Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Listen: Pippa Hudson in conversation with Arundhati Roy

Acclaimed Indian author Arundhati Roy was a recent guest on Pippa Hudson’s CapeTalk lunchtime show during her current tour of South Africa.

Listen to them discuss the use of the term ‘activist’, structures of novels, challenging the sacred and the profane, the patriarchy and much, much more:

The God of Small Things

Book details
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
EAN: 9780679457312
Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 
 
 

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundathi Roy
EAN: 9780241303986
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Book Bites: 12 August

Published in the Sunday Times

Mr Peacock’s Possessions
****
Lydia Syson, Zaffre, R265

The idea of living on a small, fertile island has engaged the public imagination for centuries, but in this literary novel Syson tweaks the tropical island trope to present us with a somewhat bleaker take of the real dangers a community might face when isolated from society. In 1879 the Peacocks were entrepreneurial gypsies, moving from one Antipodean location to another with an ever-growing family, driven by the ambition and the discontent of the family patriarch, Joseph. The Peacocks and their young children settle on one island but discover they cannot work the island alone, and send for workers who are shocked to discover the Peacock offspring lack even the basics of literacy. Narrated from the points of view of Lizzie, Joseph’s favourite child, and Kalala, the worker who teaches the Peacock children to read and write, it examines how the threat to a family and community often comes not from foreign elements, but the worm within the bud. Aubrey Paton

The Tattoo Thief
****
Alison Belsham, Orion Books, R285

Francis Sullivan has been promoted to Detective Inspector in Brighton and his first case turns out to be the work of a serial killer who is targeting people who have tattoos by well-known artists, cutting the inked flesh out while the victim is still alive. Sullivan has a lot to prove and with everyone working against him, even tattoo artist Marni Mullins, who seems to have all the answers, is not sure he’ll be able to catch the tattoo thief. This is the first in a planned series by the author and if this fast-paced thriller is anything to go by, we’re happy to accept seconds. Jessica Levitt @jesslevitt

The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story
****
Christie Watson, Chatto & Windus, R320

Christie Watson spent 20 years as a nurse in the UK’s national health service. Her memoir walks readers through the halls of hospitals, where she deals with critically ill children, mental health patients and the elderly that society forgets. It opens with a clinical tone, gradually warming, until, by the final quarter, it is nearly impossible to read without the sting of tears. A tale that will make readers champions of nurses, while wondering why access to quality healthcare is too often reserved for the privileged. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

Book details

Die kykNET-Rapport Boekpryse 2018 kortlyste is hier!

Die 2018-benoemdes vir die kykNET-Rapportpryse, wat die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir nuwe werk insluit, is pas bekend gemaak. Dit is die grootste en rykste jaarlikse boekpryse in Afrikaans.

Met sy tweede roman, Die derde spoel, bevind die skrywer SJ Naudé hom op die kortlys vir twee pryse – die kykNET-Rapportprys vir romans sowel as die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir ’n debuut- of tweede fiksiewerk (romans, novelles en kortverhale).

Die prysgeld is vanjaar verhoog en beloop nou R250 000 elk vir die kykNET-Rapportprys vir romans en niefiksie, R125 000 vir die kykNET-Rapport-filmprys, en R125 000 vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys.

“Die verhoogde prysgeld gee welverdiende erkenning aan skrywers in Afrikaans wat die pols van die tydvak meet, dit registreer, en die leser die woorde gee om eie ervarings daaraan te meet en te verstaan,” sê die sameroeper van die kykNET-Rapportpryse, Hettie Scholtz.

Die kortlyste vir 2018 is, in alfabetiese volgorde:

KYKNET-RAPPORTPRYS: FIKSIE (ROMANS)
Die derde spoel, SJ Naudé (Umuzi)
Die wêreld van Charlie Oeng, Etienne van Heerden (Tafelberg)
Groen soos die hemel daarbo, Eben Venter (Tafelberg)

KYKNET-RAPPORTPRYS: NIEFIKSIE
Spertyd, Elsa Joubert (Tafelberg)
Geloof alleen, André Pretorius (Naledi)
Op pad: ’n Reisjoernaal, Dana Snyman (Tafelberg)

KYKNET-RAPPORTPRYS: FILM
Blou is nie ’n kleur nie, Carin Krahtz (Tafelberg)
Die laksman se dogter, Gerda Taljaard (Penguin)
Kamikaze, Rudie van Rensburg (Queillerie)

JAN RABIE-RAPPORTPRYS: ROMANS, NOVELLES EN KORTVERHALE
As in die mond, Nicole Jaekel Strauss (Queillerie)
Die derde spoel, SJ Naudé (Umuzi)
Rooi haring, Schalk Schoombie (Human & Rousseau)

Die kortlyste vir die kykNET-Rapportpryse vir die beste Afrikaanse resensie oor Afrikaanse fiksie en niefiksie word binnekort uitgereik.

Die pryswenners word op Saterdagaand 22 September 2018 in Kaapstad bekend gemaak.

KOMMENTAAR OOR INSKRYWINGS
Inskrywings vir die kykNET-Rapportprys vir romans het getuig van waagmoed, beleë vakmanskap en besondere kreatiwiteit, sê Hettie Scholtz.

“Die genre van misdaadfiksie groei eksponensieel en is in menige geval geskryf met groot flair, soos Chris Karsten se Koms van die motman, Die laksman se dogter en Rooi haring, en ’n aansienlike mate van tekstuur.

Twee eksperimente met genre het opgeval – Carina Stander se fantasiewêreld in Die bergengel, wat raakpunte met die kontemporêre realiteit vertoon, en Francois Loots se roman Die diepblou see waarin die realistiese verhaal van die geniale Jan Hofmeyr vermeng word met mitologiese elemente. Kleinboer verras op sy beurt met ’n byna hipnotiese vertelling van sy lotto-speletjie met die lewe in Hierdie huis, terwyl Dolf van Niekerk met Kroniek van turf en Cas Wepener met Johanna nader beweeg aan meer aktuele temas soos grondeise en seksuele geweld teen vroue.”

Die niefiksie-inskrywings bevat oorwegend die name van gevestigde skrywers met die uitsondering van Hemelbesem (Simon Witbooi), wat verras met die toevoeging van “’n heerlike proesel Afrikaaps” in sy debuut, God praat Afrikaans, sê Scholtz.

“Wat tendense betref, is dit opvallend dat reis sentraal staan met die fisieke reis wat dikwels die aanloop vorm tot ’n reis na binne. ’n Beduidende aantal skrywers loop die stroewe onderwerp van ouderdom en dood trompop.

“Elsa Joubert doen dit delikaat in Spertyd, Karel Schoeman ontstellend in Die slot van die dag, Kobus Anthonissen christelik in Dansend met die lewe, Anton van Niekerk filosofies in Die dood en die sin van die lewe, en Cas Wepener doen dit na aanleiding van Karel Schoeman se kreatiewe werk in Die reis gaan inwaarts.

Daar is steeds twee skote uit die Boereoorlog – Jan Smuts: Van boerseun tot wêreldverhoog met Kobus du Pisani as hoofredakteur en die Oorlogsmuseum van die Boererepublieke se Die Anglo-Boereoorlog in 100 objekte – wat vermelding verdien, asook samesteller Heilna du Plooy se waardevolle brieweboek Gespreksgenoot, en Oorkant jou, die onderhoudende “verhale uit die binnekamer” deur die gewilde skrywer en psigoterapeut Juliana Coetzer.

Die besonder uiteenlopende aard van dié inskrywings het die keurders te staan gebring voor die uitdaging om ’n balans te vind tussen leesbaarheid én indringendheid, aktualiteit én durendheid, vakmanskap én kreatiewe vindingrykheid, sê Scholtz. “Dit was geen maklike taak nie!”

Soos gewoonlik het die keurders van die filmprys ’n ryk keuse gehad met besonder sterk temas en sprankelende dialoog wat die inskrywings nogeens opgelewer het.

Die inskrywings vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir debuut- en tweede fiksiewerke was ewe wydlopend en uitdagend, sê keurder Kerneels Breytenbach.

“Benewens die titels op die kortlys het die inskrywings ’n werk ingesluit wat Frans Marx al in 1993 tydens Wits se Winterforum belowe het: Spieëlbeeld. Aan die uitdagende kant was daar Naomi Meyer se indrukwekkende spanningsroman Web oor ’n egpaar met huweliksprobleme, wat dan gekonfronteer word met die probleem van ’n kind wat wegraak.

“Ewe indrukwekkend was Pelgrimshoop, die roman waarmee Ronel Nel ’n opwindende nuwe skrywerskap aangekondig het. Sommige van die skrywers is meer bekend, soos Cas Wepener (Johanna) en Carina Stander (Die bergengel), maar die beoordelaars het ook kennis gemaak met nuwe name en hul werke, waardeur die groeikrag van die Afrikaanse letterkunde beklemtoon word: Rika Cloete, Lloyd Zandberg, Juanita Aggenbag en Coreen Erasmus-Bezuidenhout.”

KEURDERS
Die keurders vir die kykNET-Rapportprys vir fiksie was prof. Louise Viljoen van die US, die rolprentvervaardiger Gerrit Schoonhoven, die joernalis en koördineerder van die US Woordfees se boekeprogram Elmari Rautenbach en prof. Steward van Wyk (UWK). By niefiksie het prof. Andries Bezuidenhout (Universiteit van Fort Hare), die skrywer Valda Jansen, prof. Herman Wasserman (UK) en die rolprentvervaardiger Hermann Binge die stiplees gedoen en Tina Kruger van kykNET het die geledere van filmkeurders Gerrit Schoonhoven en Herman Binge versterk. Die keurders vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys was die ouduitgewer en skrywer Kerneels Breytenbach, dr. Marni Bonthuys van UWK en Marius Swart van die US.

Die derde spoel

Boekbesonderhede
Die derde spoel deur SJ Naudé
EAN: 9781415207475
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 

Die wêreld van Charlie Oeng

Die wêreld van Charlie Oeng deur Etienne van Heerden
EAN: 9780624080527
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

Groen soos die hemel daarbo

Groen soos die hemel daarbo deur Eben Venter
EAN: 9780624082613
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

Spertyd

Spertyd deur Elsa Joubert
EAN: 9780624084327
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

Geloof alleen

Geloof alleen deur André Pretorius
EAN: 9780928316902
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

Op pad

Op pad deur Dana Snyman
EAN: 9780624077176
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 
 
Blou is nie 'n kleur nie

Blou is nie ‘n kleur nie deur Carin Krahtz
EAN: 9780624081937
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!
 
 
 
 
 
Die laksman se dogter

Die laksman se dogter deur Gerda Taljaard
EAN: 9781485903666
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

Kamikaze

Kamikaze deur Rudie van Rensburg
EAN: 9780795801303
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

As in die Mond

As in die Mond deur Nicole Jaekel Strauss
EAN: 9780795801358
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

 
 
 

Rooi Haring

Rooi Haring deur Schalk Schoombie
EAN: 9780798175654
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

"Who’s going to get lucky tonight?" Kate Sidley on her three current literary love interests (and not to worry, Steven - they're only books!)

Published in the Sunday Times

I arrive home from the book launch with a new love interest. Maybe it was the wine. I shouldn’t have had that second glass, we all know how it lowers the defences. Not that that’s any excuse. I know it was entirely my doing. Be that as it may, here I am with not one, but two … shall we say … prospects.

The one was a given, I knew I was going to purchase the launch book, The Season of Glass, the new novel by Rahla Xenopolous. But then the bookstore owner, who knows me and my weakness so well, said, “That book you were asking about just came in.”

It is Less, by Andrew Sean Greer, and it’s fresh and new, all decked out with the gold stamp of the Pulitzer Prize 2018. The very many cover shouts are glowing and there’s the word “hilarious” – nothing does it for me like hilarious – and then “bedazzling” and “endearing”.

I take both books.

I get home and clamber over the mountain of unread and partially read books that I believe was, some time in the early 2000s, a small bedside table. On top is my avowed current partner – Ken Barris’s award-winning The Life of Worm & Other Misconceptions.
 
Ooh, I love it. Properly, deeply love it. Wouldn’t leave it for anything. But this wouldn’t be leaving. It is a short story collection, and short story collections are by definition polyamorous. They don’t mind if you go off and frolic in other pastures for a bit. In fact, they expect it. After a dalliance, I find that I return to the relationship with renewed interest and delight.

Having made peace with a small break from Worm (it’s not you, it’s me, I tell him) I read the first few pages of The Season of Glass. You have to read the first pages on the night of the book launch. It’s the done thing. Well, it’s my done thing. The book’s a beauty, really a knock-out, but I’m not shallow, I don’t want to objectify my new love interest. It’s marvellous on the inside, too and though it’s early days, it feels like we’ve got something going.

This morning, when honest to God I should be working and not mucking around in bed with strange new books, I spot Less. In the spirit of research and professionalism (I am after all a book reviewer, and we have responsibilities), I open it up. Just a page or two. To see what all the fuss is about. I won’t lie. I’m intrigued.

Help me, then, with the eternal question of the reader – who’s going to get lucky tonight? @KateSidley

Kate Sidley is the author of 100 Mandela Moments (Jonathan Ball, R190)

The Season of Glass

Book details
The Season of Glass by Rahla Xenopoulos
EAN: 9781415209578
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

 
 
 
Less

Less by Andrew Sean Greer
EAN: 9780349143590
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

 
 
 

The Life of Worm

The Life of Worm & Other Misconceptiosn by Ken Barris
EAN: 9780795707957
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Craig Higginson's evocative new novel will leave a powerful afterimage on the reader's imagination

In prose pared to the bone Higginson explores the complex nature of love. Most importantly, we realize love can become what you will it to be and that once you’ve grasped it, you should guard it with all your life.’- Fred Khumalo, author of Dancing the Death Drill

In its conception and execution, The White Room is remarkable … Evocative and dreamlike, yet all too nightmarishly real, this is a story so moving that it leaves a powerful afterimage on the reader’s imagination.’
- Craig MacKenzie

‘Craig Higginson is at the vanguard of the latest and most exciting novelists in South Africa, offering a barometer of the best to be expected from the newest wave of writing in the country.’
- André Brink

South African playwright Hannah Meade arrives in London for the opening night of her new play.

She has arranged to meet Pierre, the student she was in love with when she taught English in Paris. During their time together, they lied their way towards truths they were too young and inexperienced to endure. Perhaps this time they will have a second chance.

As the reader is drawn from contemporary London back to Paris on the eve of the war in Iraq, the mystery of past events is brought to vivid life in a series of dramatic, intriguing and deeply moving encounters. Written in layered, stark prose, The White Room lays bare many of our assumptions about language, identity, memory, loss and love.

CRAIG HIGGINSON is an award-winning playwright and novelist who lives in Johannesburg. He is the only South African writer to have won the prestigious University of Johannesburg Main Award for South African Literature in English for two consecutive novels. His writing has been performed, produced and published around the world. Higginson’s previous novel, The Dream House, will be the English IEB Matric setwork in South Africa from 2019 to 2021. The White Room reaffirms Higginson as a leading figure in contemporary South African literature. It is his fourth novel to be published by Picador Africa.

Book details

Take a sneak peek inside Niki Daly's Sharp-Sharp! Thoko

Here comes Thoko again!
Thoko is resourceful!
Thoko is full of fun!
Thoko is kind-hearted!

Niki Daly makes reading about life as a kid entertaining and realistic with his delightful new local heroine, Thoko.

Thoko finds herself in some tricky situations that teach her a few important life lessons along the way. Thoko skips through life, leaving behind a trail of laughter.

With adorable illustrations and four heart-warming easy-to-read stories, Niki Daly has created a second book about Thoko – who is sure to become one of his most beloved characters. Look out for the first Thoko book, Hooray! Thoko.

Available in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

Niki Daly has won many awards for his work. His ground breaking Not So Fast, Songololo, winner of a US Parents’ Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children’s books. Since then he has published widely and has given talks in several countries.

Among his many books, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner at the US Children’s Africana Book Awards, and Jamela’s Dress was chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children’s Book and by Booklist as one of the Top Ten African American Picture Books of 2000.

In 2009 Niki was awarded the Molteno Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Other books include Nicholas and the Wild Ones, Thank you, Jackson, The Herd Boy, Pretty Salma, No More Kisses for Bernard! and Ruby Sings the Blues.

Niki is married and lives in Kleinmond, South Africa.

Book details