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Win a copy of the new book Thomas Sankara Speaks

Thomas Sankara Speaks

Kwela Books is giving away three copies of its new publication Thomas Sankara Speaks!

To stand a chance of winning a copy, fill in the following form and hold thumbs:


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The competition closes at midnight on 19 October, 2016.

The prize can only be delivered within South Africa.

By entering this competition the participant agrees to the terms and conditions. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The prize may not be exchanged for cash.

The winner will be contacted via email.

The winner may be required to participate in publicity.

Employees or agencies of TMG and NB Publishers or their family members, or anyone else connected with the Prize Draw, may not enter the competition.

Books LIVE accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize. Books LIVE further disclaim liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person relating to or resulting from participation in connection with the Prize Draw.

Books LIVE shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control.

Bob Dylan wins the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

TarantulaChronicles Volume One

The times they are a-changin’! Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The announcement was made today by the Swedish Academy.

Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy Sara Danius said Dylan was awarded the Nobel for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

In an interview straight after the announcement, Danius was asked by an incredulous journalist: “Does Bob Dylan really deserve the Nobel Prize? Why?”

“Why?” she responded. “Well of course he does, he just got it.”

She continued: “He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition. He is a wonderful sampler, a very original sampler. He embodies the tradition, and for 54 years now he’s been at it, reinventing himself constantly, creating a new identity.

“If you want to start listening or reading you may start with Blonde on Blonde, the album from 1966. You’ve got many classics, and it’s an extraordinary example of his brilliant way of rhyming and putting together refrains, and his pictorial thinking.”

When asked whether the Academy had widened the horizon of the prize, Danius said she didn’t believe so.

“It may look that way but really we haven’t. If you look back, far back, 2 500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to, that were meant to be performed, often together with instruments. It’s the same way with Bob Dylan. But we still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy it, and the same thing with Bob Dylan. He can be read and should be read, and is a great poet in the grand English poetic tradition.”

Danius was asked whether she thought there would be criticism in the wake of the announcement, and replied: “I hope not.”

Finally, she was asked whether she had listened to a lot of Dylan personally growing up.

“Not really, but he was always around so I know the music and I’ve started to appreciate him much more now than I did,” she said. “I was a David Bowie fan. Perhaps it’s a question of generation, I don’t know. Today I’m a lover of Bob Dylan.”

It appears the Academy had Dylan’s lyrics in mind when deciding the prize, but he has also written two books: Tarantula, a collection of prose and poetry published in 1971, and Chronicles: Volume One, the first part of a planned three-volume memoir, published in 2004.

Watch the announcement here:

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2016 South African Literary Awards nominees revealed

Dit kom van ver afKarnaval en lentShirley, Goodness & MercyEggs to Lay, Chickens to HatchVry-Bumper CarsBeyond TouchPruimtwak en skaduboksersUnSettled and Other StoriesFlame in the SnowHalfpad een ding’n Huis vir EsterEsther's HouseVlakwaterIt Might Get LoudBuys – ’n GrensromanThe Violent Gestures of LifeSweet MedicineKamphoerWhat If There Were No Whites In South Africa?Donker stroomAskari

Alert! The shortlists for the 2016 South African Literary Awards have been announced.

18 authors from a total of 132 submissions have been shortlisted and the winners will be announced on Monday, 7 November, at a prestigious function at Unisa.

On the same day, wRite Associates will host the fifth Africa Century International African Writers Conference, before the ceremony. This year, the SALAs have partnered with the Unisa Department of English Studies in delivering both the awards ceremony and the Conference.

The SALAs were founded in 2005 by wRite Associates and the Department of Arts and Culture.

This year, the awards will honour the memory of TT Cloete and Chris van Wyk with Posthumous Literary Awards, while Ingrid Winterbach and Professor Johan Lenake are nominated for Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards.

The SALA Adjudication Panel said:

We are excited that South African literature continues to flourish, with many young writers coming into the scene, sharing platforms with their more established and experienced counterparts, however, we are saddened and concerned that we still see less and less of works written in African languages.

Going forward, the SALA Adjudication Panel recommends literary workshops and symposia with stakeholders, especially writers, publishers and editors, to address concerns regarding the standard and quality of some of the work, especially in African languages, that SALA has been receiving over time. This would be in line with one of the objectives of SALA, ‘to promote and preserve all our languages’.

We congratulate the 2016 nominees for their sterling work and keeping South Africa’s literary heritage alive.

The SALAs aim to “pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves as groundbreaking producers and creators of literature”, as well as to “celebrate literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories, value systems and philosophies and art as inscribed and preserved in all the languages of South Africa, particularly the official languages”.

The 2016 South African Literary Awards nominees:

Posthumous Literary Award

TT Cloete – Body of work
Chris van Wyk – Body of work

Poetry Award

Gilbert Gibson, Vry-
Athol Williams, Bumper Cars
Arja Salafranca, Beyond Touch

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award

Danie Marais, Pruimtwak en skaduboksers
Sandra Hill, UnSettled and Other Stories

Literary Translators Award

Leon de Kock and Karin Schimke, Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker
Zirk van den Berg, Halfpad een ding
Kirby van der Merwe, ’n Huis vir Ester

Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Ingrid Winterbach – Body of work
Prof Johan Lenake – Body of work

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

Willem Anker, Buys – ’n Grensroman
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho, The Violent Gestures of Life
Panashe Chigumadzi, Sweet Medicine

First-time Published Author Award

Francois Smith, Kamphoer
Ferial Haffajee, What If There Were No Whites In South Africa?

Creative Non-Fiction Award

Carel van der Merwe, Donker stroom
Jacob Dlamini, Askari

Chairperson’s Award

Recipient to be announced at the Award Ceremony – Body of work


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"One of the most affordable return tickets to Uganda" - launch of Flame and Song by Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa

Flame and SongI don’t get to go to the launch of every book that Modjaji publishes. I was very glad to get to The Book Lounge launch of Philippa Namubeti Kabali-Kagwa’s memoir, Flame and Song, that we published in time for the Women’s Day Story Cafe at the Artscape. Last Tuesday was the “official” launch, and The Book Lounge was full of people from East Africa.

Malika Ndlovu framed the launch with her beautiful voice, almost like a praise singer. It set the tone for an evening of story, song, memories – it made it feel a little as though we were sitting around a fire – while Philippa was interviewed by two young women, Diana Mutoni and Sandrine Mpazayabo, friends of Philippa’s daughter, Faye.

They asked unflinching questions about Philippa’s life, the difficulties and challenges and the many griefs she has experienced. Philippa responded to all of the questions, however challenging with grace and warmth. Philippa also read from her beautiful memoir, both poetry and prose excerpts, I was left feeling filled up with song, poetry, and a sense of family and community and love.

For more photographs of the launch click here These photographs were taken by Neo Baepi.

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Helen Zille's long-awaited autobiography: One of the most fascinating political stories of our time

Not Without A Fightin Not Without A Fight: The Autobiography, Helen Zille takes the reader back to her humble family origins, her struggle with anorexia as a young woman, her early career as a journalist for the Rand Daily Mail, and her involvement with the End Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash. She documents her early days in the Democratic Party and the Democratic Alliance, at a time when the party was locked in a no-holds-barred factional conflict. And she chronicles the intense political battles to become mayor of Cape Town, leader of the DA and premier of the Western Cape, in the face of dirty tricks from the ANC and infighting within her own party.


Helen Zille's long-awaited autobiography: One of the most fascinating political stories of our time


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2016 Mail & Guardian Literary Festival celebrates the life and work of Sol Plaatje

Lover of His PeopleSol Plaatje's Native Life in South AfricaSol PlaatjeThree PlaysThe Spirit of Marikana

The seventh annual Mail & Guardian Literary Festival will take place on 8 and 9 October in Newtown, Johannesburg at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.

The festival will mark the 140th anniversary of the birth of Sol Plaatje, novelist, poet, translator, chronicler and founder member of what is now the African National Congress (9 October, 1876).

Find the full programme and all info about the venue and tickets below.

Event Details

Have a look at the programme:



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