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Archive for the ‘Human & Rousseau’ Category

A new year, a new pile of books to read…

Published in the Sunday Times

A new year, a new pile of books to read. Here are some highlights to look forward to in 2018, as compiled by Michele Magwood.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Headline)

Four siblings are told the exact date of their death by a psychic. The novel traces their lives over four decades in a story described as “a moving meditation on fate, faith, and the family ties that alternately hurt and heal”.

Under Glass by Claire Robertson (Umuzi)

The much-anticipated third novel from the award-winning author, set on a sugar estate in 19th-century Natal and chronicling the lives of the Chetwyn family. A deeply researched historical novel and an intriguing mystery, it is described as “a high-stakes narrative of deception and disguise”.

What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson (Little Brown)

A new essay collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist that examines the political climate and the mysteries of faith. She offers hope and a call to action.

Michael K by Nthikeng Mohlele (Picador Africa)

A brilliant take on JM Coetzee’s classic that explores the weight of history and of conscience, by one of South Africa’s most compelling young authors.

Knucklebone by NR Brodie (Pan Macmillan)

Nechama Brodie is a welcome new voice on the krimi scene. This is a disturbing story set in Johannesburg that wrangles sangomas, disillusioned cops and animal poaching.

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo (Hogarth Shakespeare)

Setting aside his popular detective Harry Hole, Nesbo takes on Shakespeare’s immortal story. “It’s a thriller about the struggle for power, set both in a gloomy, stormy crime noir-like setting and in a dark, paranoid human mind,” he says.

Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Simon & Schuster)

Timely and darkly funny stories examining black identity in a supposedly post-racial era.

A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia (Umuzi)

A new novel from the award-winning Coovadia always creates a buzz. Here he imagines a futuristic South Africa, where Johannesburg has survived the end of the world because of the mining tunnels that run beneath it.

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin (HarperCollins)

Has a book ever been as eagerly awaited as this? The sixth novel in the fantasy series on which the TV show Game of Thrones is based is due for release this year. But then, it was due last year too.

Tsk-Tsk: The story of a child at large by Suzan Hackney (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

In a style reminiscent of Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Hackney writes of a childhood on the run, fighting to survive in a world of abandoned and abused children.

The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head by John Hunt (Umuzi)

Surely one of the best titles of the year, it’s the story of a boy growing up in Hillbrow in the ’60s and his friendship with an eccentric homeless person.

The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Pan Macmillan)

The acclaimed Australian author leaves his familiar coastland settings and heads for the interior to the saltland next to the desert. A young runaway is on a desperate quest to find the only person who understands him. Described as “a rifle-shot of a novel – crisp, fast, shocking – an urgent masterpiece”.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Transworld)

The popular author’s new novel is based on the life of a female former Secret Service worker. Sure to be another runaway bestseller.

A Short History of Mozambique by Malyn Newitt (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

A comprehensive overview of 500 years of turbulent history, from its modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system to the 15-year civil war that followed independence and its lingering after-effects.

Toy Boy by Leon van Nierop (Penguin)

Billed as an erotic coming-of-age tale and based on the life of a real person, this is the story of Tristan, a mysterious Johannesburg gigolo.

Homeland by Karin Brynard (Penguin)

The much-awaited English translation of Karin Brynard’s bestseller Tuisland. Captain Albertus Beeslaar is about to hand in his resignation when he is sent on one final assignment to Witdraai.

Brutal Legacy by Tracy Going (MF Books Joburg)

The shocking story of TV star Tracy Going’s abusive relationship that emerged when her battered face was splashed across the media in the late ’90s. She writes of her decline into depression and the healing she has finally found.

The Broken River Tent by Mphuthumi Ntabeni (Blackbird)

An entrancing novel that marries imagination with history, set in the time of Maqoma, the Xhosa chief at the forefront of fighting British colonialism in the Eastern Cape in the 19th century.

The Fatuous State Of Severity by Phumlani Pikoli (Pan Macmillan)

A fresh collection of short stories and illustrations that explore the experiences of a generation of young, urban South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language and relationships of various kinds.

Born in Chains: the diary of an angry ‘born-free’ by Clinton Chauke (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

Debut author Chauke shows how his generation is still affected by apartheid policies but writes with wit and a unique sense of humour about his life. It’s a story of hope and perseverance, and of succeeding against all the odds.

The Golddiggers: A Novel by Sue Nyathi (Pan Macmillan)

The Zimbabwean author recounts the experiences of her fellow compatriots trying to make a life in Jozi. The stories of these desperate immigrants is both heart-breaking and heartwarming.

Cringeworthy by Melissa Dahl (Penguin UK)

Subtitled “How to Make the Most of Uncomfortable Situations” New York Magazine’s Dahl offers a thoughtful, original take on what it really means to feel awkward, relating all sorts of mortifying moments and how to turn them to your advantage.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press)

One of the most talked-about books coming in 2018. Described as unsettling and powerful, it is an extraordinary debut novel about a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.”

The Madiba Appreciation Club: A Chef’s Story by Brett Ladds (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

A delightful memoir by Mandela’s former chef, spilling stories about meeting kings and queens, presidents, rock stars and even the Pope, as well as sharing Mandela’s favourite foods. – Michele Magwood, @michelemagwood

The Immortalists

Book details


Under Glass


What Are We Doing Here?



Heads of the Colored People

The Winds of Winter

The Shepherd's Hut



A Short History of Mozambique

The Broken River Tent



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“Ek het genoeg van veroudering en ouderdom meegemaak om seker te wees dat ek self nie oud wil word nie” – geliefde skrywer Karel Schoeman neem sy eie lewe

Die geliefde en bekroonde skrywer, Karel Schoeman, het op ouderdom 77 sy eie lewe geneem.

Schoeman het luidens ‘n brief, wat op 27 April 2017 onderteken is, reeds jare gelede besluit om sy lewe “betyds te beëindig”.

Dié brief is aan Schoeman se prokureur Carl van Rensburg gerig; Van Rensburg is deur Schoeman toestemming gegun om die brief aan die openbaar uit te reik.

“Die besluit om jou eie lewe te beëindig, bly natuurlik ’n hoogs persoonlike saak wat ek nie blindelings wil aanbeveel nie; dog sover dit myself betref, is ek dankbaar dat die besluit geneem en ook uitgevoer word,” het Schoeman geskryf.

Schoeman is die skrywer van onder meer By Fakkellig, Na die Geliefde Land, Op ‘n Eiland, en Hierdie Lewe.

Lees Schoeman se brief hier:


By Fakkellig


Na Die Geliefde Land


Op 'n Eiland

Hierdie Lewe

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Antjie Krog bekroon met Hertzogprys

Die Raad van die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns het onlangs die bekronings vir hul jaarlikse toekennings aan diegene wat ‘n besonderse bydra tot die wetenskap, tegnologie en kunste in Afrikaans gelewer het aangekondig.

Dié raad is ‘n organisasie wat hom beywer vir die bevordering van wetenskap, tegnologie en die kunste, as ook om die belange van Afrikaans te dien.

Die Hertzogprys

Die stigting van die Raad van Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie word aan generaal J.B.M. Hertzog toegeskryf; ‘n voorstander vir Afrikaans-Nederlands. Die gesogte Hertzogprys vir letterkunde is na die generaal vernoem en staan vandag nog bekend as die vernaamste prestigeprys in die Afrikaanse letterkunde.

Die Hertzogprys is vanjaar toegeken aan die gerekende skrywer en digter Antjie Krog vir haar bundel Mede-wete.

Eugène Maraisprys

Die Eugène Maraisprys word toegeken vir ‘n eerste of vroeë letterkundige werk. Die skrywer wat vir sy of haar werk vereer word, kan slegs een maal dié toekenning ontvang.

Eugène Maraisprys 2015: Lien Botha is die 2015 Eugène Maraisprys toegeken vir haar roman Wonderboom. Slegs boeke wat in 2015 verskyn het, is in aanmerking geneem vir hierdie besonderse toekenning.

Eugène Maraisprys 2016: Amy Jephta is toegeken vir haar drama, Kristalvlakte wat in 2016 verskyn het en Bibi Slippers is ook vereer vir haar 2016 debuut-digbundel, Fotostaatmasjien.

Die bekroondes sal hul pryse onderskeidelik in Stellenbosch (Woensdag 21 Junie) en Pretoria (Vrydag 29 September) ontvang.


Book details







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English edition of Antjie Krog’s acclaimed Lady Anne “gripping, passionate, complex”

Lady Anne is one of Antjie’s Krog most acclaimed poetry collections. It was released in 1989, in the last tumultuous decade of apartheid, and received the Hertzog Prize in 1990. In an attempt to make sense of her own existence, Krog juxtaposes her own life in the midst of a world of racial injustice and discrimination, against that of the life and times of Lady Anne Barnard, of Scottish descent, during her stay in the Cape Colony in the late eighteenth century. Ultimately the collection transforms into a document of multiple voices, highlighting the complexity of a colonial legacy – still relevant 26 years later.

This English edition is done in collaboration with Bucknell University Press, US.

The critics say:

Stephen Clingman: “There is a rugged, gripping quality to Krog’s language, digging deep into the nature of South African life and her own self-challenging life
to it.”

Ingrid de Kok: “Krog engages . .. with originality and power, in poetic language of great beauty, passion and complexity.”

Lady Anne

Book details

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The Shallows: translation of Ingrid Winterbach’s Vlakwater to be released on Wednesday

The English translation of Ingrid Winterbach’s Vlakwater (2015) will be released on the eighth of March.

After separating from his partner, painter Nick Steyn moves to Cape Town’s City Bowl. He soon befriends the young boarder who moves in with him. One night she doesn’t return home and his attempts to trace her prove futile. A few weeks after her disappearance, prosperous artist Buks Verhoef makes an offer on Nick’s house. Nick starts to wonder whether these events are related and, if so, could Nick’s former friend, the author of the outrageous novel The Shallows, Victor Schoeman, be involved?

In true Winterbach-style, a parallel narrative interlinks the novel’s characters and events.

An anonymous Stellenbosch woman writing a monograph on the famous Olivier brothers witnesses the murder of Buks Verhoef in a coffee shop. Soon thereafter a sinister man starts stalking her. Could this menacing stranger possibly be Victor Schoeman?

Fantastical, absurd, and haunting, The Shallows, translated by Winterbach-veteran Michiel Heyns, is a must-read for anyone who appreciates masterful storytelling.

Book details

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Sarah Duff Reviews Cape Winelands Cuisine by Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche

Cape Winelands CuisineVerdict: carrot

The Cape Winelands are home to some of South Africa’s top restaurants and can be thought of as the culinary epicentre of the country. The cuisine of the area has been influenced over hundreds of years by a mixture of cultures (Dutch, French Huguenot, Cape Malay) to form the rich gastronomic heritage which is celebrated in Cape Winelands Cuisine. Written by Hetta van Deventer, the culinary manager at wine estate La Motte’s award-winning Pierneef à la Motte restaurant, the book covers traditional and contemporary recipes from the Winelands, with a focus on Cape herbs and spices and cooking with wine.

Book Details

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The 2010 M-Net Literary Awards Shortlists

M-Net Literary Award Banner

Alert! The shortlists for the 2010 M-Net Literary Awards have been announced – including the lists for second annual film awards, given for works of fiction that are, erm, eminently filmmable.

Each M-Net prize carries a purse of R30 000. Last year, Anne Landsman, Etienne van Heerden, Mathethe Molope, Tsireledzo Mushoma and Deon Meyer won the English, Afrikaans, Sepedi/Sesotho, Nguni and Film awards, respectively. The awards have traditionally been associated with the Via Afrika Awards, but this year there’s been a split (for reasons unknown), and the ceremonies where winners are announced will be held separately.

It’s great to see BOOK SA members Imraan Coovadia, Eben Venter, Jacques Pauw, Andrew Brown and Jassy Mackenzie in the 2010 mix. It bears pointing out that this is the third major shortlisting for Coovadia’s High Low In-between, which is also up for the R75 000 Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and has already won the R60 000 University of Johannesburg Prize.

We’re looking at a lot of books, so without further ado:

Main Awards

2010 M-Net Literary Award Shortlist: English

To Heaven by WaterSummertimeHigh Low In-betweenSmall Moving PartsLittle Ice Cream Boy


2010 M-Net Literary Award Shortlist: Afrikaans

PlaasmoordWederkomsVoetstootsTitaanSanta Gamka


2010 M-Net Literary Award Shortlist: Sepedi/Sesotho and Nguni

  • Ga di Mphelele (Let them live for me), M.S. Machitela (Lingua Franca) Sepedi
  • Ba Llwe ke mahlale (Betrayed by tricks) M.P. Mathete (Balobedu) Sotho
  • Lingada Zibuyile Endle (Wild cats have come home), P. Mtuze (Vivlia) isiXhosa
  • Tshedza tsho tovhowa (The light is gone), K. Mukovhanama (Oxford University Press) Tshivenda
  • Zindala Zombile (Head to Head), P.B. Vilakazi (Shuter & Shooter) isiZulu

* * *

Film Awards

2010 M-Net Film Award Shortlist: English

RefugeThe October KillingsMy Brother's KeeperBlack DiamondLittle Ice Cream Boy

Book details


2010 M-Net Film Award Shortlist: Afrikaans

PlaasmoordSeisoen van sondeBottelnekGeldwolfDie Rebellie van Sloet Steenkamp


2010 M-Net Film Award: Sepedi/Sesotho and Nguni

  • Ga di Mphelele (Let them live for me), M.S. Machitela (Lingua Franca) Sepedi
  • Ga Llwe ke mahlale (Betrayed by tricks), M.P. Mathete (Balobedu) Sotho
  • Ngiwalazele Mgakhasela Eziko (Playing with fire), M.D. Mnguni (Vivlia) Ndebele
  • Ufuka Kuyaphila (Death is alive), S. Yawa (Shuter & Shooter) isiXhosa
  • Zindala Zombile (Head to Head), P.B. Vilakaze (Shuter & Shooter) isiZulu

Good luck to everyone!

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The 2010 Exclusive Books Homebru Selection

Alert! Exclusive Books launches the 2010 edition of its Homebru promotion today in Johannesburg.

The campaign places a couple dozen “proudly South African” titles front and centre in Exclusive Books shops and online, aiming to present top titles from a mix of genres. Your Correspondent will be chatting with Homebru selectees Chris van Wyk (Eggs to Lay, Chickens to Hatch), Nechama Brodie (Inside Joburg), Zukiswa Wanner (Home Away (w00t)), Deon Meyer (Thirteen Hours) and Marita van der Vyver (It’s Just Dessert, Dear) at the Johannesburg kick-off later today. Very much looking forward to that!

South AfricaSpilt MilkEggs to Lay, Chickens to HatchEvita se Kossie SikelelaEvita's Kossie SikelelaJust Dessert, DearDis koue kos, skatSouth Africa's Brave New WorldOp pad met MandelaMandela's WayDuiwelsbrood en ander kort en lang verhaleThe South African Fact BookSoccer ChicThirteen HoursYoung MandelaThe Angina MonologuesThe Rise and Fall of ApartheidPops and the Nearly DeadResident AlienKonsert van die leweCaptured in TimeIn die mond van die wolfShould I Stay or Should I GoSowetoWitboy in AfricaWitboy in AfrikaHome AwayStoffel in AfrikaInside JoburgSaracen at the GatesBanquet at BrabazanSpud Putumayo World Music- South African Legends

It’s terrific to see BOOK SA members Kopano Matlwa, Rosamund Kendal, Edyth Bulbring, Tim Richman, Louis Greenberg (and all his Home away minions) and John van de Ruit on this year’s list.

As always, there’s room for debate about said list: where’s Antony Altbeker’s Fruit of a Poisoned Tree, for instance, or Lauren BeukesZoo City – ? And you’d think Fiona Snyckers would be in with a shout with Trinity on Air. (Last, how splendid would it be to see a Modjaji Books title in Homebru lights?) But that, perhaps, is a debate for a different day: today we congratulate those who’ve landed a place.

One item of interest: this year’s list includes a CD in addition to its standard fistful of reads, the Putumayo Africa and SA Legends Pack – a reminder that isn’t just about books anymore.

Here is the 2010 Homebru selection:

Book details: 2010 Homebru Selection

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Rachelle Greeff en Danie Marais groet Rapport lesers

Alles behalwe die geheim van my whiskiesAs almal ver isDanie MaraisRachelle Greeff en Louis EsterhuizenSkrywers Rachelle Greeff (Alles behalwe die geheim van my whiskies) en Danie Marais (As almal ver is) het lesers van Rapport Boeke verlede week gegroet met hul laaste artikel. Anastacia de Vries sal voortaan by die paar oorneem.

Dis my en Danie Marais se finale Rapport Boeke en asof om die waarde van hierdie bylae te herbevestig kom Danie, bekroon as digter en gerespekteer as boekejoernalis, met een van die belangrikste plaaslike artikels nog oor poësie en ras sedert 1994.

By Danie het ek baie geleer. Die sagte antwoord keer die grimmigheid so effens af, dit was een. Maar sy vernaamste les hou hy vir laaste.


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2010 Jan Rabie Rapport and Via Afrika Literary Awards Shortlists

PlaasmoordSwartskaapTroos vir die gebrokenes


Santa GamkaVerbeel jou dis somerLoad-sheddingWederkoms'n Vurk in die padReisigerAlf KumaloDie Verdere Avonture Van Wilde WillemientjieIn a House, In a HouseIn the Never-Ever WoodBalaclava BoyKaptein HamerkophaaiThe Bird of HeavenImprendehoraSmall Moving PartsThe Elephant in the Room

Alert! The shortlists for this year’s Jan Rabie Rapport and Via Afrika prizes have been announced. To reprint exactly what we said about the prizes last year:

The Jan Rabie/Rapport Prize is the most prestigious award in Afrikaans literature for first or early fiction, and open to all books, while the five Via Afrika awards are open only to titles from the Via Afrika group: NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Lux Verbi-BM, NVA and Van Schaik Publishers.

The good news is that, this year, Via Afrika has increased the prize money to from R30 00 to R35 000 per category. The ceremony, held in June last year, has been pushed to July in 2010 – doubtless so that it avoids the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It’s the richest awards night in SA Lit, and BOOK SA will certainly be there to cover it.

Now, to the shortlists (books listed in alphabetical order):

Jan Rabie Rapport Prize

The shortlisted titles for the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize, awarded to a debut or early work characterised by fresh and innovative Afrikaans prose, are:

Plaasmoord by Karin Brynard (Human & Rousseau)
Swartskaap by Odette Schoeman (Kwela Books)
Troos vir die gebrokenes by Bettina Wyngaard (Umuzi)

WA Hofmery Prize

The WA Hofmeyr Prize – in its 48th year – goes to authors who could “potentially, through their outstanding writing, shift the boundaries of Afrikaans literature”:

Santa Gamka by Eben Venter (Tafelberg)
Verbeel jou dis somer by Abraham H. de Vries (Human & Rousseau)
Wederkoms by Louis Krüger (Human & Rousseau)

Recht Malan Prize

The Recht Malan Prize “acknowledges excellence in the field of non-fiction books”:

Load Shedding, edited by Liz McGregor and Sarah Nuttall (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
‘n Vurk in die pad by Andre P. Brink (Human & Rousseau)
Reisiger by Elsa Joubert (Tafelberg)
Through my Lens by Alf Kumalo and and Tanya Farber (Tafelberg)

MER Prizes

The shortlist for the MER Prize for illustrated children’s books comprises:

Die verdere avonture van Wilde Willemientjie by Riana Scheepers, illustrated by Vian Oelofsen (Tafelberg)
In a House in a House/In ‘n Huis in ‘n Huis by Wendy Hartmann, illustrated by Joan Rankin (Human & Rousseau)
In the Never-Ever Wood/In die Nimmer-Immer-bos by Linda Rode, illustrated by Fiona Moodie (Tafelberg)

The shortlist for the MER Prize for youth literature comprises:

Balaclava Boy by Jenny Robson (Tafelberg)
Kaptein Hamerkophaai by Fanie Viljoen (Tafelberg)
The Bird of Heaven by Peter Dunseith (Tafelberg)

Herman Charles Bosman Prize

The shortlisted titles for the Herman Charles Bosman Prize, which “encourages and recognises excellence in the field of English literary writing” are:

Imprendehora by Yvette Christiansë (Kwela Books/Snailpress)
Small Moving Parts by Sally-Ann Murray (Kwela Books)
The Elephant in the Room by Maya Fowler (Kwela Books)

Good luck to all the shortlistees – and especially to BOOK SA members Eben Venter, Andre P. Brink and Maya Fowler!

Book Details – Jan Rabie Rapport Prize shortlist

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