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Four international titles to look out for in June

Love, Africa
Jeffrey Gettleman

A seasoned war correspondent, Jeffrey Gettleman has covered every major conflict over the past twenty years, from Afghanistan to Iraq to the Congo.

For the past decade, he has served as the East Africa Bureau Chief for the New York Times, fulfilling his teenage dream of living in Africa. Love, Africa is the story of how he got there – and of his difficult, winding towards becoming a good reporter and a better man.

At nineteen, Gettleman fell in love, twice. On a community service trip in college, he went to Africa – a terrifying, exciting, dreamlike continent in the throes of change that imprinted itself on his imagination and heart. One day, he vowed, he would return there, to stay. But around the same time he also fell in love with Courtenay, a fellow Cornell student – the brightest, fiercest, kindest woman he’d ever met.

Courtenay became a lawyer in America, and all Gettleman wanted was to be with her. But he also hungered to be in Africa. For the next decade he would waver between these two abiding passions.

Finally, after a great deal of growing up, he learned to be honest with himself about what he wanted – a realization that ultimately fulfilled both of his deepest desires.

A beautifully rendered coming-of-age story in the tradition of Barbarian Days, Love, Africa is a tale of passion, professional rivalries, tortuous long-distance relationships, marital strife, forgiveness, parenthood, and happiness that explores the power of finding yourself in the most unexpected of places.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection
Derek Landy

The skeleton detective is coming back to life… again! It’s the tenth, triumphant novel in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it will rearrange your world.

Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in the tenth instalment in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series – an incredible and unexpected treat for the legions of fans around the world.

We can’t say much but we can say this: Skulduggery and Valkyrie are going to team up with beloved characters from the first nine books as well as an all-new cast, including new teen co-star Omen Darkly, for an adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions … while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

And Derek says this: “I was halfway through Last Stand of Dead Men, I think, when I realised that I had more stories to tell. I told myself that if Skulduggery and Valkyrie survived the series, I would leave the option open of returning to their world. There were still secrets I need to reveal, after all, and there were still horrors they had to face. They survived the first series. But they’re really going to wish they hadn’t.”

The Light We Lost
Jill Santopolo

11th September 2001. Lucy and Gabe meet at Columbia University on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. And as the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.

Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.

And as Lucy is faced with a decision she thought she’d never have to make, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny, or chance. What if they should have been living a different life all along?

Me Before You meets One Day in this passionate debut novel, The Light We Lost, an epic love story about the heartrending decision that one woman must make…

Now translated into 28 languages.

All By Myself, Alone
Mary Higgins Clark

Fleeing a disastrous and humiliating arrest of her husband-to-be on the eve of their wedding, Celia Kilbride, a gems and jewellery expert, hopes to escape from public attention by lecturing on a brand-new cruise ship – the Queen Charlotte.

On board she meets eighty-six-year-old Lady Emily Haywood, “Lady Em,” as she is known throughout the world. Immensely wealthy, Lady Em is the owner of a priceless emerald necklace that she intends to leave to the Smithsonian after the cruise.

Three days out to sea Lady Em is found dead – and the necklace is missing.

The list of suspects is large and growing. Celia sets out to find the killer, not realizing that she has put herself in mortal danger before the ship reaches its final destination…

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Also available in eBook format

Also available in eBook format

Also available in eBook format

Also available in eBook format

Amabookabooka releases unaired episode to coincide with 109th anniversary of the birth of Bram Fischer

Amabookabooka, the quirky podcast devoted to interviewing local authors about their work, recently released a special edition episode.

This episode is from a previous podcast series produced by the Amabookabooka-duo, Jonathan Ancer and Dan Dewes, called Extraordinary Lives and has been released to coincide with the 109th anniversary of the birth of Bram Fischer – described by Ancer and Dewes as the South African prime minister we should have had.

Lord Joel Joffe, a human rights lawyer, who was on the legal team that defended the Rivonia Trialists in 1964 talks about Bram, whom he describes as his hero.

Fischer’s daughter, Ilse Wilson, also joins in the conversation revealing a different side to the Scarlet Pimpernel – that of Bram the father.

Listen to the podcast here.
 
 

Bram Fischer

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The Bram Fischer Waltz

 
 
 
 

Fischer's Choice

Antjie Krog bekroon met Hertzogprys


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die Raad van die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns het onlangs die bekronings vir hul jaarlikse toekennings aan diegene wat ‘n besonderse bydra tot die wetenskap, tegnologie en kunste in Afrikaans gelewer het aangekondig.

Dié raad is ‘n organisasie wat hom beywer vir die bevordering van wetenskap, tegnologie en die kunste, as ook om die belange van Afrikaans te dien.

Die Hertzogprys

Die stigting van die Raad van Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie word aan generaal J.B.M. Hertzog toegeskryf; ‘n voorstander vir Afrikaans-Nederlands. Die gesogte Hertzogprys vir letterkunde is na die generaal vernoem en staan vandag nog bekend as die vernaamste prestigeprys in die Afrikaanse letterkunde.

Die Hertzogprys is vanjaar toegeken aan die gerekende skrywer en digter Antjie Krog vir haar bundel Mede-wete.

Eugène Maraisprys

Die Eugène Maraisprys word toegeken vir ‘n eerste of vroeë letterkundige werk. Die skrywer wat vir sy of haar werk vereer word, kan slegs een maal dié toekenning ontvang.

Eugène Maraisprys 2015: Lien Botha is die 2015 Eugène Maraisprys toegeken vir haar roman Wonderboom. Slegs boeke wat in 2015 verskyn het, is in aanmerking geneem vir hierdie besonderse toekenning.

Eugène Maraisprys 2016: Amy Jephta is toegeken vir haar drama, Kristalvlakte wat in 2016 verskyn het en Bibi Slippers is ook vereer vir haar 2016 debuut-digbundel, Fotostaatmasjien.

Die bekroondes sal hul pryse onderskeidelik in Stellenbosch (Woensdag 21 Junie) en Pretoria (Vrydag 29 September) ontvang.

Mede-wete

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Wonderboom

 
 

Kristalvlakte

 
 
 

Fotostaatmasjien

Ses moet-lees Maart boeke

Protea Boekhuis het ‘n besige Maart-maand agter die rug gehad. Van verbeeldingryke kinderboeke vir die jongspan, tot geskiedkundige novelles, tot dramatekste wat menslikheid ondersoek, is onlangs geubliseer.

Lees verder oor die volgende ses boeke waarby enige kranige leser sal aanklank vind:
 
 

Die dag is bros/Sandton City GrootdoopDie dag is bros/Sandton City Grootdoop
Wessel Pretorius

AGTERGROND
Twee dramas oor familie, verhoudings, vergifnis en herinneringe. Wat bybly, is dat mense maar net mense is. Dat versoening deel van menswees is. Dat stukkende mense mekaar kan help heel word en dat familie tog familie bly – ondanks omstandighede, persoonlike keuses en uitdagings.

Sandton City grootdoop
‘n Drama oor ’n ma en haar twee dogters wat vir die eerste keer in ’n lang tyd bymekaarkom om die oudste, Danél, se verjaardag in Sandton City te vier. In die proses begin die trio mekaar se verlede, gevoelens en emosies oopkrap met eerlike, en snaakse, oomblikke.
Kara, die ma, is die aktrise wat haar man en kinders op ’n jong ouderdom verlaat het om haar groot droom om wêreldberoemd te word, na te volg. Sy erken dat sy nie bevoeg of beskore was vir moederskap nie, maar probeer tog om tot hulle deur te dring en hulle vertroueling te wees. Haar oudste dogter, Danél, is bipolêr en bly na ‘n onlangse selfmoordpoging weer by haar ma. Sy is naïef en emosioneel en val maklik vir haar ma se manipulasie.
Haar suster, Lisa, is gay en verwyt haar ma dat sy nog niks met haar lewe gedoen het nie. Sy is kwaad en kras en wil graag haar ma skok met haar uitlatings oor seks, maar ’n mens kom agter dat sy eintlik baie kwesbaar is.

“Die minimalisme van die stuk bind jou en hou jou vasgenael tot die einde.” Leonie Bezuidenhout
“Dit is galbitter, snaaks en bitter seer in ewe maat, ’n driekuns wat Pretorius keer op keer regkry. Jy lag, maar jy weet jy moet eintlik ween.” – Leatitia Pople

Die dag is bros
Dis laatmiddag. Elsa, voorheen ’n lektor in Afrikaanse letterkunde, berei ’n driegangmaaltyd voor vir Brian se verjaarsdag. Hy was ’n jeugmisdadiger wat ’n tweede kans gegun is onder Elsa se vlerk. Sy stel hom bloot aan Sheila Cussons en hy vul ’n leemte in haar lewe. Tussendeur word daar speletjies gespeel met Tertius – die vreemde kind wat kersiebloeisels aandra uit Japan. Voor die kos koud kan word sal die dag ’n ingrypende wending neem.

Die dag is bros is benoem vir ’n Fiësta as beste nuutgeskepte Afrikaanse produksie.

OOR DIE OUTEUR
Wessel Pretorius is die wenner van die 2015 Afrikaans Onbeperk-prys vir ’n jong stem.

Voor ek my kom kryVoor ek my kom kry
Pirow Bekker

AGTERGROND
Die omslag van die bundel met sy abstrakte figure suggereer die gesprek wat in hierdie bundel gevoer word met die self, die geliefde, die lewe en die dood. Die digter ondersoek erskillende fasette van ’n lang en kreatiewe lewe. In die eerste afdeling kom die verhouding met die aarde ter sprake; in die tweede afdeling die ambivalente verhouding met die land waarin hy gekies het om te bly woon, ten spyte van die ongenaakbaarheid van klimaat, plae en sosio-politieke kwessies. In die volgende afdelings kyk die digter op ironiese wyse na die dreigende dood wat hom in verskille gedaantes voordoen. Dan volg gedigte oor die liefde: vir die taal, die woord en vir die geliefde vrou. Die fyn humor waarmee die digter na die ouderdom kyk, sorg dat die laaste gedigte nie neerdrukkend is nie, maar die lewe bly omhels, soos in “Hansie Slim herbesin”, waarin gespot word met die “mediese kernplan” waarmee voorsorg vir siekte en ouderdom getref word.

En tog,
die hele infrastruktuur ten spyt
verlaat Hans sy huis, begeef hy hom
op ’n lukraak ryloopreis
die wyer wêreld in.

Daarom kan die digter in die slotgedig terugkyk op die verrassing van ’n lewe wat sonder beplanning of padkaart, sy eie verloop geneem het.

OOR DIE OUTEUR
Pirow Bekker is ’n veelsydige skrywer van romans, kortverhale en poësie. Sy vorige twee bundels, Van roes en amarant (2008) en Atlas teen die vergeetrivier, (2013) is goed ontvang deur die literêre kritiek.

Kroniek van turfKroniek van turf
Dolf van Niekerk

AGTERGROND
Hierdie novelle sluit aan by twee vorige prosawerke van Dolf van Niekerk, naamlik die jeugverhaal Karel Kousop (1985) en Koms van die hyreën (1994). Kroniek van turf is gedeeltelik ’n prequel vir die vorige twee boeke. Dit vertel die geskiedenis van Gerrit, ’n werknemer van die VOC, wat in die 18de eeu begin boer op ’n leningsplaas in die Roggeland. Omstandighede dwing hom om na die distrik Swellendam te verskuif. Sy twee seuns, Johannes en Daniel, soek albei later ook na ’n veiliger blyplek, aanvanklik in die Kamdebo. Onrus op die Oosgrens laat hulle verder trek; Johannes na wat tans die Vrystaat is en Daniel saam met die Voortrekkers na Natal, waar hy en sy vrou slagoffers van die Bloukransmoorde word.
Waar Johannes hom op ’n plaas tussen die Riet- en die Modderrivier vestig, maak hy weer kontak met die Kousop-Boesmans wat hy vroeër naby die Gariep ontmoet het. Tussen Johannes se nageslag en die Boesmans ontwikkel ’n vae, onsekere band wat oor meer as ’n eeu sou strek. Onverwags maak een van Johannes se nasate, Johan, tydens die Bosoorlog kennis met ’n Boesmanspoorsnyer wat ook ’n Kousop-nasaat blyk te wees en wat ’n bepalende rol in ’n grondeis op Johan se plaas tussen die twee riviere sou speel.

OOR DIE OUTEUR
Dolf van Niekerk is ’n bekende en geliefde skrywer van prosawerke soos Die son struikel (1960), Skrik kom huis toe (1968) en Die haasvanger (1985). Sy mees onlangse publikasies, die digbundels Bleek planeet (2012) en Portrette in my gang (2015), is baie goed deur die kritiek ontvang. Hy is meermale vir sy werk bekroon en het onder andere die Eugène Marais-prys, die M.E.R.-prys en die Scheepersprys ontvang.

Die prinses met die lang hareDie prinses met die lang hare
Annemarie van Haeringen

AGTERGROND
In ’n klein, arm landjie woon daar ’n prinses met ongelooflike lang hare. Sy sou dit graag wou afknip, maar haar pa sê dat ’n dame se hare haar kosbaarste sieraad is . . .

‘n Prettige boek vir meisies wat hou van prinsesse, lang hare en sterk mans.

OOR DIE OUTEUR EN ILLUSTREERDER
Annemarie van Haeringen ontvang in 2000 die Nederlandse Gouden Penseel-toekenning vir hierdie boek – ’n eer wat haar ook met Malmok (1999) en Beer is op Vlinder (2005) te beurt geval het. Ander bekroonde werke van haar is Het begin van de zee en Coco of het kleine zwarte jurkje, wat onderskeidelik met ’n Zilveren Griffel en ’n Zilveren Penseel vereer is.
 
 
 

Die storie van ontdekkingsreiseDie Storie van Ontdekkingsreise
Anna Claybourne

AGTERGROND
Vanaf die vroegste tye verken mense al die aardbol op soek na nuwe plekke om te bewoon, verleidelike skatte, asemrowende vergesigte of die roemryke voorreg om die éérste mens op ’n hoë bergpiek te wees.
Hierdie boek vertel die verhale van onverskrokke ontdekkingsreisigers wat dit tot by die ysige pole gewaag het, bloedig warm woestyne oorgesteek het, riviere vol krokodille trotseer of vir die eerste keer reg rondom die aarde geseil het.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lafras Cuyper in VenesiëLafras Cuyper in Venesië
Karl Kielblock

AGTERGROND

Karl Kielblock het verskeie boeke geskryf, waaronder die Lafras Cuyper-reeks baie bekend is en wyd versamel word. Dit handel oor seeavonture in diens van twee oorlogvoerende moondhede vroeg in die 19de eeu. Hierdie is die sesde boek in dié reeks, propvol opwinding, spanning en avontuur!

’n Besoek aan Venesië – dit is ’n droom wat waar word vir die beroemde kaperkaptein Lafras Cuyper. Dié droom word egter ru onderbreek toe Lafras een aand in die donker stegies aangeval word. Voor hy die raaisel oor die aanval kan oplos, roep Napoleon hom terug na Parys. Lafras moet Venesië verlaat – en ook die aanvallige Justina, wat sy hart so gou verower het. Hy moet met die Turkse goewerneur gaan onderhandel oor drie Franse offisiere wat as gyselaars aangehou word. Tussendeur al die lewensgevaarlike avonture, verskyn die beeld van Justina kort-kort voor Lafras. Hy móét haar weer sien. Hy móét weer terugkeer na Venesië … en sy aanvallers.

Die verhaal van Lafras Cuyper is op feite gebaseer.

OOR DIE OUTEUR

Karl Kielblock is ʼn bekende skrywer en selfs ná sy afsterwe bly sy boeke onweerstaanbaar. In 1936 verskyn sy eerste boek Die skat van Java. Sedertdien het daar verskeie romanse, speur- en spanningsverhale asook verskeie jeugverhale die lig gesien. In 1970 ontvang Kielblock die Scheepersprys vir die boek Rebel.

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#JacanaChallenge: how many African authors have you read?

“Anything and everything” by literary wunderkind Kopano Matlwa, NoViolet Bulawayo’s award-winning We Need New Names, and prolific Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o's first novel Weep Not, Child.

These are but three authors local bibliophiles recommend you read for this week’s #JacanaChallenge.

The challenge? Simply tweet any African author you think those participating in the challenge MUST read.

Get in on the fun! Join the challenge here.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spilt Milk

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We Need New Names

 
 
 

Weep Not, Child

International Women's Day: seven African woman writers you should have read by 2017

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a universal commemoration of the social, economic, political and cultural achievement of women.

The following quote by Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie encapsulates both the necessity of celebrating a day committed to the empowerment of women, and how writing can aid the continuing empowerment of women worldwide:

“Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

Here follows a list of African woman writers whose stories matter:

The Translator

1. Leila Aboulela: Acclaimed – one of the most suitable adjectives to describe Sudanese author Leila Aboulela. She has published five novels in 16 years, wowing literary critics with her debut The Translator, which was nominated for the Orange Prize and chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. Her novel second novel, Minaret, also received a nomination for the Orange Prize and her third novel, Lyrics Alley made the longlist for the same prize in 2011. Lyrics Alley was awarded the Fiction Winner of Scottish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. In 2000, Aboulela was awarded the coveted Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story The Museum. Aboulela’s work has been translated into 14 languages, and is predominantly influenced by the Muslim faith and her experiences of cross-culturalisation.

Nervous Conditions

2. Tsitsi Dangarembga: Zimbabwean author, poet, activist and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga was born in Bulawayao and schooled in England. Her debut, the semi-autobiographical Nervous Conditions (1988), is themed around race, colonialism, and gender in post-colonial and present-day Zimbabwe. Nervous Conditions was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989, and is still regarded as a significant contribution to African feminism and post-colonialist narratives. (PS – Dangarembga will be delivering a Women’s Day lecture in Johannesburg on whether feminism is divisive, unAfrican and anti-Black this coming Friday.)

Moxyland

3. Lauren Beukes: When it comes to writing about contemporary sci-fi cum fantasy cum speculative fiction, no one does it quite like Lauren Beukes. With a slew of awards behind her futuristically inclined pen, including the Arthur C. Clarke award for the perennial favourite and much-lauded Zoo City, Beukes has established herself as a South African author to be reckoned with. Her debut novel, the Cape Town-based cyberpunk Moxyland (2008) was nominated for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize; 2013′s time travel thriller The Shining Girls was the recipient of four prestigious South African literary awards; and – lest we forget – 2014′s Broken Monsters was commended by The Guardian for its unique adoption of the horror trope as means to explain the crazy reality we live in. And no one quite does crazy reality like Lauren Beukes…

A World of Strangers

4. Nadine Gordimer: A fearless political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature, Nadine Gordimer garnered international recognition for her work which dealt with moral and racial issues, and a constant questioning of power relations and truth during South Africa’s apartheid regime. Gordimer’s The Late Bourgeois World, A World of Strangers, Burger’s Daughter and July’s People were either banned or placed under censorship by the apartheid government, owing to the strong anti-apartheid stance and her criticism of racial division. Gordimer is not only one of the most notable literary figures to emerge from South Africa, but also one of its most notable women.

Coconut

5. Kopano Matlwa: Addressing race, class and colonisation in modern-day Johannesburg, Kopano Matlwa had South African bibliophiles buzzing with her debut novel Coconut, published in 2007. Coconut was awarded the European Union Literary Award in 2006/07 and also won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2010. Her second novel, Spilt Milk (2010), published to equally great acclaim, delivers an allegorical perspective on the born-free generation. Matlwa’s recent Period Pains explores social issues from the point of view of a young female protagonist, delivering an insightful and honest look at growing up in a post-1994 South Africa.

We Need New Names

6. NoViolet Bulawayo: The first black African woman and the first Zimbabwean to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, NoViolet Bulawayo rose to international acclaim with her debut novel We Need New Names (2013). Born Elizabeth Thsele, Bulawayo’s literary approach towards displacement, childhood, globalisation, social class and gender delivered subtle, yet powerful commentary on the existential realities of Africa. Named a ‘five under 35′ by the National Book Foundation in 2012, the recipient of the Caine Prize Award for African Writing in 2011, and a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner for We Need New Names, there’s no stopping NoViolet Bulawayo.

Americanah

7. Chimamanda Adichie: No ‘must-read-African-woman-writers-list’ will be complete without mentioning this critically acclaimed author and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient whose TEDx-talk on
feminism was appropriated in Beyoncé’s “Flawless”. Mense: take note of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As a globally renowned writer, an advocate for gender equality, and vocal supporter of the representation of African culture in the international literary sphere, Adichie is one of the most influential authors – and women – of the 21st century. Viva, Chimamanda, viva.

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