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Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

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:


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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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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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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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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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

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EAN: 9780799375039
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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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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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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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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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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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2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists announced

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists announced

Alert! The shortlists for the 2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards have been announced.

The awards recognise the best work published by Media24 Books – including NB Publishers and Jonathan Ball – during the previous year. An exception occurred in 2014, when Dominque Botha’s Valsrivier, published by Umuzi, was deemed too strong not to be included and the won Jan Rabie Rapport Prize.

The winner in each of the six categories receives R35,000, with the MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books being shared by the author and illustrator. Independent panels of judges compiled the shortlists.

The prizes will be awarded in Cape Town on 22 June, 2016.

Last year’s six winners were Willem Anker, Michiel Heyns, Antjie Krog, Mark Gevisser, Andre Eva Bosch and Fiona Moodie.

* * * * *

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists

WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Fiction (novel, short stories or drama)


Wonderboom by Lien Botha (Queillerie)
Brandwaterkom by Alexander Strachan (Tafelberg)
Vlakwater by Ingrid Winterbach (Human & Rousseau)

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Recht Malan Prize for Afrikaans or English Non-Fiction

Black Brain, White BrainA Perfect StormShowdown at the Red Lion

Black Brain, White Brain by Gavin Evans (Jonathan Ball)
Perfect Storm by Milton Shain (Jonathan Ball)
Showdown at the Red Lion by Charles van Onselen (Jonathan Ball)

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Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Fiction (novel, short stories or drama)

The FetchThe Shadow of the Hummingbird

The Fetch by Finuala Dowling (Kwela)
The Shadow of the Hummingbird by Athol Fugard and Paula Fourie (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

Elisabeth Eybers Prize for Afrikaans and English Poetry


Vry- by Gilbert Gibson (Human & Rousseau)
Takelwerk by Daniel Hugo (Human & Rousseau)
Bladspieël by Marlise Joubert (Human & Rousseau)

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MER Prize for Afrikaans and English Youth Novels

Elton Amper-Famous April en Juffrou BromBambaduzeSwemlesse vir 'n meermin

Elton amper-famous April en juffrou Brom by Carin Krahtz (Tafelberg)
Bambaduze by Derick van der Walt (Tafelberg)
Swemlesse vir ’n meermin by Marita van der Vyver (Tafelberg)

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MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books in Afrikaans and English

Hendrik LeerdamDie Dingesfabriek: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjienProfessor Sabatina se wetenskapboek

Hendrik Leerdam: Kaap van storms by James Home en Peter Mascher (ill.) (Tafelberg)
Die Dingesfabriek 4: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjien by Elizabeth Wasserman and Astrid Castle (ill.) (Tafelberg)
Professor Sabatina se wetenskapboek by Elizabeth Wasserman, Astrid Castle (ill.) and Rob Foote (ill.) (Tafelberg)

The prizes will be awarded in Cape Town on 22 June 2016.

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Finish your manuscript with the ‘250 Words a Day’ challenge and enter the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature

Sanlam Prize
OnderwêreldDo Not Go GentleTaking ChancesDeath By CarbsThis Book Betrays my BrotherSister-Sister
To Quote MyselfBroken MonstersThe Big StickI am Incomplete Without You


Alert! The 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is open for entries, and budding writers are invited to join the “250 Words a Day” challenge to complete their novel by the closing date.

Paige Nick, author, Sunday Times columnist and advertising copywriter, says: “Writing a whole book can feel daunting, but anyone can write just 250 words a day, right?”

Nick is part of the team of published authors acting as mentors for the “250 Words a Day” campaign. Others include Futhi Ntshingila, Fanie Viljoen, Sicelo Kula, Kagiso Lesego Molope and Rachel Zadok.

Published authors have also been sharing valuable writing advice and glimpses into their working life on the page, including Lauren Beukes, Richard de Nooy, Khaya Dlanga and Iain Thomas.

The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is presented in six categories: Afrikaans, English, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Tshivenda and Xitsonga, with two prizes in each category, Gold (R12,000) and Silver (R6,000).

Submitted work should be suitable for young readers (between 12 and 18 years) and at least 25,000 words.

The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016 – so get writing!

Press release:

2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature launched alongside “250 Words a Day” campaign

Entries for the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature are now open!

However, writing a whole book can be daunting …

Elena Meyer, senior sponsorships manager at Sanlam, says: “As Wealthsmiths, we have a deep understanding and respect for what it takes to turn 26 alphabetic letters into something that can make you cry, scared or make you love. A process that talks to commitment and determination, yet achievable for any person that has a love for the word.

“It is from this understanding that our campaign of ’250 Words a Day’ was born. We want this competition to be accessible not only to established authors, but also to young and upcoming writers.”

By joining the “250 Words a Day” campaign on Facebook, entrants will have access to a panel of renowned and established authors who will act as writing mentors. Would-be authors are encouraged to write 250 words every day. If they commit to this, they should have a manuscript ready to submit by the closing date. Not only will advice, inspiration and helpful writing tips be offered, but mentors will also read segments of manuscripts and respond to writers with useful feedback. Mentors include among others Paige Nick, Cat Hellisen, Fanie Viljoen, Redi Tlhabi and Kagiso Lesego.

According to Michelle Cooper, publisher of children and young adult fiction at Tafelberg, the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is vital in finding and developing new talent and to create literature of high quality for readers between 12 and 18 years of age: “We are excited about the 250 Words a Day campaign and are looking forward to discovering talented new writing voices!”

The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature was launched in 1980 and is awarded every second year. It is open to entries in all 11 official languages. Gold and silver prizes are awarded in the categories for African languages (Tshivenda, Xitsonga and Nguni & Sotho languages), Afrikaans and English.

A panel of readers will compile a shortlist of 18 manuscripts which will then be judged by representatives from the educational and trade book sector, librarians and academics. Manuscripts are judged anonymously so that debut writers are able to compete with established authors.

Over the years around 78 novels that were awarded the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature have been prescribed as setwork books in schools, while some have even been made into films — Lien se lankstaanskoene by Derick van der Walt and Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom written by Marita van der Vyver.

The total prize money amounts to R54,000: R12,000 for the winner (gold) and R6,000 for the runner-up (silver) in each category.

The prize-winning books will be available in bookshops and in ebook format. The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016.

To join the “250 Words a Day” campaign, visit

Download the entry form at


Related stories:

Book details

  • I am Incomplete Without You: An Interactive Poetry Journal from the Author of I Wrote This for You by Iain Sinclair Thomas
    EAN: 9781612435329
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Read an excerpt from Nick Wood’s debut Azanian Bridges, an alternate reality thriller where apartheid still rules

Read an excerpt from Nick Wood’s debut novel Azanian Bridges, where apartheid rules in a dark alternate reality
Azanian BridgesAfrican MonstersAfrosfv2The Stone Chameleon

Azanian Bridges, Nick Wood’s debut novel, is published and due to be launched at the British Science Fiction Association Convention this Easter, and the author has kindly given Books LIVE an excerpt to share.

Wood is a South African-British clinical psychologist, researcher and genre writer, with stories in two recently published anthologies, Afrosfv2 and African Monsters. His Young Adult novel The Stone Chameleon was published in 2004. He is also a reader for the Short Story Africa Day Prize.

Like Nikhil Singh’s Taty Went West, which we featured as our Fiction Friday recently, Azanian Bridges was longlisted for the inaugural Kwani? Manuscript Prize in 2013. It has impressive shouts from authors such as Sarah Lotz, Ian Watson and Ursula K Le Guin, who says: “I read Bridges with much pleasure … chilling and fascinating.”

The novel’s cover art is by Capetonian illustrator Vincent Sammy.

Azanian Bridges is a socially acute fast-paced thriller that takes place in an alternate modern day South Africa where apartheid still rules, and a young man, Sibusiso Mchunu, finds himself in possession of a secret that could offer hope to his people. Pursued by the ANC on one side and Special Branch agents on the other, Sibusiso has little choice but to run.

Wood explained a little bit about the process of writing the novel, and his decision to partner with Long Story Short.

“Busisiwe Siyathola, a clinical psychologist working at the hospital where some of the novel’s scenes are set (I worked there too, a good few years ago now), helped with beta advice, particularly with Sibusiso and all the Zulu references.

“I also agreed to share author royalties with Long Story Short as it felt unethical for a white writer to solely benefit from a tale around apartheid.”

Read the excerpt:

* * * * *


Chapter 1 – Sibusiso’s Start

I never knew it would be so hard to say goodbye – especially to my father. (I leave him until last.)

         “Sala kahle, tata!” I say, bowing my face so he cannot see my eyes.
         For a brief moment, he holds me close to him and I can smell the Earth, sweet, sharp sweat and the decades of cattle manure on his skin. His jacket buttons poke into my stomach – he has indeed dressed for this occasion too. He is so like a fragile bird – a kiewietjie comes to mind for some reason – but then he pushes me away, turns and walks off in a hurry and without looking back. He has left me with a little gift, a small beige plastic digi-disc, on which I can record the happenings in my life. I put it in my pocket.
         Since when did my father get so old, so delicate, so suddenly?
         I look over my brother and sisters’ heads to watch his stiff blue-jacketed back disappear into the house. The brown door shuts against yellow brick and the late afternoon sun glints off the corrugated silver eaves and roof.
         Behind our master’s house, I hear the cows sounding out as a dog barks, unsettling them.
         Lindiwe is crying openly but I keep my own eyes dry. I am the eldest son; I am strong.
         There is time for one last hug before the taxi arrives.
         Mandla grips my arm tight. ”Careful brother,” his eyes are almost on a level with my own, despite the three years I have on him, “There is much danger and distraction in the city.”
         I nod and brush my lips with the back of my left hand to hide my smile: “I hear what you say, Mandla – you repeat father too – but I will be careful.”
         He grins and puffs his 15-year old chest, which looks increasingly like a solid drum of utshwala besizulu – but only the finest of beer.
         There is a high-pitched car hooter sounding behind me. Father had to pay much to have the man detour off his route to come here.
         My five sisters wave as I step with difficulty into the crowded taxi; the door is slid fully open, the minibus is silver and muddy brown from the farm tracks splatter of early-summer showers.
         The driver accelerates before I can sit. I fall into a large woman’s lap and realise there is indeed no seat. She shovels me aside with a large forearm and I sway, trapped between her fat hip and a thin man’s sharp thighbone. He wriggles a bit like a contortionist and my buttocks manage to find some sticky leather to ease the weight off my feet.
         My grey Sunday slacks sticks to the seat, as we sway around and bump over farm potholes.
The ‘gamchee’, as the Cape Coloured people call them, waves a hand towards me from the front seat: “Where you going again, boy?”
“Fundimiso College, Im-, Imbali,” I say, finding it hard to breathe, crushed as I am as the large woman squeezes against me.
         The gamchee turns to the driver, who is accelerating into a violent right-turn onto the tarred road: “Seems like we have a clever boy in our taxi, hey Smokes?”
         Smokes just grunts from under his Man U cap and shakes his dreads. I see he has an OPod plugged into his ears.
         I plug an earpiece into my ears, folding my arms tightly over my old music pod and the rands strapped in a leather purse across my stomach inside my white buttoned shirt, the purse hot and wet against my skin from the late afternoon heat.
         The sky still looks clear – no gathering thunderstorm tonight it seems. I glance across at the passengers swaying and talking in front of me. They’re arguing about the price of bread.
         I am too tired to listen and try to sleep. Keeping my arms crossed across my hidden money pouch, I doze in fits and starts to random braking, accelerations and Church-Rap from the Crischen-Niggaz.
         I finally fall asleep to Muth’fuckas Who Don’t Know Jesus
         The fat woman is climbing over me and I see she has a baby hanging off her right hip, swinging it onto her back as she steps outside. It’s built like me; it keeps right on sleeping …
         Then I see the driver getting out too – what’s his name?
         I look across to the open door and see I’m the last one inside. I stretch and rub my eyes. My OPod has gone silent.
         A big white man with a fierce brown handlebar moustache and blue police cap sticks his head inside: “Out, kaffir!”
         Hayi no, it must be a roadblock.
         I step outside, sweating hard, although the sun is low and the air is cooling.
         There’s a mellow yellow police van parked in front of us. We’re pulled off to the side of the road, traffic whooshing past us and down the hill, down into the smoky valley of umGungundlovu – or Pietermaritzburg as the boere like to call it.
         So close, why did they have to stop us now?
         Fierce-moustache policeman is going through the driver’s papers. Two other black cops are rummaging through our taxi, looking for guns or drugs, probably both.
         “Hey, line up!” the white cop shouts, throwing the driver’s papers back at him – Smokes, that’s his name, catches the papers deftly with a weary shrug of his shoulders and turns back to his cab.
         We stand in a ragged line, all nine of us, as he slowly works his way through our dompas. My hands are clammy as I pull mine out of my hip pocket.
         He moves alongside me and snatches it from my hand; as if angry they’ve all been in order so far.
         I sweat, even though it’s getting cold, the sun sinking below the city’s smog.
         He looks at me and I’m reminded of Ballie Boetze, the big white South African world-boxing champion from several decades ago – whose face has received a nostalgic comeback on TV since his death, advertising Rocket Jungle Weetie-Oats.
         “Hey, why you sweating so much, boy, what you hiding?”
         “Nothing, sir!” I hate my sweat and my use of “sir”, but all I want is to get to College safely.
         “Ach man, they can go!” He slaps my dompas into my open palms.
         I see the two black cops are standing behind him, hands on hips, empty.
         “Next time I’ll give you a bledy fine for over-crowding, hey!” he shouts at us as we climb back into the taxi.
         Smokes lights a cigarette, but no one says anything.
         This time I find a space next to the window and keep my face averted from the others, watching the lights popping up like fireflies, as the quick dusk deepens into murky darkness.
         The rest of the journey is made in a tense silence – as for me, I shake until the end.
         I miss my father already.

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Winners of the 2015 Bessie Head Short Story Awards announced



Alert! The Bessie Head Heritage Trust has announced the winners of the 2015 Bessie Head Short Story Awards.

The Bessie Head Short Story Awards reward original and unpublished short stories in English, and are open to citizens and residents of Botswana. The facilitators include three past winners: Wame Molefhe, Wazha Lopang and Lauri Kubuitsile.

This year’s award judges were Zukiswa Wanner, Karen Jennings and Fiona Snyckers.

Without further ado:

2015 Bessie Head Short Story Awards winners

  • First place: Donald Molosi, for “The Biggest Continent”
  • Second place: Siyanda Mohutsiwa, for “And Then We Disappeared into Some Guy’s Car”
  • Third place: Vamika Sinha, for “Love and Other Almosts”

Molosi and Mohutsiwa were both recently longlisted for the Short Story Day Africa Prize,

First place prize money is 2 000 pula (about R2 900), second place P1 500, third place P1 000. Prizes have been donated by Diamond Educational Publishers.

The award ceremony is being held on Saturday, 23 January, at the National Museum in Gaborone, at 2 PM, with a keynote speech by Kubuitsile.

Congratulations to the winners!

Go Tell the SunA Memory This Size and Other StoriesSigned, Hopelessly in Love

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Get your teen novel published – enter the 2016 MML Literature Awards

Pearson has made a call for submissions for the 2016 Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards (MMLLA).

The MMLLA serve to develop quality literature in all official languages for young readers and to encourage a love of reading in learners’ mother tongues.

Each year a new theme is selected to ensure a wide variety of literature is created and supported. Last year the MMLLA celebrated Children’s Fiction and in 2014 it explored the genre of Drama.

The selected theme for 2016 is Teen Novels, with a call made for original stories aimed at individuals between the ages of 14 and 16. This was also the theme in 2013.

Writers have until 30 April, 2016 to submit their teen novels. Pearson will also be hosting writing workshops in Cape Town for those in need of a bit of extra help. For more information read the press release below:


* * * * * * * * *




Pearson invites experienced, new and aspiring writers to submit their unpublished and original Teen Novels for learners aged 14 to 16 as part of the 2016 Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards.

Stories can explore the following themes but are not limited to: comedy, romance, fantasy, sport and adventure.

Give South African teenagers the gift of reading in their mother tongue.

Download your entry form here.


  • R10 000 will be awarded to each winner and the winning entries will be considered for publication by Pearson.
  • R3 500 will be awarded to each finalist.

Closing date for entries is on 30 April, 2016.

Applications for the 2016 MML Writing Workshops are now open

Workshops will be held in Cape Town (CBD) on 18 February and Sandton on 25 February, 2016.

To add your name to the list simply download and complete the application email it to

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Rus sag, Chris Barnard (1939 – 2015)

Chris Barnard

Een van die reuse van Suid-Afrikaanse letterkunde het gesterf.

Chris Barnard – veelbekroonde en uiters geliefde Afrikaans skrywer van onder meer Paljas, Die rebellie van Lafras Verwey en Die Wonderwerker – het vroeg Maandaggoggend op die ouderdom van 76 aan ‘n hartaanval beswyk, berig Netwerk24.

Barnard was wyd belees en sy boeke word ook deur menigte tweede en derde taal Afrikaanssprekers as gunstelinge uitgesonder. Sy sterfte is ‘n groot verlies vir die boekgemeenskap.

Oulap se blouBunduBoela van die blouwaterMahala
Die wonderwerkerDandaDanda op OudeurPaljasDie rebellie van Lafras Verwey


Vir meer oor hierdie ontslape skrywer, lees LitNet se skrywersalbum waarin hulle sy biografie, belangrike aanhalings en lys van publikasies in vol deel:

In 1999: “Dertig jaar gelede, toe ons jonk en lus was om te eksperimenteer, het die kuns om ’n storie te vertel in die slag gebly. Maar hoe ouer ek word, hoe groter word die uitdaging om ’n roman só te skryf dat die leser dit nie maklik sal neersit nie – nie nét vir die storie nie, maar óók vir die storie.”

“Ek weet uit dure ondervinding ’n roman is op sy heel beste tot nét voor jy die eerste sin neergeskryf het. Daarná, sin vir sin, begin jy sy moontlikhede beperk.” (Beeld, 29 September 1999)

“Om ’n roman te skryf (of enigiets anders), is op ’n manier soos om ’n bergpoel kristalhelder water te sien wat vol weerkaatsings van wit wolke en ’n blou oneindigheid lê en skitter – en te besluit jy wil ’n dubbele handvol van daardie water met alles wat dit weerspieël skep en met jou saamneem om dit vir die res van die wêreld te gaan wys. Jy staan uiteindelik waarmee jy staan: met nat maar leë hande. Dis nie altyd heeltemal so erg nie. Jy ontdek soms iets gans anders in jou hande – nadat die water tussen jou vingers weg is: soms selfs ’n spartelende ghielewientjie of ’n kielierige draaikewertjie wat jy nooit verwag het nie. Maar altyd – altyd – met iets anders as die ding wat jy wou opskep.”

“Hoe ouer jy word, hoe moeiliker is dit om jouself tussen die bladsye weg te steek. Jy gee minder om dat die onderrok uithang. As jong skrywer was dit vir my belangrik om myself te verdoesel. Nou maak dit nie meer saak nie.” (Die Burger, 5 Februarie 2009)


Christian Johan Barnard is op 15 Julie 1939 op ’n lemoenplaas, Mataffin, in die ou Transvaalse Laeveld gebore – die oudste van twee seuns van Flip, ’n sitrusboer, en Hanna. Sy broer, Sam, is gebore toe Chris vyf jaar oud was en omdat hy aanvanklik alleen grootgeword het, het hy geleer om homself te vermaak. Sy ma was ’n nooi Blundell en hy vertel self dat sy ’n gefrustreerde huisvrou was en ’n toegewyde tuinier. Sy behoefte om goed te plant en te sien groei, kom dus van beide ouers af.

Lees huldeblyke aan Barnard op Twitter:



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RIP Chris Barnard (1939 – 2015)

Chris Barnard

Oulap se blouBoela van die blouwaterDie wonderwerkerDandaDanda op OudeurDie rebellie van Lafras Verwey

Afrikaans author and dramatist Chris Barnard has died at the age of 76, according to reports.

Netwerk24 reports that Barnard died of a heart attack in the early hours of Monday morning.

Barnard was born in Nelspruit in 1939. He matriculated in 1957 and completed a BA degree in 1960 at the University of Pretoria. He worked as a journalist for 17 years and as a scriptwriter and film producer between 1978 and 1994. He began farming macadamias in the Lowveld in 1995.

Barnard was one of the most important Sestigers, mainly because of his great versatility. He wrote novels, novellas, columns, youth novels, short stories, plays, radio dramas, essays, film scripts and television dramas. Barnard published over 30 books and received several literary awards, including a brace of Hertzog Prizes, and translated Chinua Achebe and Ernest Hemingway into Afrikaans.

His most recent English publication, Bundu, was first published in Afrikaans over a decade ago, and was met with critical acclaim and commercial success. It was translated by Michiel Heyns, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

His Afrikaans psychological thriller classic, Mahala, was released in English in 2009.

Barnard leaves behind his wife, Katinka Heyns, and his sons Simon, Johan, Stephan, Tian and Reghard.

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Ek was daar – ’n jong Afrikaanse boekjoernalis neem bestek

Toe ek ‘n jaar en ‘n half gelede by Books LIVE begin werk het was my Afrikaans ‘n uitgemergelde dier wat ‘n paar jaar onder ‘n emmer gelê en uitbloei het (geseënde Kersfees, jy wen ‘n aaklige metafoor). Na vier jaar by Rhodes en twee jaar in Suid-Korea (om nie te praat van my Engelsman-eggenoot nie) moes ek van voor af leer hoe om sinne te maak.

Ek kon nie vir ‘n beter leerskool as Books LIVE en die Afrikaanse boekbedryf gevra het nie.

Ek wou nog altyd net boeke gelees het vir ‘n lewe. Ek weet dis ‘n cliché – skuus, ‘n geykte uitdrukking – maar ek kan nie Wiskunde doen nie, ek is nie prakties nie en ek’s te klein en rond vir enigeiets wat fisieke inspanning vereis. So toe ek die Books LIVE-advertensie op Twitter sien, was ek verheug. Dis dit! My droomwerk het in my skoot beland – digitaal, Afrikaans, werk met boeke – perfek.

Die eerste bekendstelling wat ek bygewoon het vir Books LIVE was Bernette Bergenthuin se Stiletto’s van staal by Graffiti Lynnwood Bridge. Ek het so gebewe ek is seker almal kon my knieë hoor klap. Ek het afgespreek om voor die tyd ’n onderhoud met die skrywer te voer, en toe ek haar ontmoet was ek so verskrik ek moes na daardie spesiale plek in my kop toe gaan waar ek vir myself sê: “Jy’s orraait, mense hou van jou, jy’s nie te sleg nie.”

Ek wens ek kan vir jou sê die angs het namate weggegaan, maar dit het nie. Ek het egter geleer hoe om dit weg te steek, of ten minste die draak daarmee te steek: “Hoekom is jy so rooi, Annetjie?” “Ek’s besig met ‘n bestaanskrisis, los my uit.” (Praat ek gedurig met myself)

Kort na my vuurdoop met Bernette het die werk in alle erns begin en angs moes bietjie plek maak vir opwinding: Ek het met Tom Lanoye via Skype gesels oor Sprakeloos wat na Afrikaans vertaal is deur Daniel Hugo (heeveel boeke vertaal Hugo in ‘n jaar? Ek sal graag wil uitvind) en met Marlene van der Westhuizen oor Geheime van ’n Franse kookklas.

Die hoogtepunt van 2014 was egter om Chris Karsten te ontmoet toe hy Die respektabele Meneer Hartslief by die Waverley Biblioteek in Pretoria bekendgestel het. Ek moet bieg, ek het nooit vantevore sy boeke gelees nie, maar sy gesprek met Thys Human daardie aand het ‘n ommeswaai in my houding teenoor misdaad- en spanningsfiksie veroorsaak – en hoe dankbaar is ek nie daarvoor nie! (Later het ek ook Irma Venter ontmoet en haar boeke ontdek, en ek hoop regtig dat meer lesers sal besef hoe blêrriewil goed sy is.)

2015 was ongetwyfeld een van die beste jare in my loopbaan as jong joernalis met drome om eendag boeke te skryf wat mense sal wil lees. Die angswekkende rit van Johannesburg na Pretoria in my skedonk sal sigself eendag ‘n goeie storie maak; Graffiti en Protea Boekwinkel in Hatfield het my tweede huis geword en daar het ek wonderlike mense ontmoet en ‘n blik agter die skerms gekry van hoe die boekbedryf nou eintlik werk.

In hierdie kort tydperk het ek aanskou hoe daar boeke in allerhande genres bekendgestel en – belangrik, want dis tog hoekom ons hier is – gekoop en gelees word. Eendag, wanneer ek oud en bewerig is, sal ek kan terugkyk en sê dat ek deel was van ‘n tydsgees waar goeie Afrikaanse boeke uitgegee en ontvang is.

Ek was daar toe Eunice Basson (Leiboom) en Riël Franzsen (Narokkong) hul debuutdigbundels bekendgestel het. Ek was daar toe Keina Swart haar bundel rubrieke en kortverhale, Die potlooddief se bruid en ander stories, met Martjie Bosman gedeel het. Ek het die voorreg gehad om Pat Stamatélos, asook Peet Venter, Martin Steyn en Henk Breytenbach te ontmoet, en ek was daar toe die deurwinterde joernalis Schalk Schoombie sy boek Boomkastele bekendgestel het.

Ek het ook die voorreg gehad om daar te wees toe Nicol Stassen sy projek van twaalf jaar Die Dorslandtrek: 1874 – 1881 gevier het, en toe Ena Jansen haar insiggewende studie na huiswerkers in stadstekste, Soos familie, bekendgestel het.

Om al die Afrikaanse skrywers wat ek die jaar ontmoet het op te noem sal heelwat plek opneem, maar gelukkig is ons mos nie ‘n koerant nie: Tinus Horn, Pieter Verwey, Irma Venter, Saskia Goldschmidt, Debbie Loots (en gespreksgenoot Niekie van den Berg!), André Krüger, Irma Joubert en Chanette Paul.

Natuurlik is die boekbedryf, soos enigeiets in ons samelewing, nie immuun teen kritiek nie. Myns insiens is daar te min bruin, swart en vroulike Afrikaanse skrywers wat die diversiteit van ons land in Afrikaanse literatuur verteenwoordig. Daar is te veel boeke wat ‘n nostalgiese blik werp op wit mense se triomfantelike verlede, maar swyg oor hoé die plase/rykdom/weelde verkryg is deur die onderdrukking van “die ander”. Jong mense is kwaad, soos Nathan Trantraal ons by die Open Book-fees herinner het en soos ons kon sien in die kwessies wat in 2015 die lig gesien het – #FeesMustFall, #RhodesMustFall, #OpenStellenbosch, noem op.

Die probleem is dat ons (Afrikaanssprekendes) te ordentlik en te bang is vir ‘n ope gesprek oor die dinge wat ons pla. Dit pla my, byvoorbeeld, dat as jy kyk na al die Afrikaanse boekbekendstellings wat ek die jaar bygewoon het, jy sal agterkom dat al die skrywers wit was. Dis ‘n probleem, veral as jy dit vergelyk met die Engels bekendstellings en literêre feeste wat ek die jaar bygewoon het. Dié was ook grotendeels wit, maar daar was ‘n groter bewustheid van die ongelykhede in die Suid-Afrikaanse literêre sisteem en ‘n groter poging om – al was dit by tye lomp en onbeholpe – ‘n beter weg vorentoe te baan. 2015 sal altyd onthou word as die jaar toe die “White Literary System” onder skoot was.

En ek was daar.

Ek het in een week in Maart vanjaar drie uiteenlopende geleenthede bygewoon – ‘n Engelse wetenskapfiksiebekendstelling in ‘n koffiewinkel in Illovo (tydens beurtkrag), ‘n Afrikaanse bekendstelling by die Voortrekkermonument in Pretoria en die bekendstelling van die Long Story SHORT-projek met Hlubi Mboya en Nozizwe Cyntha Jele by die Olievenhoutbosch Biblioteek in Tshwane. Ek het gejubel oor hoe cool my werk is – ek kry die geleentheid om in al die verskillende groepe van ons samelewing te beweeg en in te pas. Tog, kry enigeiemand anders ooit hierdie geleentheid, en wat was die punt as ek nie iets daaruit geleer het nie?

Een ervaring wat my altyd sal bybly is die bekendstelling van Run Racist Run: Journeys Into The Heart Of Racism deur Eusebius McKaiser, waar die skrywer onder meer gesels het oor sy tyd by Rhodes: “I thought I was self-aware but I walked around Rhodes campus with blinkers on … These spaces were always violent.” Sy beskrywing eggo myne; met oogklappe aan het ek die vier jaar omgekuier; en ek was beslis nie so braaf soos die #FeesMustFall-studente nie, al was ek self op NSFAS en het ek amper weens kostes nie my eerstejaar-eksamen geskryf nie. Die skrywer het die geleentheid afgesluit met die woorde: “We are required as writers to engage with these realities; you can’t write poetry about what’s in your garden.” Is dit dan nie ons plig om dit wat ons ongemaklik maak te belig en oop te praat of te skryf nie?

Dit pla my dat wanneer ons (jong mense) oor hierdie dinge probeer praat, ons pogings afgemaak word as “irrasioneel”, “te emosioneel” of – net nie dit nie – onpatrioties, onAfrikaans, of daardie haatlike woord, libtard. Dit pla my dat ek – wit, Afrikaans, 27-jarige vrou – in ‘n sekere kartondoos moet pas en nie my mond mag oopmaak wanneer die wit ooms praat nie. En dit pla my verskriklik dat, een, ek nie heeltemal uiting kan gee aan die dinge wat my pla nie, en twee, ek dadelik om verskoning wil vra aan al die individuele skrywers vir my uitlatings. Want dit gaan nie oor individue nie, dis die sisteem wat foutief is, en ek is onlosmaakbaar deel van daardie sisteem wat wit bevoorregtig laat herhaal.

Dis soos ‘n roof wat oor en oor gekrap word.

Dit was ‘n voorreg.

En ek was daar.


Stiletto's van staalSprakeloosGeheime van ’n Franse kookklasDie respektabele Meneer HartsliefLeiboomNarokkongDie potlooddief se bruid en ander storiesMy groot vet Griekse egskeidingSkuldigPlasentaBoomkasteleBoas Mei is verwardClint Eastwood van Wyk en die moordenaarsklokSkarlakenDie hormoonfabriekSplitDie DorslandtrekSoos familieImmer wesOfferlamKomplotKodenaam IcarusRun Racist Run



Foto’s met dank aan Graffiti Lynnwood Bridge en Protea Boekwinkel Hatfield

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Casting of Noma Dumezweni to Play Hermione Granger Causes Quite a Stir

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter And The Half-Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The casting of a black actress in the role of Hermione Granger in the West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has caused quite a stir.

The play, which has been declared a sequel to JK Rowling’s seven book Harry Potter series, is set 19 years after the last scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. Based on an original new story by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Noma Dumezweni, who was born in Swaziland to South African parents, has been cast as the middle-aged Hermione alongside Jamie Parker as Harry Potter and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.

Dumezweni’s casting has been met with mixed reactions from fans and critics of the Harry Potter franchise, despite being welcomed by Rowling herself. When asked on Twitter “how does she feel about black hermione” (sic), she responded:

Not everyone is buying it, though. Some fans of the series even tweeted an excerpt from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to ‘prove’ that Hermione was in fact written as a white character:

This is not the first time Hermione’s race has been a topic of discussion. Various people have hinted at the possibility that she might in fact be mixed race, with an article by Alanna Bennett that made the most poignant argument in favour of it:

Growing up, the discovery of Harry Potter was nothing short of a revelation.

It revolutionized the way I thought about the world, humanity, and myself.

And like many young girls at the time, I found myself relating quite a lot to the series’ most prominent female character.

Hermione wouldn’t and couldn’t deny her intellect; she was bossy, she had big bushy hair, and she had best friends who loved her even when she was a pain in the ass — and who frequently needed her to save their asses.

She was also a Muggle-born, navigating a world that looked down on her for the situation of her very biology and culture.
As a biracial girl growing up in a very white city, I found myself especially attaching to the allegory of Harry Potter’s blood politics.

The twittersphere could not resist this opportunity to come up with an exciting new hashtag – #BlackHarryPotter – which sees the recasting of the series’ main characters with black actors. Steve Harvey makes an appearance as The Sorting Hat after the Miss Universe debacle and, naturally, Morgan Freeman has been chosen as Dumbledore:


Read some interesting articles from across the on the casting of Dumezweni as a black Hermione Granger and the play in question:

To all the black Harry Potter fans out there, we finally got our black Hermione!

Yes, you read that right! Noma Dumezweni will be starring as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is a short story that takes place 19 years after the last Harry Potter book. Of course, when I heard this, I was beyond excited and I definitely was not the only one. It is about time that we have some awesome women of color in these fantasy books.

Is Hermione Granger black? This is the question prompted by the casting of a black actor, Noma Dumezweni, as Hogwarts’ cleverest pupil in an upcoming theatre production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The answer is twofold. First, why the hell not? Second, what a stupid question!

A better one to ask is whether Hermione – or indeed any fictional character – is necessarily white. The answer is no. The decision to cast Dumezweni, an Olivier-award winning actor currently performing at the Royal Court in a lead intended for Kim Cattrall, challenges our assumption that characters are white unless we’re told otherwise.

J.K. Rowling is more devoted to her fans than most authors: She can regularly be found on Twitter answering questions and weighing in on all things Potter. Frequently, she’s been asked about things that weren’t included in the books — like characters’ backstories, the sexual orientation of Hogwarts students, and the racial identities of supporting characters. Although the textual evidence suggests that the world of Hogwarts is predominantly white and straight, this gives Rowling the opportunity to effectively rewrite the Potter canon to emphasize diversity. Thus, she’s dispensed post-canonical reveals like: Hogwarts had LGBT students; Dumbledore himself was gay; and there were Jewish students at Hogwarts. At this point, no one would bat an eye if Rowling were to tweet, “I just saw Tangerine and it reminded me that there were trans students at Hogwarts!”

In the Harry Potter universe, wizards teleport through fireplaces, people hold conversations with paintings and characters fly on brooms to play a sport that you win by capturing a winged golden orb. Yet apparently it’s a stretch too far, for some fans reacting in social media, that a character in an adaptation be played by a black woman.

Growing up, I never thought that Hermione could be any colour other than black.

Ofcourse Hermione Granger’s black.

Forget being surprised that Noma Dumezweni, who will play Granger in the forthcoming play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is black – I still haven’t got over the fact that Emma Watson, who played Granger in the films, is white.

Book details

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