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Archive for the ‘Franschhoek Literary Festival’ Category

A fun and fiery fest featuring local and global authors alike – Kate Sidley gives us a sneak peek into FLF 2018…

Published in the Sunday Times

Across the land, writers are rummaging through their wardrobes, looking for a jacket. Because this time next week they’ll be shedding their coffee-stained hoodies, blinking into the sun, and heading to show their wares — books and brains — at the Franschhoek Literary Festival brought to you by Porcupine Ridge and Sunday Times.

Now in its 12th year, FLF is South Africa’s biggest get-together of writers and readers. There are more than 123 events, featuring over 200 writers. And it takes place in one of the prettiest, winiest, foodiest spots in the country. So what can you expect from this year?

It’s going to be fiery

Festival director Shelagh Foster says the nonfiction panels will push people’s buttons. “We’ll be talking about politics and leadership, climate change and drought, feminism. There’s a sense of urgency and impatience, of strong voices and new ideas.” Some top picks: Jacques Rousseau’s session on the scourge of institutional patriarchy and corruption with Prince Mashele, Pallo Jordan, and Ronnie Kasrils; and Richard Poplak discusses the riotous politics of our nation with General Bantu Holomisa and journalist Eric Naki.

It’s going to be fun

Pops Mohamed and Dave Reynolds will be telling magical stories through their music using steelpans, a 10-string harp guitar and African instruments.

It’s going to be global

Foster says that there are more overseas authors this year than ever. The mega popular Kate Mosse and Kate Furnivall are both in the lineup with new historical novels guaranteed to delight your book club. British spy writer Mick Herron — described as “between John Le Carré and Ian Fleming” — and Gregg Hurwitz, author of the Orphan X series.

Our faves will be there

Homegrown crowd-pleasers Redi Tlhabi, Jacques Pauw, Sisonke Msimang, Glynnis Breytenbach, Mandy Wiener, Niq Mhlongo, Deon Meyer, the list goes on, will all be at FLF.

You can write too!

Writers talk about their process. I’ll be talking to international authors Kate Mosse, Orly Castel-Bloom and Maya Fowler about what it actually takes to write for a living. There are workshops on writing for stage and screen with Vaya director Akin Omotoso and others; poetry-writing with Karin Schimke and Jolyn Phillips; essay writing with Hedley Twidle; writing for social media with Gus Silber; and memoir writing with Dianne Stewart.

There will be hidden gems

Stories of coelacanths and lions. Moving personal stories, like the man who was told he would never walk again, but fulfilled his dream of finishing the Dakar Rally. Stories of adoption, and surviving cancer and abuse and heartache. Stories of overcoming. Stories that stay with you.


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Two weeks until FLF 2018!

And the countdown continues!

The quaint Western Cape town of Franschhoek will be accommodating South Africa’s literary greats and bibliophiles alike from 18 – 20 May.

This annual literary festival’s 2018 line-up includes discussions ranging from the André P Brink memorial wherein Elinor Sisulu will focus on the life and times of Ahmed Kathrada, with an introduction by Karina Szczurek (The Fifth Mrs Brink); a panel discussion on what feminism looks like in 2018, featuring discussants Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning), Jen Thorpe (Feminism Is), Helen Moffett (Feminism Is) and social commentator and public speaker Tshegofatso Senne; and Jacques Pauw (The President’s Keepers) and Jan-Jan Joubert (Who Will Rule in 2019?) deliberating whether there’s a ‘recipe’ for an ideal South African president with international relations scholar Oscar van Heerden.

And that’s just day one!

Find the full programme here.

The Fifth Mrs Brink

Book details
The Fifth Mrs Brink by Karina Szczurek
EAN: 9781868428038
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The Yearning

The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo
Book homepage
EAN: 9781770104839
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Feminism Is

Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth edited by Jen Thorpe
EAN: 9780795708275
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The President's Keeper

The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison by Jacques Pauw
EAN: 9780624083030
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Who Will Rule in 2019?

Who Will Rule in 2019? by Jan-Jan Joubert
EAN: 9781868428700
Find this book with BOOK Finder!


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Three weeks until FLF 2018!

And the countdown begins!

In little over three weeks (18 – 20 May) the quaint Western Cape town of Franschhoek will be accommodating South Africa’s literary greats and bibliophiles alike.

This annual literary festival’s 2018 line-up includes discussions ranging from the André P Brink memorial wherein Elinor Sisulu will focus on the life and times of Ahmed Kathrada, with an introduction by Karina Szczurek (The Fifth Mrs Brink); a panel discussion on what feminism looks like in 2018, featuring discussants Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning), Jen Thorpe (Feminism Is), Helen Moffett (Feminism Is) and social commentator and public speaker Tshegofatso Senne; and Jacques Pauw (The President’s Keepers) and Jan-Jan Joubert (Who Will Rule in 2019?) deliberating whether there’s a ‘recipe’ for an ideal South African president with international relations scholar Oscar van Heerden.

And that’s just day one!

Find the full programme here.

The Fifth Mrs Brink

Book details

 
 
The Yearning

 
 
 
Feminism Is

 
 
 
 
The President's Keeper

 
 
 
 
Who Will Rule in 2019?


» read article

Programme for the 2018 Franschhoek Literary Festival announced!

The quaint Western Cape town of Franschhoek will be accommodating South Africa’s literary greats from Friday 18 May to Sunday 20 May.

This annual literary festival’s 2018 line-up includes discussions ranging from the André P Brink memorial wherein Elinor Sisulu will focus on the life and times of Ahmed Kathrada, with an introduction by Karina Szczurek (The Fifth Mrs Brink); a panel discussion on what feminism looks like in 2018, featuring discussants Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning), Jen Thorpe (Feminism Is), Helen Moffett (Feminism Is) and social commentator and public speaker Tshegofatso Senne; and Jacques Pauw (The President’s Keepers) and Jan-Jan Joubert (Who Will Rule in 2019?) deliberating whether there’s a ‘recipe’ for an ideal South African president with international relations scholar Oscar van Heerden.

And that’s just day one!

Find the full programme here.

The Fifth Mrs Brink

Book details

 
 
The Yearning

 
 
 
Feminism Is

 
 
 
 
The President's Keeper

 
 
 
 
Who Will Rule in 2019?


» read article

Quality education begins at home: read Jenny Hobbs’s advice on fixing South Africa’s literacy crisis

“Education is the new weapon in the liberation struggle, and our youth must arm themselves with books.”
Adelaide Tambo

 

The literacy crisis among South Africa’s youth is worse than expected. It was recently announced that eight out of 10 grade four pupils still cannot ‘read at appropriate level’. Dr Nic Spaull of Sellenbosch University is quoted saying that an inability to read properly means ‘many pupils never get a firm grasp on the first rung of the academic ladder and fall further and further behind.’

Co-creator and former managing director of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (and author!), Jenny Hobbs, composed the following piece on the necessity of nurturing a love of reading among children, including helpful tips on encouraging a reading culture in South Africa:

Here’s the important thing about quality education: it starts with you, parents and caregivers, from the time babies are born. Talking and singing to them, giving them words and songs and stories, is the best way to ensure that they learn to talk and read confidently. These are the building blocks of education and success in life.

• Parents, gogos, caregivers and child minders: talk and sing often to babies and toddlers, passing on the magic of spoken words and singing.
• Speak from the beginning in your mother tongues, adding words and songs from other languages (especially English) as they grow. Languages are easily picked up by small kids and you will be giving them invaluable free skills.
• As soon as they can sit on your lap, tell them stories and read to them from books, magazines or catalogues, letting them turn the pages – however clumsily! – to discover the excitements on the next page.
• Encourage them to talk, chat and tell their own stories. Teach them the songs you sang and the games you played, family history and traditions. Children who own many words talk easily with friends and adults.
• Take them as young as you can to libraries to enjoy exciting, different books and choose some to bring home. Municipal and community libraries are free, and librarians are always ready to help with advice.
• Give children books as presents. Ask at the library for the late, great Chris van Wyk’s Ouma Ruby’s Secret, which tells the story of how his loving grandma bought him books in second-hand shops, always asking him to choose and then read them out loud to her. He only realised when he grew older that she couldn’t read – like so many elders who were denied education.

• Seeing parents read newspapers and books is inspiring for children. Keep books in your home and make reading a cool thing to do.
• All reading is good reading. Look for book sales and street vendors selling comics and well-priced picture and story books. Visit a library to access the online South African book sites for children and teens.
• Enrol children as soon as possible in early learning centres to expose them to new skills and the first formal steps to reading.
• Fight harder and more fiercely for schools with libraries that actively promote reading and a culture of independent learning.

Note: The government mandates weekly library lessons in schools which all receive library allocations, but random bookshelves are not enough. Libraries need assistants to help readers and control the books. For more information, see the downloadable school library booklet at http://www.flf.co.za/schools/.

• Link older children and teens with the FunDza Literacy Trust for daily reading on their cellphones.
• Readers should recommend books they’ve enjoyed and circulate personal libraries in their communities. Record who has borrowed each book by taking a cellphone photo with them holding it.

Surely it’s time for VAT on books to be abolished – it’s a tax on learning!

Online sites for South African children’s & young adult books:

Biblionef: http://biblionefsa.org.za/
Book Dash: http://bookdash.org/
Children’s Book Network: www.childrensbook.co.za
Fundza: www.fundza.co.za
Nal’ibali: http://nalibali.org/
Wordworks: http://www.wordworks.org.za/

11-year-old Lindiwe Makhoba from Mangaung, Bloemfontein, the 2017 winner of Nal’ibali’s annual Story Bosso contest

 

Quotes about reading to live by:

It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller will never die in Africa, that all children in the world may experience the wonder of books, and that they will never lose the capacity to enlarge their earthly dwelling place with the magic of stories. – Nelson Mandela

The key to a healthy society is a thriving community of storytellers. Stories are what really make us human. – Franco Sacchi

Reading books at home is an important part of the early development of children during which they confront in a pleasurable activity those human passions of love and hate, of ambition and desire, of change and hope. – Jonathan Jansen

If we want to break down barriers between ourselves across race, linguistic and cultural lines, we must promote reading. Fiction forces you to live in other people’s worlds. It develops our empathetic capacities … it can and does help to build bridges. Reading will help us to humanise each other. In a time of violence, we must spread the word about the power of books to make South African life a little easier. – Eusebius McKaiser

A book can change your life. You can read yourself out of poverty. – Annari van der Merwe

Books not only change the mind, they can change the course of society. – Jonathan Jansen

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture – just get people to stop reading them. – Ray Bradbury


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Franschhoek Literary Festival 2017: the podcasts

The quaint Western Cape town of Franschhoek recently played host to the country’s literary greats for the eleventh annual Franschhoek Literary Festival.

In between dashing from shady spot to shady spot, consuming copious amounts of Porcupine Ridge wine and buying books, festival-goers attended panel discussions with a vast range of topics. If you couldn’t make it this year, or happened to miss a discussion, we’ve got you covered.

Click here to listen to the recordings of the 2017 discussions.

(To those of us who were there – do you now get why we had to turn our phones off…)

From victim to survivor (Old School Hall): Michelle Hattingh (I’m the Girl Who Was Raped) uncovers stories of courage, faith and perseverance in the face of opposition and adversity as told by Grizelda Grootboom (Exit), Lindiwe Hani (Being Chris Hani’s Daughter) and Shamim Meer (Memories of Love and Struggle).)

 

How powerful are Constitutions? (New School Hall): Tembeka Ngcukaitobi speaks to three human rights advocates – former Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs, author Deborah Lipstadt and author and professor of law at University College London Philippe Sands – about the role of a country’s constitution in protecting human rights.

 

Rattling the cage of discrimination (Old School Hall): Sifiso Ndlovu (The Thabo Mbeki I Know), Anastacia Tomson (Always Anastacia), Griffin Shea and Marianne Thamm (Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and Me) interrogate the systems that divide South Africans, and how we can dismantle them.

 

Crossing the arts (Elephant & Barrel): ‘Polyartists’ Carol Mashigo (actor/writer), Rian Malan (writer/musician) and Sam Wilson (film producer /writer) tell Africa Melane about the crossover between their various artistic lives and what they mean to them.

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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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