Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category
Swemlesse vir ’n meermin is ’n voortreflike opvolger vir Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom. Dié tweeluik sal tienerlesers boei en selfs ’n paar volwasse lesers met nostalgie aan hul tienerjare laat dink. Met haar jongste jeugroman bewys Van der Vyver weer eens dat sy in voeling is met haar lesers en weet wat in tieners se koppe broei.
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Paper Towns is a novel by John Green, best known for his first YA novel The Fault in Our Stars.
Paper Towns, which featured fifth on the New York Times bestseller list in the first week after its publication, has been made into a film that will be released later this month.
Green, who is an executive producer for the adaptation, is involved in promoting Paper Towns. He is currently promoting the movie across America on the “Get Lost Get Found” tour with Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff, who play the leads in the movie.
Earlier this week, Twentieth Century Fox released a “Story Featurette” in which John Green introduces the story:
Entertainment Weekly interviewed Green to find out more about Paper Towns. He says he was thinking about “how young men often romanticise, and in the process dehumanise, the girls they like”.
In the interview, he also speaks about Agloe, New York, the strange real-life made-up town that features in the book and other things that inspired him:
Quentin Jacobsen, the focal character in the book, has been in love with his neighbour Margo Roth Spiegelman for as long as he can remember. This excerpt from the book, shared by Teenreads, is Quentin memory of their shared childhood:
The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightning, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.
Our subdivision, Jefferson Park, used to be a navy base. But then the navy didn’t need it anymore, so it returned the land to the citizens of Orlando, Florida, who decided to build a massive subdivision, because that’s what Florida does with land. My parents and Margo’s parents ended up moving next door to one another just after the first houses were built. Margo and I were two.
John Green has a lively question and answer page, where he answers fans questions about what inspires him, what his characters get up to in their spare time and just about everything else.
Read what he has to say about the writing in Paper Towns:
Q. Why did you sometimes switch from writing in past tense to writing in present tense?
A. So when people tell stories, they often switch from past to present tense—sometimes even in the middle of a sentence. Often, they do this because whatever they’re describing in the present tense feels so immediate and unresolved to them that it seems as if it is still happening, even though the events of the story occurred in the past.
So you might tell a story of the time your car hit a deer by saying, “So I was driving down the highway listening to Aerosmith’s new album and then BAM out of nowhere This deer jumps out and destroys my windshield.”
Putting aside the question of why you were listening to the new Aerosmith album, there’s the question of why you changed tenses when telling that story. I think it’s because driving down the highway is something you’re accustomed to and reconciled to and can definitely see as being an event in the past.
But the deer hitting your windshield was so shocking and scary that it feels as if you are still experiencing it, so you tell this part of the story in the present tense.
This happens all the time in regular human conversation, and I wanted to use this to give the reader a sense of immediacy and disquiet when Q switches to the present tense. When he narrates in the present, he’s talking about things that shake him so deeply that he doesn’t feel like they happened; he feels like they are still happening.
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The Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre have announced the fifth edition of the Open Book Festival, and have released the names of the 82 local and 20 international participants confirmed so far.
The year’s Open Book will take place from 9-13 September in Cape Town. Venues include The Fugard Theatre, Homecoming Centre, Cape Town Central Library and The Book Lounge.
Mervyn Sloman, festival director, says: “We’re thrilled to announce a fantastic line-up for the fifth edition of Open Book. Festival goers have a wealth of stimulating and entertaining experiences to look forward to. South African writers will be sharing the stage with authors from Congo, Denmark, France, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Zimbabwe.
“We’re in the process of finalising the events that make up the festival and the programme will be available at the beginning of August.”
Tickets will be available from early August.
Note: The list of participants below is not final
Confirmed South African authors:
Melissa de Villiers
Jean de Wet
Vernon RL Head
Zelda la Grange
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho
Craig Bartholomew Strydom
Onkgopotse JJ Tabane
Marlene van Niekerk
Rudie van Rensberg
Alex van Tonder
Mandy J Watson
Marc Boutavant (France)
Shereen El Feki (UK)
Karen Joy Fowler (USA)
Patrick Gale (UK)
Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)
Masha Gessen (Russia)
Saskia Goldschmidt (Netherlands)
Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine)
Alain Mabanckou (Congo)
Helen Macdonald (UK)
Jakob Melander (Denmark)
Neel Mukherjee (UK)
Okey Ndibe (Nigeria)
Andreas Norman (Sweden)
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya)
Chris Riddell (UK)
Asne Seierstad (Norway)
Laura van den berg (USA)
RA Villanueva (USA)
Svante Weyler (Sweden)
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The main theme throughout the story is that of escape and not being satisfied with a pre-ordained lot. Ettie’s attempts to break free from an oppressive system lead her through many unpredictable twists and turns; as soon as I thought I knew which direction Bulbring was going to take readers, she confounded my expectations.
The Mark is a fast-paced, gritty and uncomfortable read and Bulbring maintains a cracking pace, blending elements of SF dystopia with nuances of magical realism.
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“Die geykte tienertaal en Engelstalige rekenaar-jargon laat geen ruimte vir poëtiese of verbeeldingryke invalle nie. Sake soos tienerseks, dwelmgebruik, depressie en selfmoord word betrek, maar daar is min emosionele diepgang. Boonop is die verhaal, oor die gesofistikeerde gebruik en misbruik van rekenaars in ’n rykmanskool vir seuns, absurd elitisties.”
Só skryf Sonja Loots in ‘n fel resensie van Onderwêreld deur Fanie Viljoen – die boek wat landwyd voorgeskryf is vir volgende jaar se matrieks wat Afrikaans as eerste taal neem. Sy voer aan dat ‘n boek soos “Kringe in ’n blerrie bos” ‘n beter opsie was en meer konstruktief sou wees vir jong lesers se opvoeding. Haar woorde was skaars kuberkoud of die gesprekke het begin woed op sosiale media en een ding is seker: die mense stem nie noodwendig saam met Loots nie, maar verlang wel na Kringe in ‘n bos deur Dalene Matthee!
Lees Loots se reaksie op Onderwêreld:
Hierdie roman oor plastiekmense in ’n plastiekwêreld sal matrikulante nie voorberei op die akademiese leeseise van tersiêre onderrig of emosioneel help toerus vir die grootmenslewe wat wag nie. Dit sal baie jong lesers vervreem. Die grootste en dalk enigste voordeel is dat dit verpak is in ’n intrigegedrewe, maklik-leesbare formaat. Maklik, lig en vinnig, want die onderwysdepartement wil ons leerlinge skynbaar net so dom maak soos wat húlle is. Ek het nuus vir die mistroostige klein Greg: Kringe in ’n blerrie bos was eintlik glad nie so sleg nie.
“Sonja Loots se pseudo-akademiese ontleding van Fanie Viljoen se jeugroman, Onderwêreld (Rapport Weekliks, 14 Junie 2015), noop my om my nasienwerk opsy te skuif en eers my stuiwer in die armbeurs te gooi,” skryf Alet Mihálik, ‘n gesoute leser én onderwyskenner. Sy verduidelik waarom sy so voel en sluit af:
“Jy kla dat dié jeugroman leerders nie toerus vir “die akademiese leeseise van tersiëre onderrig’ of vir ‘die grootmenslewe wat wag’ nie. Wel, neem dit nou maar uit hierdie perd se bek: anders as die talle kundiges wat die boek bekroon en geprys het, maak jy jou skuldig aan presies wat jy só paternalisties betreur – ‘n gebrek of onbereidwilligheid om aan die einste ‘akademiese leeseise’ te voldoen.”
Lees Mihálik se reaksie op Loots se artikel en sien ook die interessante kommentaar onderaan die Facebook-inskrywing. Alta Cloete het ook bygedra tot die gesprek deur te beklemtoon, sonder om Viljoen se boek óf Loots se resensie daarvan af te takel: “Geen mens kan tog dink EEN boek kan ewe geskik wees vir al die derduisende matrikulante in soveel verskillende streke en situasies nie. Geen boek sal almal tevrede stel nie.”
Viljoen het self ook stem dik gemaak op die forum en gesê, “Sonja Loots het nie haar feite behoorlik nagegaan met die skryf van die artikel nie.”
Lees die artikel:
Sonja Loots kort ‘n lees-loods
Sonja Loots se pseudo-akademiese ontleding van Fanie Viljoen se jeugroman, Onderwêreld (Rapport Weekliks, 14 Junie 2015), noop my om my nasienwerk opsy te skuif en eers my stuiwer in die armbeurs te gooi. Ter agtergrond moet ek noem dat ek al langer as veertig jaar by die onderrrig van Afrikaans as huis- en eerste addisionele taal betrokke is – waaronder ongeveer tien jaar aan tersiêre inrigtings en die res aan verskeie vooraanstaande private en Afrikaanse hoërskole. Daarbenewens was ek al verskeie kere ‘n keurder vir toonaangewende jeugromankompetisies.
Ek het Onderwêreld met Engelssprekende seniorleerders behandel en kan eerlik sê hulle was meegesleur deur die boek en het blinkoog uitgesien na Letterkunde-periodes. Tans behandel ek die roman met hoogsintelligente Afrikaanssprekende leerders en ná meer as vier jaar vind ek, net soos by Matthee se Kringe in ‘n Bos, by elke herlees nuwe interpretasiemoontlikhede in die fynuitgewerkte teks met sy veelvuldige betekenislae.
Wat dink jy van hierdie gesprek? Gesels saam op Facebook, Twitter of in die kommentaarboksie hieronder
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Discover a world of wonder at Iziko Museums of South Africa for FREE on Youth Day – Tuesday, 16 June*.
Enjoy a fun-filled day of edutainment with family and friends, and tour our 11 museum sites in and around the Cape Town city centre.
A public holiday in South Africa, Youth Day pays tribute to the students who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising on 16 June 1976. On that day, more than 15 000 students gathered in Soweto, Johannesburg to participate in a peaceful march to the nearby Orlando Stadium. The demonstration had been planned to protest the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at schools. However, the apartheid police and armed forces responded violently which led to the deaths of more than 170 students.
“On Youth Day we honour the memory of the students who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising in 1976, and reflect on the role that the youth played in achieving a democratic South Africa,” Iziko Museums CEO Rooksana Omar says.
“As an agent of change, Iziko Museums of South Africa provides our youth with a platform to debate their issues and help them to overcome the challenges they are faced with today. We inspire them to learn from and appreciate our collective heritage and culture, for their future and their children’s futures.”
Tour our Museums:
Begin your adventure at the Iziko South African Museum and discover impressive Natural History displays such as African Dinosaurs, and the Marine Biology exhibit featuring life-size casts of sharks and other marine animals. A favourite amongst our younger visitors is the Discovery Room, a ‘touch room’ where children are encouraged to investigate a wide range of exhibits ranging from fossils, mounted birds and articulated skeletons, to preserved snakes in bottles and a large insect display.
Across from the South African Museum in the Company’s Garden, the Iziko South African National Gallery houses an array of temporary art exhibitions, like Seedtime: an Omar Badsha Retrospective and William Kentridge’s The Refusal of Time two must-see exhibitions currently on show here.
For a dose of social history and culture, head to the Iziko Slave Lodge, where a variety of displays on slavery at the Cape, Egyptology, isishweshwe fabric and more can be found. The exhibitions Singing Freedom and There’s something I must tell you both reflect on South Africa’s political past and show how music and generations of female activists played a role in the struggle for democracy.
The Iziko Maritime Centre, located at the V&A Waterfront, is a landmark site dedicated to Cape Town’s shipping history. A display of artefacts and large boat models are sure to amaze both young and old.
Don’t forget to visit the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum to learn how Cape Town was built and discover the Michaelis Collection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish art at the Iziko Old Town House.
*Normal entry fees apply at the Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope.
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Die 22 stories is elkeen van goeie gehalte, die verskillende style is lewendig, vol humor, emosies oortuig en soms is dit gevul met lekker verrassings. ’n Mens kry die gevoel dat elke skrywer dit geniet het om haar storie te vertel en die leeservaring word dus een van groot plesier omdat die eerlikheid en onopgesmuktheid van die vertelling jou tref.
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The first ever Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme Author Awards were held on Friday at the Wanderers Hotel in Johanneburg.
The awards, a joint initiative between the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC) and the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), rewarded the authors of 19 books in the genres of poetry, novels, short stories, drama and reference, with a R15 000 each.
2015 Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme Author Awards winners
Gcina Mhlophe – Ibhubesi lakuthola kanjani ukubhonga kwalo (isiZulu)
Samuel Machitela – Ga Ke Nyake Phoso (Sepedi)
Given Mdliva – Nangomso iselusuku (isiXhosa)
Isaac Saki Shabangu – Yoo, ndzi khomeleni minoo; Embiteni Yin’we; Xilotlela xa Vutlhokovetseri (Xitsonga)
JJ Mhlongo – Dyonzo xitlhangu xa vutomi (Xitsonga)
BR Mokoena – Kabelo ya ka (Sesotho)
David wa Maahlamela – Tša Borala (Sepedi)
MJ Mokaba – Ba mo nyakele kae?; Mahlopha a senya (Sepedi)
MJ Mafogo – Faele Ya Ramolao (Sepedi)
ME Ngcobo – Igazi Lezibi (isiZulu)
Mzi R Mngadi – Yekanini AmaFilisti (isiZulu)
G Malindzisa – Kuphilwa kanye kulomhlaba (Seswati)
Thokozani Nene – Tapa zingakemukeli (isiZulu)
MM Ndlovu – Elokufa alitsheli (siZulu)
T Makhado and EM Thagwane – Miludzi ya Shango (Tshivenda)
NB Sekere and M Mahlwane – Di mameleng ha di phetwa (Sesotho)
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Indigenous Language Books Break Mainstream Barriers
Johannesburg, South Africa (8 June 2015) – The Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme (ILPP) that took place on Friday at the Wanderers Hotel brought together authors, publishers and bibliophiles in a celebration of previously marginalised writing.
A joint initiative between the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC) and the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), this was a literary awards like no other.
Authors of 19 books in the genres of poetry, novels, short stories, drama and a reference book were awarded R15 000 each – made possible with funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) – as recognition of their contribution to this particular form of publishing.
They included leading voices in folklore and vernacular writing such as Gcina Mhlope, Isaac Saki Shabangu and MJ Mokaba among others.
Speaking of this groundbreaking initiative, Chief Executive Officer of the SABDC Elitha van der Sandt pointed out that this was a first of its kind in the South African publishing industry.
‘It’s worthy to note that the Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme is not an award like other awards. All authors that are part of the programme receive R15 000 for each title that was published and formed part of National Book Week. They also receive 15% of royalties for sales. The entire project is based on the principles of book development, where not only more books are being produced, but the mechanisms of the production are also changed,’ she said.
The event’s programme director and ILPP committe member Mandla Matyumza praised the project, calling it ‘a good intervention that needs to be supported’ and applauded the support from the NLDTF.
‘Indigenous language books are so important in the movement of indigenous languages as they carry our culture and values of who we are as Africans, which is something embedded in our languages.’
The ILLP supports SMME and independent publishers by funding up to 50% of the publishing costs, sharing the risks that publishers ordinarily carry on their own when entering into new markets.
The cultural and content diversity to come out of this initiative will ensure that indigenous language books will move beyond the classroom to become a player of the publishing main stage, while contributing to the transformation of the local book sector.
Van der Sandt implored libraries and booksellers to stock more indeginous language books while Matyumza urged publishers to market indigenous language books with as much vigour as they do English titles.
While Friday’s event marked the first time the awards took place, the SABDC hopes that with funding, the ILPP can be turned into an annual celebration.
*For more information, please visit www.sabookcouncil.co.za
LIST OF AWARDED AUTHORS
Gcina Mhlophe – Ibhubesi lakuthola kanjani ukubhonga kwalo — IsiZulu
Samuel Machitela – Ga Ke Nyake Phoso — Sepedi
Given Mdliva – Nangomso iselusuku — IsiXhosa
Isaac Saki Shabangu – Yoo, ndzi khomeleni minoo; Embiteni Yin’we; Xilotlela xa Vutlhokovetseri – Xitsonga
JJ Mhlongo – Dyonzo xitlhangu xa vutomi — Xitsonga
BR Mokoena – Kabelo ya ka – SeSotho
David Wa Maahlamela – Tša Borala – SePedi
MJ Mokaba – Ba mo nyakele kae?; Mahlopha a senya — Sepedi
MJ Mafogo – Faele Ya Ramolao — Sepedi
ME Ngcobo – Igazi Lezibi — IsiZulu
Mzi R Mngadi – Yekanini AmaFilisti — IsiZulu
G Malindzisa – Kuphilwa kanye kulomhlaba – Seswati
Thokozani Nene – Tapa zingakemukeli
M M Ndlovu – Elokufa alitsheli – IsiZulu
T Makhado and EM Thagwane – Miludzi ya Shango – Tshivenda
NB Sekere and M Mahlwane – Di mameleng ha di phetwa — Sesotho
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Alert! The winners of the 2015 Media24 Books Literary Awards were announced at the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town tonight.
Willem Anker, Michiel Heyns, Antjie Krog, Mark Gevisser, Andre Eva Bosch, and Fiona Moodie were crowned as the winners of the six R35 000 cash prizes this year.
WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Fiction – novels, short stories and dramas
Judges: Danie Marais, Thys Human and Murray la Vita.
Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Fiction
Judges: Jenny Hobbs and Johan Jacobs and Molly Brown.
Elisabeth Eybers Prize for Afrikaans and English Poetry
Judges: Francois Smith, Henning Pieterse and Ronel Foster.
Recht Malan Prize for Afrikaans and English Non-fiction
Judges: John Maytham, Elsa van Huyssteen and Chris Swanepoel.
MER Prize for Youth Novels
Judges: Louise Steyn, Verushka Louw and Wendy Maartens.
MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books
Judges: Lona Gericke, Magdel Vorster and Paddy Bouma.
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Helené Prinsloo (@helenayp) tweeted live from the announcement, using the hashtag #Media24LitAwards:
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The Media24 Books Literary Awards are awarded to books published between 1 January and 31 December 2014 by the Media24 Books group. The winner in each category will receive R35 000. In the category Illustrated Children’s Books, the author and the illustrator will share the prize money. This adds up to a total prize money of more than R200 000 to be awarded this year.
Last year’s winners included Dominque Botha (published by Umuzi, but deemed too strong not to be included on the list), Marlene van Niekerk, Etienne van Heerden, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, SA Partridge, Linda Rode, and Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson
The winners were announced at a special event at the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town.
The Jan Rabie Rapport Prize, for a debut work in Afrikaans, will be announced at the kykNET-Rapport Book Prizes later this year.
Congratulations to all!
Press release (Afrikaans)
WENNERS VAN DIE 2015 MEDIA24 BOEKE LITERêRE TOEKENNINGS AANGEKONDIG
Die wenners van die 2015 Media24 Boeke Literêre Pryse is Vrydagaand in Kaapstad aangekondig. Totale prysgeld van meer as R200 000 is aan die wenners oorhandig. Hulle is:
W.A. Hofmeyr-prys vir Afrikaanse fiksie – romans, kortverhale en drama
Buys: ’n grensroman deur Willem Anker, uitgegee deur Kwela Boeke
Die ander titels op die kortlys was: Ester deur Kerneels Breytenbach (Human & Rousseau), ’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg deur Harry Kalmer (Queillerie) en Kamphoer deur Francois Smith (Tafelberg). Die beoordelaars was die digter Danie Marais, die akademikus Thys Human en die joernalis Murray la Vita.
Herman Charles Bosman-prys vir Engelse fiksie
A Sportful Malice deur Michiel Heyns, uitgegee deur Jonathan Ball Publishers
Die ander titels op die kortlys was: Face-Off deur Chris Karsten (Human & Rousseau) en Rachel’s Blue deur Zakes Mda (Kwela Boeke). Die beoordelaars was skrywer Jenny Hobbs en die akademici Johan Jacobs en Molly Brown.
Elisabeth Eybers-prys vir Afrikaanse en Engelse digkuns
Mede-wete deur Antjie Krog, uitgegee deur Human & Rousseau
Die ander titels op die kortlys was Karnaval en Lent deur T.T. Cloete (Tafelberg) en Al die lieflike dade deur Charl-Pierre Naudé (Tafelberg). Die beoordelaars was skrywer Francois Smith, die digter en akademikus Henning Pieterse en die akademikus Ronel Foster.
Recht Malan-prys vir Afrikaanse en Engelse niefiksie
Lost and Found in Johannesburg deur Mark Gevisser uitgegee deur Jonathan Ball Publishers
Die ander titels op die kortlys was Justice deur Edwin Cameron (Tafelberg) en A Man of Good Hope deur Jonny Steinberg (Jonathan Ball Publishers). Die beoordelaars was John Maytham van Kfm, akademikus Elsa van Huyssteen en Chris Swanepoel van RSG.
M.E.R.-prys vir jeugromans
Alive Again deur Andre Eva Bosch, uitgegee deur Tafelberg
Die ander titels op die kortlys was Chuck Norris kan deel deur nul deur Annelie Ferreira (Tafelberg) en Chain Reaction deur Adeline Radloff (Tafelberg). Die beoordelaars was oud-kinderboekuitgewer Louise Steyn, Verushka Louw van The Book Lounge in Kaapstad en die kinderboekskrywer en boekeredakteur Wendy Maartens.
M.E.R.-prys vir geïllustreerde kinderboeke
Noko and the Kool Kats deur Fiona Moodie, uitgegee deur Tafelberg
Die ander titels op die kortlys was Die Dingesfabriek: Jannus en Kriek krimp deur Elizabeth Wasserman en Astrid Castle (Tafelberg) en Speurhond Willem en die diamantdiewe deur Elizabeth Wasserman en Chris Venter (Tafelberg). Die beoordelaars was die resensent Lona Gericke, kinderboekkenner Magdel Vorster en skrywer en illustreerder Paddy Bouma.
Volgens Media24 Boeke se uitvoerende hoof, Eloise Wessels, is hierdie toekennings ná ses dekades steeds bewys van die talent en gehalte werk wat deur Suid-Afrikaanse skrywers gelewer word. “Ons is trots om vanjaar weer die topskrywers in die verskillende genres te vereer,” het sy gesê.
Die Media24 Boeke Literêre Pryse word toegeken aan boeke wat tussen 1 Januarie en 31 Desember 2014 by die Media24 Boeke-groep verskyn het. Die wenner in elke kategorie ontvang R35 000. In die kategorie vir geïllustreerde kinderboeke word die geld tussen die skrywer en die illustreerder verdeel.
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Five hours, 32 minutes. That’s how long Rena has been divorced when she cuts off her long black hair, pulls on a red shirt and meets Claude in a coffee shop. His ad in the classifieds grabbed her: “I like swimming, orange cats, hot days and brown toast with butter. I don’t like never or always. I prefer grey areas where interesting things tend to happen. I like honesty. Do you think this sounds like a person you might be interested in?”
The Kalahari Review shared a short story by author Lauri Kubuitsile entitled “Missing Bits” from The Short Story is Dead, Long Live the Short Story!: Volume 1, edited by Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso.
“Missing Bits” tells the story of a recently divorced woman in Gaborone who leaps into a relationship with a new man who makes her feel things she’s never felt before.
Kubuitsile hails from Botswana and was one of the facilitators of the Writivism workshop in Gaborone this year. She will also participate in the exciting Long Story Short literacy initiative which has been taking place throughout the year.
For this week’s Fiction Friday, here is an excerpt from “Missing Bits”:
She waited at the coffee place, watching the mid-week Gaborone crowd. Busy. Busy. They wore ties and high heels. She smelt of roasted coffee. She lifted her shirt to her nose and sniffed and smiled.
He sat down at her table. “Are you Rena?”
She looked him over. He was brown like her which made her happy. It would allow them to jump over a lot of tired talk. Explanations about how she got to her colour were always required by non-brown people. White or black didn’t seem to require explanations like brown did. Reasons for being wrong were needed.
He was brown but his brown seemed more complex than hers. She suspected Arab mixed with Herero, he said he was from Namibia. Or maybe Chinese traders or Portuguese sailing folk. Colours with adventure built in. But then she sensed something deeper, something historical. Maybe Baster or Griqua. Proud, brown people with long twisting and turning paths leading to the present. She wasn’t sure, but she suspected there was permanence about his brownness unlike hers made casually on a whim with only one generation of staying-ness, when her white British mother met her black Kalanga father. A stiff breeze and she’d lose it, back to white or black, no longer golden. But his would stand up to most natural or man-made disasters she suspected, it had permanence. She already felt safer with him.
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