Archive for the ‘Reference’ Category
1. “Lemon Pancakes” by Judyanette Muchiri – short story
From The Magunga: We will have a beautiful church wedding. We will celebrate, look at the people as they look at us and think how lucky we are. We will get two chubby babies, and we will name them after our parents.
2. Haruki Murakami’s agony uncle answers become eight-volume book
From The Guardian: Haruki Murakami is riding high in the charts again, after a digital edition of his latest work that stretches to eight volumes has raced up the bestseller lists.
Featuring the Japanese writer’s thoughts on everything from jazz and cats to relationships.
3. “Umberto Eco’s Antilibrary: Why Unread Books Are More Valuable to Our Lives than Read Ones” by Maria Popova – essay
From Brain Pickings: We tend to treat our knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended. It is an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order. So this tendency to offend Eco’s library sensibility by focusing on the known is a human bias that extends to our mental operations.
4. “Our sweet teeth” by Anna Katharina Schaffner – review of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets
From The Times Literary Supplement: The Companion abounds with such curious theories and facts. Who knew, for example, that the familiar plastic flying toy known as the frisbee was named after the American bakery manager William Russell Frisbie, whose popular flat pies were sold in tin plates with his name imprinted in bold letters on the base?
Hassan Mahamdallie reviews Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, Salman Rushdie’s new novel
From The Independent: The book’s title signposts us to the One Thousand and One Nights collection of stories. However, Rushdie’s style, testing the reader with a succession of cartoon characters, digressions and pop-culture and literary references, moves us far away from the beauty of the stripped-down storytelling of the classical fables.
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Alert! The programme for the ParkWords 2015, Parkview Literary Festival, has been released.
The festival, which is hosted by the Parkview Residents’ Association, is a celebration of the literary talent in the area. It features informal talks and debates, events for children and teenagers, food and entertainment, and the opportunity to buy many wonderful books!
This is is the second year of the festival, and the line-up of authors is even more exciting than last year’s programme. The authors and literati who will be taking part are: Mondli Makhanya, David Smith, William Gumede, Justice Malala, Greg Mills, Peter Bruce, Tim Cohen, Rob Rose, Chris Yelland, James Styan, Ray Hartley, Carlos Amato, Kevin McCallum, Harriet Gavshon, Sarah Emily Duff, Andrea Burgener, Richard Steyn, Tim Couzens, Jenny Crwys-Williams, Craig Higgingson, Mandla Langa, Pamela Power, Judith Ancer, Arthur Goldstuck, Maureen Isaacson, Karen Lazar, Lisa Seftel, Wayne Duvenage, Ben Williams, Achmat Dangor, Dov Fedler, David Williams, David Lewis, Didi Moyle, Bridget Hilton-Barber, Denise Slabbert, Jabulile Ngwenya and Michele Magwood.
Take a look at the main programme:
Here is the programme for the young and young at heart:
More information about ParkWords:
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It’s happening, it’s here. The South African Book Fair kicked off this morning at the Turbine Hall in Newtown. It’s Africa’s largest book fair, and incorporates 40 events, 44 new small publishers, and seven publishers from across the continent.
With fire in their hearts and warm coffee in their hands, the Books LIVE team stepped into the book lovers’ equivalent of wonderland on this frosty Friday morning. Here are some tweets about the morning from Ben Williams (@benrwms), Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer) and Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw):
For more exciting stuff from the South African Book Fair, follow #SABF2015. Join the conversation by using the tag in your own tweets, and share your SABF experience!
Here is a quick roundup of a few of today’s highlights:
Get published! – Mark Winkler talks about how he broke through the lit barrier and two publishers give their tips and suggestions on how to get published.
Time: 10 AM – 11 AM
Venue: Brink Room
Why is it important to talk to children in their own language? In this insightful talk, Elinor Sisulu, NLSA & PUO discuss “Children’s literature publishing in indigenous languages: How do we achieve a quantum leap?” Facilitated by the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation.
Time: 12 PM – 1 PM
Venue: Achebe Room
Ever suspected that there is more to soccer than simply soccer? Want to discover the drama beyond the pitch? Cover2Cover launches Soccer Secrets, the latest in our READALICIOUS Harmony High series, with author Jayne Bauling & a secret celebrity.
Time: 1 PM – 2 PM
Venue: Brink Room
What is a dictionary corpus? How do new words make it into a dictionary? And why are some removed? Why make South African dictionaries? Join the Oxford University Press dictionary publishing team, Megan Hall & Dr Phillip Louw, as they chat to Sue de Groot about the fascinating process of dictionary making.
Time: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
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Venue: Brink Room
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”.
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.”
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Jennifer Malec tweeted from the event:
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Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22 April. It is a global day of environmental observance that draws attention to the need to preserve and protect the planet’s ecological health.
The obvious way for book lovers to be more green-conscious is to curl up with a great read instead of watching television or other fossil fuel burning entertainment. With that in mind, here are some books for getting into the spirit of Earth Day:
Become a part-time vegetarian. By committing to Meatless Mondays, you can do a lot to curb the environmental effects of livestock farming. If you are already meatless on Mondays, try Veggie Wednesday too.
Get yourself a copy of Melissa Bushby’s Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen or Luscious Vegetarian by Sonia Cabano and Jade de Waal, and you might just find yourself wanting to become a full-time vegetarian.
Explore the your town by hiking. Not only is it an inexpensive and healthy bit of weekend fun, but you’ll also get personal experience of the natural beauty that Earth Day seeks to preserve.
Hike Cape Town: Top Day Trails on the Peninsula by Fiona McIntosh and Gauteng Hikes and Walks by Tim Hartwright are guides to the best hiking spots in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively.
South Africa has a beautiful diversity of flora, fauna, landscape and cultural heritage. This natural heritage is preserved by South African National Parks, which manages the 19 national parks across South Africa.
Explore the best South Africa has to offer with Kruger National Park Questions and Answers by PF Fourie and Chris van der Linde, National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide by Chris Stuart and Mathilde Stuart and Touring South Africa’s National Parks by Michael Brett to guide you.
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In celebration of 100 years of dedication to education Oxford University Press Southern Africa (OUPSA) has launched their centenary campaign entitled: “Every child deserves a dictionary.”
The initiative aims to supply 20 000 dictionaries to schools across South Africa that cannot afford them and at the same time to create awareness around education and language.
Marian Griffin Kloot, Higher Education and Trade Director for Oxford University Press SA, spoke to Pippa Hudson about the campaign. “We want to donate a total of 20 000 dictionaries to 200 schools across all nine provinces. We’ve already donated 10 000 and we need some help to get the next 10 000 into the hands of learners,” Kloot says.
Listen to the podcast to find out how you can get involved:
How does it work?
During the first stage of the campaign 10 000 dictionaries are being distributed to schools in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, Gauteng and Western Cape and for the second stage members of the public can pledge their support on the everychild.oxford.co.za website. For each pledge OUPSA will donate one dictionary to a school in need.
“We call on the public to get behind the initiative and to show their support through our ‘Every child deserves a dictionary’ campaign which reminds South Africans of the power of knowledge, the value of education and the importance of giving our learners the chance to fully realise their own potential,” Steve Cilliers, MD of Oxford University Press Southern Africa, says.
Sindiwe Magona, activist, teacher and internationally recognised author of among others The Ugly Duckling and From Robben Island to Bishopscourt, shared her views on why every child deserves a dictionary and explained how words shaped her life.
Watch the video:
OUPSA asked children what they think the word “thesaurus” means. Watch the super cute video:
To pledge a dictionary go to everychild.oxford.co.za. Follow the campaign on social media using the hashtag #EveryChild, on Twitter @OxfordSAHE and @OxfordSASchools and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OxfordSAHE and www.facebook.com/OxfordSASchools.
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“Every child deserves a dictionary” – raising awareness about the value of education
25 March 2015: In celebrating 100 years of contributing to education in South Africa on 25 March 2015, Oxford University Press Southern Africa (OUPSA) has launched its flagship centenary campaign, “Every child deserves a dictionary”. The campaign will see the educational publisher donating 20 000 dictionaries to schools across South Africa that would otherwise not have the funds to buy such an important and valuable resource.
The “Every child deserves a dictionary” campaign aims to create awareness about the value of education and language. To kick-start OUPSA’s centenary, 10 000 dictionaries are currently being distributed to schools in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, Gauteng and Western Cape. The donations are facilitated by the Adopt-a-School Foundation which has also helped select schools to receive the dictionaries, in communities where this NGO is active through educational upliftment programmes.
During the second phase of the campaign, members of the public will be encouraged to place a “pledge” – without any cost to themselves – on the everychild.oxford.co.za website. Each “pledge” will result in one dictionary being donated.
In total OUPSA aims to donate 20 000 dictionaries with a value of R2.2 million. Donations to schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Northern Cape take place during the second part of the campaign and additional books will be dispatched to the remaining provinces during the course of the year.
“To celebrate 100 years of making a difference to education in our beautiful country, we aim to donate 20,000 copies of our Oxford South African School Dictionary to learners and schools across the country that do not have the funds available to buy such an important resource,” says Steve Cilliers, MD of Oxford University Press Southern Africa.
“We call on the public to get behind the initiative and to show their support through our ‘Every child deserves a dictionary’ campaign which reminds South Africans of the power of knowledge, the value of education and the importance of giving our learners the chance to fully realise their own potential.”
Established in South Africa in 1915, OUPSA is a leading publisher of educational material for schools and higher education. OUPSA is especially well-known for its trusted dictionaries and excellent literacy material. The Oxford South African School Dictionary was developed in consultation with a range of South African teachers and language experts and addresses many common usage mistakes that South Africans (learners and adults alike) make. The dictionary is aligned to the curriculum and is one of the non-fiction top-sellers in the country.
“We truly believe that every child does deserve a dictionary, arming them with the resources they need to help them with their education, as education is the key to social transformation in South Africa and a way to unlock opportunities for the youth of the country,” adds Cilliers.
“This campaign is not just about giving something back to the learners of South Africa; it is fundamentally about the value of words, literacy and books.”
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To combat shoplifting of their titles, Jacana Media have come up with a “Hot Reads campaign” – promoting the books that get stolen the most from South African bookshops.
Jacana shared the above photograph with the following post on their Facebook page:
It’s a familiar refrain from the bookshops. “We don’t want to order these books as they are always getting stolen.” “Not interested thanks, if I put it on the shelf it is just going to get stolen.” It gets a little heartbreaking after a while. Publishers reps, or sales executives, are a pretty hardy bunch; they need to be in this day and age, but nevertheless it can make a hardened pro cry when we are publishing the very books so many want, and want so badly that some resort to a bit of shoplifting.
How though to get around the problem? Hot Reads, a collection of the most stolen books, with bookmarks and stickers to show them off. We hope to sell very many more of this desirable bunch through this bookshop promotion.
What do you think of Jacana’s initiative? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.
The following titles are part of the Hot Reads selection:
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Hierdie monumentale werk van Jaap Steyn gaan ’n kosbare Africana-versamelstuk word en hoort in elke Afrikaans-onderwyser se klas.
Steyn het reeds ses toekennings van die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns ontvang wat getuig van die gehalte van sy werk.
Hy het ’n Tuiste in eie taal en biografieë oor NP Van Wyk Louw, MER en Piet Cillié geskryf asook letterkundige werke en talle artikels oor Afrikaans in vaktydskrifte. Hy het saam met André Duvenage in 2000 Die Afrikaner op pad na 2020 – scenario-perspektiewe saamgestel.
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Ons gaan ’n taal maak is ’n monument van ’n boek wat 622 meesleurende, ryklik geïllustreerde bladsye beslaan. Dit is vol bekende, minder bekende en verstommende, onbekende inligting.
Steyn is nie net ’n deeglike akademikus nie, maar ook ’n gesoute joernalis. Hy weet hoe om harde feite te balanseer met boeiende anekdotes. Hy kan in enkele sinne ’n gebeurtenis en ’n persoonlikheid tot lewe wek.
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LitNet het ‘n kompetisie geloods waarin hul deelnemers nooi om hul eie bydrae tot die Afrikaanse taalerfenis te maak deur die taal met woorde uit te beeld. Die prys is ‘n kopie van JC Steyn se oorsig van die geskiedenis van Afrikaans, Ons gaan ‘n taal maak.
Die kompetisie is geïnspireer deur DJ Opperman se bydrae tot Afrikaans se woordkuns wat begin het met sy heel eerste bundel, ‘n boek wat volgens Steyn “amper nooit verskyn het nie”.
Dra jou deel tot ons taalerfenis by deur Afrikaans met woorde uit te beeld. Jou inskrywing kan enige kreatiewe vorm (poësie, prosa, skets) aanneem, maar ’n beperking van 600 woorde geld.
Jy kan ’n kopie van Ons gaan ’n taal maak deur JC Steyn wen.
Sluitingsdatum: 31 Oktober 2014
Stuur jou inskrywing aan firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oor die boek:
Ons gaan ŉ taal maak: Afrikaans sedert die Patriot-jare deur die taalhistorikus, prof. JC Steyn, vertel die verhaal van Afrikaans as moderne taal. Die titel van hierdie monumentale werk eggo die leuse van een van die vroegste taalstryders wat geglo het dat Afrikaans ‘gemaak’ kan word.
Die boek vertel die verhaal vanaf die taal se nederige begin in die 19de eeuse koerant, Die Afrikaanse Patriot, tot by vandag se trotse taalbakens soos kykNET, Naspers en LitNet. Dit volg die ontwikkeling van die eerste beskeie Afrikaanse toneelopvoerings tot by hedendaagse kunstefeeste en van die ontstaan van die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners tot by instellings soos die Solidariteit Beweging.
Ons gaan ŉ taal maak kyk nie net na die groei en ontwikkeling van Afrikaans nie, maar ondersoek ook die talryke terugslae en probleme wat die taal se sprekers moes oorkom – van die onderdrukking deur die Milner-bewind tot die benadeling deur die ANC-regering; van die skade weens apartheid tot by die verliese vanweë transformasie.
Rolspelers in hierdie verhaal sluit onder andere bekendes in soos S.J. du Toit, Gustav Preller, C.J. Langenhoven, N.P. van Wyk Louw en Breyten Breytenbach, maar ook ander minder bekendes (wie se bydraes dikwels onderskat word) soos Oom Lokomotief, Jannie de Waal, Vader Kestell en F.V. Engelenburg.
Die ernstige taalkwessies wat in Ons gaan ŉ taal maak ondersoek word, word deurlopend met humoristiese staaltjies en soms treurige anekdotes afgewissel.
Ons gaan ŉ taal maak: Afrikaans sedert die Patriot-jare is in opdrag van Kraal Uitgewers geskryf en daarmee rond Steyn die kultuurhistoriese en taalpolitieke navorsing af waarmee hy meer as ’n kwarteeu besig is.
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