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Poignant, witty and wise, John Hunt's The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head is a mediation on being alive and shows us the power of books when we need them the most

“Hillbrow, 1967. The New York of Africa. Someone wrote that the place would soon have more people per square kilometre than Tokyo. Everyone quoted that article to everyone. Some even cut it out and kept it folded in their wallets.”


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

While other boys daydream about racing cars and football, eleven-year-old stutterer Phen sits reading to his father. In number four Duchess Court, Phen’s dad looks like a Spitfire pilot behind his oxygen mask.

But real life is different from the daring adventures in the books Phen reads and he is forced to grow up faster than other boys his age.

This is until Heb Thirteen Two shows up: in his pinstriped suit pants and tie-dyed psychedelic top, the stranger could be any old bum, or a boy’s special angel come to live among men.

Poignant, witty and wise, John Hunt’s The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head is a meditation on being alive and shows us the power of books when we need them the most.

John Hunt is the author of the novel The Space Between the Space Between. His book The Art of the Idea, which celebrates the power of ideas to move the world forward, has been translated into several languages. He is currently Worldwide Creative Chair of advertising agency network TBWA, having previously co-founded TBWA\Hunt Lascaris. He grew up in Hillbrow and still lives and works in Johannesburg.

Book details

Jaco Jacobs wen Tienie Holloway-medalje vir Kleuterliteratuur

Jaco Jacobs doen dit weer!

Die Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns het op 13 April 2018 aangekondig dat Jaco Jacobs bekroon gaan word met die Tienie Holloway-medalje vir Kleuterliteratuur vir sy boek Grom.

Die Tienie Holloway-Medalje vir Kleuterliteratuur word driejaarliks toegeken aan die skrywer wat die beste werk in Afrikaans gelewer het in die genre van kleuterliteratuur. Die boek is deur Karen Lilje geïllustreer.

Die ATKV het ’n deel van die prysgeld geskenk, maar was nie betrokke by die toeken van die prys nie.

Grom handel oor Emma, ’n dogtertjie wat nie hou daarvan om op te staan nie. Sy grom vir haar ouers wanneer hulle haar wil wakker maak. Toe, een oggend, toe sy in die spieël kyk… het sy snorbaarde en kolle oral oor haar lyf!

Beide Jaco Jacobs en Karen Lilje is in 2017 vereer met ’n ATKV-Woordveertjie vir Grom. Dié prys is deur kinderlesers aan hulle toegeken. Jaco het die ontvangs daarvan gesê dat sy eie dogtertjie se oggendgromme hom geïnspireer het om die boek te skryf.

Boekbesonderhede

Book Bites: 15 April

Published in the Sunday Notes

The Swimming Lesson and Other Stories
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Kobus Moolman, UKZN Press, R160

Like his poems, Kobus Moolman’s short stories examine life through what can be described as a philosophical lens. The story “Like Father, Like Son” explores the impressions of religion – its restrictions on desire and language, its racial stratification, and its love, presaging violent discipline in obedience to God, nation and family. Though distinctly South African and context-specific, there is something general about contemporary society. At the same time, “The Rubbish Collectors” is a small story about who cleans up after whom. Whether it’s Maggie who smells of cigars, not perfume, or Jesus waking you up in the night because he has something on his mind, it’s the oracy of these narratives that will keep you turning the pages. Chantelle Gray van Heerden @CGrayvH

The Wicked Cometh
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Laura Carlin, Hodder & Stoughton, R275

“Danger is never overcome without danger,” is how Hester White has survived in the Victorian-era slums since the death of her parents. But fortunes appear to change when a carriage accident sweeps her into the arms of the wealthy Brock family, under the tutoring care of Rebekah. Yet the aristocratic world is not as far away from the slums as it first appears, tugging the women down into the depths of mystery and murder. A sensuous Gothic tale that is slow to begin, picking up as the plot thickens and twists. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

Force of Nature
****
Jane Harper, Little Brown, R275

Beware the office team-building experience, especially when they take you out to the wild. In Australia. This is the second outing of Harper’s detective Aaron Falk and this time he investigates the disappearance of Alice Russell, who vanishes one night after her team of female co-workers lose their way in the forests near Melbourne. Alice is a police informer, forced into getting files on the nefarious dealings of her firm. Falk needs to find out if any of her colleagues or bosses know what she was doing. Harper won plenty of awards for The Dry, and the pace, setting and constructed character building of this follow-up will most probably garner more accolades. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

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Enter the 2018 South African Literary Awards

 
Writers and publishers, the South African Literary Awards (SALA), presented by The wRite Association wants YOU to submit your book for consideration of an award in the following categories:

SALA awards the following literary categories which are also open to all South African writers; First-time Published Author Award, K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award, Poetry Award, Nadine Gordimer Short story Award, Creative Non-fiction Literary Award, Literary Translators Award, Literary Journalism Award, Posthumous Literary Award, Lifetime Achievement Literary Award, Novel Award and Children’s Literature Award.

For more information and to download entry forms visit www.sala.org.za or www.writeassociates.co.za

Watch: Sam Beckbessinger discusses Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup on the Anne Hirsch Show

We never get an instruction manual about how money works. We never have to pass a test to get our Money License before we can take a new credit card for a drive. Most of what we learn about money comes from advertising or from other people who know as little as we do.

No wonder we make such basic mistakes. No wonder we feel disempowered and scared. No wonder so many of us just decide to stick our heads in the damn sand and just never deal with it.

I wrote this book, because so many of the people I spoke to told me that they wished someone would.

In this clear and engaging basic guide to managing your finances, Sam Beckbessinger covers topics from compound interest and inflation to “Your brain on money”, negotiating a raise, and particularly local South African phenomena like “black tax”.

The book includes exercises and “how-to’s”, doesn’t shy away from the psychology of money, and is empowering, humorous and helpful. The book you wish you’d had at 25, but is never too late to read.

Sam Beckbessinger is a writer, user-experience designer and entrepreneur who is on a quest to help the emerging middle class understand how to take charge of their finances. She is the cofounder of Phantom Design, a company that has helped to build bitcoin wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges, smart credit cards and more. She also lectures extensively on online culture, marketing and behavioural economics. Sam holds a BA Honours Degree from the University of Cape Town, studied Strategy Design at the Gordon Institute of Business Science and was a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow at Yale University.

Here Sam discusses her informative (and fun!) book with Anne Hirsch:

Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup

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The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award: Call for Submissions

If you are an aspiring author and want the chance to get published, then this is the opportunity you have been waiting for.

For the past 14 years, first as the European Union Literary Award and now as The Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, the submission process has unearthed great new South African literary talent. The books that have been published under this award have reflected the many strands of conversation that are woven together in the common language of fiction. The latest winner, Selling LipService by Tammy Baikie, is longlisted for this year’s Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.

This year, the prize is not only open to South Africans but also citizens of all SADC countries.

The overall winner, selected by a panel of judges, stands a chance to win R35 000, be published by Jacana Media, get great coverage as a debut author and be part of Exclusive Books’ Homebru campaign.

The JLF will also present the Kraak Writing Award, dedicated to the memory of Gerald Kraak. Valued at R20 000, it offers mentoring and intensive coaching from a published author, editor or a publishing expert, enabling the author to refine and develop their work further.

Submissions will be open from the 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018. Enquiries can be directed to: awards@jacana.co.za.