Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

2016 South African Literary Awards nominees revealed

Dit kom van ver afKarnaval en lentShirley, Goodness & MercyEggs to Lay, Chickens to HatchVry-Bumper CarsBeyond TouchPruimtwak en skaduboksersUnSettled and Other StoriesFlame in the SnowHalfpad een ding’n Huis vir EsterEsther's HouseVlakwaterIt Might Get LoudBuys – ’n GrensromanThe Violent Gestures of LifeSweet MedicineKamphoerWhat If There Were No Whites In South Africa?Donker stroomAskari

Alert! The shortlists for the 2016 South African Literary Awards have been announced.

18 authors from a total of 132 submissions have been shortlisted and the winners will be announced on Monday, 7 November, at a prestigious function at Unisa.

On the same day, wRite Associates will host the fifth Africa Century International African Writers Conference, before the ceremony. This year, the SALAs have partnered with the Unisa Department of English Studies in delivering both the awards ceremony and the Conference.

The SALAs were founded in 2005 by wRite Associates and the Department of Arts and Culture.

This year, the awards will honour the memory of TT Cloete and Chris van Wyk with Posthumous Literary Awards, while Ingrid Winterbach and Professor Johan Lenake are nominated for Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards.

The SALA Adjudication Panel said:

We are excited that South African literature continues to flourish, with many young writers coming into the scene, sharing platforms with their more established and experienced counterparts, however, we are saddened and concerned that we still see less and less of works written in African languages.

Going forward, the SALA Adjudication Panel recommends literary workshops and symposia with stakeholders, especially writers, publishers and editors, to address concerns regarding the standard and quality of some of the work, especially in African languages, that SALA has been receiving over time. This would be in line with one of the objectives of SALA, ‘to promote and preserve all our languages’.

We congratulate the 2016 nominees for their sterling work and keeping South Africa’s literary heritage alive.

The SALAs aim to “pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves as groundbreaking producers and creators of literature”, as well as to “celebrate literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories, value systems and philosophies and art as inscribed and preserved in all the languages of South Africa, particularly the official languages”.

The 2016 South African Literary Awards nominees:

Posthumous Literary Award

TT Cloete – Body of work
Chris van Wyk – Body of work

Poetry Award

Gilbert Gibson, Vry-
Athol Williams, Bumper Cars
Arja Salafranca, Beyond Touch

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Danie Marais, Pruimtwak en skaduboksers
Sandra Hill, UnSettled and Other Stories

Literary Translators Award

Leon de Kock and Karin Schimke, Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker
Zirk van den Berg, Halfpad een ding
Kirby van der Merwe, ’n Huis vir Ester

Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Ingrid Winterbach – Body of work
Prof Johan Lenake – Body of work

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

Willem Anker, Buys – ’n Grensroman
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho, The Violent Gestures of Life
Panashe Chigumadzi, Sweet Medicine

First-time Published Author Award

Francois Smith, Kamphoer
Ferial Haffajee, What If There Were No Whites In South Africa?

Creative Non-Fiction Award

Carel van der Merwe, Donker stroom
Jacob Dlamini, Askari

Chairperson’s Award

Recipient to be announced at the Award Ceremony – Body of work


Book details

» read article

The literature inspiring South Africa’s student protests

Memoirs of a Born FreeAmericanahDog Eat DogNervous Conditions
Where We StandUnimportanceThe Wretched of the EarthI Write What I Like


South Africa’s university student revolt has given new life to radical authors of previous generations as they draw on their ideas to fight fees and demand a “free‚ decolonised education”.

Among the works which are fueling the ideas behind the fees protests are the anti-colonialism writings of Frantz Fanon – originally from the Caribbean island of Martinique but who began writing scathing critiques from France in the 1950s – and Steve Biko‚ the celebrated Black Consciousness leader killed by the apartheid state in 1977.

But other writers include contemporary Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in whose 2013 novel Americanah‚ black women’s hair serves as a symbol to illustrate the central character’s struggle against racism.

South Africa’s students are also drawing on earlier works‚ like the early 20th century work of WEB du Bois‚ a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopled in the United States and who produced influential writings railing against racism.

Tarryn de Kock‚ a researcher and postgraduate at the Centre for International Teacher Education as well as a former Politics and International Relations student at Rhodes University‚ said there was a wide range of both local and international thinkers “who have become part of the conversation around decoloniality and decolonised education”.

“There is a broad range of literature that South African students are using to inform their perspectives‚ both locally and from abroad‚ and spanning at least the last century or two‚” she said.

“Classic and contemporary authors on issues of racism and the psychosocial effects of race thinking include WEB du Bois‚ Aime Cesaire‚ Walter Rodney‚ Paul Gilroy‚ Marcus Garvey‚ Steve Biko‚ Amilcar Cabral and Frantz Fanon.

“They wrote on the experiences of black people in places such as the USA‚ the Caribbean‚ Europe and Africa.

“Garvey‚ Biko‚ Rodney and Cabral also reflected on the economic effects of colonialism on black people‚ how underdevelopment and deprivation were secured as a generational default‚ and how structures of economic‚ political‚ cultural and educational power facilitated the suppression of colonial subjects.”

De Kock said Fanon has been especially popular because of “almost prophetic discussions” about the “postcolony” in his book The Wretched of the Earth‚ where he discusses what happens after liberation and how‚ based on the structures set up under colonialism‚ particular forms of power and power struggles come to characterise the newly liberated post-colonial state.

Ncedisa Mpemnyama‚ a University of the Western Cape student in sociology and psychology‚ who spoke to TMG Digital during protests at the University of Cape Town‚ said he had found inspiration in Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Biko’s I Write What I Like.

“What I have come to realise is that the cycle of poverty that is constantly perpetuated and structured on black people‚ gives us very little chance to succeed. It almost seems as though there is genocide on young blacks who have become so used to suffering.

“We need to change the conversation. We are often not taken seriously but we are indeed the future leaders of this country‚” he said.

Panashe Chigumadzi‚ activist‚ author of Sweet Medicine‚ and curator of the Abantu Book Festival‚ said that there was not always consensus about the relevance of literature in student protests.

Chigumadzi said there were often “contestations as to who has the right interpretation of what is being said‚ when you put literature into practice”.

“There’s a saying by Bob Marley, ‘He who feels it knows it’. Even as a writer I need to say that literature is great but I think you just need to walk outside and engage with what is currently happening‚” she said.

“If you just have a sense of empathy and you try to understand what black people go through‚ particularly poor black people‚ then you should understand.

“You need to be receptive to what people are saying. Students have tried to speak at nauseam and write pieces about this so a lot of it involves us looking into our hearts‚ beyond reaching for more books‚ speak to each other and I think we will get a whole lot more‚” Chigumadzi added.

Source: TMG Digital

Book details

» read article

RIP Allister Sparks (1933-2016)

Anyone who tries to understand what is happening in South Africa today without first digesting Allister Sparks’s lucid, sensitive and comprehensive exploration of the country’s multifaceted mind, does so at his own peril.

- André Brink, on The Mind of South Africa

Allister Sparks, Mpho and Desmond Tutu and Bono
Allister Sparks, Mpho and Desmond Tutu and Bono
at the launch of Tutu: The Authorised Portrait


The Sword and the PenBeyond the MiracleTomorrow is Another CountryThe Mind Of South AfricaTutuFirst Drafts


Allister Sparks, veteran journalist, newspaper editor, author and political analyst, has died at the age of 83.

According to a media release, Sparks passed away at the Morningside Clinic yesterday after a heart attack, after spending 12 days in hospital.

Sparks has been the recipient of numerous awards and is the author of several bestselling books about South Africa, including Beyond the Miracle and Tomorrow is another Country. His writing covers South Africa from the birth of apartheid, the rise of political opposition, the dawn of democracy, right through to today.

Nelson Mandela called him: “One of South Africa’s eminent journalists, whose outspoken views have served the cause of democracy in this country magnificently.”

Sparks was born in Cathcart in the Eastern Cape in 1933, and began his career as a journalist in 1951, at the age of 18, with an interview with then-Minister of Native Affairs Hendrik Verwoerd.

As Ray Hartley writes, Sparks quickly rose through the ranks, and won a Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard in the United States in 1962:

When he returned to the country, it was under the iron-fisted rule of BJ Vorster and his security henchman, ‘Lang’ Hendrik van den Bergh.

When two senior ANC officials, Arthur Goldreich and Harold Wolpe, escaped from security police cells and fled to neighbouring Botswana, Sparks tracked them down to their redoubt.

“My name is Allister Sparks. I’m from the Rand Daily Mail, and I want to talk to Arthur and Harold,” he said, after knocking on the door.
After interviewing them for hours, he wrote a series of scoops, leading to the publication of special editions of the Rand Daily Mail.
The story was dramatic. A plane scheduled to ferry the ANC leaders away was burned down on the runway and an escape plan had to be hatched.

Allister SparksSparks really made his name, however, as the editor of the Rand Daily Mail. Under his leadership, the newspaper revealed the real cause of Steve Biko’s death – a story reported by Helen Zille – as well as the details of the Information Scandal in the mid-1970s.

With Sparks at the helm the Rand Daily Mail’s black readership grew substantially, and he was eventually let go because advertisers wanted to target a white audience. After that he worked for The Observer, The Washington Post and other major international publications as a South African correspondent.

His most recent book, The Sword and the Pen: Six Decades on the Political Frontier, was published just a few months ago.

A memorial service is being planned for Friday, 14 October at 11 AM at the Braamfontein Crematorium.

Books LIVE offers condolences to Sparks’s family and friends.

Book details

» read article

Students continue protest action at Stellenbosch and UCT

Protest NationAfrica UprisingFrom Protest to Challenge Volume 1

A group of protesters are attempting to disrupt operations on the University of Cape Town campus‚ while at Stellenbosch University students occupying the library have been given notice to vacate the area or face sanction.

The UCT libraries‚ including the 24/7 study area‚ were also closed until further notice midday on Friday.

On the UCT campus‚ protesters are demanding a halt to disciplinary action against students implicated in violent protest. At Stellenbosch‚ a group of students have been staging a sit-in at the institution’s JS Gericke Library to demand free tuition.

Tweeting about the UCT protest‚ @KhumbulaniJali commented: “Who thinks they can come to lectures? You don’t take us serious #FeesMustFall #BringBackOurCadres”.

“Occupation of SRC office now! #UCTshutdown #BringBackOurCadres‚” Lindsay Maasdorp said.

At Stellenbosch‚ @FeesMustFallWC posted a copy of a letter they had been served to vacate the library and claimed‚ “We are under attack‚ forcefully removed here at SU. They almost crushed a person closing a door #SFMFDefiance”.

They also allege that pepper spray had been used against them:

Source: TMG Digital

Related stories:

Book details

» read article

New book takes the lid off state capture – Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-busting Unit

New book takes the lid off state capture – Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-busting Unit

RogueThe identity of the explosive new mystery book Exclusive Books has been hinting at for the last few weeks has been revealed …

The book is called Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-busting Unit, and is written by Johann van Loggerenberg, with Adrian Lackay.

From Jonathan Ball Publishers:

Rogue is an exposé of national importance that identifies the dark forces at play in politics and the business world.

It provides clarity to a saga that has left us asking “Who can we trust?”

About the book (from Jonathan Ball)

The story of a “rogue unit” operating within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) became entrenched in the public mind following a succession of sensational reports published by the Sunday Times in 2014. The unit, the reports claimed, had carried out a series of illegal spook operations: they had spied on President Jacob Zuma, run a brothel, illegally bought spyware and entered into unlawful tax settlements.

In a plot of Machiavellian proportions, head of the elite crime-busting unit Johann van Loggerenberg and many of SARS’s top management were forced to resign. Van Loggerenberg’s select team of investigators, with their impeccable track record of busting high-level financial fraudsters and nailing tax criminals, lost not only their careers but also their reputations.

Now, in this extraordinary account, they finally get to put the record straight and the rumours to rest: there was no ‘rogue unit’. The public had been deceived, seemingly by powers conspiring to capture SARS for their own ends.

Shooting down the allegations he has faced one by one, Van Loggerenberg tells the story of what really happened inside SARS, revealing details of some of the unit’s actual investigations.

About the authors

Johann van Loggerenberg was a group executive at SARS before he resigned from the tax authority in early 2015 after 16 years’ service. His name featured publicly for his involvement in SARS investigations into individuals such as Billy Rautenbach, Irvin Khoza, Julius Malema, Lolly Jackson, Glenn Agliotti and Radovan Krejcir. He currently consults for law firms and private forensic investigation companies.

Adrian Lackay is a former spokesperson for SARS. Before he started at the tax authority in 2003, he worked as a journalist and political correspondent.

Statement from Exclusive Books Group CEO Benjamin Trisk:

Occasionally, very occasionally, a book comes along that refocuses us as booksellers and gives us the feeling that we can serve our community by being brave enough to support something desperately worthwhile. A book of this ilk was The Super Afrikaners published 40 years ago by a courageous young publisher whose name was Jonathan Ball.

A book with the same potential to make an impact is available on our shelves in select stores now (V&A Waterfront, Cavendish, Canal Walk and Cape Town Domestic Airport stores), and will be available nationwide from next week. We are proud to sell it, proud to stand by its disclosures and convinced that it will have a significant impact on our national discourse. It presents an alarming picture of how a national institution has failed the country it serves and it shines an unnerving light on Intelligence structures that are used to serve individual or factional interests.

Every South African who is concerned about issues of leadership, good governance and the equitable treatment of those who serve the State needs to read this book. Being informed offers a chance for redress; being ignorant will impoverish us all.

Benjamin Trisk
Exclusive Books Group

Book details

» read article

Facts and Fictions: Find out about Bridge Books – Joburg’s newest independent bookstore – and the coming reading revolution

By Jennifer Malec for the Sunday Times

Facts and Fictions: Find out about Bridge Books - Joburg's newest independent bookstore

“People are always telling me, ‘Oh, there’s finally a bookstore in town!’ But if you look out that window there are two booksellers right across the street. There’s another one behind us, and if you go round the corner there are just tons and tons of people selling books.”

Griffin Shea likes to emphasise that he is no trailblazer when it comes to selling books in downtown Joburg. But his new shop, Bridge Books, certainly makes an impression. It’s located in the old Barclays Bank on Commissioner Street, one of the city’s most revered Art Deco buildings. You are greeted by a triple-volume entrance hall decked out in wood panelling and brass, bordered by marble colonnades and finished off with giant, glittering chandeliers.

Bridge Books focuses on new and second-hand African and South African books, with a smaller collection of “rest of world” huddled on its own shelf, in a pleasing inversion of standard local bookshop practice. But Shea also acts as a wholesaler to a group of informal vendors who, in turn, source second-hand books for him. “It becomes a two-way dynamic,” he says, “which works so well because if you want classics like Nervous Conditions or Things Fall Apart recent prints are still expensive but if they come in second-hand you can sell them for R80. Lots of people can make an impulse purchase if it’s double digits.”

… When you walk around you realise there’s a lot of reading happening that the formal book industry just doesn’t know about.

Shea describes the informal booksellers he works with as “disenfranchised from the world of books”. Many are migrants or young entrepreneurs, without a bank account, credit record or ID book. “That makes it very difficult to interact with large companies, because companies need you to have those things, and reasonably so. But there’s also no reason not to bridge the gap and be the go-between.” And that’s his plan.

An aspiring novelist in the young adult genre himself, and with a vague plan of selling his own books, Shea struck out into the inner city last year. “I was armed with all this grim data about how nobody reads in South Africa,” he says. “But when you walk around you realise there’s a lot of reading happening that the formal book industry just doesn’t know about.”

His ambition is to connect the publishing establishment with the reading that happens “quite literally on the street”. But he also wants to keep it simple. “When I hear these debates about decolonising publishing, it blows my mind,” he says. “There are these huge issues, but there are also some very simple problems that, if solved, can have a big impact.”

For example, informal booksellers have a hard time keeping their stock safe from theft, water and rats. Shea mentioned this to Pan Macmillan, who donated some plastic bins and trolleys. “That’s a problem you can solve with R1000, and it can significantly change the way people do business,” Shea says. “Nobody needs their problems solved for them, but to provide a tiny bit of support, that’s part of what I’m trying to do. To make connections with people that they might not otherwise have, for dumb reasons.”

Bridge Books hasn’t been open long, but Shea says the response has been “amazing”. “People gravitate to a bookstore where they feel they will find what they’re looking for,” he says. “There’s a disillusionment about bookstores – without slamming anyone – and there’s a demand for local stories. I think in the city people feel neglected.”

SO what are people looking for? Well, everything. But Shea says his younger customers are interested in lesser known liberation heroes, as well as early African or pre-colonial stories about the San or Mapungubwe. “They tend not to be so obsessed with the recent past, which weighs so heavily on many people. They want a much broader look at history, which is inspiring.”

Shea says the bad rap publishers and bookshops often get in South Africa is undeserved. “There’s this idea that they don’t want to sell books to the population at large, but they all do,” Shea says. “Not everyone knows how. Everyone I’ve been in contact with is willing to experiment and gamble on this very random project in town. People really are willing to try, and if this project addresses just one little thing, it’s a start.”

Shea is starting an NGO, the African Book Trust, which will buy books to donate to libraries. To find out more and hear about Bridge Books events, follow them on

Griffin Shea recommends

Radiance of Tomorrow
Ishmael Beah - Famous for his memoir about being a child soldier, Radiance of Tomorrow is about returning home. It’s gorgeously written, because he translates often very literally from his mother tongue into English, which creates some beautiful metaphors.•

Sometimes there is a Void
Zakes Mda - As soon as the books arrive they go back out. I ordered two of everything to start, to see what would work, but two is not enough for Zakes Mda. You need 10 of each thing and they just keep going.•

Niq Mhlongo - Affluenza is really good. Short stories are underappreciated; they’re really hard to write. These are gorgeous little gems, and as a parent of young children I like that I can have a feeling of accomplishment by finishing one and then collapsing asleep.•

So Long a Letter
So Long a Letter - People are always looking for Nervous Conditions and Things Fall Apart, so to broaden the African canon a bit, Mariama Bâ is someone we don’t usually read because the books are geographically or linguistically distant.

* * * * *
I Write What I LikeOliver Tambo RememberedThe Coming RevolutionEight Days in SeptemberCyril RamaphosaWhen Hope Whispers

Bridge Books top sellers

1. I Write What I Like, by Steve Biko
2. Oliver Tambo Remembered, edited by Z Pallo Jordan
3. The Coming Revolution: Julius Malema and the Fight for Economic Freedom, edited by Floyd Shivambu
4. Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki, by Frank Chikane
5. Cyril Ramaphosa, by Anthony Butler
6. When Hope Whispers, by Zoleka Mandela

Follow Jennifer Malec on Twitter @projectjennifer

Book details

  • Oliver Tambo Remembered: A Collection of Contributions from Around the World Celebrating the Life of OR Tambo edited by Zweledinga Pallo Jordan
    EAN: 9781770102361
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article

Jacket Notes: Martin Plaut on Promise and Despair: The First Struggle for a Non-Racial South Africa

Published in the Sunday Times

Promise and DespairPromise and Despair: The First Struggle for a Non-Racial South Africa
Martin Plaut (Jacana)

This is a book that began from ignorance: my own and that of almost all South Africans I met.

Four years ago I came across an obscure reference which suggested that there had been a non-racial vote years before the end of apartheid. I was astonished. When I mentioned it to my friends they all thought I must have been mistaken.

But gradually it became clear that as early as 1853 – at least in the Cape – any male person could vote, as long as he had sufficient income or property. Race was not an issue.

An extraordinary group of political leaders came together to fight to extend the Cape’s non-racial franchise when the Union of South Africa was being debated in 1909. Men like John Dube, Walter Rubusana and John Tengo Jabavu joined “coloured” leaders like Dr Abdurahman and Daniel Lenders.

Led by William Schreiner (brother of Olive Schreiner and a former Cape prime minister), they took the fight to London, appealing to the British parliament not to entrench racism in South Africa’s constitution.

Gandhi was also in London at the time and gave encouragement and advice. Early leaders of the British Labour Party fought for a non-racial constitution.

In the end the delegation’s efforts were in vain, but the members returned to South Africa changed by what they had learned.

Discussions in London with men like Pixley ka Isaka Seme shaped the foundation on which the ANC was founded in 1912. Links were forged between the ANC and the party led by Dr Abdurhaman.

In his cabin on the journey back to Cape Town, Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj – the book that would destroy British India.

In the cauldron of events between the end of the Anglo-Boer War and World War I most of the major movements that would shape South Africa during the 20th century were formed. It was a moment of extraordinary flux.

Material for this book was found in some of the most unlikely places. The National Archive in Washington threw fascinating light on US involvement in the Anglo-Boer War. The Anglican archbishop’s letters revealed the depth of ignorance and racism in the church in this era.

Book details

» read article

Long Story Short’s first African language podcast – Presley Chweneyagae reads Sabata-Mpho Mokae’s Ga Ke Modisa

Ga Ke ModisaThe Story of Sol T. Plaatje

The Long Story Short initiative, launched by arts and culture entrepreneur Kgauhelo Dube, has reached yet another literary milestone – their first podcast in an African language!

In this podcast, well-known actor Presley Chweneyagae of Tsotsi fame reads an extract from Sabata-Mpho Mokae’s Setswana novel Ga Ke Modisa. In 2013, Mokae’s novel won an M-Net Literary Award in the African languages and film categories.

Listen to the reading, which was recorded earlier this year at the inaugural Rutanang Book Fair in Tlokwe, North West Province. At the time, Dube exclaimed: “We are also very excited as the talented performer Presley Chweneyagae will be reading the first Setswana story in the Long Story Short series!”

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Related stories:


Book details

» read article

RIP Adam Small (1936-2016)

Adam Small en Rosalie Small
GoreeThe Orange EarthKlawerjasVi' Adam SmallKrismis van Map JacobsKo lat ons singKanna hy kô huistoe

Poet, writer, academic and Black Consciousness activist Adam Small has died, aged 79, after complications arising from an operation.

Small was born on 21 December 1936 in Wellington. He matriculated in 1953 from St Columba’s High School in Athlone on the Cape Flats. In 1963 he completed an MA (cum laude) in the philosophy of Nicolai Hartmann and Friedrich Nietzsche at the University of Cape Town. He also studied at the University of London and Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Small became a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Fort Hare in 1959, and in 1960 he was one of the academic founders of the University of the Western Cape, when he was appointed Head of the Philosophy Department. In the early 1970s he joined the Black Consciousness movement.

In 1973 he was pressured to resign from the UWC, which prompted a move to Johannesburg, where he became the Head of Student Body Services at Wits University. He returned to Cape Town in 1977, where he was Director of the Western Cape Foundation for Community Services until 1983. In 1984 he returned to the UWC as the Head of the Social Services Department, a position he held until his retirement in 1997.

Adam SmallSmall made his debut as a poet in 1957 with Verse van die liefde. Some of his other well known poetry volumes include Kitaar my kruis (1961) and Sê Sjibbolet (1963). His best known theatrical drama is Kanna hy kô hystoe (1965).

He was awarded the Hertzog Prize in 2012, for his contribution to drama. The award, long overdue, was not without controversy as the prize is usually awarded to a writer who has published new work.

His play The Orange Earth, written in 1978 in the heyday of apartheid and two years after the Soweto Uprising, was published for the first time by NB Publishers in 2013. At the same time his first poetry collection in 40 years, Klawerjas, was also published.

City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille paid tribute to Small, saying: “It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the passing of one of our county’s dear sons, Adam Small.

“As a writer and poet, Adam Small used his craft to highlight the oppression suffered by the working class under the apartheid regime.

“Last year I was honoured to sit next to Adam Small and listen to his famous pieces, ‘Kô lat ons sing’ and ‘Oos wes tuis bes Distrik Ses’. Many years after he had written those pieces, his words and the emotions were still so vivid and touching. On behalf of the City of Cape Town, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Adam Small.

“Rest in peace Adam Small. We will always remember you for your great contribution to literature and the Struggle.”

Books LIVE sends condolences to Small’s wife, Rosalie, and his family and friends.

Book details

» read article

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards winners announced

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards winners announced

Alert! Finuala Dowling, Ingrid Winterbach and Milton Shain were among the winners of the 2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards.

The awards recognise the best work published by Media24 Books – including NB Publishers and Jonathan Ball – during the previous year. More than 50 books published by Media24 during 2015 were entered for the awards, which offered prize money totalling more than R200,000.

The Fetch
The 2016 Herman Charles Bosman prize for English fiction went to Finuala Dowling for her novel The Fetch, published by Kwela. In their commendation, the judges lauded Dowling for “the strength of the writing, the subtlety and wit of the language, her descriptive powers and her skill at creating credible characters that are of real interest to us: complex, human, and quirky”.


A Perfect Storm
Milton Shain received the Recht Malan prize for nonfiction for A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930-1948, published by Jonathan Ball and described by the judges as history at its most compulsively readable. “In a time when violent xenophobia regularly rears its ugly head across the country, the continent and the globe, this marvellous book is a timely reminder of what can happen when politicians in pursuit of power demonise a vulnerable group,” the judges said.


The winner of the WA Hofmeyr prize for Afrikaans fiction is Ingrid Winterbach for her novel Vlakwater, published by Human & Rousseau. It is the fourth time Winterbach received this prestigious award. The novel, which is currently being translated into English, broadens an already impressive oeuvre, the judges said.


The Elisabeth Eybers prize for English or Afrikaans poetry went to Free State poet Gilbert Gibson for his fifth collection of poetry, Vry- (Human & Rousseau).


Elton Amper-Famous April en Juffrou Brom
The MER Prize for youth novels went to Carin Krahtz for Elton amper famous April en juffrou Brom (Tafelberg).


Die Dingesfabriek: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjien
The MER prize for illustrated children’s books went to Elizabeth Wasserman and illustrator Astrid Castle for Die Dingesfabriek 4: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjien (Tafelberg).


The judges were:

Herman Charles Bosman Prize: Johan Jacobs, Molly Brown and Ann Donald

The Recht Malan Prize: John Maytham, Elsa van Huyssteen and Max du Preez

The WA Hofmeyr Prize: Thys Human, Danie Marais and Bernard Odendaal

Elisabeth Eybers Prize: Henning Pieterse, Antjie Krog and Francois Smith

MER Prize for youth novels: Louise Steyn, Verushka Louw and Wendy Maartens

MER prize for illustrated children’s books: Lona Gericke, Paddy Bouma and Magdel Vorster.

Book details

» read article