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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The Local Books to Look Forward to in 2015 (July – December)

The Local Books to Look Forward to in 2015 (July – Dec)

 
The second half of the year is well underway, so take a look at what lies in store, books-wise, until December.

Fiction fans have a lot to look forward to, with new novels from Fiona Snyckers, Deon Meyer, Wilbur Smith, Kathryn White, Alexander McCall Smith, Justin Cartwright and Zakes Mda, as well as eagerly anticipated second novels from Claire Robertson and HJ Golakai.

Fans of speculative fiction should look out for Tracer, the debut novel from Rob Boffard, and the new SL Grey, Under Ground.

There’s also quite a lot happening on the poetry front, with a new collection from Lesego Rampolokeng and the launch of the uHlanga New Poets series, starting with collections by Genna Gardini and Thabo Jijana.

Herman Mashaba’s Capitalist Crusader, the follow-up to his bestselling Black Like You, is out in August, and there are exciting new books by Breyten Breytenbach and Moeletsi Mbeki, as well as a collection of never-before-seen letters between André Brink and Ingrid Jonker that is sure to cause some hearts to flutter.

If you think we’ve left something out, feel free to let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Take a look at equivalent story from earlier this year to see if there was anything you missed:

 
 

Note: Covers are subject to change, and information was provided by the publishers
 
 

JULY

The Unknown Van GoghThe Unknown Van Gogh, by Chris Schoeman
Zebra Press
Non-fiction

Much has been written about Vincent van Gogh and his tempestuous relationship with his brother Theo. But few people know that there was a third Van Gogh brother, Cornelis, who was raised in the Netherlands, but worked, married and died in South Africa.

Chris Schoeman’s biography of Cor van Gogh recreates South Africa in the last decade of the nineteenth century, tells the personal story of this young uitlander, as revealed in his letters, and describes his relationship with his famous brother Vincent. With new insights based on original research, this book is an important addition to South African and world history.

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Incredible JourneyIncredible Journey: Stories that Move You edited by Joanne Hichens
Jacana Media/Burnet Media
Fiction (Short Stories)

The new Short.Sharp.Stories anthology, Incredible Journey, is out now – containing the winning short stories from this year’s Short.Sharp.Stories competition, which were announced in July.

Two Dogs/Mercury will be doing a series of interviews with the winning authors on Books LIVE – check out the first, with Andrew Salomon, here!

As the only regular collection of short fiction writing in South Africa, the Short.Sharp.Stories initiative, published in conjunction with the National Arts Festival, is playing an increasingly important role in the nurturing and development of South African writing talent. Bloody Satisfied and Adults Only were both positively reviewed, and have given widespread exposure to more than 40 local authors.

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HomeHome. Food from My Kitchen, by Sarah Graham
Struik Lifestyle
Non-fiction

Building on the success of her two previous books, and in support of her TV series, Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, Home. Food from My Kitchen encapsulates cooking throughout southern Africa.

Within the standard cookbook format of Brunch, Salads, Soups, Snacks, Meat, Poultry, Pasta, Seafood, Desserts and Baking, Sarah Graham presents food that is simple but beautiful, delicious and healthy.

TracerTracer, by Rob Boffard
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

Rob Boffard is a South African journalist and author who slits his time between London, Vancouver and Johannesburg. Tracer is his first novel.

Sarah Lotz calls Tracer “fast, exhilarating and unforgettable”.

Our planet is in ruins. Three hundred miles above its scarred surface orbits Outer Earth: a space station with a million souls on board. They are all that remains of the human race.

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nullPappa in Doubt, by Anton Kannemeyer
Jacana Media
Art

With Pappa in Doubt, Anton Kannemeyer returns to the fertile land that he explored to brilliant satiric effect in Pappa in Afrika (2010). Once again parodying Herge’s Tintin in the Congo (1931), Kannemeyer exposes the contradictions and paradoxes of life in the postcolony.

The artist is as provocative as he is playful, and does not spare himself the relentless, humorous scrutiny to which he subjects politicians, despots and his neighbours in the leafy suburbs.

Kannemeyer and Conrad Botes founded Bitterkomix as students at Stellenbosch University.

Under GroundUnder Ground, by SL Grey
Pan Macmillan
Fiction

Under Ground is the new high-concept thriller from the combined talents of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg.

A global outbreak of a virus sends society spinning out of control. But a small group of people have been preparing for a day like this. Grabbing only the essentials, they head to The Sanctum, a luxury self-sustaining underground survival facility where they’ll shut themselves away and wait for the apocalypse to pass.

But when a body is discovered, they realise that the greatest threat to their survival may be trapped in The Sanctum with them.

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A Death in the FamilyA Death in the Family, by Michael Stanley
Fiction

The latest Detective Kubu crime novel from Michael Stanley, A Death in the Family is a must read.

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, both South Africans by birth. Both have worked in academia and business, Sears in South Africa and Trollip in the USA. Their love of watching the wildlife of the African subcontinent has taken them on a number of flying safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe. On one such trip, they had the idea for their first novel, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective Kubu. Kubu has now featured in five novels and a short-story collection.

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AUGUST

Homeless WanderersHomeless Wanderers: Movement and mental illness in the Cape Colony in the nineteenth century by Sally Swartz
UCT Press
Non-fiction

Lunatic asylums in the colonies in the nineteenth century mirrored those of “home”, in Britain. But in a European settler context, the administration and policies of the asylums, and the treatment of their patients, took on many different nuances.

There was a complex interface between lunacy legislation, colonial government, families and communities, and the ways in which these elements affected individuals’ experiences of treatment before and after committal to a lunatic asylum. Homeless Wanderers breaks new ground in tracing the route of people thought to be “of unsound mind” from their homes and families to eventual committal to a lunatic asylum in the Cape Colony in the late nineteenth century.

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nullA Half Century Thing by Lesego Rampolokeng
Black Ghost Books
Poetry

Lesego Rampolokeng will be launching his eighth collection of poetry, A Half Century Thing, on Saturday, 1 August, as he celebrates his 50th birthday.

The publication comes 25 years after his debut, Horns for Hondo. His most recent collection is Head on Fire: Rants / Notes / Poems 2001-2011.

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Hour of DarknessHour of Darkness, by Michéle Rowe
Penguin Books
Fiction

A page-turner from one of South Africa’s exciting new crime novelists. Readers familiar with Michéle Rowe’s exhilarating plot twists and authentic South African characters will love her latest spine-chilling thriller.

Hour of Darkness sees the return of Rowe’s popular Detective Percy Jonas, who has to investigate a series of child abductions that evoke her own childhood abandonment.

What Hidden Lies, Rowe’s first crime novel, won the 2011 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award.

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The Seed ThiefThe Seed Thief, by Jacqui L’Ange
Umuzi
Fiction

The debut novel from Jacqui L’Ange, The Seed Thief is an entrancing and richly imagined modern love story with an ancient history, a tale that moves from flora of Table Mountain to the heart of Afro-Brazilian spiritualism.

L’Ange was born in Durban and grew up across five continents. She has worked in advertising, television, film, and multimedia over the past 20 years, and has a MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. She is also the author of the children’s book Miss Helen’s Magical World.

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Signs for an ExhibitionSigns for an Exhibition by Eliza Kentridge
Modjaji Books
Poetry

Eliza Kentridge’s poems are autobiographical. She was born in Johannesburg shortly after her father defended Nelson Mandela in the Treason Trial. She was a teenager when he represented Steve Biko’s family at his inquest. In her twenties, at the height of apartheid, she left South Africa for England. Against this dramatic backdrop, her focus is quieted, small and interior. With her mother now afflicted by a serious neurological illness, she writes about family, love and place, as a woman who vividly recalls her girlhood self, gently and almost incidentally approaching one of the biggest questions: how does one live a life?

Real Food - Healthy, Happy ChildrenReal Food – Healthy, Happy Children by Kath Megaw, Daisy Jones, Phillippa Cheifitz and Jane-Anne Hobbs
Quivertree
Non-fiction

Sustained energy? Check. Reduced sugar cravings? Check. Improved concentration? Check.

Check-marks, too, for: increased health and vitality, enhanced athletic performance, longer and deeper sleep, improved digestion, strategies for fussy eaters, and helping your child reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

All these topics are addressed by South Africa’s leading paediatric dietician Kath Megaw in Real Food – Healthy, Happy Children, Co-written with Daisy Jones, Phillippa Cheifitz and Jane-Anne Hobbs. Set to be released in August this year, the book offers a low-carb solution for the whole family – with recipes for moms, dads and kids of all ages.

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nullThe Low-Carb Solution for Diabetics, by Vickie de Beer and Kath Megaw
Quivertree
Non-fiction

A book that marries science with good sentiment, strategies with real solutions, The Low-Carb Solution for Diabetics is an invaluable guide to understanding and practically managing Type-1 diabetes.

Beyond the science of diabetes and the advice of both Vickie and Kath lies a fantastic low-carb cookbook with meals that the whole family can enjoy.

Focusing on a move to healthy, natural food shared in a loving family environment, The Low-Carb Solution for Diabetics is an inspiration. It’s not about what’s ‘allowed’, it’s about what’s healthy – for diabetic children and their families.

Capitalist CrusaderCapitalist Crusader: Fighting Poverty Through Economic Growth by Herman Mashaba and Isabella Morris
Bookstorm
Non-fiction

The much anticipated follow-up to Herman Mashaba’s bestselling Black Like You, in which self-made entrepreneur Herman Mashaba outlines his crusade for economic freedom for all South Africans.

Mashaba suggests concrete macroeconomic solutions to South Africa’s poverty crisis, deftly combining biography, politics and business.

nullDeliberate Concealment: An Insider’s Account of Cricket South Africa
and the IPL Bonus Saga
, Mtutuzeli Nyoka

Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

In 2008, Mtutuzeli Nyoka was appointed as the President of Cricket South Africa (CSA), a position he held until October 2011 when, after a protracted battle with the CSA board, he was dismissed.

In Deliberate Concealment, Nyoka shares his behind-the-scenes experiences and personal journey as events unfolded, including his own mistakes, the repercussions of the scandal on the game of cricket in South Africa, and his fight for the truth to prevail.

The Democratic Republic of BraaiThe Democratic Republic of Braai by Jan Braai
Bookstorm
Non-fiction

Over 60 000 Jan Braai books have been sold – from South Africa to the USA and the Czech Republic! Jan Braai is a South African phenomenon – he started Braai Day in 2005 and the day has grown from strength to strength.

It is your democratic right to gather with friends and family around braai fires throughout the country and celebrate with a meal cooked over the coals of a real wood fire. This is the promise of Jan Braai’s Democratic Republic of Braai.

Raising SuperheroesRaising Superheroes, by Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot and Bridget Surtees
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

Jacana Media will be distributing the latest book published by the Real Meal Team. Raising Superheroes, by Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot and Bridget Surtees will revolutionise the way you feed your kids.

The Real Meal Revolution was all about taking on the global obesity epidemic with a revolutionary approach to eating; it challenged ingrained beliefs, it sold (and still sells) in record-breaking numbers throughout South Africa, and it changed people’s lives.

With Raising Superheroes the authors have now set out to revolutionise the way we feed our children. It’s time, they believe, to challenge the kids’ food industry and our old assumptions; it’s time to give our children the best nutrition possible, and the best start in life.

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Rape UnresolvedRape Unresolved: Policing sexual offences in South Africa by Dee Smythe
UCT Press
Non-fiction

More than 1 000 women are raped in South Africa every day. Around 150 of those women will report the crime to the police. Fewer than 30 of the cases will be prosecuted and no more than 10 will result in a conviction.

Rape Unresolved is concerned with the question of police discretion and how its exercise shapes the criminal justice response to rape in South Africa.

Agent 407Agent 407: A South African Spy Tells Her Story, by Olivia Forsyth
Jonathan Ball
Non-fiction

Olivia Forsyth was a Lieutenant in the South Africa Security Police in the 1980s. She spent four years at Rhodes University where she infiltrated various anti-apartheid organisations.

Having reached the end of her studies, she turned her attention to the ANC in exile. But what should have been her greatest triumph as a spy turned into disaster when the ANC threw her into Quatro, the notorious internment camp in Angola.

Here, for the first time, South Africa’s most notorious apartheid spy lays bare the story of her remarkable life.

IcarusIcarus, by Deon Meyer
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

The new novel from South Africa’s leading crime writer, featuring his much loved detective Benny Griessel.

After 602 days dry, Captain Benny Griessel of the South African police services can’t take any more tragedy. So when he is called in to investigate a multiple homicide, it pushes him close to breaking point – a former friend and detective colleague has shot his wife and two daughters, then killed himself. Benny wants out – out of his job, his home and his relationship with his singer girlfriend, Alexa. He moves into a hotel and starts drinking. Again.

nullDagga: A Short History, by Hazel Crampton
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

This book is not intended as a comprehensive take on dagga, aka cannabis, marijuana, bhanga, ganga, pot, zol, weed, etc., but as a conversation piece. It is, as a pocket book, simply a brief overview. Its hope is to provide a background to dagga in South Africa and, by putting all the dope into one joint, so to speak, ignite debate on emerging issues such as licensing, legalisation and taxation.

Hazel Crampton is the author of The Sunburnt Queen (2004) and The Side of the Sun at Noon (2014), and was coeditor of Into the Hitherto Unknown: Ensign Beutler’s Expedition to the Eastern Cape, 1752 (2013).

nullRape – A South African Nightmare, by Pumla Dineo Gqola
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

South Africa has a complex relationship with rape. Pumla Dineo Gqola unpacks this relationship by paying attention to patterns and trends of rape, asking what we can learn from famous cases and why South Africa is losing the battle against rape.

Gqola looks at the 2006 rape trial of Jacob Zuma and what transpired in the trial itself, as well as trying to make sense of public responses to it. She interrogates feminist responses to the Anene Booysen case, among other high profile cases of gender-based violence.

This is a conclusive book about rape in South Africa, illuminating aspects of the problem and contributing to shifting the conversation forward.

nullThe Black Sash, by Mary Burton
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

This is the story of a remarkable organisation of white South African women who carved out a unique role for themselves in opposing the injustices of apartheid and working towards a free and democratic country.

It is written by Mary Burton, herself national president of the Black Sash for many years and, later, one of the Truth and Reconciliation commissioners.

nullThe Refined Player: Sex, Lies and Dates, by Stevel Marc
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

The Refined Player: Sex, Lies and Dates is the first publication under Jacana’s exciting new imprint, BlackBird Books.

The book not only helps men to understand their role in relationships, but it also inspires women to be empowered and to expect and demand better from their men.

Stevel shows us that it is possible to have those difficult conversations about money, sex, honesty and trust. With Stevel’s help you can transition from singlehood into a meaningful relationship.

Lusaka Punk and Other StoriesLusaka Punk and Other Stories
Jacana Media
Fiction (Short Stories)

Now entering its 16th year, the Caine Prize is Africa’s leading literary prize, and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere.

This collection brings together the five 2015 shortlisted stories, along with stories written at the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop, which took place in Ghana in April 2015.

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize for her short story entitled “The Sack” from Africa39 (Bloomsbury, London, 2014).

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Stoked!Stoked! by Chris Bertish
Zebra Press
Non-fiction (Biography)

Stoked! is an inspiring true story about courage, determination and the power of dreams. Chris Bertish was a skinny little kid from Cape Town when he started surfing with his brothers. Fiercely driven and constantly pushing his boundaries, Chris was not content with conquering “ordinary” big waves. What began as a personal quest to prove to himself that he was one of the best in the ‘big-wave brotherhood’ culminated a decade later with Chris being crowned South Africa’s first Mavericks BigWave Champion.

With his infectious enthusiasm, Chris tells how he pulled off death-defying antics time and again, overcame overwhelming obstacles and fears, and parried every blow that fate dealt him, all without ever losing faith or focus on his dreams.

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True Blue Superglue by Jenny Hobbs
Umuzi
Fiction

In the 1950s it was important to please your man. As the twentieth century wore on, it became more important to please yourself …

Following the lives of Anne and Doug Perceval, from big-dreaming students to strung-out parents to a couple at the end of their tether, True Blue Superglue is a love story with a sting in its tale that moves from South Africa to swinging London and back home again.

Witty and poignant, Jenny Hobbs’s novel is also a tribute to a life lived as a woman in changing times.

 
 
SEPTEMBER

Tribe, by Rahla Xenopoulos
Umuzi
Fiction

Ibiza, 1997: a period of drug-taking, dancing and hedonism forges an unbreakable bond between six friends, and “the Tribe” is formed. Their dependence on one another deepens as the years pass, but when Jude overdoses and almost dies, his wife, Tselane, makes a decision that breaks up the Tribe.

12 years later, after Jude attempts suicide, the group decides to reunite …

A compelling story of friendship, love and life, Tribe is Rahla Xenopoulos’ third book. She is the author of A Memoir of Love and Madness, her personal account of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the novel Bubbles.

IcarusThe Magistrate of Gower, by Claire Robertson
Umuzi
Fiction

The new novel from Claire Robertson, who won the 2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize for The Spiral House.

When an illicit affair in British Ceylon comes to light in 1902, 17-year-old Boer prisoner-of-war Henry Vos is disgraced. Months before, a short film made his face widely recognisable, but now he is shunned by Boer and Brit alike. Three decades later, Henry is the magistrate of Gower …

Impeccably written and researched, The Magistrate of Gower is a sweeping, exquisitely told story about the courage to choose love over fear.

nullThe Shouting in the Dark, by Elleke Boehmer
Jacana Media
Fiction

Ella is locked in a battle for creative survival with her domineering father, and apartheid South Africa, the troubled country in which he passionately believes. While seeking political refuge in Europe, Ella makes an unexpected discovery that forces her to confront both her father’s war ghosts and the shape of her own future. In the country of his birth, her father, Ella finds, never officially recognised her existence. Boehmer has written a raw, intense and involving story.

“The story, as disturbing as it is enthralling, of a girl’s struggle to emerge from under the dead weight of her father’s oppression while at the same time searching for a secure footing in the moral chaos of South Africa of the apartheid era.” – JM Coetzee

Elleke Boehmer is the author of, among other books, Screens against the Sky (short-listed David Hyam Prize, 1990), Bloodlines (shortlisted SANLAM prize) and an edition of Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys that was a 2004 summer bestseller. Her acclaimed biography of Nelson Mandela (2008) has been translated into Arabic, Malaysian, Thai, Kurdish, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. She is a judge of the Man Booker International Prize 2015 and lives in London.

Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking DangerouslyAnna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously, by Kathryn White
Umuzi
Fiction

Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously is the new novel from Kathryn White, author of Emily Green and Me and Things I Thought I Knew.

Anna Peters has been dumped by her long-term love, Garry, and needs to figure out what to do with her broken heart. Tackling her misery by trying to cook her way back into her beau’s life, she learns a few things …

Witty, irreverent and highly entertaining, with food descriptions will have readers salivating, Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously will appeal to readers of popular fiction and romantic novels as well as aspiring chefs.

nullTwo, by Seline and Leandri van der Wat
Struik Lifestyle
Non-fiction

During the screening of the MasterChef South Africa 2013 series, TV viewers were both fascinated by, and impressed with, the Van der Wat sisters. Since then their foodie careers have taken off, albeit in differing directions.

But in Two, they are back in collaboration to present a really fascinating cookbook concept: taking the same main ingredient and creating two different
dishes from it, or taking a classic recipe and making one for family and casual dining, and the other version to impress for serious entertaining.

Diane AwerbuckHelen MoffettStray, edited by Diane Awerbuck and Helen Moffett
Modjaji Books
Fiction (Short Stories and Poetry)

A collection of stories and poems by mostly well-known South African writers. Some of the pieces have been previously published, and others are new. Each story and poem explores different ways in which animals and humans live together, co-exist and change each other.

List of writers includes: Arthur Attwell, Diane Awerbuck, André Brink, Gabeba Baderoon, Robert Berold, Sarah Lotz, Edyth Bulbring, Margaret Clough, Michael Cope, Richard de Nooy, Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, Finuala Dowling, Isobel Dixon, Nerine Dorman, Tom Eaton, Martha Evans, Tracey Farren, Lily Herne, Michiel Heyns, Joanne Hichens, Colleen Higgs, Jenny Hobbs, Karen Jennings, Liesl Jobson, Rustum Kozain, Julia Martin, Jenna Mervis, Niq Mhlongo, Helen Moffett, Kagiso Lesego Molope, Paige Nick, Yewande Omotoso, Sally Partridge, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Beverly Rycroft, Fiona Snyckers, Kelwyn Sole, Zukiswa Wanner, Kate White, James Whyle, Makhosazana Xaba.

nullNow Following You, by Fiona Snyckers
Modjaji Books
Fiction

Jamie Burchell is a digital native – social media comes as naturally to her as breathing. She Instagrams, tweets and Facebooks her every move. Then a stalker starts using social media to track her movements. As his behaviour escalates, so does her fear. But her blog has never been more popular. The fans can’t get enough of reading about her stalker. She is closer than ever to achieving her dream of becoming a writer. Should she take herself offline out of fear for her own safety or should she refuse to be intimated? Soon the stalker starts threatening the people she cares about. But now it’s too late for Jamie to go offline, because he is already following her in real life.

nullPiggy Boy’s Blues, by Nakhane Touré
Jacana Media
Fiction

Nakhane Touré’s debut novel is for all intents and purposes a portrait of the M family. Centred mostly on the protagonist, Davide M, and his return to Alice, the town of his birth, the novel portrays a Xhosa royal family past its prime and glory.

Piggy Boy’s Blues will be published under Jacana’s new imprint, BlackBird Books.

Touré is a multimedia artist born in Alice in the Eastern Cape. His album Brave Confusion won a South African Music Award for Best Alternative Album in 2014.

nullSweet Medicine, by Panashe Chigumadzi
Jacana Media
Fiction

Sweet Medicine, set in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008, is a thorough and evocative attempt at grappling with a variety of important issues in the postcolonial context: tradition and modernity, feminism and patriarchy; spiritual and political freedoms and responsibilities; poverty and desperation; and wealth and abundance.

Panashe Chigumadzi is a young and upcoming media executive, passionate about creating new narratives that work to redefine and reaffirm African identity.

Sweet Medicine will be published under Jacana’s new BlackBird Books imprint.

The Book of MemoryThe Book of Memory, by Petina Gappah
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

The stunning debut novel from the award-winning author of An Elegy for Easterly, a short story collection that won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009.

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. She will be at the 2015 Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September.

nullInnovation: Shaping South Africa through Science, by Sarah Wild
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

Sarah Wild is an award-winning science journalist. She is the Mail & Guardian’s science editor and in 2013 was named the best science journalist in Africa. In 2012, Wild published her first full-length non-fiction book, Searching African Skies: The Square Kilometre Array and South Africa’s Quest to Hear the Songs of the Stars.

Innovation takes a look at inventions – developed in South Africa by South Africans – to address issues in the areas of healthcare, energy, environment and industry, showcasing the country’s excellence.

Up Against the NightUp Against the Night, by Justin Cartwright
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

“History . . . is seldom able to convey the essence of being human”

Justin Cartwright possesses that rarest of novelist’s skills – the ability to create fiction which is intensely serious but which also vividly encompasses the absurdity and comedy of life. Up Against the Night is a subtle, brilliant novel about South Africa, its beautiful, superbly evoked landscape, its violent past and its uncertain present.

Notes from the Lost Property Department by Bridget Pitt
Umuzi
Fiction

“The struggle to forget, or not; courage in small things – Bridget Pitt’s new novel has found a voice for wounded memory. It’s a searching voice, evoking from jumbled discards something that perhaps we’ve all lost …. but which might still be found.” – Jeremy Cronin

Notes from the Lost Property Department is a beautifully written, captivating novel about family: mother-daughter relationships, marriage, memory, and familial secrets and lies.

Bridget Pitt’s novel The Unseen Leopard was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize in 2011 and the 2012 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, and her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize, among others.

Golden LionGolden Lion, by Wilbur Smith
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

Fans of Wilbur Smith will be delighted to hear that his next book – Golden Lion – will be released across the world in September.

In this sweeping adventure full of danger, action, and intrigue, the master returns to his longest-running series, taking fans back to the very beginnings of the Courtney family saga.

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nullLet’s Talk Frankly: Letters to Influential South Africans About the State of Our Nation, by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

Onkgopotse JJ Tabane is one of South Africa’s leading media and communications specialists, a community activist and a business executive. In a series of letters, addressed to people of influence from Helen Zille to Gwede Mantashe and from Revd Ray McCauley to Steve Hofmeyr, Tabane praises for work well done and castigates for poor judgement.

Let’s Talk Frankly tells some home truths in a satirical sense and is meant to offend sensibilities as well as raise things that people often say around dinner
tables but are too afraid or too constrained to say in the open.

The Woman Who Walked in SunshineThe Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, by Alexander McCall Smith
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

The new Botswana book from bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, this is Mma Ramotswe’s 16th wonderful adventure.

Mma Ramotswe is not one to sit about. Her busy life gives her little time for relaxation (apart from the drinking of tea, of course, which is another matter altogether). Nonetheless, she is persuaded to take a holiday from the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

But Mma Ramotswe finds it impossible to resist the temptation to follow the cases taken on by her business partner, Mma Makutsi, and to interfere in them – at one remove. This leads her to delve into the past of a man whose reputation has been called into question.

The Food of LoveThe Food of Love: Book 1, Laura’s Story, by Prue Leith
Jonathan Ball
Fiction

The first installment of an epic three-volume multi-generational family saga by award-winning restaurateur Prue Leith.

The novels centre around an Anglo/Italian family that founds a restaurant business, from the 1940s to the present day. Television rights for the series have already been optioned.

Leith was born in South Africa, and is a cook, restaurateur, food writer and businesswoman. After publishing 12 cookbooks she changed tack and has now authored five contemporary romance novels. She lives in London.

nullSugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez, Craig Bartholomew Strydom and Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman
Penguin
Non-fiction

The fascinating story of the American musician who was famous in South Africa and Australia, but unknown anywhere else … until the Oscar-winning documentary.

Based on the authors’ first-hand knowledge, Sugar Man: The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez carefully outlines three separate journeys and the obstacles and triumphs that each presented: Rodriguez’s quest to make a life from music and his subsequent failure; the odyssey of two Rodriguez fans to find out what had happened to their hero; and the pursuit of die-hard filmmaker Bendjelloul to bring the story to celluloid, and his untimely death shortly thereafter.

The book covers topics and events that weren’t included in the film: the story of Rodriquez’s two wives, his tours to Australia in 1979 and 1981, his South African, British and American tours after the 1998 concert that forms the film’s climax, and events subsequent to the film itself.

Taking to the Witness Stand, by Jestina Mukoko
KMM Review Publishing
Non-fiction

Jestina Mukoko is a former Zimbabwean broadcast journalist turned a human rights activist, who was incarcerated in 2008 and “disappeared” by the Zimbabwe government.

Told through flashbacks intertwined with information related to her childhood, her family and her work at the Zimbabwe Peace Project, Mukoko’s recollections give a birds-eye view of the social, economic and political situation during one of the most turbulent and repressive times in Zimbabwe’s history.

nullWhen Time Fails, by Marilyn Cohen de Villiers
Fiction

The follow-up to A Beautiful Family, When Time Fails is set on a farm in South Africa during the death throes of the apartheid era and the emergence of the “new” South Africa.

The book follows Annamari and her family as they struggle to come to terms with a changing world and the past she has kept hidden for decades.

 
 
 
OCTOBER

nullMatric Rage by Genna Gardini
uHlanga New Poets
Poetry

uHlanga is proud to announce the launch of the uHlanga New Poets series, a platform for the publication of debut collections from South Africa’s most promising young voices.

Genna Gardini, based in Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s most decorated young poets and playwrights. She is the winner of the 2012 DALRO/New Coin Award for poetry, and a 2013 Mail & Guardian Young South African. Her plays WinterSweet (2012) and Scrape (2013) both won Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Supported by a grant from the Arts and Culture Trust, uHlanga New Poets will publish two debut collections in 2015: Matric Rage and Failing Maths and My Other Crimes by Thabo Jijana.

nullFailing Maths and My Other Crimes by Thabo Jijana
uHlanga New Poets
Poetry

Thabo Jijana, based in Port Elizabeth, is a rising star in South African literature. In 2011, he won the Anthony Sampson Foundation Award. In 2014, he won the Sol Plaatje/European Union Poetry Award. That same year, he also published his first book, the memoir Nobody’s Business, published by Jacana.

nullGridlocked, by Moeletsi and Nobantu Mbeki
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

“The reorganisation of South Africa’s economic system cannot, however, be postponed indefinitely as conflicts in the economic system are already threatening to undo the gains made with the new political system. This should come as no surprise since South Africa’s economic system has always generated major conflicts, many of them extremely violent.” – From Gridlocked

South Africa is immersed in a new phase in the long struggle to develop and consolidate democracy and to build an economy that is both sustainable and serves the needs of its entire people instead of the selfish interests of small elites as has been the case over the past 360 years. Moeletsi and Nobantu Mbeki explore the different dynamics of this reinvention and its chances of success or failure.

nullRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery, by Sally Andrew
Umuzi
Fiction

Meet Tannie Maria: She’s 50-something, short and soft (perhaps a bit too soft in the wrong places) with brown curls and untidy Afrikaans. She is also the agony aunt for the local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette. One day, her life takes a sinister turn when a woman in the area is murdered and she becomes entangled in the investigation…

Warm, poignant and entertaining, Sally Andrew’s delightful heroine blends together intrigue, romance and cooking in this irresistible new mystery, complete with a few mouth-watering recipes.

Recipes for Love and Murder includes 14 tried-and-tested Karoo recipes.

nullGlowfly Dance, by Jade Gibson
Umuzi
Fiction

Glowfly Dance is a lyrical and poignant tale of family trauma, seen through the eyes of a child.

Through young Mai’s eyes, life is enchanting and full of beauty. She dances on her grandfather’s feet while he talks of freedom. But the world is hard and her mother is struggling. When her new stepfather Rashid arrives, he casts a deep shadow over their lives …

From Mexico to Scotland to London to North Africa, the West Indies and back again, Glowfly Dance is a powerful and haunting story of migration, resilience and, ultimately, hope.

Earlier versions of Glowfly Dance were shortlisted for the 2010 Dundee International Book Prize for an unpublished debut novel, and the 2011 Virginia Prize for Fiction.

nullChaka, by Thomas Mofolo
Kwela
Fiction

Thomos Mofolo’s Chaka is the first of many works of literature that take Shaka, the great Zulu leader, as its subject. A mythic retelling of Shaka’s rise and fall, the novel was written in Sesotho in 1909, translated in 1931, and forms the foundation for every subsequent telling of the Shaka legend. Chaka is a study of origins, passion, and uncontrollable ambition leading to the moral destruction of the human character.

nullParole: Collected Speeches, by Breyten Breytenbach
Penguin
Fiction

Breyten Breytenbach is hailed in South Africa and internationally as an influential writer and critical thinker. Parole is a collection of some of his most memorable and poignant speeches, which, through their resonating subject matter, continue to light literary, political and philosophical fires.

The speeches in Parole, many of which have not been published before, will provide valuable insights into the mind of a literary icon. Available in Afrikaans as Parool.

nullI Ran for My Life, by Kabelo Mabalane with Nechama Brodie
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction (Biography)

Kabelo Mabalane, known by his stage name as Kabelo or “Bouga Luv”, is a kwaito musician, songwriter and actor. He was a member of the kwaito trio TKZee.

In I Ran for My Life, South Africa’s number one self-proclaimed “pantsula for life” shares his journey and insights, from the highs and lows of drug addiction, to finding hope and life again through running and staying in shape.

nullCrashed, by Melinda Ferguson
Jacana Media
Non-fiction (Memoir)

To celebrate her 14-year clean and sober birthday, Ferguson organises to take a R3.2 million Ferrari California out on a test drive for the day. 20 minutes before she returns the car, she is involved in a spectacular car crash, during which she experiences a near-death collision.

Over the following months her long-term relationship implodes and she is faced with a litany of legal and financial nightmares as a result of the Ferrari being written off, while certain members of the dog-eat-dog motoring journo industry relish in her downfall.

Written in Ferguson’s trademark gritty tell-it-all and often hilarious style, Crashed is the highly anticipated final book of the three-part memoir trilogy, following in South African bestsellers Smacked (2005) and Hooked (2010).
 
 
NOVEMBER

What if there were no whites in South Africa?, by Ferial Haffajee
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

In What if there were no whites in South Africa? Ferial Haffajee examines South Africa’s history and its present circumstances and dynamics in the light of a provocative question that yields some thought-provoking analysis for the country.

Ferial Haffajee is highly respected as one of South Africa’s thought leaders and commentators. She effectively uses her media platform to raise and discuss issues pertinent to the state of the nation. Before becoming the editor-in-chief at City Press, Haffajee headed up the Mail & Guardian. She sits on the boards of the International Women’s Media Foundation, the World Editors Forum, the International Press Institute and the Inter Press Service, and she has won several awards, including international ones, related to media freedom and independence as well as for her reporting over the years.

nullFlame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink & Ingrid Jonker, by André Brink & Ingrid Jonker
Umuzi
Non-fiction

More than 50 years on, the poignant, often stormy relationship between Ingrid Jonker and André Brink still grips readers’ imaginations.

In December 2014, three months before his death on 6 February 2015, Brink offered these never-before-seen letters, as well as personal photographs, for publication.

The letters provide astonishing new insights into the minds, writing and legendary love affair of two of South Africa’s greatest writers. Umuzi will be publishing a limited, numbered edition in Afrikaans and in English to coincide with the publication of this collection.

nullKarkloof Blue, by Charlotte Otter
Modjaji Books
Fiction

Greenwashing, corporate intransigence and bloody secrets. Maggie Cloete’s back. After working in Berlin and Joburg, she returns to present-day Pietermaritzburg as the day news editor for The Gazette. When a well-known environmentalist commits suicide, Maggie finds herself caught in the crossfire of conflicting interests. Sentinel, a national paper company, intends to log a piece of natural forest in the Karkloof, home to an endangered butterfly. While her brother joins a group of environmental activists determined to stop the logging at any cost, The Gazette itself is ensnared in complicated negotiations with Sentinel over paper prices. When the loggers unearth a gruesome find in the forest, Maggie discovers a litany of secrets, lies and betrayal. As South Africa’s present confronts its past, Maggie herself faces the most bitter surprise of her life.

nullThe Score, HJ Golakai
Kwela
Fiction

The Score is the follow-up to the internationally acclaimed The Lazarus Effect.

Voinjama Johnson, aka Vee, has been banished. And to Oudtshoorn, of all places … and for what? For daring to do her job, for daring to be an investigative reporter. Luckily for Vee, and her ever-faithful sidekick Chlöe – and unluckily for everyone else – they are barely checked in to their lodge when the first body is discovered. Sex, drugs and BEE (or should that be B-BBEE), The Score is an unflinching romp through what remains of the dream of the rainbow nation …

nullUnnatural Relations, Casey B Dolan
Kwela
Fiction

All psychiatrists have a patient that gets under their skin. For Dr Felicity Sloane, forensic psychiatrist, Archie Ferber is that patient. Archie seemingly only needed one thing to make his life complete – a child. And Hannah was born. But somehow it all went wrong and now Archie is on trial in South Africa for murdering the surrogate. Unnatural Relations is the follow-up to the internationally acclaimed When the Bough Breaks.

nullJustice Served: The Trial and Conviction of Bob Hewitt, Jamaine Krige
Zebra
Non-fiction

The fascinating legal account of how a sporting legend was brought to book by his victims, 30 years later.

In 2012 former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt was indefinitely suspended following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct from women he coached as girls. On 23 March 2015, Hewitt was found guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault after a watershed trial.

Jamaine Krige was the court reporter from the start of the trial and has conducted extensive interviews with all the relevant parties.

nullAB: The Autobiography, by AB de Villiers
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

AB de Villiers is one of South Africa’s most celebrated sporting heroes. He has captained the national ODI team since June 2011, and has been a member of the national team for 11 years since his debut test as a 20-year-old in December 2004. AB has excelled on the sporting field throughout his life and today he is considered one of the leading batsmen in the world in all forms of the game.

AB: The Autobiography will cover key events and influences that have shaped his life and career, and AB will offer access to the man behind the bat and beneath the helmet, exploring career-defining moments, on-and-off the field events and his relationship with various mentors. The autobiography will also explore AB’s interests in music and business and how he pursues these alongside his international cricket career.
 
 
DECEMBER

Zakes MdaLittle Suns, by Zakes Mda
Umuzi
Fiction

Zakes Mda’s new novel, a work of historical fiction titled Little Suns, will be published by Umuzi in 2015.

Little Suns intertwines an unusual love story with little-told, brutal history.

Click here for more
 
 
 
 
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Shortlist for the 2015 Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award Announced

 
Alert! Nielsen has announced the shortlist of five titles that booksellers selected as the ones they most enjoyed reading, promoting and selling in 2014.

Last year’s award went to the controversial yet incredibly popular Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, David Grier, Jonno Proudfoot and Tudor Caradoc-Davies. In 2013 Frank Chikane won the award for Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki.

This year’s shortlist includes three Afrikaans titles, another low carb lifestyle book and one English novel. Without further ado, here are the five books up for the R20 000 prize:

150 StoriesGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaKamphoerLow Carb is LekkerThe Keeper

 

  • 150 Stories by Nataniël, published by Human & Rousseau
  • Kamphoer by Francois Smith, published by Tafelberg
  • The Keeper by Marguerite Poland, published by Penguin

 
The winning book and author will be announced at this year’s PASA and SABA Annual Conference on 26 August, which is being held in Johannesburg.
 

* * * * * * * *

 
Press release

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: 2015 NIELSEN BOOKSELLERS’ CHOICE AWARD

London, Cape Town, Monday 13 July, 2015

Whether you are keen on fiction – contemporary or historical, food & drink or biography, there is something for everyone on this year’s shortlist.

South African booksellers had the opportunity to vote in this annual award to choose the book they most enjoyed reading, promoting or selling during 2014. The promotion, now in its fifteenth year, celebrates South African writing, by South African authors to showcase the best that South Africa has to offer.

Mo Siewcharran, Director of Marketing and Communications at Nielsen Book said: “Nielsen Book has been sponsoring and supporting this award since 2000 and we are delighted to continue that support and encourage writers to tell their stories for all those eager readers. The winning book and author will be announced at this year’s PASA and SABA Annual Conference on 26 August, which is being held in Johannesburg.”

The Shortlist consists of three fiction titles, covering contemporary, historical and romance, and for the second year running we have a healthy eating title on the list – this year we are looking at low carbohydrates – to complete the five titles on the shortlist there is a biography that connects with many people today.

  • 150 Stories by Nataniël le Roux, published by Human & Rousseau
  • Goeiemore Mnr Mandela by Zelda la Grange, published by Penguin Books South Africa
  • Kamphoer by Francois Smith, published by Tafelberg Publishers
  • Low Carb is Lekker by Ine Reynierse, published by Struik Publishers
  • The Keeper by Marguerite Poland, published by Penguin Books South Africa

 
Dr Sally-Ann Creed, one of the winning authors from 2014, said:

“It was one of the highlights of my life to be part of the team who won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award – it was an enormous honour for us all! The support of Nielsen Book has been extremely important to us, and we look forward to a wonderful response as we bring the Real Meal Revolution to Europe and beyond. Thank you Nielsen Book for the coveted award, it means the world to us!”

Ends
 
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Marianne Thamm Reviews Holy Cows by Gareth van Onselen

Holy CowsVerdict: stick

The lens through which Van Onselen wants to make sense of the world is “evidence driven”, based on irrefutable facts, data and above all, reason. All else is sloppy thinking. He also finds himself a proud liberal in a world where he has come to believe that the marrow, life and meaning is being sucked out of the political philosophy.

All of these qualities render Van Onselen a controversial, sharp and ruthless writer and commentator, although he does explain that he has attempted to author some chapters with humour and a dollop of melancholy.

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Practical Action to Decolonise the “White Literary System”: The African Flavour Books Case Study

Bridget Impey, MD of Jacana Media, and Fortiscue Helepi, the founder and owner of African Flavour Books

 
Fortiscue Helepi, the founder and owner of African Flavour Books, an independent bookshop in the Vaal, gave a presentation at the Jacana Media offices in Johannesburg last week as the first in the publisher’s series of talks titled “Continuing the Debate – Decolonising South Africa’s Literary Landscape”.

I Write What I LikenullCoconutLondon – Cape Town – JoburgWay Back HomeRachel’s Blue

 

Bridget Impey, MD of Jacana, opened the discussion with some background, and explained why the publisher wanted to continued the conversation.

“We were in the audience when Thando [Mgqolozana] made that declaration that he was leaving white literary festivals, and it was so goddamn brilliant,” she said. “There was such a good energy, there was such a good connection with all the people that were there. So we thought we had to keep the momentum going. It would be disappointing if we had Franschhoek and then we all went home and forgot about it.

“So we want to look at the practicalities. A lot of what happened at the follow-up event at Wits was people saying, we’ve got a situation – how do we change it?

“There are certain people who think we should go in, Stalin-style, and wipe out Franschhoek in one fell swoop. I’d rather build up new things.”

Forthcoming events include a discussion around the Google Mapping of all the independent booksellers in Johannesburg – including hair salons and street vendors – which is being undertaken by journalist Griffin Shea, and a talk by Mofenyi Malepe – author of the self-published book 283: The Bad Sex Bet, which has now sold almost 5 000 copies. Contact Jacana to find out more.

When asked where he stands on the “literary apartheid” debate, Helepi says the one message he is trying to preach is that black people must not sit back and wait for change.

“There are things that are very important to us, and we cannot sit on the fence and say, ‘people are not doing this for us’, when we don’t invest in it. I took R400 000 of my family’s money, that we saved the last three years, and I invested in this thing. Because it’s very important. I’m very passionate about it. You can’t point if you didn’t try. We need to invest our money. Where are our entrepreneurs?

“We have to ask ourselves what kind of legacy we are going to leave for our kids. We can’t leave that legacy of ‘we are not readers’. That’s not right.”

The story of African Flavour Books

Helepi, a chemical engineer, entrepreneur and author, opened African Flavour Books in February this year, after three years of research.

“It was a very long journey,” he says. “We always wondered why we didn’t have bookshops with African literature. I think most people come to this continent to get to the literature, and they still find American authors and European authors in the front of our bookshops.

“The other thing is that I am staying in the Vaal, and I had to travel every weekend an hour, at least, to come to Joburg, only to get to a bookshop that doesn’t have the books that I want.”

Helepi said he and his wife researched bookshops all over the country, and decided that there were so many authors, such as Zakes Mda, Niq Mhlongo, Zukiswa Wanner, that “this country needs to know about”.

The joys of starting a bookshop

“The nice thing that we found in the Vaal is that everyone wants a bookshop in their mall,” Helepi said. “So we could really negotiate prices. Some people cut their rental by R5 000!”

Helepi said he also wanted the design of his shop to attract any young kids that were walking by: “We wanted them to think it was an ice-cream shop! We wanted beautiful colours. We also have a nice kids’ area to encourage them.”

With the international trend of bookshops closing down, Helepi says a lot of people asked him why he was opening one. “We believe that it’s going to take a long time to get our lesser known authors on Amazon. In South Africa, people are still buying books in bookshops. And everyone is very excited about our bookshop.”

The challenges of starting a bookshop: Authors

Helepi says he always tells authors: “You need to market yourself as if you are self-published.”

He says he believes book events are vital to familiarise people with the work: “Most authors were not particularly excited at first, because our events were not really sponsored by their publisher, so we struggled and we are still trying to get authors to see the value of connecting with people. It’s a very new market and it needs to be encouraged.

“In our area there are a lot of students and they are very interested in the events, and they come. But it’s very difficult to get the authors there. Self-published authors are willing to work with us more, because have invested their own money.

“For us to create demand for the books, authors need to be out their marketing their material. If you don’t do that, your book will just collect dust.”

The challenges of starting a bookshop: Publishers

Helepi says publishers should also do more to market their authors.

“People cannot believe the collection of books that we have,” he says. “But I had to study. It took three years, and I researched on each and every website. Not every customer will have that passion. We need to make information available very, very easily.”

He was also disappointed that publishers always referred him to the distributor instead of handling his queries directly.

“The distributor doesn’t understand my needs; my needs are totally different. I want to see people who are not out there. I’m not trying to look like someone else, I’m not trying to be like Exclusive Books, I want to be totally different. I want someone who published a book in 2001 and it’s sitting there collecting dust – that’s the book I want. I want the material that people don’t know about. People are still trying to sell me Grey. I don’t want Grey. I don’t want it!

“I want to get the point where I have a 100 percent African bookshop. At the moment we are sitting at around 80 percent, to 20 percent international. Because you can’t say ‘no’ to a customer. If a customer says they want Grey, you need to give it to them.”

The challenges of starting a bookshop: Distributors and Booksellers

Helepi says his main frustration was with the distributors, from hard-to-navigate websites with outdated book catalogues, to bad communication, to poor tracking of payments.

“Because I’ve only been operating for four months, I’m working on a cash basis. So if I give you money, I want to get that money back as quickly as possible. When you are an independent bookshop, time is everything. Without cash flow, you will not stay afloat.”

The challenges of starting a bookshop: Readers

“With the market that I’m targeting there is that perception that people do not read,” Helepi said. “But you will find that actually people read.”

However, Helepi says the issue of “book travelling”, where one copy of a book is shared and passed along, is something he is trying to combat – and not chiefly for his own gain.

“What I’m trying to do now, is I’m stressing to everyone that comes into the shop the importance of keeping the copy. Because, yes, you might access it easier now, but in a couple of years later you will not have it. It’s better to make sure you have your own home library and keep all these books so that your kids can access them very easily.

“I want people to understand the value of buying books and keeping them, otherwise publishers don’t think people are reading.”

Helepi says theft is a big problem too, but that he designed to shop to be a big open space, which does help.

A lack of knowledge about local authors is another challenge Helepi faces, and he says he makes a point of taking his customers through the authors, because readers can be intimidated: “sometimes people want to read, but they don’t know where to start”.

He says his mother gave him Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country and a few other volumes, “and from there, I never stopped”.

“Someone needs to introduce you to reading, and we try to do that. We make sure we invest a lot of time in teaching young people about the authors that we have. We recommend books they can relate to, Kopano Matlwa is a good example, and from there they come back for more.

“We don’t want to start everyone on Long Walk to Freedom.

“We try to make sure the budget is in the right place. If you are buying Grey, the money is taken away from buying Kopano Matlwa or someone else.”

Helepi says people are shocked at the books they are able to get at his store, but he always makes sure he has a wide variety to suit all tastes.

“Our customers buy books either because they can relate to them or because they can learn from them. They don’t buy books just for the sake of buying books.”

The bestselling book at African Flavour Books is Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like, with Gayton McKenzie’s A Hustler’s Bible coming in second.

Incredibly, Helepi says fiction is the most popular genre. “I think people find it hard to get. We have everything, and people get excited.”

* * * * *

Jennifer Malec tweeted from the event:


 

* * * * *
Short-Changed? South Africa since 1994Steve BikoSouth Africa at War, 1939-1945Umkhonto weSizweGovan MbekiThe Soweto UprisingSan Rock Art

The ANC Women's LeagueSouth Africa's Struggle for Human RightsShakaThe ANC Youth LeaguePlague, Pox and PandemicsThe Idea of the ANCIngrid Jonker

 

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Article by Tim Noakes Pulled from British Journal of Sports Medicine

The Real Meal RevolutionTim Noakes chews the fatChallenging BeliefsLore of Running

 
It seems that wherever Tim Noakes is involved, controversy is sure to follow.

The latest news concerning the main man behind The Real Meal Revolution is that an article in which he argues that “eating carbohydrates, especially refined ones, explained the rise of obesity rather than a lack of exercise” has been removed from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which stated: “The paper has been temporarily removed following an expression of concern.”

It was claimed that Noakes did not declare a conflict of interest – something that is expected in medical research.

Rand Daily Mail reported on the matter:

It appears the controversy is because Noakes did not declare a conflict of interest [his diet book] — a common practice in medical research.

Noakes has sold 150000 copies of his book Real Meal Revolution, promoting a low-carb lifestyle. But he has also published three other books, and one promotes exercise.

Noakes said on twitter that in 42 years of publishing he has never needed to declare his books.

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Robin Malan Awarded The English Academy of Southern Africa’s Highest Honour

Robin MalanRobin Malan was recently awarded a gold medal by the English Academy of Southern Africa.

Malan was honoured by the academy for his service in education, theatre and publishing. A gold medal is the highest honour the academy bestows, and it is one that Malan richly deserves.

Read the announcement from the academy about the award:

“Robin has published widely – close to 60 titles – both as author and editor, using predominantly southern African publishers to do so. He has written nine novels, an award-winning play, and edited more than 20 poetry anthologies, short stories and plays for adults and children.

“Despite his own literary achievements, Robin’s most significant contribution to English is his life-long, unwavering encouragement of young people to appreciate and to produce English literature in southern Africa.”

 
 
 

New InscapesLeaves to a TreeWorldscapesSA Gay Plays 1The Young Gay Guys Guide to Safer Gay SexBurning a Hole in the PageYes, I Am!

In his acceptance speech, Malan speaks about his long and varied career and some of the young wordsmiths who have inspired him along the way.

Read Malan’s acceptance speech:

* * * * *

What I really like about this award of the Academy’s Gold Medal is that I see it as an acknowledgement by the Academy of work done for young people.

I’m not an academic, in the usual sense in which the English Academy uses the word. I spent five years at university, equipping myself to be a good English and History teacher and to make theatre with and for young people. And, after that BA (Honours) degree and the BEd degree and the Class Medal for Drama, I knew I didn’t want any further degrees because I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom and teach, and also get into the school hall to direct plays with the students! Of course, I did both of those. Often. And for over 50 years.

Over my long teaching and theatre career, I held a teaching post at only two schools: Cape Town High School and Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland. In between, I was the Artistic Director of two theatre-in-education companies, in Cape Town and in what was then the Transvaal. With Janice Honeyman as my Associate Director, we did great work with young actors interacting with students in the many schools we visited each year. In addition, at different times, I taught Shakespeare, English, and Drama-in-Education in the Drama Department at the University of Stellenbosch, and tutored in a bridging programme in the English Department at the University of Cape Town. Both excellent encounters with slightly older students.

In the school context, I loved teaching very talented senior students (Charles Rom comes to mind immediately, as do Dan Pillay and Naphtali Mlipha, Andy Foose, Khulile Nxumalo, Robert van der Valk). Every bit as much, I enjoyed taking the ‘non-academic stream’ of Standard 6s (Grade 8s): I got them to write masses of poems, the most interesting of which (never called ‘the best’) were then typed and pinned on the classroom notice-boards for all the other teachers to read. Here’s one of those poems, from Michael:

My home that would never exist

This place is a quiet place,
With gardens and valleys,
And woods of pine trees,
But it’s far from home.

There’s no killing or fighting,
But just peace and quiet,
And the people are happy,
But it’s far from home.

But when I think of this place at night,
How I wish it could exist,
So that there would be peace and quiet,
But this place would be far from home.

In my first few years of teaching, I was one of the founding editors of English Alive in 1967, and that brought me into contact with such extraordinarily talented young writers as David Lan and Nigel Fogg and Peter Terry; and I’m still in contact with all three of them, 49 years later. The association with English Alive has continued until tonight (and will, beyond tonight).

My work as a volunteer for Triangle Project, the health and human rights organisation for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people has been very important to me. For instance, it brought me into touch with young people in my capacity as facilitator of the young men’s support group. That also produced a poem, discovered on the white board after a session. I don’t know who wrote it: the author signed himself only as ‘An inspired youngsta’:

Untitled

I was a boy, I was a girl
I was someone in this world,
Yet nobody knew …

I laughed, I choked, I screamed …
I died. And still I was unheard.
‘An abandoned one, I suppose,’ someone said …

I was not one … I was a majority
But now I’m gone.

Over my 15 years as a Counsellor on the Gay & Lesbian Helpline I came to write many case reports, none more difficult and intense than my report on the many calls I fielded while on duty in the week of the dreadful Sizzlers massacre, in which nine young male sex workers were bound, gagged, shot execution-style in the back of the head and then their throats slit. It was a harrowing experience. In happier situations, I have had wonderful interaction with young gay men through my work with Triangle Project, culminating perhaps in my being invited, earlier this year, to André-and-Fabian’s wedding, having known Fabian since he was a schoolboy 14 years ago and having published a piece he wrote in one of my collections.

A different kind of writing resulted from my having looked after the Young Gay Guys column in the gay newspaper Exit for 11 years. In 2011 in response to an appeal from a reader I ended up producing a small book called The Young Gay Guys Guide to Safer Gay Sex. Because of their belief in the value of the book, the Aids Foundation of South Africa and Triangle Project saw to it that 14 000 free copies of the book were spread around in outreach programmes in the Western Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal. As it had to be, in order to be of any use, that writing was explicit, and so I won’t read you anything from the text, but I will tell you about the last page of the book, which took the form of a pledge: a pledge always to be safe when having sex. Readers could either sign-and-send that page to me, or they could SMS me their name and the words ‘I pledge’. Even now, four, five years later, every now and then my phone beeps and I see someone’s name and the words ‘I pledge’. I like it when that happens.

Back to the mainstream. Over the years I have compiled a large number of anthologies, starting with Inscapes, which went on to New Inscapes and then Worldscapes and then Poemscapes, all of those for Oxford University Press. I have met any number of middle-aged people who tell me that Inscapes or Worldscapes was the only book they chose to steal from school because they wanted to keep it.

Over the years of my happy association with the publishers David Philip and Marie Philip, more anthologies emerged, as did Rawbone Malong’s 1972 Guard to Sow Theffricun Innglish, titled Ah Big Yaws? In its heyday, I got used to coming across that book in people’s loos. It was also, perhaps more edifyingly, kept as a handbook in the library of the BBC’s Drama Department to help non-South African actors who had to do a South African accent; and, even more edifyingly still, there’s an article on it in David Crystal’s Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (page 357!).

In 2007 Jacana Media re-issued the book, with some updates that I culled from the Internet, in one of which the writer recalled that: ‘There was once a magic little book called Ah Big Yaws? written by the late Robin Malan …’

I have had many happy encounters with children and young people in the work I have done – and still do – for IBBY SA, the South African national section of the International Board on Books for Young People. I was Chairperson of the organisation from 2007 to 2012. Tomorrow evening, to mark World Book Day, I am facilitating an IBBY SA panel discussion about teen fiction with some young writers.

I have written four teen novels and a book for children. As the Series Editor of the Siyagruva Series of novels for South African teens, I wrote some of the books myself. But, more importantly, I interacted with new young writers.

And, from 2007 onwards, I have been publishing new South African plays as Junkets Publisher. These plays are generally written by new emerging young writers, and I love all the interaction I have with them, right the way through to the young writers of the plays in this year’s Zabalaza Theatre Festival just a week or so ago. I hope to publish some of those plays.

I sit on the Boards or Councils of the Arts & Culture Trust, the Cape 300 Foundation and the Caine Prize for African Writing. Their beneficiaries and grant recipients are generally young writers and young theatremakers. And so I am pleased to be doing that work, too.

That was a whizz-through of a life’s work!

I’m sure you will have noticed how often I have used the word ‘interaction’. That’s been deliberate, because that’s what has, I think, brought me to this Award, to this Gold Medal: it’s been interaction with young writers and young readers that has made me do the work I’ve done over the years. And it’s been my experience that, nine times out of ten, young people are good people; and … I don’t know, maybe seven times out of ten, young people are sensible people, even wise people. For all of that interaction over the years, I am deeply grateful to all those young people; as I am grateful, also, now, for this recognition of that work by the English Academy of Southern Africa.

My thanks.

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Image courtesy of Victor Dlamini


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Heather de Bruin Reviews The Brain Surgeon’s Diet by Adriaan Liebenberg

The Brain Surgeon's DietVerdict: carrot

This is the first time that I have read a diet book and been unable to put it down, usually I land up wanting to purge my brain after reading ‘how bad I am’, ‘how I’ve got no one to blame but myself’ etc. etc. etc … but not this time.
Dr Liebenberg doesn’t preach , reprimand or slaughter any food groups … he rather chats to you about the choices you make … sharing his own journey and experience along the way in a brotherly manner.

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Vanessa Kriek Reviews The Brain Surgeon’s Diet by Adriaan Liebenberg

The Brain Surgeon's DietVerdict: carrot

In a nutshell the book describes the mechanisms of hunger and metabolism. Liebenberg addresses the psychology of being fat and underscores the power of the mind in anyone’s journey to weight-loss.

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14 Reads for Valentine’s Day, No Matter Your Relationship Status

Maybe you’ll be spending the 14th of February blissful in love, maybe you won’t … but whether or not you’ve found that one person, there is a book out there that is perfect for you. And you’ll find it on this list:

AfrikamasutraAfrikamasutratjieFirst up is Afrikamasutra by Ilse de Korte, illustrated by Hardus Koekemoer, Marna Schoeman and Diek Grobler (also available in a pocket-sized version: Afrikamasutratjie).

Afrikamasutra is an Afrikaans version of the Kama Sutra by Vatsayayana, with quirky and creative illustrations. It captures the essence of the sensual classic, but with a fun, local flavour.
 
 
Dr Eve's Sex Book for Young PeopleAgeing and SexualityDr Eve has lovelife advice for the young and old.

Ageing and Sexuality is a guide to a healthy and fulfilling sex life for older people, while at the other end of the spectrum, Dr Eve’s Sex Book for Young People offers guidance about the risks, rewards and responsibilities of sex.
 
 
 
 
Desert GodWilbur Smith is known for books filled with riveting adventure, shocking violence and thrilling sex. His latest book Desert God is no exception.

In an interview last year, Smith frankly told the interviewer: “I enjoy sex. I enjoy writing about it and I enjoy thinking about it.”

A word of warning, however: Desert God was shortlisted for the 2014 Bad Sex Award, although it was beaten by the Ben Okri novel, below.
 
 

The Age Of MagicBen Okri won the 22nd annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award last year for his 10th novel, The Age Of Magic.

Okri has also won a number of awards regarded as somewhat more prestigious in the literary world, including the Man Booker Prize, and upon winning the dreaded award, he said: “A writer writes what they write and that’s all there is to it.” This might be just the ticket to lighten the mood.
 

 
A Girl Walks into a Blind DateA Girl Walks In is a choose-your-own-erotic-destiny series created by Helena S Paige – the pseudonym of three friends, Helen Moffett, Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick.

The books are entertaining and empowering, and have something for everyone. A Girl Walks into a Blind Date is the latest book in the series, it follows the titillating A Girl Walks into a Bar and A Girl Walks into a Wedding.
 
 
 
Jy is my engelDrome word waarLiefde agter sluiersHaar troumanFor the more traditionally romantic, perhaps, Romanza issues four new Afrikaans romance titles each month. The four most recent are Jy is my engel by Mari Roberts, Drome word waar by Tosca de Villiers, Liefde agter sluiers by Rika du Plessis, and Haar trouman by Frieda van der Westhuizen.

These are tender stories of emotion, deferred desire and mature sensual romance.
 
 
Adults OnlySwinging back to the more adventurous side, Adults Only: Stories of Love, Lust, Sex and Sensuality, edited by Joanne Hichens, is a collection of South African short stories. The book is the result of the second annual Short.Sharp.Stories. competition, and includes original stories from established writers as well as by new talent. Stories run the gamut from dark and dramatic to irreverent and humourous.

Authors include Alex Smith, Ken Barris, Donvé Lee, Nick Mulgrew, Efemia Chela, Chantelle Gray van Heerden, Bobby Jordan, Aryan Kaganof and Tiffany Kagure Mugo.
 
 
SwitchFollyBreathlessSwitch and Folly by Jassy Mackenzie are South Africa’s answer to 50 Shades of Gray … but if that’s not up your alley, Mackenzie’s most recent novel is Breathless, the story of newly married New Yorker, Erin Mitchell, who is saved from drowning after a bridge collapses during a lowveld flood by Nicholas de Lanoy.

Erin is stuck on his game farm while the bridge is repaired, and she must keep her stay a secret from her possessive husband. Nicholas is a handsome libertine with more to him than initially meets the eye, and Erin finds herself falling hard.
 
 
Bad SexLeon de Kock says Bad Sex was his attempt to write a “sustained and concentrated” book about sex in South Africa and, love it or hate it, the critical consensus is that he has. What more is there to say?
 
 
 
 
 
Love Your WineLove Your Wine by Cathy Marston is a guide to drinking wine and loving it, and is a wonderful guide for both seasoned connoisseurs and newbies.

The book includes information about how different types of wine are made and how best to enjoy them.

Whether it’s classy champagne for two, or a large bottle for one, this book has what you need this Valentine’s Day.
 
 
Die mooiste Afrikaanse liefdesgedigteDie mooiste Afrikaanse liefdesgedigte is a retrospective overview of the most beautiful poems written in Afrikaans on the topic of love.

Featuring work by passionate poets such as Breyten Breytenbach, Ingrid Jonker and Elisabeth Eybers, this book is the ultimate elixir of love – provided you understand Afrikaans, of course.
 
 
 
Heart of Africa!There is no need to justify buying an anthology of poems for your loved one. Ignite the passion, or fuel the fire of loneliness, with Heart of Africa! Poems of Love, Loss and Longing selected by Patricia Schonstein.

This collection contains the words of respected, illustrated and much-loved African poets and expresses the many guises of love – from anguish and betrayal to erotic pursuit and passion.
 
 
 
ComfortWhy fall in love when you could fall in chocolate? Or cream? Or any one of the delicious dishes in Comfort by Tina Bester.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Don't Film Yourself Having SexDon’t Film Yourself Having Sex is Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s invaluable guide on how to avoid infamy on social media.

If you are lucky enough to score a hot date this Valentine’s Day, make sure you give this book a quick read before you head out!

 
 
 
 
 
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Fi Fitzpatrick Reviews The Brain Surgeon’s Diet by Adriaan Liebenberg

The Brain Surgeon's DietVerdict: carrot

Unlocking the science that fad diets hide, the book easily elaborates in an easy to read and understand manner you learn about the energy values of food and meal planning that makes losing weight enjoyable and easy to incorporate into your life. I think it should rather be called The Brain Surgeon’s Lifestyle, not diet as if you incorporate this method of thinking – you will never have to diet again.

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