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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

SABF Day 1: The Ins and Outs of the Publishing Industry, How Dictionaries are Made, and the Launch of Soccer Secrets

The 2015 South African Book Fair kicked off with a bang today in the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg.

The early risers were treated to a talk by Oxford University Press South Africa on the importance of mother-tongue instruction at foundation phase level.

Professor Elizabeth Henning from the University of Johannesburg and Mrs Bulie Ndodane gave their views on multilingualism in schools. Henning spoke about the importance of teaching young students mathematical concepts like time, density, volume, space and so forth in their mother tongues. “Language has structure and function – there shouldn’t be too much of a mix in the early years,” she said.

At 9 AM everyone gathered in the foyer to be welcomed to the fair by Brian Wafawarowa, the Executive Director of the Publishers’ Association of South Africa, MEC of Culture and Recreation for Gauteng, Molebatsi Frances Bopape, and PK Naicker, Programmes Executive at the FP&M Seta.

WastedThe first session in the Brink room featured Wasted author Mark Winkler and Bookstorm publisher Louise Grantham.

The author and publisher gave advice to writers on how to get published. Grantham said that the number-one rule is to conceptualise your book as a product. She said that writers must identify the correct publisher for their book and do intensive market research to find out who the book is aimed at.

Winkler said that if a manuscript doesn’t adhere to submission guidelines it will be binned. His advice is to submit good, clean copy in the correct format.

In the next session, Kathy McCabe introduced the “Talking Stories” programme – a learning tool that uses technology to improve literacy in classrooms. This initiative is powered by Macmillan Education.

Soccer SecretsThe first day of the fair had a definite educational theme, with Jayne Bauling launching her book, Soccer Secrets, to a room full of primary and high school students. There wasn’t place for a mouse in the room as Bauling spoke about her Harmony High series. A group of students from Olico Youth performed a skit from Bauling’s previous book, Broken Promises.

The day ended with a panel discussion on the making of dictionaries, with Professor Phillip Louw and Megan Hall from Oxford University Press Southern Africa, chaired by Sue de Groot.

The three speakers discussed the evolution of the dictionary world, the excitement of publishing dictionaries in a multilingual country like South Africa, and shared some amazing South Africanisms that have made it into the latest South African Oxford Dictionary – e-tolls and loadshedding.

Throughout the day there were hordes of children milling about, soaking up the literature, and publishers exhibited their books and services in the two main halls.

A super day, and it’s only the beginning!


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See Annetjie van Wynegaard’s Twitter timeline for all the Book Fair action:



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Fiction Friday: “The Turning Tide”, by 2015 Man Booker Prize Longlisted Author Laila Lalami

Medina (old city), Tangier


The Moor's AccountThis Fiction Friday, read a short story by Laila Lalami, who was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize this week.

Lalami was nominated for her novel The Moor’s Account, and although she was identified as American on the longlist, she was born and raised in Morocco.

To celebrate Lalami’s achievement, read her short story “The Turning Tide”, published in 2008 by Elle India, as part of their Elle Fiction series, “engaging short stories by writers from across the world”.

The Turning Tide by Laila Lalami by Books LIVE

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Photo courtesy of flckd on Flickr

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Leon de Kock Reviews Recovering Democracy in South Africa by Raymond Suttner

Recovering Democracy in South AfricaVerdict: carrot

There are some exceptions to this rule, though, and Raymond Suttner is one of them. Suttner has struggle credentials that are second to none — he was imprisoned for his activities as a member of the ANC, and he served in Nelson Mandela’s parliament as an ANC MP.

Since then, he has fallen out with the party, but he has continued, in his meticulously studied, scholarly analyses, and with great tact and sensitivity, to probe the logic of current events. As a historian and emeritus professor attached to Unisa and Rhodes University, he has an acute, detailed and pragmatic understanding of the post-apartheid political economy.

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2015 South African Book Fair Kicks off Today in Johannesburg

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:

WastedGet 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
Mhla ugogo eya kovotaThe Day Gogo Went to VoteWhy 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
Soccer SecretsEver 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
The South African Oxford School DictionaryWhat 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
Venue: Brink Room
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Gorry Bowes Taylor Reviews A Life Digested by Pete Goffe-Wood

A Life DigestedVerdict: carrot

Each chapter tells a tasty tale, of tricky customers, picky eaters, grand chefs. Best of all, sit in your beloved kitchen with a glass of the good stuff – and Pete Goffe-Wood’s A Life Digested.

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Tune in to FMR for JM Coetzee’s “Fine Minds” Radio Lecture about Hendrik Witbooi and the War for Namibia


The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and PsychotherapyJM Coetzee and the Life of WritingThree StoriesJM Coetzee: Two Screenplays

As part of their “Fine Minds” Radio Lecture Series, Fine Music Radio and the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Extra-Mural Studies will be presenting a lecture by JM Coetzee.

In his lecture, Coetzee uses Hendrik Witbooi, a fierce and determined opponent to the German takeover of what is now Namibia, as a focal point in the discussion of that country and 19th century conceptions of war, from both European and African perspectives.

The lecture will be broadcast on Monday, 3 August, at 6 PM. It is 55 minutes long, and will be available as a podcast after the broadcast.

Don’t miss it!

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Gorry Bowes Taylor Reviews 21 at 21 by Melanie Verwoerd and Sonwabiso Ngcowa

21 at 21: The Coming of Age of a NationVerdict: carrot

The brutally honest voices of these 21-year-olds, challenging and disturbing, as well as funny and hopeful, give an invaluable insight into modern day South Africa.

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Bibi Slippers resenseer Clint Eastwood van Wyk en die moordenaarsklok deur Pieter Verwey

Clint Eastwood van Wyk en die moordenaarsklokUitspraak: wortel

Clint Eastwood van Wyk en die moordenaarsklok word bemark as steampunk, maar dis eintlik ’n outydse avontuurverhaal met bietjie Hollywood en heelwat eg Suid-Afrikaanse aksie. Die steampunk-elemente is ’n welkome toevoeging tot die jeuglektuur-landskap en sal die verbeelding van jong lesers bepaald aangryp.


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Kom geniet ’n poësievoorlesing met Melt Myburgh en kie by The Whippet in Linden

Uitnodiging na 'n poësievoorlesing


Vi' Adam SmallVeelvuldige gebruike vir huishoudelike toestelleKry my by die gewone plek aguurNuwe stories

Jy word hiermee vriendelik uitgenooi na “Gedigte vir Lucian Freud se windhond” – ‘n poësievoorlesing met Melt Myburgh, Loftus Marais, Andries Bezuidenhout en Bibi Slippers.

Kom ondersteun plaaslike poësie by The Whippet in Linden op Vrydag, 14 Augustus. Die geleentheid begin om 18:30 vir 19:00. RSVP teen Dinsdag, 11 Augustus om jou plek te bespreek.

Moet dit nie misloop nie!



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Cynthia-Marie Marmo O’Brien Reviews The Rainy Season: Three Lives in the New South Africa by Maggie Messitt

The Rainy Season: Three Lives in the New South AfricaVerdict: carrot

Arriving two decades after Nelson Mandela’s presidency inaugurated the new South Africa, The Rainy Season is an essential history – not about those who redraw national maps, but those who persevere each day to fulfill the maps of their imaginations, of their own making.

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