetry Foundation (IBPF) and is at the FLF this year thanks to the Goethe Institut.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [27] 13h00 The language of poetry

Saturday 14 May: [69] 11h30 Speaking up or writing down

Sunday 15 May: [129] 13h00 Young voices from around the world
 
 

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nullI Am No OnePatrick Flanery is an American writer based in the UK, and the author of the novels Absolution (2012), Fallen Land (2013) and the newly released I Am No One (2016). Absolution won the Spear’s/Laurent Perrier Best First Book Award and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award, and the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger in France, and has been translated into 11 languages.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [26] 13h00 Contemporary issues in fiction

Sunday 15 May: [128] 13h00 Writing from the outside
 
 

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nullGiant StepsRichard Peirce is an environmentalist based in the UK, and the author of a number of books, including The Poacher’s Moon, Sharks in British Seas, Pirates of Devon & Cornwall, Shark Attack Britain and most recently Giant Steps, published by Struik Nature in 2016.

Event:

Saturday 14 May: [65] 11h30 Remembering the elephants
 
 
 
 
 
 

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nullThe Compassionate EnglishwomanRobert Eales is a historian and biographer living in Australia. He was born in Hopetown in the Northern Cape, and has had a long corporate career in Johannesburg, London, San Francisco and now Sydney. His long-standing interest in the Anglo-Boer War has led to numerous talks and papers delivered at history conferences. The Compassionate Englishwoman: Emily Hobhouse in the Anglo-Boer War was first published in Australia, to high acclaim, and locally by UCT Press in late 2015.

Event:

Friday 13 May: [34] 14h30 Emily Hobhouse and the Boer War
 
 

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nullAlmost GraceRosie Rowell is a Young Adult fiction writer, born and raised in Cape Town. She now lives in in West Sussex, UK, but returns to South Africa regularly. Her first novel, Leopold Blue, won the Branford Boase Award in 2015. Almost Grace was published last year. Rowell is currently writing her third novel as part of a PhD at Goldsmiths College, London.

Event:

Friday 13 May: [6] 10h00 Schools: Just imagine!
 
 
 
 

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nullThe Breakbeat PoetsSafia Elhillo us a Sudanese-American poet, who lives in Washington, DC. She is a Cave Canem fellow, and poetry editor of the Kinfolks Quarterly, a journal of black expression. Elhillo was recently announced as the winner of the the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Her work has appeared in several journals and in the anthologies The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Again I Wait for This to Pull Apart.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [27] 13h00 The language of poetry

Saturday 14 May: [59] 10h00 ‘Summarising life’

and [78] 13h00 Is poetry an ‘ingenious nonsense’?

Sunday 15 May: [129] 13h00 Young voices from around the world
 
 

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27 April update: With regret, Sara Baume has had to withdraw from the festival for family reasons.

nullSpill Simmer Falter WitherSara Baume is a fiction writer from Ireland. In 2014 she won the Davy Byrne’s Short Story Award, and in 2015, the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, the Rooney Prize for Literature and an Irish Book Award for Best Newcomer. Her debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither (2015), was longlisted for the Warwick Prize for Writing and the Guardian First Book Award, and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. She is at the FLF with the support of Culture Ireland.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [33] 14h30 The reader within

Saturday 14 May: [54] 10h00 ‘This is how it was…’

and [95] 16h00 Creative writing techniques

Sunday 15 May: [104] 10h00 First books
 
 

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nullThe Seed CollectorsScarlett Thomas is a fiction writer from the UK. She is the author of a number of novels, including Bright Young Things, PopCo, The End of Mr Y, which was longlisted for the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, and Our Tragic Universe. Her most recent book, The Seed Collectors, was published in 2015. She teaches creative writing at the University of Kent.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [1] 10h00 Schools: What’s so great about speculative fiction?

and [42] 16h00 From first lines to last

Saturday 14 May: [83] 14h30 Seeds of the imagination

Sunday 15 May: [125] 13h00 Sex on the page
 
 

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nullThe Looting MachineTom Burgis is a financial journalist and investigations correspondent at the Financial Times, based in London. Previously, he was the paper’s Lagos and Johannesburg correspondent. His book The Looting Machine: Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa’s Wealth was published in 2015, with The New York Times calling it a “brave, defiant book”. In 2015, Burgis won top prize for investigative reporting at the Society of Publishers in Asia awards and was shortlisted for the European Press Prize.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [40] 16h00 What is business as usual in Africa?

Saturday 14 May: [62] 11h30 What is China doing in Africa?

and [91] 16h00 The reporting business
 
 

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nullFordsburg FighterAmin Cajee, based in London, is the author of a new memoir: Fordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteer, published locally by Cover2Cover. Cajee was an early recruit into Umkhonto we Sizwe; in fact he and his friend, Omar Bhamjee, were probably the first “Indians” sent for military training abroad. What was supposed to be a six-month exercise turned into a seven-year odyssey and Cajee left the ANC camps disillusioned to become a refugee in Kenya, Belgium and then Britain.

Event:

Saturday 14 May: [82] 14h30 Life in exile
 
 
 

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nullKarkloof BlueCharlotte Otter is a South African crime writer based in Germany. A former crime reporter, she now works in IT communications and writes books. Her first novel, Balthasar’s Gift, was published in Germany by Ariadne Verlag in 2013 and in South Africa by Modjaji Books in 2014. Her second, Karkloof Blue, was published by Ariadne in 2015 and will be available in South Africa in 2016.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [36] 14h30 Crime procedural

Saturday 14 May: [83] 14h30 Seeds of the imagination
 
 
 
 

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nullJimfishChristopher Hope is the founding director of the FLF, now based in France. His books include Kruger’s Alp, White Boy Running and most recently Jimfish. His libretto about the life of Nat Nakasa, A Distant Drum, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2014.

Events:

Friday 13 May: [9] 10h00 A Distant Drum (1)

and [41] 16h00 Witnessing history

Saturday 14 May: [76] 13h00 Ten years of the FLF (free event, booking required)

and [98] 16h00 A Distant Drum (2)

Sunday 15 May: [110] 10h00 A Distant Drum (3)

and [127] 13h00 Breaking the barrier
 
 

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nullWinnie the Witch: Stories, Music, and Magic!Korky Paul is the illustrator of the multi-million selling Winnie the Witch children’s books, which won the Children’s Book Award in 1987. He was born in Zimbabwe, studied Fine Art at the Durban Art School, Film Animation at CalArts, California and now lives in UK. Paul has sold more than 7-million books worldwide in over 30 languages.

Event:

Friday 13 May: [3] 10h00 Schools: Learn to draw like Korky Paul
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Images courtesy of FLF

Book details

  • The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop edited by Kevin Coval, Nate Marshall, Quraysh Ali Lansana
    EAN: 9781608463954
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Winners of the 2015 Arts Journalism Awards Announced

Tony Lankester (NAF), Michelle Constant (BASA), Lwandile Fikeni and Gwen Ansell (head judge)
 
The winners of the 2015 Arts Journalism Awards were announced today in Johannesburg.

Lwandile Fikeni was awarded the overall Arts Journalist of the Year Award, as well as a silver award in the “Reviews” category and a gold in “Features”.

Broadcaster and writer Nigel Vermaas was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his “commitment to covering music of all genres and to mentoring the next generation of arts journalists”.

The winners list includes 10 gold and 23 silver awards for individual journalists, as well as one gold and three silver awards to media organisations.

Michele Magwood of the Sunday Times, who hosts the Magwood on Books Podcast on Books LIVE, won a silver award in the Reviews category.

Books LIVE editor Jennifer Malec won a gold award in the News category for her coverage of the “white literary system” debate that dominated the Franschhoek Literary Festival and South African books scene at large this year, specifically for the piece “‘Look at Yourselves – It’s Very Abnormal’: Thando Mgqolozana Quits South Africa’s ‘White Literary System’”, which convenor of judges Gwen Ansell called “one of the best pieces of online journalism I’ve ever seen”.

Press release

The National Arts Festival and Business and Arts South Africa announced the winners of the 2015 Arts Journalism Awards in Johannesburg today, naming freelance writer Lwandile Fikeni overall Arts Journalist of the Year.

The winners list includes 10 gold and 23 silver awards made to individual journalists, and a gold and three silver awards to media organisations for their nurturing of arts journalism. Additionally, a Lifetime Achievement Award was given to broadcaster and writer Nigel Vermaas, citing his “commitment to covering music of all genres and to mentoring the next generation of arts journalists”.

Fikeni was given a silver award in the “Reviews” category and a gold in “Features”, with the overall award coming his way on the basis of his versatility, and his ability to write “exceptionally well” for different audiences across a range of publications.

Commenting on the entries received, convener of the judging panel Gwen Ansell said: “The range of writers, and the depth and commitment of the content, has been impressive. In a time when newsrooms are faced with shrinking resources, it’s been encouraging to see how some newsrooms still make the effort to source original, high-quality arts writing. In addition, we’re increasingly seeing relevant issues being raised by distinctive individual voices on blogs and websites.”

Among the websites and blogs awarded this year, were The Con, Africa Is A Country, Litnet, The Critter and Books LIVE. City Press was given the overall Gold Media Organisation Award, the prize for which is a scholarship for one of their journalists to take part in the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) Arts Journalism Course in early 2016. Other traditional publications such as Mail & Guardian and Sunday Times also dominated the final winners list.

More than 100 entries were received for the Awards, a “significant” increase on previous years, a figure that was described by the National Arts Festival as conveners of the Awards as “heartening”.

“As always, the largest numbers of entries were in the review and feature categories. But we have seen distinct growth this year in entries tackling hard news about the arts and creative industries and their debates & dilemmas. I hope that next year we’ll see a similar increase in entries from broadcasters and photographers: our smallest categories,” Ansell said.

The National Arts Festival and Business and Arts South Africa conceptualised and launched the Awards in 2013 to acknowledge some of the excellent work being done by arts journalists in newsrooms across the country.

“Journalists help us contextualise, understand, reflect on and make sense of the work of our artists and of the industry as a whole,” Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester said. “We need strong journalism to be recognised as something that underpins and gives meaning to what we do – through these awards we want to acknowledge those journalists who critically engage with the sector and not just who act as praise singers. Although giving praise where it is due is also welcomed!” he said.

Business and Arts South Africa, who have been funding the award since its inception, agree that the narrative of the arts sector, as it is portrayed in the media, is a critical part of the arts landscape. “Good arts journalism is a supporter and driver of narrative and of storytelling. BASA believes implicitly in this storytelling, in order to deepen and continuously interrogate the role and value of the arts in society,” BASA CEO Michelle Constant said.

The complete list of winners is as follows:

BASA/National Arts Festival South African
Arts Journalism Awards 2014/5
Final list of winners

CATEGORY: REVIEWS
Gold Winners

(Name, Publication)
Edward Tsumele, Assorted
Siya Ngcobo, Cue
Steve Kretzmann, The Critter

Silver Winners
Ang Lloyd, Cape Times
Lwandile Fikeni, M&G
Maryke Roberts, Litnet
Michelle Magwood, Sunday Times
Nick Mulgrew, Assorted incl. M&G, Cue
Nigel Vermaas, Cue
Roger Young, City Press
Sindi‐Leigh McBride, Africa Is A Country
Thabo Jijana, The New Age

CATEGORY: NEWS
Gold Winners

(Name, Publication)
Garreth Van Niekerk, City Press
Jennifer Malec, Books LIVE

Silver Winners
Patience Bambalele, Sowetan
Sue Blaine, Business Day

CATEGORY: FEATURES
Gold Winners

(Name, Publication)
Grethe Koen, City Press
Lloyd Gedye, The Con
Lwandile Fikeni, City Press

Silver Winners
Ashraf Jamal, Art Africa
Athi Mongezeleli Joja, M&G
Christiaan J De Swardt, Vrouekeur
Gugulethu Mhlungu, City Press
Sipesihle Mthembu, M&G
Stefanie Jason, M&G
Sue de Groot, Sunday Times Lifestyle
Tymon Smith, Sunday Times Lifestyle

CATEGORY: SOUNDS/BROADCAST
Gold Winners

(Name, Publication)
Nigel Vermaas, Assorted

Silver Winners
Jessica Mulder, ENCA
Lerato Thipa, SABC

CATEGORY: STILL PHOTOGRAPHY
Gold Winners

(Name, Publication)
Betram Malgas, Netwerk24

Silver Winners
Madelene Cronje, M&G
Moeletsi Mabe, TMG/The Times

CATEGORY: ORGANISATIONAL AWARD
Gold Winners

(Publication)
City Press

Silver Winners

Art Africa
CueTube
Mail & Guardian

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Nigel Vermaas

ARTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Lwandile Fikeni (City Press)

Judging Panel 2015:
Gwen Ansell (Convenor)
Andrew Tshabangu
Sean O’Toole
Darryl Accone
Robyn Sassen
Rafs Mayet
Percy Mabandu
Jayne Morgan


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RIP Mark Behr (1963 – 2015)

Mark Behr
The Smell of ApplesEmbraceKings of the Water

 
Author Mark Behr has passed away in Johannesburg, at the age of 52, reportedly of a heart attack.

Behr was born in Tanzania in 1963, and grew up in South Africa. His first published novel, The Smell of Apples (1995), appeared first in Afrikaans in 1993 as Die Reuk van Appels, winning the Eugène Marais Prize, the M-Net Award, the CNA Literary Debut Award and The Art Seidenbaum Award from the Los Angeles Times.

The success of the novel compelled Behr to speak publicly about his history as a campus spy for the South African security establishment. In 1996, at a writer’s conference in Cape Town titled “Fault Lines – Inquiries Around Truth and Reconciliation”, he addressed what he called his “betrayal”.

At the Franschhoek Literary Festival in 2010, Behr spoke to Victor Dlamini about what letting go of secrecy meant to him. “Being a spy/informer/betrayer and closeted gay man impacted on my day-to-day life, my relationships with my family and friends and on my writing,” he said, adding that once he had made his secrets public, he could let go of self-loathing and restrictions on his creativity. Behr said he had received unqualified reconciliation from everyone he betrayed: “I answered every question that they wanted to ask me. I allowed them to challenge me and I allowed their suspicion.”

Behr’s second novel, Embrace (2000) was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the Encore Award in the United Kingdom. His third, Kings of the Water, was published in 2009.

Behr did his undergraduate and honours degrees at Stellenbosch University in the late 1980s, and three MA degrees at University of Notre Dame in the United States, finishing the last in 2000. He worked at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, and at the time of his death was Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee.

Book details


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