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Announcing the Inaugural André Brink Memorial Lecture, to be delivered at this year's @FranLitFest

Sterling Line-up Announced for the 2015 Time of the Writer Festival

The lineup for the 18th Time of the Writer Festival has been announced, including the who’s who of South African literature.

Presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and made possible by support from the Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Durban, the French Institute (IFAS) and the Goethe Institute, the 18th edition of the festival will take place in Durban between 16 and 21 March.

The lineup for the 2015 Time of the Writer:

NoViolet Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Carol Campbell, South Africa

Imraan Coovadia, South Africa

ZP Dala, South Africa

Ousmane Diarra, Mali

Dilman Dila, Uganda

Jacob Dlamini, South Africa

Ekow Duker, South Africa

Craig Higginson, South Africa

Mandla Langa, South Africa

Thando Mgqolozana, South Africa

Kirsten Miller, South Africa

MJ Mngadi, South Africa

Nthikeng Mohlele, South Africa

Given Mukwevho, South Africa

Futhi Ntshingila, South Africa

Sue Nyathi, Zimbabwe

Charlotte Otter, South Africa

Margaret Von Klemperer, South Africa

Mzilikazi wa Afrika, South Africa

The theme for this year’s festival, Writing For Our Lives, calls attention to the urgent continuing struggle of all writers in speaking truth and bearing witness to the times through their words. Globally writers are combatting censorship when the truth is too hard to swallow, challenging the reader’s perspective and sparking a passion for literature in our youth.

During this activity-rich week, audiences can expect to engage with a multitude of award-winning writers, from a wide range of political and social contexts, on the creative and technical processes and perspectives which shape their writing.

Evening readings and discussions will take place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (Howard College Campus) while wide reaching free day programmes are spread across Durban and the surrounding areas as part of the festival’s ongoing efforts to promote and nurture a culture of creative expression through reading and writing. This includes school visits, a publishing forum and a range of seminars and workshops.

Ticket information

Ticket cost R25 for the evening sessions and R10 for students on presentation of a student card. Workshops, seminars and book launches are free of charge. Book through Computicket Tel: 0861 915 8000 or 011 340 8000 or online at or at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 6 PM.

For more information contact the Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal by phone on +27 31 260 2506/1816 or email

We Need New NamesEsther's House’n Huis vir EsterTales of the Metric SystemnullA Killing in the Sun
AskariWhite WahalaThe Texture of ShadowsUnimportanceSister MoonKusemhlabeni Lapha
Rusty BellThe Violent Gestures of LifeDo Not Go GentleThe PolygamistBalthasar's GiftJust a Dead ManNothing Left to Steal

Book details

Send in Your Books for the $40 000 FT/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award

Calling all publishers! Submit your books to a new literary award for fiction, sponsored by the Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds.

The FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award is worth $40 000 US to the winner, and residents or passport holders from most African countries are eligible.

The deadline for submissions is 10 April; here’s more on the rules of entry:

The fiction award will be presented to a published work of fiction in English or published in English translation. The books must be a minimum of 20,000 words long and be written by a national or passport holder of one of the eligible countries of Africa and the Middle East. Submissions are invited from all global publishers. Self-published works will not be accepted for entry. The works must be published in print or digital form, or both, between 1 January 2014 and 30 September 2015.

Emerging Voices 2015

A Labour of Love by South African Women: Water Stories, Edited by Mary Lange

Water storiesUnisa Press presents Water Stories edited by Mary Lange, coming soon:

Water Stories is a labour of love by South African women, a collection of personal histories, reminiscences and narratives about the Gariep River and the Water Snakes that dwell there. The wellspring of their testimonies lies in age old indigenous beliefs and practices. Traditionally, Khoe-San women associated themselves with the Water Snake in order to be ‘lucky’ and ensure fecundity and good fortune for themselves and their communities.

When Lange asked a group of Upington women: “What do you know about the Water Snake?”, this triggered a set of lyrical short stories, in an attempt to capture the myth of the Water Snake. The women’s response to her question formed the basis for the Water Stories, here published with a set of original drawings by regional artist Betta Steyn.

Johanna de Wee (Nana), Martha van Rooi, Elizabeth Sixaxa (Bessa), Maria Malo and Noxolo Girlie Saaiman became narrators – sharing with us their beliefs surrounding the Water Snake. Religion, myth or folklore, these Water Stories provide a glimpse into the beliefs, customs, traditions and everyday realities of these peoples (descendants of, among others, the !Xam and Nguni).

The original regional Afrikaans narrations have been supplemented by an English translation as explanation. Subject fields include cultural studies, linguistics, religion, archaeology and anthropology.

This book offers Afrikaans and English text in one volume. The foreword is written by Dr David Morris from the McGregor Museum and Pedro Dausab was in charge of the specialist language.

About the author

Mary Lange coordinates the ARROW SA (Art: A Resource for Reconciliation Over the World) Project. Her research interests include oral narratives, visual anthropology, and theatre in development.

Lange has facilitated the collection and translation from Afrikaans to English of the stories of six women from the Upington environment, all of whom work and live alongside the river and who know its stories. The result is a valuable and enduring contribution to southern African cultural studies, a resource to which educators, researchers and scholars will be able to refer to.

Book details

Announcing the Inaugural Andre Brink Memorial Lecture

André P Brink

The Franschhoek Literary Festival is honoured to announce the establishment of an annual lecture to be delivered at the festival by a guest lecturer, in memory of longtime FLF friend André Brink.

Brink passed away on 6 February, at the age of 79.

PhilidaDevil's ValleyLooking on DarknessAn Instant in the WindThe Other Side of SilenceA Chain of VoicesOther Lives

Mediterreense herinneringeBidsprinkaanPhilidaDie eerste lewe van AdamastorBidsprinkaanDonkermaanHoud-Den-Bek

In this first year, the inaugural lecture will by presented by Associate Professor Harry Garuba, from the University of Cape Town’s Centre for African Studies and English Department.

André Brink’s wife, Karina Magdalena Szczurek, will introduce the series at the festival on Sunday, 17 May.

Details of the lecture will be announced on the FLF 2015 programme, which will be available by mid-March.

Book details

  • Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life edited by Okwui Enwezor, Rory Bester
    EAN: 9783791352800
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Top photograph courtesy Victor Dlamini

Writing Advice: Oxford University Press Teaches Students How to Study Smart through an Interactive Video Series

Starting your university career can be daunting, even more so when you walk through the hallowed halls of your dreams for the first time and realise: I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!

Oxford University Press Southern Africa, the Stellenbosch University Language Centre and A Blind Spot Productions have launched a fun, interactive video series to help students master the ins and outs of university life.

A New University Anthology of English PoetryBorn Free and Equal?African VoicesWilliam and Dorothy WordsworthEnglish for Academic Purposes

Starring Professor Bloom as a somewhat nutty South African version of Dumbledore (minus the white beard), the series follows the lives of three new students – Chris, Lloyd and Litha – who realise that to survive the wonderful world of university they will have to learn some magic tricks.

The first video, entitled “Bloom’s Taxonomy”, introduces the characters as they embark on their new adventure and learn to face their challenges head on. Professor Bloom shows them the ropes and teaches them the tips of the trade.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image


The series focuses on the basics of learning – taking smart notes, where to start with assignments and how to reference their work correctly. Each episode is built around a specific theme and shows the students as they grapple with mind-blowing information in an entertaining way.


Press release


High school learners aspiring to enter tertiary education often see university or college acceptance as a finish line they need to cross. The issue is that once they arrive at their new institution, it becomes apparent that varsity or tech is itself a brand new starting line, with new rules and new demands. There are so many new and essential skills and learning paradigms beyond the content of a course, and they are often quite elusive to new students.

Oxford University Press Southern Africa, in partnership with the Stellenbosch University Language Centre and A Blind Spot Productions, has created a smart new video series as part of a campaign to help students learn more effectively and equip lecturers to teach better – how to negotiate the world of academia. The videos cover the cornerstones of academic practice such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, in the first video launched last year, and assignment writing, referencing and note taking, in a newly-launched trio.

The series follows the story of three students, each facing their own academic difficulties and learning to #studysmart.

Each video uses a unique, thematic approach to contextualise its subject matter: whether it’s turning assignment writing into a hyper stylised videogame challenge, or portraying the process of managing references by personifying source material as guests at a dinner party. Each theme adds an element of surprise and humour to engage students – while seamlessly illustrating how to “do” each of the study activities. To ensure that students’ learning is entrenched, each video is also accompanied by a visually appealing set of PDF notes.

The video series combines poignant content with stylish delivery and results in the best of both worlds – something that’s educational and entertaining. Lecturers and students will be sure to benefit.

Discover Professor Bloom’s adventures and learn with Chris, Lloyd and Litha at:


Some Oxford University book details

  • Born Free and Equal?: A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Nature of Discrimination by Lippert-Rasmussen Kasper
    EAN: 9780199796113
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Confirmed International Authors

FLF 2015

Alert! The Franschhoek Literary Festival organisers have allowed Books LIVE to share a sneak preview of the updated list of international authors confirmed to attend this year’s event.

The 2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival takes place from Friday, 15 May, to Sunday, 17 May, and there are a number of big names to look forward to.

Books LIVE revealed the provisional list of authors for FLF 2015 in December last year, but we can now share a more complete list of authors from overseas.

The list includes Nigerian writer Helon Habila, who was announced last night as a winner of this year’s Windham Campbell Literature Prize for Fiction, along with Ivan Vladislavić, who will also be at the festival to talk about his new book of short stories, 101 Detectives.

Keep an eye on Books LIVE over the next few weeks for the full list of local authors!

* * * * *

Updated list of international authors for Franschhoek Literary Festival 2015

David Attwell, University of York academic, whose critical biography JM Coetzee and the life of writing, face to face with time is to be published in April.

JM Coetzee
Belinda Bauer, a British crime writer who grew up in South Africa and England. Her debut novel Blacklands won the British Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger award for the best crime novel of 2010. Read an interview with Bauer here.

The Facts of Life and DeathRubberneckerFinders KeepersBlacklands
Martin Bossenbroek, Dutch historian whose book De Boerenoorlog has been translated into English and Afrikaans by Jacana Media.

Die BoereoorlogThe Boer War
Chris Bradford, English author, professional musician and black belt martial artist, here for the Book Week for Young Readers programme, and an event for schools at the main festival, on Friday.

GamerBodyguardThe Way of the Warrior
Tim Butcher, English journalist and war-correspondent, and author of the critically acclaimed Blood River, Chasing the Devil and, most recently, The Trigger.

Blood RiverChasing the DevilThe Trigger
Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British Military History, based at Stellenbosch University, from the University of Kent.

Dorothy Driver, born in South Africa and now Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She is also Emerita Professor at the University of Cape Town, where she retains an Honorary Research Associateship. Driver will be visiting as part of a focus on the 150th anniversary of Olive Schreiner’s birth.

Gavin Evans, born in London but grew up in Cape Town. Returned to London in 1993, where he worked as a freelance journalist (for The Guardian, Esquire, Men’s Health). His memoir Dancing Shoes is Dead was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize. His latest book is Black Brain, White Brain.

Dancing Shoes is DeadBlack Brain, White Brain
Eshkol Nevo, Israeli author of the Book Publishers Association Gold Prize and FFI-Raymond Wallier Prize-winning novel Homesick, as well as World Cup Wishes, and most recently Neuland.

HomesickWorld Cup WishesNeuland
Fiona Forde, an Irish journalist based in Cape Town who has for a number of years covered politics and current affairs in South Africa and abroad for print and radio media. Her first book on Malema, An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the ‘New’ ANC, was released in 2011, and an update version, Still an Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema Carries On, was published last year.

Still an Inconvenient Youth
Helon Habila, Nigerian novelist and poet, and winner of the 2001 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Oil on WaterMeasuring TimeWaiting for an AngelThe Granta Book of the African Short Story
Jackie Kay, Scottish award-winning poet and novelist, with Nigerian heritage, who will judge the Poetry for Life finals at the FLF (see for more information).

Red Dust RoadReality, realityAdoption PapersTrumpet
John Boyne, Irish novelist, whose most recent book A History of Loneliness. Boyne will also be at the Book Week for Young Readers with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

A History of LonelinessThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Lyndall Gordon, Cape Town-born award-winning biographer of Emily Dickinson, TS Eliot, Charlotte Brontë and Mary Wollstonecraft, among others, has recently published a memoir Divided Lives. (She may also be presenting a life-writing masterclass/workshop.)

Divided Lives: Dreams of a Mother and DaughterTS EliotCharlotte Brontë
Romain Puertolas, a former French border guard, who then wrote the smash hit The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe.

Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe
Morag Styles, Cambridge Professor of Children’s Poetry, who has spent a professional lifetime exploring children’s poetry from every angle.

From the Garden to the StreetBy the Pricking of my ThumbsOpening the Nursery Door
Sarah Waters, bestselling Welsh author of six novels, the most recent of which is The Paying Guests.

Tipping the VelvetThe Night WatchFingersmithThe Paying Guests


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