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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Jacket Notes: Frans Rautenbach on how a conversation with his son motivated him to write South Africa Can Work

Published in the Sunday Times

South Africa Can Work
Frans Rautenbach, Penguin Random House, R250

My son’s statement hit me like a blow to the gut. We were enjoying dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We debated the #FeesMustFall movement, and I ventured the view that the problem was the government’s economic policies. I reiterated my mantra that free enterprise was the way to go to save South Africa.

That’s when Stefan said it: “I no longer believe in your arguments. Trickle-down economics does not work…”

While I battled to suck air into my lungs, protesting that I had researched the topic for years, Stefan added that I only read that which confirmed my prejudices.

I realised that no sensible continuation of the discussion would be possible without a thorough re-examination of my premises. Thus the book was born.

The soul of the book is freedom, in particular economic freedom – a policy many might see as less than politically correct. So shoot me, I’m a contrarian. In the introduction I confess: “As a lawyer I still marvel at the beautiful words of Lord Justice Megarry in the case of John v Rees: ‘As everybody who has anything to do with the law well knows, the path of the law is strewn with examples of open and shut cases which, somehow, were not: of unanswerable charges which, in the event, were completely answered; with inexplicable conduct which was fully explained …’”

As in law, so in life. But while often against the mainstream, I am not so just for the sake of being otherwise. As a student politician I relished the thought of pulling both apartheid and capitalism from their pedestals. Intellectually the former proved easy, but nowadays the thought of defending communism or socialism fills me with despair.

People often ask me how I managed to spend so much time and energy writing a book arguing that a free market will save South Africa. My best answer is that I cannot do otherwise.

Seeing our society being led to serfdom while the evidence of a better way is so abundant, is like observing a patient with a mental disorder self-inflicting pain, day by day. I cannot keep quiet…

Book details


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“Stories are in our DNA” – local publisher, Charles Siboto, on South Africa’s reading culture

Local publisher, Charles Siboto, on our reading culture, competing with international titles, and reading as tool to raise our standard of education


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The South African publishing scene is a strange one, consisting of many peculiarities and oddities. The first thing that you notice is that it’s not representative of the country and its diverse range of cultures. There are many factors that lend to how lopsided our reading statistics are. The biggest factor is that as a nation we don’t read much and there are no books in most households, so a reading culture is never fostered. I have worked in publishing for four years and can testify that books are luxury items for most households because they are expensive, especially local books. Publishers would love to make books more affordable but the reality is that publishing books is expensive, with the highest cost being printing. In order for publishers to survive, they have to print enough books to cover the cost of producing the books when most of that print run sells. The more books publishers print the cheaper the cost of printing and thus the cheaper the book for buyers, but if those books don’t sell they sit with excessive stock and pay warehouse costs for that stock, which eventually will have to be pulped. The South African publishing scene, thus, is a fine balancing act of publishers trying to make books as accessible as possible while making enough money to continue existing so as to publish more books. Now, as both publisher and reader, I am thinking we can all do more to promote diverse South African literature, especially as readers.

South Africa already has a model of what a healthy, local reading culture looks like in the form of Afrikaans books. Afrikaans publishers are the biggest in the country and Afrikaans readers buy books. The Afrikaans community does have more buying power than most other language groups in the country but the other thing they have is pride in their language. Afrikaans speakers can still largely get by in our economy without having to learn English. Parents know that the country is constantly becoming more and more English but they still don’t stop placing an emphasis on children speaking and reading Afrikaans. In many cases, English is more the supplementary reading. With the other language and culture groups in the country the emphasis is more on English than on the mother tongue, and for the most part, we all know why and I will touch on this later.

Having spent some time reading books by local black writers in English, I know this is by no means a bad thing and it allows for more people being able to enjoy those books. There is an increase of the black middle-class and publishers realise that they have to tap into this market. Young, black and especially female writers are also on the rise and this makes for a great recipe to produce local books that are entertaining, informative, address social issues, expands minds and are just straight up ‘woke’. The problem with publishing in English is that people still buy more international titles than local ones in English. I am one of those people and I have made conscious decision to buy more local titles and readers who can afford to should do this. Afrikaans publishers usually do publish in English and to a smaller scale some of the other local languages but they have realised long ago that they cannot compete with the international market and have opted to focus on their strength, publishing Afrikaans books. Competing with international publishers is difficult because as a country we are not yet confident enough in the power of our own stories and this should not be so. South African publishers publish books of a high caliber that can compete with titles from the UK or the US but they get lost in the crowd. Publishers have had to be much more creative in their marketing a can continue to do so, but as readers, we should also come to the party.

We have great stories as a nation, our cultures are rich in stories that deserve to be shared with the world. I am in no way asking people to stop reading international titles but simply saying that you can read both local and international. It is refreshing to read stories where the heroes and villains are people you can relate to and people that you can imagine meeting when you walk down the street, stories where the lovers and their secrets are people like you. Local books are still expensive to produce but if we all do a little to support the local reading scene it goes a long way. We can do a lot simply by each person in a circle of friends buying one book and then swapping the books among themselves until everyone has had a chance to read every book in the circle. These are things that help to nurture our reading culture. The stronger our reading culture becomes the cheaper and more accessible books will be and publishers will be able to work with more new writers adding their voices to the tapestry of our stories.

The last thing I want to mention, especially having spent most of my publishing career working with children’s books, is that we have to promote our children reading in their mother tongues. This is way easier said than done because the resources are scarce. Resources aside, many black households are afraid to focus on children reading in their mother tongue because they might then miss out on learning English. This is not so, children who can read their own language well can better transition into a second language and excel at it. Being a multilingual society is complex but we gain more when we allow people to read in their own language and learn English in addition. This makes for more people who are truly bi- or multilingual, in the sense that they are equally proficient in multiple languages. This will take some time and resources to fully implement, though. Some publishers do prioritise publishing books for younger readers in multiple local languages and that is a great start and a process that we should support where we can. I come from a family that does not read but I was lucky to fall in love with books because we lived near a wonderful public library when I was a child so I understand that many families are too busy with the business of surviving from day to day to worry about books. But if we are to raise the standard of education and want to invest in a society of knowledgeable people we have to nurture our reading culture. Resources like public libraries help with making books accessible but all of us can add something to the culture. We can do things like buying local books if we can afford them, sharing books, giving away old books or just telling people about the magic of stories. Stories are in our DNA as a species and adding to that collective pool of knowledge only helps us to progress as a nation and as human beings.


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Book Bites: 24 September 2017

Published in the Sunday Times

Let Go My HandLet Go My Hand
Edward Docx
, Picador
****
Larry Lasker is dying. Louis, his youngest son, is taking him in a camper van on the kind of road trip they enjoyed as a young family. Except that this time, the destination is Switzerland, to Dignitas, to discuss ending Larry’s life. Lou’s two half-brothers join them, and together they rifle through the baggage of their collective past. It all sounds rather bleak, but in fact, while it’s poignant, the novel is often funny. It is thoughtful and inquisitive – how could it not be, in the shadow of death? – but it wears its philosophy lightly, with surprising and enjoyable detours through matters of love, duty, family and the big question, how to live and how to die. Perhaps as these men do, enjoying the simple pleasures of food and wine, music, connection and companionship – on their way to the inevitable end. – Kate Sidley @KateSidley

Operation RelentlessOperation Relentless
Damien Lewis, Quercus
****
Lewis’s latest book raises interesting questions about “The Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout, labelled as such due to his infamy as a global arms dealer. Was Bout simply a shrewd businessman who flew anything and everything, or was he indeed a Lord of War? And if so how did he obtain US government contracts to bring freight to Iraq? Lewis takes us on the mesmerising journey of Bout’s rise and fall – culminating in a 25-year sentence following a US Drug Enforcement Agency sting operation. Operation Relentless reads like a James Bond thriller yet it is also an intense look at one of the world’s most reviled personalities. – Guy Martin

Bad SeedsBad Seeds
Jassy Mackenzie, Umuzi
****
Fans of PI Jade de Jong will be delighted their kick-butt heroine is back. The security of a nuclear research centre in Joburg is under threat and Jade is called to investigate. But fate places her in the company of the No1 suspect. As the body count climbs, Jade finds herself running for her life alongside a potentially deadly criminal. Fans will adore Jade’s emotional arc along with the plot twists. But do not fear, crime fans, if you have not read earlier books in the series. Bad Seeds is a page-turner that can stand alone and be enjoyed by all who love thrillers. – Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

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Trade Secrets contributor, Michael Yee, on Auschwitz angoras, writing violence, and second chances

Michael Yee was born in Pretoria. His story ‘Mouth Full Teeth’ appeared in Short.Sharp.Stories Incredible Journey and he’s thrilled to be included again. He’s had the privilege of working in Joburg, Prague, Frankfurt, London, and most recently as a freelance creative director for an ad agency in the Ivory Coast. He looks forward to living in a world where things are more equal. Joanne Hichens, curator of the Short.Sharp.Stories Award, recently conducted an interview with Michael during which they discussed the cruel history behind his entry, having to stay detached while writing scenes of violence, and why short stories shouldn’t be age-restricted.

What was the initial spark for your short story, ‘Satins and Giants’?

I received a horrific video about the angora fur trade from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that I wanted to write about for this year’s competition.

Your story is a hard-hitting exposé of your protagonist, Achim, who gets caught up in a cruel family system as well as the taint of the worst of European history… How did you marry these ideas?

I would love to take credit for that, but really, once the protagonist appeared it was just a case of staying out of his way. He showed up after some digging revealed that Himmler kept secret angora farms in Auschwitz, using the fur to line the jackets of SS officers. In fact, the photo at the beginning of ‘Satins and Giants’ are of rabbits raised there.

The story, influenced as it is by Nazi war crimes, highlights this evil in a visceral way. Was it difficult to write?

Having to stay detached while rewriting those scenes of violence was really tough, many nights I went to bed seeing double.

Your protagonist, Achim, perpetrates a kind of unspeakable cruelty to animals. It has been suggested that your story should come with a ‘trigger warning’. Do you agree with this? (Or are we too molly-coddled as readers?)

I guess movies and music albums use warnings, but that’s a legal requirement to protect minors, which is not the case for short stories, so I would tend to disagree. I hope nobody is ambushed by the cruelty though, as I tried to avoid that with a pretty dark tone from the start. (Having said this: I’m even more thankful now that the story was included in the collection, given the subject matter.)

“Some digging revealed that Himmler kept secret angora farms in Auschwitz, using the fur to line the jackets of SS officers. In fact, the photo at the beginning of ‘Satins and Giants’ are of rabbits raised there.”

 

Did you feel you were taking a risk with this subject matter, a risk which might exclude you from publication?

Definitely, I was nervous when the time came to submit and with so many excellent writers with great stories to tell, the risk of not making it always looms large. But a year on, I’m very grateful to have a story included that I cared about in the collection.

Back to Achim. He does find some kind of redemption. Was this important to you as writer?

Yes, I’d like to live in a place where people get second chances, no matter how badly they messed up. Plus, after everything Achim had been through, he deserved a break. He had earned it!

Is the setting an echo of the concept that ‘wealth corrupts’? Yours is a fascinating scene …

Very much so. After realising what this story was about, it guided many decisions: the setting of structural rot, mansions overlooking other decaying mansions in ‘Sol Kerzner’ country in Johannesburg, and props, dialogue, Achim’s relationships, his motivations. The order that this brought was comforting because the protagonist was so chaotic!

What writing Trade Secret would you like to share?

Be kind and patient with whatever arrives on the page.

Trade Secrets

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Theme for next year’s Short.Sharp.Stories Awards announced

Instant Exposure – stories inspired by photographs

We live in an age in which increasingly we all take or view photographs. Visual language is growing and developing every day as we record our world and our experiences in visual terms. One could go as far as to say that every one of us has, by default, become a photographer as billions of images are uploaded online at any given moment.

We invite you to find a provocative photograph which inspires a powerful story. The image can be a spontaneously captured selfie, a bold news pic, a childhood snap in an old album; perhaps a framed tribute that brings back memories of joy, or a hidden print that haunts your past. Whether the photo is a portrait of a loved one, or an evocative landscape, whether colour or black and white, as long as the photograph has meaning to you, we encourage you to ‘find your story’ – the humour, the pathos, the drama – in the image.

As ever, we’re looking for stories with strong narrative drive, and characters and settings which reflect our South African experience and diversity.

Deadline 30 November 2017

This process is in three parts:
1) Choose the photographic image that inspires you…
2) Write a caption for that image…
3) Use the caption as a springboard to create your story of between 3000 to 5000 words.

We require the photograph, the caption, as well as the story to be submitted.

Please see full rules at www.shortsharpstories.com


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Amabookabooka releases unaired episode to coincide with 109th anniversary of the birth of Bram Fischer

Amabookabooka, the quirky podcast devoted to interviewing local authors about their work, recently released a special edition episode.

This episode is from a previous podcast series produced by the Amabookabooka-duo, Jonathan Ancer and Dan Dewes, called Extraordinary Lives and has been released to coincide with the 109th anniversary of the birth of Bram Fischer – described by Ancer and Dewes as the South African prime minister we should have had.

Lord Joel Joffe, a human rights lawyer, who was on the legal team that defended the Rivonia Trialists in 1964 talks about Bram, whom he describes as his hero.

Fischer’s daughter, Ilse Wilson, also joins in the conversation revealing a different side to the Scarlet Pimpernel – that of Bram the father.

Listen to the podcast here.
 
 

Bram Fischer

Book details

 

The Bram Fischer Waltz

 
 
 
 

Fischer's Choice


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Submit your manuscript for publication by Modjaji Books


 
Modjaji Books is a singular publishing house which only publishes work by women and people who identify as women, and only those who live in southern Africa, or who are originally from southern Africa, or whose work reflects a major relevance to southern Africa.

This independent feminist press is currently seeking manuscripts for publication.

If you are a southern African woman, or identify as a woman, and have recently written a novel, collection of short stories or poems, or a work of creative non-fiction, you are eligible to submit your manuscript for possible publication by Modjaji Books.

Interested? Click here for more.

Submissions for entries close on April 30.


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Book Bites: 13 November 2016

Published in the Sunday Times

Early One Sunday MorningEarly One Sunday Morning I Decided To Step Out And Find South Africa
Luke Alfred (Tafelberg)
****
Known for his brainy sports writing, Alfred leaves the field in grand style with this delightful book, which recounts 12 long rambles he took across the cities and wildernesses of South Africa, from Soweto to the Groot Marico, from the Baviaanskloof to False Bay. His voice is by turns wry and lyrical, melancholy and jubilant, and his eye is superbly alert to the interminglings between our landscapes and our histories. There is much reverence for natural grace and for the remains of long-lost lives, from dam walls to Khoisan digging sticks to graves and railway tracks; “history throwing us a crumb across the great void of time”. It’s all an antidote to the national mood of mediated hysteria: a long stomp through the real world is the best way for urban worrywarts to get a grip. If you can’t get out there yourself, outsource the hard yards to Alfred, whose wandering mind is far from pedestrian. – Carlos Amato @CarlosBAmato

BlindBlind
Cath Weeks (Little Brown)
****
Twyla has just had her first child, Charlie, on Christmas Day and everyone says he’s perfect. Only Twyla fears that he is not, and is proved right when Charlie is declared blind. Driven by her love for her son, Twyla is determined to restore his sight, and the opportunity presents itself in the form of experimental surgery with a staggering price tag. However, despite her hard work and dedication to the cause, when the day of Charlie’s surgery arrives, he is abducted. Blind is a superb, gripping read and emotional rollercoaster. Weeks has definite skill in portraying emotional depth and anguish. – Samantha Gibb @samantha_gibb

30 000 Years of Art30,000 Years Of Art
Various (Phaidon)
****
This is the updated and slightly downsized version – it’s still enormous, but your bookshelf will protest a little less, thanks to a slightly smaller format – of a truly wonderful compilation of artworks from, as the title suggests, the last 30 millennia. It’s a great resource for art lovers, being instant inspiration for those who are already informed in such matters and a goldmine of information and sumptuous visuals for anyone who cares enough about art. The editors and compilers of this tome have combined quantity (nearly 600 artworks, each on their own page) with quality, packing a wealth of data into four or five paragraphs. This makes it possible to read the giant volume in bite-size segments. – Bruce Dennill @BroosDennill

The Bedside ArkThe Bedside Ark
David Muirhead (Struik Nature)
****
Muirhead’s essays on a “motley collection” of animals is hugely entertaining and informative. Whether or not the knowledge is useful is beside the point. Although, who knows, your chance to win a million rand may hinge on your knowledge of porcupines’ sex lives. Muirhead charts the animals’ past and current appearances in human society; revered god, omen and dinner, and shares the bizarre facts you probably won’t find in guidebooks. His book is a reminder of just how varied and strange the animal kingdom is. Each essay is long enough for a quick chuckle. – Jem Glendinning @jemathome

Book details


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Showcasing South African authors: The 2016 Homebru Selection from Exclusive Books

The 2016 Homebru Selection from Exclusive Books

 
For the month of June Exclusive Books is celebrating great South African authors and great South African books with its 15th annual Homebru campaign.

Their selection this year includes fiction, current affairs, history and politics, cookery, business, biography, travel writing, self-help and children’s books.

 
From Exclusive Books:

Homebru: A celebration of South African authors

Since the beginning of time, storytelling has been an integral part of our continent’s people, from the stories told to us by our grandmothers; to the written word as we know it today. As South Africans, we have a rich heritage and are a diverse nation. Our stories are colorful and unique; they are a reflection of our country’s landscape.

This year, Exclusive Books celebrates 15 years of our Homebru campaign, a carefully curated list of the best in South African writing. This year’s campaign is a celebration of authors such as critically acclaimed photojournalist, Peter Magubane, with his iconic collection of photographs in his book June 16. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Magubane’s photographic evidence that led to South Africa’s freedom.

For investigative journalism at its best, Alex Eliseev’s Cold Case Confession delves into the mysterious Betty Ketani case; the storyline would not be out of place as a Hollywood movie.

How does one get ahead in life while having to pay “black tax” and lobola? These are some of the questions black middleclass South Africans have to ask themselves today. Writing What We Like is an in-depth collection of opinion pieces, with contributions by the likes of comedians David Kau and Loyiso Gola, writer Shaka Sisulu and singer Simphiwe Dana.

At this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival, our CEO made an address to call to service to all those in the book trade to address issues around accessibility and the promotion of South African authors:
“It is a discordant and uncomfortable truth that bookshops do not exist in areas where the majority of our countrymen still live. We need to address this and we see it as an immediate priority. In this context particularly we should welcome the voices of young people who have highlighted our neglect of a crucial market. There is work to do – for both us and the publishers” — Benjamin Trisk, CEO, Exclusive Books

With this year’s Homebru campaign, Exclusive Books is committed to seeing this change.

Here’s the complete 2016 Homebru selection:

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

Cold Case ConfessionCold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder by Alex Eliseev

Betty Ketani, a mother of three, came to Johannesburg in search of better prospects for her family. She found work cooking at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, and then one day she mysteriously disappeared.

The storyline would not be out of place as a Hollywood movie – and it’s all completely true. Written by the reporter who broke the story,
Cold Case Confession goes behind the headlines to share exclusive material gathered during four years of investigations, including the most elusive piece of the puzzle: who would want Betty Ketani dead, and why?

EAN: 9781770103108
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BIOGRAPHY

The Sword and the PenThe Sword and the Pen: Six Decades on the Political Frontier by Allister Sparks

The Sword and the Pen is the story of how as a journalist, he observed, chronicled and participated in his country’s unfolding drama for more than 66 years, covering events from the premiership of DF Malan to the presidency of Jacob Zuma, witnessing at close range the rise and fall of apartheid and the rise and crisis of the new South Africa

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EAN: 9781868425594
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The Fires BeneathThe Fires Beneath: The Life Of Monica Wilson, South African Anthropologist by Sean Morrow

The Fires Beneath is a powerful and affecting story of love and loss. Monica Wilson, née Hunter, was the most prominent social
anthropologist of her day in South Africa, whose groundbreaking research in African communities continues to influence anthropological and ethnographic studies. With sympathetic candour this book explores a life of achievement and integrity that was also marked by tragedy

EAN: 9781776090396
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Fighting for MandelaFighting for Mandela: The Explosive Autobiography of the Woman Who Helped to Destroy Apartheid by Priscilla Jana with Barbara Jones

Priscilla Jana is a legendary figure in South African revolutionary politics. As an Indian woman who experienced racial oppression first-hand, she decided to use her degree in law to fight for the rights of her fellow people and do all she could to bring down the apartheid state. At one time she represented every single political prisoner on Robben Island, including both Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Priscilla spent her days in court, fighting human rights case after human rights case, but it was at night when her real work was done. As part of an underground cell, she fought tirelessly to bring down the hated government. This activism, however, came at a price.

EAN: 9781784189792
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What a BoykieWhat a Boykie: The John Berks Story by Robin Binckes

Pioneering modern radio in South Africa, John Berks broke new ground in radio broadcasting through his hilarious parodies of situations, phone calls to unsuspecting victims, and his ‘characters’ such as ‘Jan Sweetpak’. He developed ‘Theatre of the Mind’ and took it to new heights, with a vision to push for talk radio at a time when others said it would fail, and in doing so, changed the face of broadcasting in South Africa. Berks was a man of great humility and integrity, and this book shows how much can be achieved when the odds are stacked against you and all you have is determination, passion and an unparalleled talent for communicating.

EAN: 9781928211846
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BUSINESS

The DisruptorsThe Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber

Impassioned by purpose, driven by dreams, emboldened by ideals, social entrepreneurs go out of their way to make a better world. They
shake the dust off old ways of thinking and disrupt the way business has always been done. Through tales of daring, struggle, triumph and
innovation, you’ll see the world through the eyes of a diverse range of social entrepreneurs, and learn their secrets for changing the world by changing business. From healthcare to mobile gaming, from education to recycling, from dancing to gardening, these are the game-
changers, the difference-makers, the doers of good. Here are their stories.

EAN: 9781928257172
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Black Economic EmpowermentBlack Economic Empowerment: 20 Years Later – The Baby and the Bathwater by Phinda Mzwakhe Madi

South Africa’s pioneer and foremost thinker and voice on black economic advancement, Phinda Mzwakhe Madi is back with a bang. His first book, Affirmative Action in Corporate South Africa, triggered the first wave of Affirmative Action programmes in the country. His follow-up book, Black Economic Empowerment in the New South Africa, led to the formation of the BEE Commission and eventually the creation of the country’s policy and codes of good practice. Now his third book in the trilogy, Black Economic Empowerment: 20 years later – The Baby and the Bathwater, evaluates progress so far and startles with its fresh perspective on the way forward.

EAN: 9781869225858
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CHILDREN’S

Harry The Hungry HadedaHarry The Hungry Hadeda by Ed Jordan and Alan Glass

With his long beak and handsome feathers, he’s one of Africa’s best-known fellas! Meet Harry the Hungry Hadeda, a wonderful, rather noisy, prehistoric looking bird! Join in as he digs for worms, flies the skies and wakes everybody up with his morning song, Ha Ha
Ha, Hadeda!

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EAN: 9780620587631
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Powers of the KnifePowers of the Knife by Bontle Senne

What if you discovered that you come from an ancient family of Shadow Chasers, with a duty to protect others from an evil Army of Shadows? Nom and Zithembe’s lives are turned upside down when an Army of Shadows threatens everyone close to them. It’s the beginning of a quest that takes them into the dream world, and will change their lives forever. Powers of the Knife is the first book in the Shadow Chasers trilogy. It’s an African fantasy adventure – one part family saga, one part hero’s quest.

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EAN: 9780994674456
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SnitchSnitch by Edyth Bulbring

13-Year-old Ben Smith attends St David’s, where rugby is a compulsory sport. After the annual derby against Voortrekker in which a St David’s player is severely injured and rushed to hospital, Ben inadvertently catches a glimpse of a bottle labeled Methyltestosterone in the player’s tog bag. What follows turns Ben’s life upside down. Gripping and pacy, this first-person account tackles the serious topic of steroids used by schoolkids.

EAN: 9780624077114
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I am AlexI am Alex by Elena Agnello, illustrated by Adrie le Roux

I am Alex. Today is my birthday and I’m having a party. My friends are coming, but everyone is welcome! Please come, too!

Children don’t see race, religion or disability – and nor should they have to. This little book is a universal celebration of diversity and tolerance. Also available in Afrikaans.

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EAN: 9780994690708
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KweziKwezi by Loyiso Mkize

The comic follows a narcissistic teenage boy named Kwezi as he discovers his superhuman abilities amid the daily hustle of the fictional
Gold City – a bustling metropolis modeled after Johannesburg. Portrayed as a cocky anti-hero obsessed with selfies and Twitter, Kwezi is
initially fueled by the attention from his adoring online fans, but he soon finds out that his powers come with a cultural responsibility.

Mkize describes Kwezi as “a coming of age story about finding one’s heritage.”

EAN: 9781485622727
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There Should Have Been FiveThere Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman

Two children visit the Museum of Military History in Johannesburg and are intrigued by a painting of a black serviceman at the top of the stairs … there were 354,000 South Africans of all races, including 25,000 women, who volunteered to serve in South Africa’s defence force and nursing services in the fight against Hitler, the Nazis and the Italian fascists in World War II. This book tells of one of these men, Job Maseko, whose heroic deed was almost forgotten for 50 years: he managed to destroy a German vessel with a homemade bomb while imprisoned in Tobruk. Why was he not awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery?

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EAN: 9780624076568
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Nombulelo and the MothNombulelo and the Moth by Susie Dinneen

Even though Nombulelo loves her Gogo’s stories about the animals that live in the forest, she’s too scared to go there. When Gogo dies, Nombulelo must summon her courage and take Gogo’s magical moth on a journey through the forest. This is a story of love, loss and the discovery of inner strength. Also available in Afrikaans.

EAN: 9781485900108
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AfkopAfkop by Fanie Viljoen

Trent bly hierdie naweek alleen by die huis. ‘n Aand se rowwe partytjie eindig tragies in ‘n karongeluk, en laat Trent met die moeilike keuse: wat moet hy doen met die geld wat hy by die ongelukstoneel opgetel het?

In hierdie aweregse, holdersterbolder riller vir tieners
loop dinge lelik skeefin ware Tarantino-styl. Die leser moet hare op die tande hê om kop te hou met die vinnige pas van die storie. Hierdie grinterige, vermaaklike storie is Fanie Viljoen op sy beste!

EAN: 9780799372885
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COOKERY

My Cape Malay KitchenMy Cape Malay Kitchen by Cariema Isaacs

My Cape Malay Kitchen is Cariema Isaacs’s heartfelt and poignant account of the extraordinary relationship between herself and her father and how that was reflected in their shared passion for food and cooking. She recollects all of the dishes they cooked and ate together, and shares her childhood memories of growing up in Bo-Kaap (the Cape Malay Quarter in Cape Town), lending insight into the culture, religious ceremonies and family events that have shaped the Cape Malay community into what it is today.

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EAN: 9781432305659
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JAN - A Breath of French AirJAN – A Breath of French Air by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

JAN – A Breath of French Air is a memoir and celebration of the renowned eatery JAN, a South African restaurant in the south of France. The restaurant is a showcase of South Africa’s tradition of hospitality, transported from a farm in rural South Africa to the glamorous French Riviera. Jan, now a one-star Michelin restaurant, is proof that dreams can be lived and how a love for what you do can transform humble ingredients into a masterpiece. The collection of over 90 recipes covers everything from locally-baked breads to amuse bouches and mouthwatering main course meat and fish dishes

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EAN: 9781432306083
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Eat TingEat Ting: Lose Weight, Gain Health, Find Yourself by Mpho Tshukudu and Anna Trapido

Tshukudu and Trapido offer healthy eating solutions based on traditional Southern African food, and modern versions of time-honoured
favourites. From gluten-free sorghum flapjacks to salads featuring low-GI ancient grains, this book is all about great-tasting South
African superfoods. How about a modernised tshidzimba with oven-roasted tomatoes? Or an updated inhloko with spiced pumpkin salad? Perhaps a comforting bowl of classic mofokotso? It’s all here, plus many more innovative, delicious dishes that are very good for you too.

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EAN: 9781928209553
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My Little Black Recipe BookMy Little Black Recipe Book by Siphokazi Mdlankomo

In My Little Black Recipe Book, Siphokazi Mdlankomo shares her favourite recipes, from the simple scones and ginger beer her mom taught her to make many years ago, to mouth-watering braised oxtail, cinnamon cream pears and the rest of the sumptuous fare she developed on her way to the MasterChef finale.

From delicious dips and sauces, decadent desserts and easy one-dish meals to traditional favourites and sophisticated fusion food, every recipe is characterised by Siphokazi’s delightful combination of flavours and ingredients. Beautiful photographs of completed dishes will whet your appetite and have you trying out the dishes in no time.

EAN: 9781928201632
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Simply DeliciousSimply Delicious by Zola Nene

Simply Delicious is all about Zola’s culinary career told through her recipes, interspersed with snippets and perspectives of her life journey, including tributes to the people who have inspired and influenced her cooking style. Her food philosophy is very simple – cooking is for everyone. With easy-to-follow instructions, the recipes will ensure that anyone can produce mouthwatering results.

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EAN: 9781432304874
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Kook Saam KaapsKook Saam Kaaps by Koelsoem Kamalie and Flori Schrikker

Groenboontjiebredie, koolfrikkadelle, tamatiebredie, sagopoeding en broodpoeding – eerlik gemaak, sonder fieterjasies en moderne byvoegings – is die onopgesmukte huiskos waarna ons elkeen verlang. Die hartskos wat met ’n stewige dosis van ma en ouma se liefde berei is en ons instinktief laat weet dat ons tuis is.

Kook saam Kaaps, in samewerking met RSG, stel beheud die kos van Koelsoem Kamalie en Flori Schrikker, twee voorslag-kosmakers van Bonteheuwel in die Kaap. Met onfeilbare resepte, perfek beproef na jare se ondervinding, kan elkeen weer huiskos in hul eie kombuise
voorberei.

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EAN: 9780799375039
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CURRENT AFFAIRS

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Sigh The Beloved CountrySigh The Beloved Country: Braai Talk, Rock ‘n Roll and Other Stories by Bongani Madondo

Foreword by Rian Malan: With his customary flair and eye for detail, Bongani Madondo delights his readers in this essay collection with his unique take on all things South African, covering topics ranging from “Kissing and Lynching the Black Body” to “New Money Culture” and “Student Politics”, and including uniquely critical and insightful homages to our beloved country and those who call it home.

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EAN: 9781770104952
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Gang TownGang Town by Don Pinnock

Why is Cape Town one of the most violent cities on earth? What is it that makes gangs so attractive to young people? Why are drugs so easy to find and so widespread? Why are the police seemingly losing control of the crime situation? Why is it getting worse? Top-selling author Don Pinnock answers these questions in Gang Town, and looks at solutions to the problem.

Meticulously researched, Gang Town, winner of City Press/Tafelberg Nonfiction Award, offers practical remedies to the scourge of gangsterism on the Cape Flats and elsewhere.

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EAN: 9780624067894
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Continental ShiftContinental Shift: A Journey Into Africa’s Changing Fortunes by Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak

Africa is failing. Africa is succeeding. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on Earth. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future.

All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year road trip through the paradoxical continent they call home.

Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental Shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent.

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EAN: 9781868424283
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A Manifesto For Social ChangeA Manifesto For Social Change: How To Save South Africa by Moeletsi Mbeki

A Manifesto for Social Change is the third of a three-volume series that started seven years ago investigating the causes of our country’s – and the continent’s – development obstacles. Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009) set out to explain what role African elites played in creating and promoting their fellow Africans’ misery.

Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) set out to show that there were short- to medium-term solutions to many of Africa’s and South Africa’s problems, from agriculture to healthcare, if only the powers that be would take note.

EAN: 9781770104976
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Writing What We LikeWriting What We Like: A New Generation Speaks edited by Yolisa Qunta

How does one get ahead in life while having to pay “black tax” and lobola? Can urban life be reconciled with traditional culture? What does it mean to be privileged and black? These are some of the questions middle-class black South Africans have to ask themselves today. This book looks at topics as wide-ranging as the Rhodes Must Fall movement, blackface in popular culture and, sexual identity and life lessons learned when taking a minibus taxi. With contributions by the likes of comedians David Kau and Loyiso Gola, writer Shaka Sisulu
and singer Simphiwe Dana.

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EAN: 9780624071808
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FICTION

The YearningThe Yearning by Mohale Mashigo

Marubini is a young woman who has an enviable life in Cape Town, working at a wine farm and spending idyllic days with her friends … until her past starts spilling into her present. Something dark has been lurking in the shadows of Marubini’s life from as far back as she can remember. It’s only a matter of time before it reaches out and grabs at her. The Yearning is a memorable exploration of the ripple effects of the past, of personal strength and courage, and of the shadowy intersections of traditional and modern worlds.

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EAN: 9781770104839
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Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories by Jolyn Phillips

A strikingly written debut collection of vivid short stories set in and around Gansbaai, on the Western Cape coast of South Africa.

“An impressive debut that brings across voices never heard before in South African English – not only in rhythm and timbre, but plumbing
the unspoken. With such a remarkable ear, Jolyn Phillips is a young writer to watch.” – Antjie Krog

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EAN: 9781928215172
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Dutch CourageDutch Courage by Paige Nick

Grace Hendriks has led a pretty sheltered life. So when her sister Natalie begs her to take her place as a Rihanna impersonator at a club in Amsterdam, no alarm bells go off … until she finds herself onstage with only a pole for support and her knickers in a knot. Thrown into strip-club life, and forced to share an apartment with an exotic troupe of impersonating divas with Lady Gaga-sized egos, Grace has to learn some hard lessons fast, such as transformations don’t happen overnight – especially when your bra is determined to sabotage your dance routine.

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EAN: 9781415207703
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AffluenzaAffluenza by Niq Mhlongo

Affluenza is a new collection of short stories. In his characteristically humorous and piercing style, Mhlongo writes about the span of our democracy and the madness of the last twenty years after apartheid: his short stories address issues such as crime, xenophobia, racism, homophobia, the new black elite, and land redistribution. The stories have been published to critical acclaim in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and in the USA but remain largely unknown in South Africa.

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EAN: 9780795706967
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Gold Never RustsGold Never Rusts by Paul-Constant Smit

It is 998 BC. The Queen of Sheba sends an expedition down the east coast of Africa, but it comes to grief. Many years later, while roaming the vast subcontinent, a castaway from one of Vasco Da Gama’s ships finds the ancient records of the expedition, but dies before he can use them. During the 1880s gold rush in the Transvaal, American mining engineer Con Slaughter stumbles across the records while fleeing a gang of robbers. He strikes it rich on the Barberton gold fields, but soon assassins are after him. Also available in Afrikaans.

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EAN: 9781485903222
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Chasing The Tails of My Father’s CattleChasing The Tails of My Father’s Cattle by Sindiwe Magona

This is the story of Shumikazi, the only surviving child of Jojo and Miseka. She grows up in a small village in the remote Eastern Cape during the days of white rule – from the outside, an apparently unremarkable life. And yet Shumi is marked for extraordinary things from the moment of her birth. Wry, tragic, funny, scathing, this rich new novel from one of South Africa’s most beloved storytellers is not only a powerful meditation on the vulnerability of rural women, it is also a series of overlapping love stories – above all, the love a father has for his daughter.

EAN: 9780994677006
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NwelezelangaNwelezelanga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni

Nwelezelanga, The Star Child travels a magical and spiritual journey that merges the ancestral realms with contemporary realities. It is a story of an ancestral spirit that is born through Nwelezelanga, who is tasked with the purpose to pass on messages from the beyond; a divine responsibility given to children of the star.

With an assured voice and eloquent prose, Magubeni invites us into the life of this extraordinary being, Nwelezelanga, the child who should not have been, contrasting the themes of darkness and light, embracing the unknown and unseen in a way no one else has – or can.

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EAN: 9781928337249
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SlaafsSlaafs by Bettina Wyngaard

‘n Dag in die lewe van drie speurders van die Khayelitsha-polisiestasie is nie paintball speel nie. Vra maar vir kaptein Nicci de Wee,
“Ounooi” soos haar kollega Blackie haar noem. Haar priestervriendin Sally sal dit beaam en so ook Peters, wat skaars sy oë van Nicci kan afhou.

Want in Khayelitsha is die Jane Does volop: daardie vroueslagoffers wat so sonder naam op die staatspatoloog se outopsietafel beland. Maar waarom was daar vreemde vesels in die keel van ’n meisie wat aan ’n oordosis sterf, en hoekom het sy en ’n tweede slagoffer dieselfde tatoeëermerk?

Weldra daal Nicci en haar kollegas af in die donker onderwêreld van mensehandel, begelei deur die enigmatiese (en verleidelike) doktor Gigi Gerber, kenner op die gebied van slawesindikate. En heeltyd, in die agtergrond, staan al die kwesbare, ontwortelde mense van die wêreld.

Die speurspan in Bettina Wyngaard se nuwe riller is mense van vlees en bloed wat diep voel, in intense verhoudinge tot mekaar staan, liefhet, verliese ly en die hart aangryp.

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EAN: 9781415207536
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Die Formidabele Ling HoDie Formidabele Ling Ho by Johan Kruger

Kansvatter Willem Landman doen hom voor as Ling Ho: opperste towenaar en showman. Van skoolsaal na kerksaal na landbousaal reis Willem, sy assistent en sy kat in hul bakkie, gevolg deur ’n karavaan, gevolg deur ’n Ventertjie, oor die grasvelde van Mpumalanga, waar Willem-hulle ’n biblioteekwa raakloop. Tussen Willem en die bibliotekaresse is daar ’n vonkie, maar daar is ook ’n storm in aankoms … Die Formidabele Ling Ho steek die draak met allerlei swaarwigtige Suid-Afrikaase werklikhede, met skreeusnaakse gevolge!

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EAN: 9781415201756
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SA HISTORY & POLITICS

Fordsburg FighterFordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteer by Amin Cajee and Terry Bell

When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle, he believed he had volunteered to serve “a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime”. Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, “I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption”.

Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical journey – from home in South Africa, to training in Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania, to England. The book is both a significant contribution to opening up the hidden history of exile, and a documentation of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to disillusionment.

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EAN: 9780994674425
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June 16June 16 by Peter Magubane

2016 Marks the 40th anniversary of Peter Magubane’s historic photographic evidence that led to South Africa’s freedom. With over 130 iconic photographs, this is one of the most important works of contemporary Africana to appear in the last two decades.

Foreword by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

EAN: 9780994677082
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Umkhonto we SizweUmkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle by Thula Simpson

The armed struggle waged by the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was the longest sustained insurgency in South African history. This book offers the first full account of the rebellion in its entirety, from its early days in the 1950s to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South African president in 1994.

Written in a fresh, immediate style, Umkhonto we Sizwe is an honest account of the armed struggle and a fascinating chronicle of events that changed South African history.

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EAN: 9781770228412
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Dr Philip's EmpireDr Philip’s Empire: One Man’s Struggle for Justice in Nineteenth-Century South Africa by Tim Keegan

From the time he arrived in South Africa as superintendent of the London Missionary Society in 1819, Dr John Philip played a major role in the idealist and humanitarian campaigns of the day, working with English philanthropists such as William Wilberforce and Thomas Fowell Buxton and African leaders such as Waterboer, Moshoeshoe and Maqoma. He was a creature of an age of extraordinary optimism, who held out a vision of non-racialism and progress that needs to be rediscovered and remembered.

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EAN: 9781770227101
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Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?: The Zuma Years by Tim Richman

It’s time once again to cry the beloved country, because ever since Alan Paton wrote his upbeat little book, South Africans have been taking his advice to heart: whinging and moaning about the state of the nation at regular intervals. And though we thought we’d got it all off our chests in the late 2000s with the original Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak? series, well, it’s back on our chests, isn’t it?

This is a book that unites South Africans in their misery and allows us to laugh it off. Just in time for the national elections, of course!

EAN: 9781928230335
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SELF DEVELOPMENT

The Goddess Mojo BootcampThe Goddess Mojo Bootcamp by Kagiso Msimango

This book is for women who want authentic relationships, not those who are interested in learning how to manipulate men in order to get a ring on their finger. It’s for women who desire happy, healthy relationships in their lives. Central to this empowering book is loving yourself and feeling good about yourself. It teaches you how to attract a healthy relationship, through falling in love with yourself and your life.

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EAN: 9781920601683
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TRAVEL & TRAVEL WRITING

Blacks Do CaravanBlacks Do Caravan by Fikile Hlatshwayo

When her husband and children broke the news that they were planning a countrywide caravanning adventure, Fikile was adamant that “Blacks don’t caravan!” But faced with the prospect of being abandoned at home she put aside her preconceptions, put on her sunhat and started reading up on the way of the wild. What followed was an eye-opening, mind-changing trip of a lifetime. Fikile and her family visited over
25 caravan parks, covered over 10,000 kilometres, and traversed all nine provinces on their adventure.

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EAN: 9781431423774
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Love letter to the ordinary: Michele Magwood reviews Orhan Pamuk’s A Strangeness in My Mind

A city and a mood take centre stage in Orhan Pamuk’s new novel, writes Michele Magwood for the Sunday Times

A Strangeness in My MindA Strangeness in My Mind
Orhan Pamuk (Faber & Faber)
***** (5 stars)

Melancholy is Orhan Pamuk’s ink, it colours his canvas and his writing and in Turkish there is even a name for it: hüzün. In A Strangeness in My Mind he turns his eye once again to his beloved Istanbul, not the Westernised, bourgeois side we saw in The Museum of Innocence, but the lowly working class scrabbling for a life in the city. And though the story is, as always, steeped in hüzün, it is poignant rather than sad, affectionate rather than despairing.

A Strangeness in My Mind is a great baggy saga of a book, a boiling, teeming tale spanning four decades. It is the story of Mevlut Karatas, amiable boza seller, a man heroic in his equableness and simple honour.

Boza is a fermented wheat drink that dates from the Ottoman era, traditionally sold by vendors walking the streets at night. It was once sold along with yoghurt, with customers dropping baskets down from their apartments to be filled by the vendor from the pans on their wooden yokes, but times are changing and now yoghurt is sold in glass cups in shops. Mevlut, who sells chicken and rice on the streets by day, insists on continuing his boza rounds at night, his plaintive call an echo of the past, a symbol of something lost and a time past. It is the one constant thing in his life, anchoring him to the streets and neighbourhoods amid tumultuous change in the city.

He arrives in Istanbul at the age of 12 from his village in Anatolia, following his father to the city to join him selling yoghurt and boza. They live in a one-roomed slum house with a dirt floor and a long drop. They are part of an extended clan, and Pamuk summons a vast chorus of voices to tell Mevlut’s story. He begins the saga in the middle, with our constant hero’s courtship and elopement with a village girl.

He spots Rayiha at a family wedding; exquisite and demure, she is just 13 years old. For three years Mevlut writes her chaste letters, encouraged by his cousin who delivers the letters to her. Having had only a glimpse of her face, and bound by strict conventions of decency, he doesn’t have much to go on. His ardency is comical. “Your eyes are like ensorcelled arrows that pierce my heart and take me captive,” reads one letter. She never replies, but cousin Suleyman is adamant that she, too, is in love with Mevlut, and helps them to run away.

It is only when they have boarded a train bound for Istanbul in the dead of night that Mevlut discovers he has eloped with an older, less attractive sister. He comes to realise that Suleyman, of course, wants the younger girl, and has tricked him. Mevlut being the man he is, he simply accepts his fate and he and Rayiha build a deeply loving marriage. This is the axle around which the story turns.

Backwards and forwards Pamuk moves, from Mevlut’s poor childhood to his old age, through his dead-end jobs as an ice-cream seller and car guard, his abandoned school days and brief flirtation with communism. We see him as a proud and gentle father, an honest citizen, an innocent optimist. At the same time we watch his relatives growing richer through corrupt deals, feel the frustration of women tethered to hearth and shabby home, and we witness the city ballooning. Not the tourist city of the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace: this is a city of skyscrapers and tenements, with buildings hastily thrown up and new bridges being built across the fabled Bosphorus.

The story bulges with encyclopedic detail, of food and politics, religion and customs. There are squabbles and blood feuds, matchmakings and scandals, crippling setbacks and cheering successes. It is a splendid, 600-page soap opera.

More playful and tender than Pamuk’s previous novels about Istanbul, A Strangeness in My Mind is undoubtedly his love letter to the city. In this tale of a hapless Everyman, Pamuk shows that even ordinary lives can be epic.

Follow Michele Magwood on Twitter @michelemagwood

Read: Michele Magwood Visits Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence in Cukurcuma, Turkey

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