Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

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

Books LIVE


Right! That's a wrap of our #ManBooker2014 coverage. Congratulations to Richard Flanagan

Celebrating the Life and Work of Peter Clarke in Listening to Distant Thunder by Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs

Listening to Distant ThunderPresenting the first book to explore the life and work of Peter Clarke: Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke by Elizabeth Rankin and Philippa Hobbs.

Originally published by the Standard Bank as part of a curated exhibition in May 2011, this prestigious volume celebrates the life and works of Peter Clarke (1929–2014), one of South Africa’s foremost artists. A mere 500 copies were originally published, all taken up at the exhibition, and continued demand has led to its rerelease. Clarke left his job as a dockworker in Simon’s Town to devote himself to art. The wisdom of this decision is reflected in a remarkable career, which extended over some six decades and was acknowledged in the awards of the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) in 2005 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke recounts an artist’s life in the context of the social history of South Africa from the 1940s onwards. His images reflect the social disruption of the Cape Flats, and the trauma of his community’s forced removal from Simon’s Town to the bleak apartheid township of Ocean View. Yet Clarke’s images have avoided bitterness, and his work is a perceptive scrutiny and celebration of life in all its aspects.

Illustrated with over 200 reproductions and photographs, this book was researched and written by well-known South African art historians Philippa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin, in close collaboration with the artist, over almost seven years.

About the authors

Elizabeth Rankin was appointed Professor of Art History at the University of Auckland in 1998, after many years of service at the University of the Witwatersrand. Since the late 1980s, her many publications and exhibitions have focused on recovering the stories of artists who have been little researched, particularly sculptors and printmakers.

Philippa Hobbs holds post-graduate qualifications in Fine Art and History of Art. She is currently the curator of the MTN Art Collection and manages the Arts and Culture Portfolio at the MTN Foundation. She is also a Research Fellow of the University of Johannesburg: Visual Identities in Art and Design.

Book details

Join Jacob Dlamini for the Launch of Askari at The Book Lounge

Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggleJacana Media and The Book lounge invite you to the launch of Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggle by Jacob Dlamini.

Dlamini will be in conversation with The Book Lounge owner Mervyn Sloman on the neglected story of betrayal and collaboration in the struggle against apartheid.

The event will take place on Monday, 27 October, at 5:30 for 6 PM.

Don’t miss this!

Event Details

Book Details

Podcasts: Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman Cover the Sentencing of Oscar Pistorius

Behind the DoorMandy Wiener and Barry Bateman, the authors of Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story, were at the High Court in Pretoria yesterday to report on Oscar Pistorius’ sentencing. Cape Talk has shared a series of Podcasts of their coverage for Eyewitness News.

In the first podcast, Arnold Pistorius gave a statement for the family which Wiener comments on. In the second, Wiener considers the likelihood of Pistorius appealing his sentence. And in the third, Bateman runs through some of the key points of Judge Thokozile Masipa’s sentencing.

Listen to the podcasts:




Book details

Stephen Grootes: Crawford-Browne is Poking a Hot Stick into Old Wounds about Chris Hani

Voices of Liberation: Chris HaniStephen Grootes recently wrote an article on Terry Crawford-Browne’s allegations that Chris Hani’s murder was arranged from within the ANC in order to protect Joe Modise. Hani, who is the subject of Voices of Liberation: Chris Hani by Greg Houston, remains a hero for many South Africans.

At the Arms Deal Commission, Crawford-Browne claimed that Modise was deeply involved with the arms deal, and Hani had intended to expose his corruption. Grootes says that rumours of conspiracy around Hani are not new – his death was an important moment in South African history, and regrets and suppositions still linger. Likewise, the arms deal has had an irrevocable impact on South African politics and continues to cast its gloom.

Crawford-Browne is an honourable and respected activist, but Grootes says that in his allegations against the arms deal commission, he might have gone too far to come back again.

Read the article:

On Wednesday the arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne went before the Arms Deal Commission and dropped a bombshell. He claimed that the person really responsible for the assassination of Chris Hani in 1993 may have been former Defence Minister Joe Modise. It is an allegation so astonishing that many people have simply been shocked. But Crawford-Browne is also poking a hot stick into old wounds the ANC still carries today.

Book details

FIVE Modjaji titles shortlisted for 2014 SALA Awards

Makhosazana XabaC A Davids, author of The Blacks of Cape TownReneilwe Malatji Toni Strasburg giving Rusty Bernstein Memorial lectureThandi SliepenWe couldn’t be more thrilled with this year’s SALA Award Nominees’ List. We’ve got FIVE titles listed in four categories. As a small press, this is extraordinary good news for us. In past years we have had one or two nominees at most. Although our authors have gone on to win SALA Awards, so we are holding thumbs for this year. Some of our most illustrious past winners are Yewande Omotoso for Bom Boy and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers for The Everyday Wife. Yewande’s Bom Boy went on to be shortlisted for the first Etisalat Prize and Phillippa was made this year’s Commonwealth Poet!

This year we have two authors who are shortlisted for the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award, Makhosazana Xaba’s collection of stories, Running & Other Stories is on the list. AND the title story in the collection was selected as one of the 20 in Twenty best stories in English published since 1994. Xaba’s whole collection is being read on SAFM in their reading slot at 11.45 each weekday. And Khosi as she is known to her friends and fans, has also been nominated for a Mbokodo Award.

Reneilwe Malatji’s collection of stories, Love Interrupted, is also in the running for the Nadine Gordimer award. AND WE heard in the past weeks, that this collection has won the 2014 Aidoo-Snyder Award.

Toni Strasburg’s memoir about her life as a documentary film-maker in the front-line states during the apartheid years Fractured Lives is shortlisted in the Creative Non-Fiction category. CA Davids’ debut novel, The Blacks of Cape Town has been nominated in the First Time Published Author category. Davids was at the Edinburgh Festival and the Open Book Festival in the past few months. And last but not least, Thandi Sliepen has been shortlisted in the Poetry category for her debut collection, The Turtle Dove Told Me.

Here is the full list of nominees for these awards. We are delighted to see that another small, independent publisher, Dye Hard Press has three titles short-listed. Viva! Small publishers, viva!

Congratulations to all nominees and their publishers.


Poetry Award

Themba Patrick Magaisa, Mihloti ya Tingana (Xitsonga, published by TP Magaisa)
Khulile Nxumalo, Fhedzi (English, Dye Hard Press)
Kobus Moolman, Left Over (English, Dye Hard Press)
Thandi Sliepen, The Turtle Dove Told Me (English, Modjaji Books)

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Gary Cummiskey, Off-ramp (English, Dye Hard Press)
Makhosazana Xaba, Running and Other Stories (English, Modjaji books)
Reneilwe Malatji, Love Interrupted (English, Modjaji Books)

Liesl Jobson, Ride the Tortoise (English, Jacana Media)

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award (For Young Writers)

Marli Roode, Call it Dog (English, Penguin Books)
Jason Staggie, Risk (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Jamala Safari, The Great Agony and Pure laughter of the Gods (English, Umuzi Publishing)

Creative Non-Fiction Award

Sihle Khumalo, Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Toni Strasburg, Fractured Lives (English, Modjaji Books)

First-time Published Author Award

Claire Robertson, The Spiral House (English, Umuzi Publishers)
Carol-Ann Davids, The Blacks of Cape Town (English, Modjaji Books)
James Siddall, Dystopia (English, Jacana Media)

Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Nuruddin Farah
Njabulo Ndebele

Literary Translators Award

Nhlanhla Maake, Malefane (Sesotho/English, Ekaam Books)

The Blacks of Cape Town

Book details

Love Interrupted

The Turtle Dove Told Me


Fractured Lives


There’s vanity publishing and self-publishing and independent publishing. But what’s the difference?

Thanks to the technological revolution, it’s quite easy to lay out a few pages and add a few embellishments. Many companies offer such a service. They even add a cover derived from stock computer images and print a few boxes of books for you to keep in your garage. That’s vanity publishing.

Other companies talk rather grandly about international distribution, which means they put your book on Amazon, etc., and then forget about it. International self-publishing companies regularly produce books of such inferior quality that South African bookshops won’t stock them. And most will not release the open files so that authors can produce a small edition for local distribution.

There are two things that matter most when authors contemplate self-publishing. QUALITY and MARKETING.

PORCUPINE PRESS has a reputation for both. The quality of Porcupine books enhances their chances of being stocked by the countries major bookshops. Porcupine offers wide national and international distribution. But unless these channels are supported by ACTIVE MARKETING, not much selling will take place.

This is why PORCUPINE PRESS now offers a free marketing package to every book they publish or distribute.

This is Charlé de Klerk. She’s joined the Porcupine team as our marketing assistant. You can contact her on