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

Tension, temptation and secrets in François Bloemhof's English debut, Double Echo (Plus: Read an extract)

Double EchoDoodskootPenguin Books presents seasoned Afrikaans thriller writer François Bloemhof’s English debut, Double Echo, also available in Afrikaans as Doodskoot:

Something’s gone sour in the Winelands …

Ex-cop Paul Mullan has a lot more baggage than the rucksack he’s carrying across the country. He’s trying to get away from that night, that hour when life as he knew it came to an end.

When Paul helps wealthy businessman Bernard Russell to change his car’s burst tyre near Riebeek-Kasteel in the pouring rain, Russell offers him shelter.

But the opulent wine estate Journey’s End is no safe haven, and Paul soon senses that his life is about to resemble one of those old black-and-white movies: he is the fallible hero, a young woman in Russell’s household the scheming femme fatale, and the outcome may be deadly.

Filled with tension, temptation, secrets and sleight of hand, Double Echo is seasoned Afrikaans thriller writer François Bloemhof’s exhilarating English debut.

About the author

François Bloemhof has had a prolific career, having written for adults, teenagers and children for more than 25 years. He has received numerous awards, including De Kat, FNB, ATKV, Kagiso and Sanlam prizes.

His is also a career of firsts: he wrote the first novel to be published with an original CD soundtrack composed by the author, the first book with its own computer game and the first ever e-book in Afrikaans. He has also produced work for film, TV, the stage and radio. He is a full-time writer when not attending to four demanding cats. Double Echo is his 24th novel for adults.
 

* * * * *

Read an extract from this thrilling novel (find the Afrikaans excerpt here):

Double Echo by François Bloemhof by Books LIVE on Scribd

Book details

Ons kom van vêr deur Michael le Cordeur en Wannie Carstens: Gesprekke oor bruinwees en Afrikaans

Ons kom van vêrOns kom van vêr: Bydraes oor bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se rol in die ontwikkeling van Afrikaans saamgestel deur Michael le Cordeur en Wannie Carstens is nou beskikbaar by Naledi:

Die gesprek oor Afrikaans en die bruin mense wat die skrywers in hierdie boek aanroer, is tydig in die opsig dat ná al die ambivalensie oor die Afrikaans van ons hart en die onverkwiklike manier waarop ons in hierdie taal verdruk en misken is, ons ons vry­heid gekry het – wat ook verantwoordelikheid meebring om minstens onder mekaar klaarheid te vind oor wat nou vorentoe met ons taal moet gebeur.

Dit is onomstootlik so dat ons as bruin mense die aard van die Khoisan en swart African met ons saamdra. Dit is net so waar dat ons ook Europees in die Anglosaksiese sin van die woord is. Ons is tewens ook trots bewus van ons Asiatiese herkoms. Afrikaans is ook die taal van ons slawevoorouers. Ons moet al hierdie tradisies vir onsself toe-eien.

Madiba se waardering vir bruin mense spruit veral uit die sienswyse dat ons kern is tot die wording van die Suid-Afrikaanse volk en die sleutel hou tot die strewe na ’n nierassige volk: divers in ons eenheid. Ons moet in die proses van eenheid uit diversiteit onthou dat die jongste Afrikataal op ons tonge klank gekry het. Madiba se versoek – in Afrikaans – was ’n oproep tot ’n afskeid van selfbewustheid, ’n oproep om ons eiegoed te ken en om ons unieke rol in die nierassige toekomstige Suid-Afrika in te neem.

Afrikaans is nie net die taal van apartheid nie; Afrikaans is ook die taal van die struggle en versoening. Dit is ook ’n aanduiding dat Afrikaans deel is van ons swart- en bruinwees, maar dat dit ons ook vasbind aan ons wit taalgenote. Met hierdie boek slaag die skrywers daarin om veral bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se trots in hul taal te laat herleef! Dit is geen geringe prestasie nie.

– Dr Franklin Sonn

Oor die samestellers

Dr Michael le Cordeur is die voorsitter van die Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR), en voorsitter van die B.Ed-programkomitee en dosent in Afrikaansonderwys aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch. Hy is die skrywer van etlike handboeke en Wellingtonse Klopse: 100 jaar se onvertelde stories (2013) asook 16 Junie 1976, 35 jaar later (2012). Sy navorsing vir die PhD-graad aan die US handel oor die verbetering van lees met behulp van die inligtingstegnologie. Hy doen ook navorsing en publiseer gereeld oor temas soos taalbeleid, moedertaalonderwys en die media in die skoolkurrikulum (MEd). Hy het ook die Senior Bestuursprogram aan die Nagraadse Bestuurskool van Stellenbosch voltooi. Hy is voorsitter van die trusteeraad van Breytenbach Sentrum op Wellington, onder-voorsitter van die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en die Media24 Rachels Angels Bemagtigingstrust. Hy is deur die SA Akademie bekroon met die Elisabeth Steijn-medalje vir sy bydrae tot die onderwys.

Prof WAM (Wannie) Carstens is sedert Julie 1991 verbonde aan die Noordwes-Universiteit, (Potchefstroomkampus) waar hy tot einde 2016 die direkteur van die Skool vir Tale was. Hy is ten nouste betrokke by aktiwiteite wat Afrikaans raak (op beide akademiese en organisatoriese vlak), onder andere as stigterslid en eerste voorsitter van die Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR). Hy was ook voorsitter van die Nasionale Taalliggaam vir Afrikaans (NTLA), van die Raad van die SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns en van die Raad van die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum. Hy dien reeds lank as direksielid van die Buro van die WAT en is ’n lid van die Raad van die Universiteit Stellenbosch. As gegradeerde NNS-navorser is hy die outeur van twee akade­miese boeke as alleenouteur en van twee as mede-outeur. Verder is hy ook mede­­redakteur van Kontemporêre Afrikaanse Taalkunde (2014, 2017), ’n handboek oor die moderne Afrikaanse taalkunde. ’n Tweedelige boekereeks oor Die storie van Afrikaans (saam met Edith Raidt) word onderskeidelik in 2017 en 2018 gepubliseer. Hy is medeverantwoordelik vir die totstandkoming van die Ernst van Heerden-versameling van Afrikaanse poësie in die Poëziecentrum in Gent, België en hy was ook betrokke by die sluit van verskeie uitruil- en samewerkingsooreenkomste met universiteite in die Lae Lande. Hy is in 2014 deur die ATR bekroon met ’n Kokertoekenning vir sy werk vir die Bevordering van Afrikaans.

Boekbesonderhede

Michael le Cordeur se biografie met dank aan LitNet

Een nag en ’n bietjie deur Hester Kruger: ’n Boeiende spanningsverhaal oor ’n ontvoering

Een nag en 'n bietjieEen nag en ’n bietjie deur Hester Kruger is nou beskikbaar by Human & Rousseau:

Daar was die dag voor die gebeure, en die dag daarná. En dan was daar die nag tydens. Nooit weer sal Margaretha se lewe dieselfde wees nie. Een gewone weeksaand is sy en haar man in hul plaaswoning naby Groblersdal beroof en ontvoer. En wonder bo wonder het hulle albei die nag oorleef. ​

Een nag en ’n bietjie is ’n boek wat ons herinner aan wat dit is om mens te wees in hierdie land: dis leesstof wat jou laat jubel jy woon hier, in hierdie verraderlike, verrassende en onvoorspelbare land.

Oor die outeur

Hester Kruger is gebore en getoë op ’n plaas in die distrik Krugersdorp. Sy gaan skool op Roodepoort en behaal daarna ’n meestersgraad in Afrikatale asook ’n diploma in Biblioteekkunde aan die destydse PU vir CHO.

Tussen die grootmaak van drie kinders werk sy in die biblioteke van die Potchefstroomse Universiteit, Unisa en die RGN. Sy doseer ook deeltyds in Afrikatale. Sy skryf kinderverhale vir die senders van die SAUK wat in Afrikatale uitsaai en doen deeltyds literêre resensies vir die dagbladpers in Pretoria.

Stokperdjies sluit in enige iets wat met die buitelewe te make het, tuinmaak en lees

Sy is getroud met Johan, ’n regsgeleerde, en hulle is geseënd met vier kleinkinders. Gedurende hulle werkslewe het die egpaar in Potchefstroom, Pretoria en Kaapstad gewoon. Sedert 2007 woon hulle op hul aftreeplasie by die Loskopdam in Mpumalanga.

Boekbesonderhede

Imagining ourselves into existence: First ever Abantu Book Festival in Soweto a roaring success

Words and images by Thato Rossouw

My Own LiberatorUnimportanceSweet MedicineAffluenzaNwelezelangaThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesRapeFlying Above the SkyNight DancerBlack Widow SocietyThe Everyday WifeOur Story Magic

 
“A conquered people often lose the inclination to tell their stories.”

These were the words of former Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke at the inaugural Abantu Book Festival, in discussion with readers about the importance of black people telling their own stories and having spaces where they can share them with one another. “We have stories to tell, they are important, and they are liberating in nature,” he said.

 
Moseneke’s words came as a preamble to compliment the authors Thando Mgqolozana and Panashe Chigumadzi, and the rest of their team members, for organising a festival that not only celebrated black writers, readers, pan-African book stores, and online platforms that celebrate African literature and narratives, but also gave them a safe space to speak freely about the issues they face in their struggle to liberate themselves.

The festival, which was themed “Imagining ourselves into existence”, came as a result of Mgqolozana’s decision early last year to renounce white colonial literary festivals. In an interview with The Daily Vox in May last year, Mgqolozana told Theresa Mallinson that his decision to reject these festivals came from a discomfort with literary festivals where the audience was 80 percent white. “It’s in a white suburb in a white city. I feel that I’m there to perform for an audience that does not treat me as a literary talent, but as an anthropological subject,” he said.

 
The three-day festival took place at two venues: the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre, which hosted free events during the day, and the Soweto Theatre, which hosted events in the evening. These evening festivities cost R20 per person and featured over 50 poets, novelists, essayists, playwrights, literary scholars, screenwriters, performing artists and children’s writers from across Africa and the diaspora. Some of the writers and artists who were present at the festival include Niq Mhlongo, Unathi Magubeni, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Thandiswa Mazwai, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Lebogang Mashile and Chika Unigwe, among many others.

 
The first day of the festival began with a discussion featuring four black female Fallist writers, Dikeledi Sibanda, Mbali Matandela, Sandy Ndelu and Simamkele Dlakavu, titled “Writing and Rioting Black Womxn in the time of Fallism”. The discussion covered topics ranging from the role of the body, particularly the naked body, in challenging old narratives, to writing and rioting as acts of activism. It was then followed by a highly attended talk with Justice Moseneke entitled “Land and Liberation”, a concert by the group Zuko Collective at the Soweto Theatre, as well as speeches and performances at the opening night show.

Some of the riveting discussions at the festival were titled: “Land and Liberation”, “Women of Letters”, “Writing Today”, “Cut! Our Stories on Stage and Screen”, “Ghetto is Our First Love”, “Creating Platforms for Our Stories” and “Writing Stories Across and Within Genres”. The festival also included seven documentary screenings, poetry performances, a writing masterclass with Angela Makholwa and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, and performances every night at the Soweto Theatre by Zuko Collective.

 
Dr Gcina Mhlophe gave the keynote address at the festival’s opening night, which was preceded by the singing of the decolonised national anthem and a rendition of the poem “Water” by poet Koleka Putuma. Mhlophe reminded the audience that, while it is important for us to celebrate young and upcoming artists, it is also important to remember and celebrate those that came before them. She sang and told stories about people like Mariam Tladi and Nokutela Dube and spoke about their role in the development of the arts. Dube was the first wife of Reverend John Langalibalele Dube who was the first President General of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) which was later renamed the African National Congress (ANC).

 
The festival ended with a sold-out event at the Soweto Theatre that featured a discussion on “Native Life in 2016” between Chigumadzi and I’solezwe LesiXhosa editor Unathi Kondile, facilitated by Mashile; a performance by Zuko Collective; and a Literary Crossroads session with Unigwe, facilitated by Ndumiso Ngcobo.
 

* * * * *

The hashtag #AbantuBookFest was on fire for the duration of the festival and long afterwards:


 
Facebook gallery

Book details

Kom vier die bekendstelling van Die leliemoordenaar deur Lerina Erasmus in Pretoria

Die leliemoordenaarHuman & Rousseau nooi jou graag na twee geleenthede ter viering van Lerina Erasmus se jongste roman, Die leliemoordenaar.

Mariëtta Kruger gesels op Donderdag, 24 November met die skrywer by O’Galito Zambezi Junction in Pretoria. Die ontbyt-geselligheid begin om 8:00 en kaartjies kos R100 per persoon. Jennifer Zamudio is die gaskunstenaar.

Donderdagaand kuier Erasmus en Kruger by Graffiti Boeke Menlyn Maine. Die geleentheid begin om 18:00 vir 18:30 en kos R60 per persoon. Eet- en drinkgoed sal bedien word.

Moenie dit misloop nie!

Uitnodiging na die bekendstelling van Die leliemoordenaar deur Lerina Erasmus

 
Besonderhede

 

Uitnodiging na die bekendstelling van Die leliemoordenaar deur Lerina Erasmus

 
Besonderhede

  • Datum: Donderdag, 24 November 2016
  • Tyd: 18:00 vir 18:30
  • Plek: Graffiti Boeke Menlyn Maine
    Central Square, Menlyn Maine
    Hoek van Aramist- and Corobaylaan
    Menlyn
    Pretoria | Padkaart
  • Gespreksgenoot: Mariëtta Kruger
  • Verversings: Eet- en drinkgoed sal bedien word.
  • Koste: R60
  • RSVP: menlyn@graffitibooks.co.za, 012 348 1835

 
Oor die boek

Johannesburg, 1985. Twee boesemvriende, ondersoekende joernalis Braam Brink en weermagman Adam Williams ontmoet vir ontbyt by ’n plattelandse kafeetjie. Adam onthul sy rol as moordenaar vir die staat, maar voor Braam se artikel verskyn, word sy liggaam gevind …

Só begin Die leliemoordenaar, ’n verhaal wat afspeel in hedendaagse Johannesburg, maar wat begin gedurende die doodsnikke van die apartheidsregime tydens die tagtigerjare. Topspeurder Daniella Hector volg die spoor van ’n berugte reeksmoordenaar: hy slaan elke paar weke toe, en span sy web al hoe nouer. Wie was verantwoordelik vir die dood van Danny se pa, Braam?

“Propvol warm intrige, spanning en onverwagse wendings.” – Leon van Nierop

Oor die outeur

Lerina Erasmus is gebore en word groot in Namibië, en studeer drama aan die Universiteit van Pretoria. As aktrise speel sy vir al die destydse streeksrade in al vier provinsies, en onderskei haarself in veral die klassieke rolle. Met die koms van haar seun lê sy haar toe op skryfwerk en verskeie radioreekse vloei daaruit voort, waaronder die hoogs suksesvolle Die Mannheim-sage. In 1986 verwerk sy dié reeks vir televisie ter viering van die Johannesburgse Eeufees. Die reeks word uiteindelik in boekvorm uitgegee.

Lerina is getroud met Günter Schmikal; hulle het ’n seun, Stefan. Lerina woon in Johannesburg, waar sy haar nou pal toelê op haar skryfwerk. Die leliemoordenaar is haar eerste boek sedert Die Mannheim-sage.

Boekbesonderhede

Jay McInerney: darkness falls over South Africa

For a hip New Yorker, Jay McInerney has a surprisingly red-neck view of our  beloved country.  McInerney comes to South Africa next week to promote his latest book, Bright, Precious Days, in which we get a bit part. One of its characters, Luke McGavock, acquires a wine farm and a game farm in South Africa as part of a private equity deal.   Says Luke: “I loved the idea of Africa. And I loved the reality too. Its primal, cradle-of-life, origin-of-the-species aliveness.  The smells, not just the fertile dung smell of the veldt; even the wood smoke, seared meat and raw sewage smell of the townships.”

But it soon all turns to shit.

“…late night farm invasions had become increasingly common to the north, armed gangs breaking in and murdering white families, with the tacit approval of the ANC, which advocated the redistribution of land and sent out periodic calls for ‘colonialists’ to abandon their farms. Rape, torture and mutilation were common features of these attacks, which usually began with the intruders cutting phone and power lines…”   Really?

Luke is portrayed as “a good man, a generous soul”, who builds clinics and schools in the townships. But the natives don’t deserve him.

He decides to pack it in in South Africa after being badly injured in a car accident. “I was in the car alone, coming home from Cape Town one night. I got hit by a van that crossed the line into my lane. The driver drunk, of course. He died, along with his passenger. Not my fault at all apparently….. that didn’t keep it from getting ugly. White survivor, two dead black men.” Really?

In McInerney’s version of it, South Africa has just two sides: primal idyll for jaded sophisticates or savage and lawless jungle.

His writing purports to authenticity with much real-life detail: the farm is in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Eskom is identified as being responsible for an erratic power supply.

The narrative this celebrated author conveys is influential.  It’s unfortunate that the one he presents is so ignorant.

To be fair, the South African strand is a very small part of a big and ambitious book and McInerney’s rendering of his main subject, New York’s literary and financial elite, is wonderfully subtle and acute. I’ve loved his earlier books. And Bright, Precious Days is a great read when McInerney sticks to what he knows. But brightness falls on Manhattan and South Africa remains dark.

I hope that when McInerney comes to Cape Town next week – he is speaking at the Book Lounge – he takes the time to discover that South Africa is every bit as richly complex and nuanced.

McGregor is author of Khabzela; and co-editor At Risk and Load-shedding: Writing on and over the Edge of South Africa (Jonathan Ball Publishers)