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Pay tribute to the legendary Syd Kitchen at Cape Town's Alma Cafe

The blurb on the back cover of Donvé Lee’s book, Syd Kitchen – Scars that Shine, reads: ‘Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination. Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself.”

“Plagued by drug abuse, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which – Fool in a Bubble – premiered in New York in 2010.”

The biography – described by musicians, book lovers and art critics as a ‘masterpiece’ – will be relaunched at The Alma Cafe on 25 August, 2017 along with a concert celebrating Syd, his magic and his music.

Take a peek at the man:

Long time friends and music partners guitarist Steve Newman, Bill Knight, Miriam Erasmus, Tim Parr and Mark Harris will perform both their own and Syd’s music at Alma Cafe, while author Donvé Lee will chat about the book.

Signed copies will be available at a special discounted price.

What: Celebrating the legendary Syd Kitchen
Where: Alma Cafe, Cape Town
When: Friday, 25 August, 7.30pm
Tickets: R210 incl dinner
Pre-book: 021 685 7377 (answering service available for bookings)
 

Syd Kitchen - Scars That Shine

Book details

"It covers all the issues of our country" - Paul Slabolepszy on his award-winning play Suddenly the Storm

Paul Slabolepszy’s Suddenly the Storm set in Johannesburg’s East Rand at the home of an ageing former police officer Dwayne Combrink and his much younger wife Shanell, poses the question of whether the wounds of the past can ever truly be healed.

Combative, volatile, constantly on the verge of exploding, Dwayne and Shanell Combrink are two halves of a white South African workingclass couple, living an uneasy truce as they struggle with the day-to-day trials of scraping together a living and dreaming competing dreams.

But beneath Dwayne’s angry, violent exterior lies the heartbreak that governs his attitude to life. Dwayne is a man in mourning. Shanell believes his current level of despair was sparked by the death of his childhood friend and recent work partner, Jonas, but the source of his mourning and anger lies much further back. When the elegant and self-contained Namhla Gumede, born on 16 June 1976, arrives on their doorstep seeking answers to questions that have remained buried for 40 years, Dwayne and Shanell finally find out the truth.

What starts as a smouldering dark comedy suddenly turns into a roller-coaster ride of startling revelations, rage and recrimination … before the storm finally breaks.

Here Paul discusses his Naledi award-winning play on SABC:


 

Suddenly the Storm

Book details

Theme for next year's Short.Sharp.Stories Awards announced

Instant Exposure – stories inspired by photographs

We live in an age in which increasingly we all take or view photographs. Visual language is growing and developing every day as we record our world and our experiences in visual terms. One could go as far as to say that every one of us has, by default, become a photographer as billions of images are uploaded online at any given moment.

We invite you to find a provocative photograph which inspires a powerful story. The image can be a spontaneously captured selfie, a bold news pic, a childhood snap in an old album; perhaps a framed tribute that brings back memories of joy, or a hidden print that haunts your past. Whether the photo is a portrait of a loved one, or an evocative landscape, whether colour or black and white, as long as the photograph has meaning to you, we encourage you to ‘find your story’ – the humour, the pathos, the drama – in the image.

As ever, we’re looking for stories with strong narrative drive, and characters and settings which reflect our South African experience and diversity.

Deadline 30 November 2017

This process is in three parts:
1) Choose the photographic image that inspires you…
2) Write a caption for that image…
3) Use the caption as a springboard to create your story of between 3000 to 5000 words.

We require the photograph, the caption, as well as the story to be submitted.

Please see full rules at www.shortsharpstories.com

Paul Slabolepszy’s new play, Suddenly the Storm, wins coveted award for Best New South African Script

Paul Slabolepszy’s new play, Suddenly the Storm has won the coveted Naledi award for Best New South African Script. The play script was recently published by Wits University Press. Zakes Mda, award-winning playwright and novelist said of the play, “Slabolepszy is a master of dialect which makes his East Rand characters so authentic you could be sitting in a bar in one of these Ekurhuleni towns listening to their real-life equivalents and laughing at their jokes.”

Apart from winning the award for Best New South African Script for Slabolepszy, the play won two more awards from its six nominations at the Naledi Theatre Awards in Johannesburg, winning Best Theatre Set Design and Best Lighting Design.

Slabolepszy is an acclaimed playwright, as well as radio, television and screenwriter of more than thirty plays. A selection of his play scripts have been published by Wits University Press as Mooi Street and Other Moves. The book, a collection of six plays written between 1984 and 1993 was recently reprinted.

Veronica Klipp, publisher at Wits University Press expressed her delight in the play winning these accolades and added that Slabolepszy’s play scripts had been used by high schools learners as well as university students for many years.

Suddenly the Storm is Slabolepszy’s first new play since 2009 and marks his first return to the stage as an actor in nearly two decades.

The play will be performed with Slabolepszy in the lead role in Durban from 10 to 12 August 2017 at the Playhouse Loft Theatre.

Slabolepszy is a master of dialect which makes his East Rand characters so authentic you could be sitting in a bar in one of these Ekurhuleni towns listening to their real-life equivalents and laughing at their jokes. Through his dialect he is able to elicit real pathos in all his characters … With Slabolepszy you are always waiting for something menacing to happen, and it does in this play.
– Zakes Mda, award-winning playwright and novelist

Paul Slabolepszy’s Suddenly the Storm set in Johannesburg’s East Rand at the home of an ageing former police officer Dwayne Combrink and his much younger wife Shanell, poses the question of whether the wounds of the past can ever truly be healed.

Combative, volatile, constantly on the verge of exploding, Dwayne and Shanell Combrink are two halves of a white South African workingclass couple, living an uneasy truce as they struggle with the day-to-day trials of scraping together a living and dreaming competing dreams.

But beneath Dwayne’s angry, violent exterior lies the heartbreak that governs his attitude to life. Dwayne is a man in mourning. Shanell believes his current level of despair was sparked by the death of his childhood friend and recent work partner, Jonas, but the source of his mourning and anger lies much further back. When the elegant and self-contained Namhla Gumede, born on 16 June 1976, arrives on their doorstep seeking answers to questions that have remained buried for 40 years, Dwayne and Shanell finally find out the truth.

What starts as a smouldering dark comedy suddenly turns into a roller-coaster ride of startling revelations, rage and recrimination … before the storm finally breaks.

Suddenly the Storm

Book details

 
 

Mooi Street and Other Moves

The judges of the 2017 Short.Sharp.Stories Award discuss the winning entries of Trade Secrets

Liesl Jobson is a writer, photographer and musician. Her collection of prose poems and flash fiction, 100 Papers, won the 2006 Ernst van Heerden Award and was translated into Italian as Cento strappi. She is the author of a poetry collection, View from an Escalator, a short story collection, Ride the Tortoise, and three children’s books. At dawn she is a single sculler. By day she is a communications officer for enterprise development specialists, Fetola, and at night she plays the contrabassoon for the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra but only when the planets are aligned.

Judging is always a privilege and a challenge. The encounter with the creativity and endeavour of writers at work is humbling. The sincerity, intelligence and courage it takes to commit to the page gives one hope in the vibrancy, immediacy and relevance of the narratives. The offerings in this collection come from a wide range of external geographies and internal experiences, opening seams of contemporary experience from the most personal places of loss, violation, recovery and aspiration. Readers of this collection will find a variety of genres too: crime and pulp, chick lit and dick lit, as well as the experimental and literary. There are writers publishing their first stories, as well as experienced authors who have previously been nominated for international awards; there are experienced journalists and established poets crossing from their familiar zone into different forms. Particularly refreshing are the new voices who articulate stories that historically have not been well represented.

Phakama Mbonambi is a deputy editor at Sawubona magazine. A strong believer in the power of literature to help create bridges, he founded and edited Wordsetc, a literary journal on contemporary South African writing. While the journal may be in hibernation at the moment due to the shortage of funds and time, he hopes to revive it someday in one form or another.

I was looking for an original voice that tackled the theme of ‘trade secrets’ – directly or obliquely. I was looking for stories that are enjoyable, enlightening and entertaining – my primary reason for delving into literature. South Africa is blessed with a diverse population, ensuring that writers come from different backgrounds with their unique voices and singular world views. The richness of the writers’ imagination and the vastness of the topics tackled are something to behold. I hope readers of this anthology will be delighted and enlightened. The Short.Sharp.Stories competition is, without doubt, a powerful platform to discover new writing talent and to showcase excellence.

Tim Richman is a publisher, author and editor. He has worked closely with Joanne Hichens on all the Short.Sharp.Stories anthologies to date. In his twelve years in the South African book industry, he has authored and/or edited more than sixty titles. His next book, to be published internationally in 2017, is 50 People Who Stuffed Up The World, co-authored with Alexander Parker and with illustrations by Zapiro.

As a publisher, I hope to create books that are accessible, eye-opening and memorable, and this description applies perfectly to the ideal short story. There is sometimes the temptation to do too much, when the format’s limited length provides the opportunity for its great strength: to focus on a limited cast and setting to leave a lasting impact on the reader. As a judge, it was important to measure entries against the brief: stories shouldn’t be shoehorned to fit a brief. Some stronger stories fell down in that area, whereas the winners, in particular Wedding Henna, were often sublime in the way they incorporated a trade secret into their tale. And it’s important to reflect a genuine – though not necessarily mainstream or expected – South African-ness in a South African collection of writing; all those on my long-list hit the mark there. There is also the matter of our politics and demographics: a collection like this simply has to be inclusive and reflect the writers who have entered, as well as who we are as a country. Finally, as a reader, I value a story which keeps me turning the pages and leaves me with a sense of satisfaction at the end of it all.

Best Story
Wedding Henna
by Mishka Hoosen

“A powerful exploration of the erotic taboo behind the hijab. Tender and sensual writing that weaves a haunting tale as the narrator decorates her ex-lover’s hands before her wedding. At its core it’s about a broken heart and the longing that comes of it, but also hints at greater themes of personal ​identity and the questions of higher power. Beautifully bittersweet” – 2017 Short.Sharp.Stories Judges’ Choice

Runners-Up

The Line of Beauty
by Mapule Mohulatsi

“This is different — courageous, intriguing, thought-provoking, undeniably South African. Mohulatsi will prove to be a strong voice on the SA short story writing scene. A literary storytelling journey of note, about a storyteller and where stories come from” – Tim Richman

Eye Teeth
by Megan Ross

“This is a lyrical psalm of recovery written from the worst type ofbetrayal. The reader is treated to a masterful rewriting of traumanarrative by a storyteller who reclaims the geography of her body to effect a re-imaging and re-imagining” – Liesl Jobson

Handle With Care
by Amy Heydenrych

“Most South Africans have horror stories about the postal service. This tale of redemption is successful at an allegorical level; it touches on fixing that which is broken in the country. The story is enlivened with a dose of magical realism and underscored by a heart-warming empathy and romantic optimism” – Phakama Mbonambi

Commended

My Cuban
by Stephen Symons

“A gripping tale, a page-turning rumination on war and its victims, with excellent craft and structure, that left me wishing this was the first chapter of a 20-chapter novel. Lovely to see a poet retain the condensed power of the short form in an expanded line” – Liesl Jobson

Home Cooked
by Ntsika Gogwana

“The unhappiness in the marriage between Sizwe and Nomafa is firmly established. A powerful read which sustains interest as it focuses on male abuse and the rage of women against that abuse. The story contains compelling descriptions of shack life” – Phakama Mbonambi

Foul Hook at the Witsand Botel
by Bobby Jordan

“Rollicking, amusing storytelling that delightfully weaves the best type of magical realism into a convincing and uniquely South African setting” – Tim Richman
by Bobby Jordan

Trade Secrets is now available at book stores.

kykNET-Rapport Boekpryse: Kortlyste is hier!

Ná maande van intense leesplesier deur die keurders is die kortlyste vir vanjaar se kykNET-Rapportpryse sowel as die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir nuwe skryfwerk pas bekend gemaak. Dié pryse word toegeken vir Afrikaanse boeke wat in 2016 verskyn het.

Soos verlede jaar bevat die kortlyste vir die kykNET-Rapportpryse vir fiksie die name van gevestigde skrywers sowel as van debuutskrywer Valda Jansen met haar besondere elegie aan verlore liefde, Hy kom met die skoenlappers. Laasgenoemde is ook benoem vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys. ’n Handvol ander sterk vrouestemme het eweneens hul kleim afgesteek met buitengewoon ryk verhale. Celesté Fritz (Verlorenkop), Ilse van Staden (Goeie dood wat saggies byt), Anneli Groenewald (Die skaalmodel) en Hester Kruger (Een nag en ’n bietjie) verdien spesiale vermelding. Krimi-skrywer Karin Brynard bevind haarself met Tuisland, ’n misdaadverhaal wat die lot van die Kalahari-San belig, ook op die kortlys van twee pryse, fiksie sowel as film.

Die verkenning van die verlede – en verre verlede – gee steeds perspektief vir die huidige generasie, soms deur die oë van ’n historiese figuur, soms deur dié van ’n gelouterde expat. Daar word veral gewoeker met die Afrikaanse Suid-Afrikaner se plek in ’n groter wêreld. Opvallend is die groeiende besef van ’n huidige geslag se verantwoordelikheid teenoor toekomstige generasies sowel as die omgewing.

By niefiksie in Afrikaans domineer temas uit en oor die geskiedenis steeds. Hoewel dit haas ongelooflik is dat die Anglo-Boereoorlog steeds, ná soveel boeke reeds daaroor verskyn het, die primêre historiese verwysingspunt bly van waar skrywers in Afrikaans hulle Afrikaneridentiteit en -geskiedenis beskou, is daar tog boeke wat iets nuuts en werklik besonders daaroor gelewer het. Daar is egter ook welkome bydraes oor die filmgeskiedenis, kosgeskiedenis, persgeskiedenis, kunsgeskiedenis. Ook die lewe van ’n gesoute geskiedskrywer word verhaal.

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

Die kykNET-Rapport-kortlyste vir 2017 (alfabeties) is soos volg:

Niefiksie
Broedertwis, Albert Blake (Tafelberg)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emily Hobhouse: Geliefde verraaier, Elsabé Brits (Tafelberg)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hermann Giliomee: Historikus – ’n outobiografie, Hermann Giliomee (Tafelberg)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daar doer in die fliek, Leon van Nierop (Protea Boekhuis)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die groot drie, Francois Verster (Penguin)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fiksie

Tuisland, Karin Brynard (Penguin)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Huilboek, Ryk Hattingh (Human & Rousseau)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hy kom met die skoenlappers, Valda Jansen (Human & Rousseau)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Op ’n dag, ’n hond, John Miles (Human & Rousseau)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1795, Dan Sleigh (Tafelberg)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Film 2017
Tuisland, Karin Brynard (Penguin)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dorado, Tom Dreyer (Penguin)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Koors, Deon Meyer (Human & Rousseau)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al wat ek weet, Marita van der Vyver (Lapa)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pirana, Rudie van Rensburg (Queillerie)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die keurders vir vanjaar se fiksietoekenning was die joernalis en koördineerder van die US Woordfees se boekeprogram Elmari Rautenbach, die ouduitgewer Frederik de Jager, prof. Steward van Wyk (UWK) en die rolprentvervaardiger Gerrit Schoonhoven. By niefiksie het dr. Irma du Plessis (UP), Darryl David (UKZN), prof. Herman Wasserman (UK) en filmvervaardiger Hermann Binge die stiplees gedoen.

Wenners in beide die fiksie- en niefiksiekategorie ontvang elk R200 000, en die wenner van die filmprys R100 000.

JAN RABIE-RAPPORTPRYS
Die wenner van die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir Afrikaanse debuutromans ontvang R35 000. Ook hier het vroueskrywers hulself laat geld – agt uit die tien titels wat vanjaar ingeskryf is, kom uit ’n vrouepen. Die kortlys (in alfabetiese volgorde) is soos volg:
 
Verlorenkop, Celesté Fritze (Queillerie)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die skaalmodel, Anneli Groenewald (Tafelberg)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hy kom met die skoenlappers, Valda Jansen (Human & Rousseau)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die keurders vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys was die digter en skrywer Danie Marais; die boekjoernalis Elna van der Merwe en die ouduitgewer en skrywer Kerneels Breytenbach.

Die wenners van beide pryse, sowel as dié van die kykNET-Rapport-resensiepryse, word op 30 September 2017 by ’n prysfunksie in Kaapstad aangekondig. Die kortlyste vir die resensiepryse word later in Augustus bekend gemaak.