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Alert! The programme for this year’s @OpenBookFest has been revealed! Click here to see it:

Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Terri-Maree Rens Reviews Sharp Edges by SA Partridge

Sharp EdgesVerdict: carrot

It has taken me quite a while to get a concise review penned that comes close to conveying my feelings and thoughts on Sharp Edges by local author SA Partridge. Despite this taking months, I am not sure if I am yet able to write a review that is worthy of the message that the book carries across.

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Should Science Fiction and Fantasy be Included in the “New Wave of African Writers”?

Nigerian American Science Fiction author Nnedi Okorafor has expressed “anger” at being left off a recent New York Times list of what it called the “New Wave” of African authors.

AfroSFWho Fears DeathDark Matter

Purple HibiscusHalf of a Yellow Sun Americanah

CrossbonesAll Our NamesWe Need New NamesEvery Day is for the ThiefGhana Must GoDustBoy, Snow, Bird

The article, entitled “New Wave of African Writers With an Internationalist Bent”, mentions Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dinaw Mengestu, Helen Oyeyemi, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Taiye Selasi, among others, and outlines what are perceived to be the main trends in African and African American writing.

The newspaper quotes Adichie on the subject of different categories of black. “In the US, to be a black person who is not African-American in certain circles is to be seen as quote-unquote, the good black,” Adichie said, adding that people may comment: “You’re African so you don’t have all those issues.”

The article also highlights the new international inclination in African writing, with books beginning to feature more characters who are “citizens of the world”. Manthia Diawara, professor of comparative literature and film at New York University, comments: “Now we are talking about how the West relates to Africa and it frees writers to create their own worlds. They have several identities and they speak several languages.”

According to the article, apart from certain exceptions such as Wole Soyinka and Ben Okri, who broke through in a “fallow period” for African literature, publishing tends to follows trends: “Women, Asian-American, Indian and Latino writers have all been ‘discovered’ and had their moment in the sun”, with African-Americans currently in vogue, and more ‘authentic’ African voices even more preferable.

But for all the different themes and kinds of writing, the novelist Dinaw Mengestu said that he saw a thread. “There’s this investigation of what happens to the dislocated soul,” said Mr Mengestu, 36, the author of All Our Names and a MacArthur “genius” award winner, who was born in Ethiopia but left at age two and grew up in Illinois.

The novelist Okey Ndibe, 54, said for his part, “My reflexes are shaped mostly by life in Nigeria, but so many aspects of me are in the American mode.”

However, it seems the “different themes and kinds of writing” do not stretch to the corner containing the science fiction and fantasy genres.

Writer and publisher Sheree Thomas, who edited Dark Matter, an anthology of African-American science fiction and fantasy that won the World Fantasy Award, was incredulous, and took to Twitter to protest: “I’m trying to figure out how an article on the new wave of African writers does not include Nnedi Okorafor…smh @ the separation of genres”.

Okorafor replied, thanking Thomas, and admitting that she felt “angry” at her omission, but declining to expand too much on the subject:

Do you agree with the New York Times’ summation of current African writing? Do you think genre fiction should be included in a discussion about African fiction? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

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Winners of the 2014 Media24 Books Literary Awards and Jan Rabie Rapport Prize Announced

Dominque Botha, Marlene van Niekerk, Etienne van Heerden, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, SA Partridge, Linda Rode, and Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson are the winning authors in this year’s Media24 Books Literary Awards. They were chosen from a shortlist which included three books per category.

ShadowsThe Hidden ThreadKlimtolSharp EdgesIn die land van PamperlangValsrivierKaar

The winners of prizes to the value of R35 000 per category were announced tonight during a glamorous event at the Brundyn Gallery in Cape Town.

The winners:

Recht Malan Prize for the best Afrikaans or English nonfiction:
The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era by Irina Filatova en Apollon Davidson, published by Jonathan Ball

Herman Charles Bosman Prize for the best literary work in English:
Shadows by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, published by Kwela

W.A. Hofmeyr Prize for the best literary work in Afrikaans:
Klimtol by Etienne van Heerden, published by Tafelberg

M.E.R. Prize for the best youth novel:
Sharp Edges by S.A. Partridge, published by Human & Rousseau

M.E.R. Prize for the best illustrated children’s book:
In die land van pamperlang by Linda Rode and illustrated by Johann Strauss, published by Human & Rousseau

Jan Rabie Rapport Prize for the best debut or early (second) work in Afrikaans:
Valsrivier by Dominique Botha, published by Umuzi

Elisabeth Eybers Prize for poetry in Afrikaans or English:
Kaar by Marlene van Niekerk, published by Human & Rousseau

Books that were published by Media24 Books in 2013 were considered for these awards. However, the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize is awared to a debut or early (second) work released by any publisher in South Africa. A total of 98 entries were received and three works were shor listed in each category.
It is the first year that the Elisabeth Eybers Prize for poetry has been awarded. In the past, poetry had to compete with short story collections and dramas for Media24 Books’ W.A. Hofmeyr Prize for fiction.

Flickr gallery

We brought you the winners live on Twitter using #Media24LitAwards:

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Keina Swart resenseer Iewers vlieg daar fairy dust deur Marisa Haasbroek

Iewers vlieg daar fairy dustUitspraak: wortel

Jare gelede het ’n kortverhaal in Sarie my opgeval. “Erik se T-hemp” was een van daardie skryfsels wat ’n mens net bybly. Oor die eerlikheid van die storie; omdat dit net so anders was; oor die gemaklike skryfstyl en die mooiheid in die eenvoud van die storie. Dis eers ná die lees van die jeugboek iewers vlieg daar fairy dust dat ek besef het dié besondere kortverhaal destyds was ook uit die pen van Marisa Haasbroek. En dit verbaas my nie, want dié vrou kán maar skryf.


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Mia Oosthuizen resenseer Bloujaar deur Keina Swart

BloujaarUitspraak: wortel

Die eerste jeugroman van die bekroonde skrywer en joernalis Keina Swart, Bloujaar, is die soort boek wat in ’n mens se kop bly hang, met karakters wat by jou vertoef lank nadat jy die boek klaar gelees het.

Met hierdie boek vertel Swart ’n bekende verhaal – wat iets van haar eie lewensverhaal bevat – vars aan haar lesers oor.


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Sunday Read: John Green on Realistic Fiction, Being the King of YA and The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsPaper TownsLooking for AlaskaWill Grayson Will GraysonAn Abundance of Katherines

John Green is the “undisputed king of YA”, with an earnest following known as Nerdfighters. Doree Shafrir caught up with him on the set of The Fault in Our Stars, the film based on his best-selling novel of the same name, to talk about his relationship with fame and fandoms, writing realistic fiction and the translation from page to screen, a process he is closely involved with. He also explains how he came to write the story, which is partly inspired by the life of a young friend who died of cancer.

Explaining why he writes the way he does and what inspires him to be so open about his life, Green is very active on YouTube and Twitter, he says: “We’re super uncomfortable with sincerity as a culture. That ability to experience unironic enthusiasm, that ability to not have to couch your joy or your pain behind all of this protective irony, is something I really admire about people.”

The interview reveals Green’s journey from being a student chaplain in a children’s hospital to becoming one of the most important names in the young adult fiction category:

Every morning, they come: girls in Doc Martens boots and head scarves and bright pink hair, floral backpacks and hooded sweatshirts and Converse. They have figured out where the shoot’s locations are going to be via Twitter and Instagram, and they arrive on set in groups of two or three or more, radiating a sense of uncomplicated teenage girl-ness that is infectious, really — the way they stand off to the side with hopeful smiles on their faces on rainy Amsterdam streets, umbrellas in hand, quiet when shushed by a production assistant, necks craning to catch just a glimpse of their hero. Occasionally there is one, like the Emma Stone doppelgänger in front of the American Hotel on the Leideskade, who can’t contain herself and, upon spotting him, stares and stares until finally she begins inching toward where he is standing by the monitors, under a tarp, and is then shooed back by security.

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Image courtesy of Hypable

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Sarie se jonger lesers, Nina Swart en Cailin Spickett, resenseer Amper Einstein, Die land verby donker en ander jeugboeke

Amper EinsteinDagboek van 'n wimpIn die land verby donkerEendag op 'n reendagGalopRoald Dahl se vreeslike versies

Uitspraak: wortels

Dis vir my soms moeilik om ʼn jeugboek te oordeel, omdat ek nie self kinders het nie en dit regtig baie jare gelede was dat ek self vanuit ‘n jonger perspektief jeugverhale gelees het. Wat dalk vir my na ʼn oulike boek klink, is vir ʼn jongmens van vandag dalk glad nie so boeiend en leesbaar nie. Tye het baie verander en hoe ek groot geword het en die dinge wat my gefassineer het, verskil baie van die omstandighede waaronder die jeug vandag grootword. Hulle staan baie ander uitdagings in die oë en kan dalk ʼn storie oor die stad en dinge wat daar gebeur meer waardeer as die ongekompliseerde koshuisstories wat ek so graag gelees het.


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Marié Heese vereer as gevestigde skrywer; Lindie Koorts aangewys as beste debuutskrywer na Woordfees 2014

VuurklipKaroo-KantateDF Malan en die opkoms van Afrikaner-nasionalismeDF Malan and the Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism

Die ATKV WOORDtroFEES is gisteraand tydens ‘n glansgeleentheid op ‘n wynplaas buite Stellenbosch aangekondig. Hierdie toekennings is gespits daarop om hulde te bring aan diegene wat gesorg het vir hoogtepunte op die program en word deur ‘n onafhanklike paneel beoordelaars bepaal.

Lindie Koorts, outeur van DF Malan en die opkoms van Afrikaner-nasionalisme, het die Woordtrofee vir beste debuutskrywer in ontvangs geneem terwyl Marié Heese aangewys is as die gevestigde gunsteling. Heese het tydens die fees oor haar twee jongste romans, Vuurklip en Karoo-Kantate, gesels.

Baie geluk aan Marié en Lindie!


Die US Woordfees se topproduksies, kunstenaars en skrywers is op Maandag, 14 April 2014 by die vyfde WOORDtroFEES, moontlik gemaak deur die ATKV, aangewys. Die funksie is op die spogplaas L’Avenir buite Stellenbosch gehou.

Mnr. Gerrie Lemmer, hoofbestuurder: ATKV-projekte, het die gaste verwelkom voordat die wenners aangekondig is. Kim Cloete was die seremoniemeester en die bekende Schalk Joubert het musiekvermaak verskaf.

Die wenners is as volg:

WOW-skool: Uitsonderlike bydrae tot die bevordering van Afrikaans

  • Scottsdene Sekondêr in Kraaifontein

Die trofee is deur Gerrie Lemmer aan mnr. Karel Cupido, prinsipaal van Scottsdene Sekondêr, oorhandig.
WOW individuele prys: Die bevordering van Afrikaans in die gemeenskap

  • Sabina Dumas van New Orleans Sekondêr in die Paarl.

Die trofee is deur Fiona van Kerwel, projekbestuurder van die WOW Projek, oorhandig.
Beste kunsuitstalling

  • Magicus in D-Street (Kurator: D-Street Galery – Elizabeth Miller-Vermeulen samewerking)


Amanda Botha, wat vir ’n dekade lank die kurator van die Woordfees se uitstallings was, het die trofee oorhandig. Elizabeth Miller-Vermeulen en Ronnie Donaldson (eienaar van die D-Street Galery) het dit ontvang.

Beste klassieke musiekproduksie

  • Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort

Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort is tans in die buiteland. Rudolf Gouws het die trofee aan dr. Jan Visagie van die Vlaams-Suid-Afrikaanse Kultuurstiging oorhanding, wat dit namens Vanbeckevoort ontvang het.

Beste kontemporêre musiekproduksie

  • Laurika en Orkes

Prof. Dorothea van Zyl het die trofee aan Laurika Rauch oorhandig.

Uitskieter drama

  • Stephanie Gericke vir spel in Melusine van Arcadia

Stephanie Gericke het die toekenning by Elias Nel ontvang.

Beste dramaproduksie

  • Wie’s Bang vir Virginia Woolf

Professor Eugene Cloete het die trofee aan Saartjie Botha oorhandig. Botha, wat die stuk vertaal het, het dit namens die geselskap ontvang.

Woordtrofee vir beste debuutskrywer

  • Lindie Koorts – DF Malan en die opkoms van Afrikaner-Nasionalisme (NB-Uitgewers)

Dr. Lindie Koorts het die trofee by Diana Ferrus ontvang.

Woordtrofee vir ’n gevestigde skrywer

  • Marié Heese – Vuurklip en Karoo-Kantate (NB-Uitgewers)

Ingrid Winterbach het die laaste trofee oorhandig. Marié Heese kon ongelukkig nie die funksie bywoon nie, maar Amanda Botha het dit namens haar ontvang.

Voordat prof. Van Zyl die bedankings gedoen het, is formeel aangekondig dat Basic Bistro die wenner van die 2014 Burger-oorlog is.

Die US Woordfees vind in 2015 van Vrydag 6 tot Sondag 15 Maart op Stellenbosch plaas.



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Fiction Friday: Download Pandemonium to Read a New Story by SA Partridge

A new short story by SA Partridge is available to download for free, as part of the Pandemonium: The Rite of Spring anthology.

Partridge won the SABC/You Magazine I am a writer Competition in 2007, and the MER Prize for 2008 Best Youth Novel for her debut novel The Goblet Club. Her second novel, Fuse, was shortlisted for the 2010 Percy Fitzpatrick Prize, and her third, Dark Poppy’s Demise won the MER Prize for Best Youth Novel in 2012.

The Goblet ClubFuseDark Poppy's DemiseHome Away

Pandemonium: The Rite of Spring is a ebook collection of stories by Partridge, Rose Biggin, William Curnow, Martin Petto, Esther Saxey, Jared Shurin and Jennie Gyllblad, and is available to download from Amazon and Goodreads.

1913 was a year of violent change – revolutions, strikes, assassinations and civil war. The Rite of Spring features five stories set in a world that’s coming of age – entering a tumultuous adolescence on the way to its terrifying maturity.

From Russia to South Africa, London to Vienna, these are five short tales of alternate history, mixing the history we know with the monsters we fear.

Contains new stories from Rose Biggin, William Curnow, SA Partridge, Martin Petto and Esther Saxey. With a cover by Jennie Gyllblad.

The Rite of Spring is part of the Pandemonium series – a shared world alternate history created by some of the best and brightest authors in SF, fantasy and horror. This volume can be (and is intended to be) read as a standalone introduction.

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JB Roux resenseer Bloujaar deur Keina Swart

BloujaarUitspraak: wortel

Rampie Malherbe is 11. Dit is die begin van sy tienerjare, die tyd in ’n kind se lewe wanneer dinge ingewikkeld begin raak. En die lewe begin druk.

Maar Rampie is oukei. Hy kom nie te goed met sy ma oor die weg nie. Sy is ’n dogtertjie-ma en gee die meeste van haar aandag aan Rampie se twee susters.


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