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Kortlyste vir die kykNET-Rapport Boekresensent van die Jaar-toekennings 2017 bekendgemaak

Die Afrikaanse resensiebedryf kan homself op die skouer klop te oordeel na die gehalte van inskrywings wat vir vanjaar se kykNET-Rapport Boekresensent van die Jaar-wedstryd ontvang is.

Die kortlyste is pas bekend gemaak vir dié pryse, wat ingestel is om die belange van boeke en die leesgenot van boekliefhebbers te bevorder deur die wêreld van Afrikaanse boeke vir die breë Suid-Afrikaanse publiek toeganklik te maak. Dit dien ook as aanmoediging om hoë standaarde in die Afrikaanse boekjoernalistiek te handhaaf.

Altesaam 33 van die voorste resensente in Afrikaans het vanjaar ingeskryf, tien meer as verlede jaar. Twee pryse van R25 000 elk word toegeken vir die beste Afrikaanse resensie wat in 2016 oor Afrikaansie fiksie en niefiksie onderskeidelik verskyn het. Die kortlyste, wat uit 90 inskrywings saamgestel is, is soos volg:

Fiksie

Danie Marais: “Die ‘Kook en Geniet’ van oneerbiedigheid” (oor Anton Kannemeyer en Conrad Botes se Bitterkomix 17, Media24-dagblaaie, 4 Julie 2016)
Charl-Pierre Naudé: “Digterlike afdruk van ‘n lewe verbeeld” (oor Bibi Slippers se Fotostaatmasjien, Media 24-dagblaaie, 5 Desember 2016)
Elmari Rautenbach: “Debuut se stiltes ’n elegie aan verlore liefde” (oor Valda Jansen se Hy kom met die skoenlappers, Media 24-dagblaaie, 18 Julie 2016)

Niefiksie

Reinhardt Fourie: Vlam in die sneeu: Die liefdesbriewe van André P. Brink en Ingrid Jonker (geredigeer deur Francis Galloway, Tydskrif vir letterkunde, September/Oktober 2016)
Daniel Hugo: “Een van die heel grotes” (oor Om Hennie Aucamp te onthou, saamgestel deur Danie Botha, Rapport, 14 Februarie 2016)
Emile Joubert: “Die afkook van ’n vol lewe vind hier beslag” (oor Wat die hart van vol is deur Peter Veldsman met Elmari Rautenbach, Media24-dagblaaie, 31 Oktober 2016)

Die keurders was boekjoernalis en digter Bibi Slippers (sameroeper), senior joernalis en skrywer Jomarié Botha en digter en dosent Alfred Schaffer. Aangesien ’n werk van Slippers geresenseer is, is sy vir die finale keuring deur die redakteur van Huisgenoot, Yvonne Beyers, vervang.

Die keurders was dit eens dat die inskrywings deur die bank van ’n baie hoë gehalte was en werklik leeslus aanwakker.

“Daar was heelparty gevalle waar ek nie noodwendig onder normale omstandighede in ’n sekere boek sou belangstel nie, maar die resensent se entoesiasme en insigte het my genoeg geprikkel om dit ’n kans te wil gee,” sê Slippers.

“Dit was ook veral heerlik om verskillende resensies van belangrike boeke soos Die na-dood, Vlakwater en Koors te lees, en uiteenlopende interpretasies en leesbenaderings te kan ervaar via die resensente.”

Daar was vanjaar heelwat nuwe name onder die resensente wat ingeskryf het. “Ek hoop dat ons deur inisiatiewe soos dié die poel selfs verder kan vergroot. Hoe meer ingeligte, intelligente menings uit verskillende perspektiewe verteenwoordig is, hoe beter vir alle rolspelers in die boekbedryf,” sê Slippers.

Die wenners word op 30 September 2017 saam met die wenners van die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse in Kaapstad aangekondig.
 

Bitterkomix 17Boekbesonderhede

 
 

Fotostaatmasjien

 
 

Hy kom met die skoenlappers

 
 

Vlam in die sneeu

 
 

Om Hennie Aucamp te onthou

 
 

Wat die hart van vol is

Austen Power

An earlier version of this column was published in the Sunday Times in 2013.

Jane Austen died 200 years ago, but she wrote some groovy letters, baby. By Sue de Groot

JANE Austen lived from 1775 to 1817 and was a writer of prolific output. Apart from her six published novels and a trunk full of unpublished work, she sent friends, family and assorted others an astonishing number of letters, all written in the same spirit of playful irony that infuses her novels.

What joy these missives must have given their recipients. They probably read them over and over and entertained their visitors by quoting bits from them.

Austen had the ability to make the most mundane subject sound riveting, a rare skill. She never took anything too seriously, another rare skill, yet her gentle sending-up of human silliness never descended to outright bitchiness, nor was she flippant.

We know her correspondence was prized because many of her letters were kept and preserved. One of the sad things about e-mail communication is that most of it – unless your surname is Gupta – disappears into the cloud once read, denying future generations the opportunity to enjoy intimate letters from long ago.

There are unquestionable advantages to electronic communication. I’m not going to climb on that dreary Luddite bandwagon and start bemoaning the loss of quills, ink and postmen, or get all choked up about the sentimental smell of parchment. One thing we have lost that pains me, however, is the art of letter writing.

You can’t blame it all on the keyboard. It’s the message that counts, not the medium. If we wanted to, we could type thoughtful, grammatical letters and e-mail them, yet hardly anyone does. Perhaps a resurgence of interest in Austen will inspire us.

If she had owned a smartphone, perhaps Jane would have written a thousand more letters, but I suspect that such a device would have dulled her sparkle and stunted her compositions. Nor would they have been saved. And how much poorer our lives would be without observations like these:

On weather

“We have been exceedingly busy ever since you went away. In the first place we have had to rejoice two or three times every day at your having such very delightful weather for the whole of your journey…” (October 25 1800)

“How do you like this cold weather? I hope you have all been earnestly praying for it as a salutary relief from the dreadful mild and unhealthy season preceding it, fancying yourself half putrefied from the want of it, and that now you all draw into the fire, complain that you never felt such bitterness of cold before, that you are half starved, quite frozen, and wish the mild weather back again with all your hearts.” (January 25 1801)

On fashion

“I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit.” (June 11 1799)

On children

“Poor woman! How can she honestly be breeding again?” (October 1 1808)

“I give you joy of our new nephew, and hope if he ever comes to be hanged it will not be till we are too old to care about it.” (April 25 1811)

“I would recommend to her and Mr D the simple regimen of separate rooms.” (February 20 1817)

On having a good time

“I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand today.” (November 20 1800)

“Mrs B thought herself obliged to leave them to run round the room after her drunken husband. His avoidance, and her pursuit, with the probable intoxication of both, was an amusing scene.” (May 12 1801)

“As I must leave off being young, I find many douceurs [today this means a bribe, in the 1800s it was a more innocent “sweetener”] in being a sort of chaperon, for I am put on the sofa near the fire and can drink as much wine as I like.” (November 6 1813)

Seven books to read in the light of Pravin Gordhan's dismissal

President Jacob Zuma’s dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on 30 March 2017 has been met with opposition from South African politicians and citizens alike.

The following seven books serve as recommended background reading on South Africa’s socio-political history, including its state of affairs since Zuma’s presidency:

South Africa's Corporatised Liberation South Africa’s Corporatised Liberation
Dale T. McKinley
South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. The present situation is, in objective terms, a house divided; a house that is tottering on rotten foundations. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC’s rule since 1994, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital. The ANC has become the key political vehicle – in party and state form as well as application – of corporate capital: domestic and international, black and white, local and national, and constitutive of a range of different fractions. As a result, ‘transformation’ has largely taken the form of acceptance of, combined with incorporation into, the capitalist ‘house’, now minus its formal apartheid frame.

What has happened in South Africa over the last 22 years is the corporatisation of liberation, the political and economic commodification of the ANC and societal development. Those in positions of leadership and power within the ANC have allowed themselves to be lured by the siren calls of power and money, to be sucked in by the prize of ‘capturing’ institutional sites of power, to be seduced by the egoism and lifestyles of the capitalist elite.

This book tells that ‘story’ by offering a critical, fact-based and actively informed holistic analysis of the ANC in power, as a means to: better explain and understand the ANC and its politics as well as South Africa’s post-1994 trajectory; contribute to renewed discussion and debate about power and democracy; and help identify possible sign-posts to reclaim revolutionary, universalist and humanist values as part of the individual and collective struggle for the systemic change South Africa’s democracy needs.

Policy, Politics and Poverty in South AfricaPolicy, Politics and Poverty in South Africa
Jeremy Seekings & Nicoli Nattrass
Along with inequality and unemployment, poverty is seen as South Africa’s biggest challenge with over half of South Africans living below the national poverty line. Poverty is arguably the most pressing social, economic and political problem faced in South Africa. When South Africa finally held its first democratic elections in 1994, the country had a much higher poverty rate than in other countries at a similar level of development. While the exclusion of the poor occurs in very many countries, in South Africa it has a distinctive extra dimension. Here, poverty has been profoundly racialised by law, by social practice, and by prejudice. This was the legacy of apartheid. Over twenty years later, poverty is still widespread. Poverty, Politics & Policy in South Africa explains why poverty has persisted in South Africa since 1994.

In the book, authors Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass demonstrate who has and who has not remained poor, how public policies both mitigated and reproduced poverty, and how and why these policies were adopted. Their analysis of the South African welfare state, labour market policies and the growth path of the South African economy challenges conventional accounts that focus only on ‘neoliberalism’. They argue, instead, that the ANC government’s policies have been, in important respects, social democratic.

The book shows how social-democratic policies both mitigate and reproduce poverty in countries like South Africa, reflecting the contradictory nature of social democracy in the global South.

Dead President WalkingDead President Walking
Zapiro

Zapiro comes of age in this 21st annual. Zuma once again takes centre stage for all the wrong reasons along with his cronies the Guptas and his nemesis Malema. It’s the year of the hashtag. #RhodesMustFall begat #FeesMustFall, also #Racism/#Sexism and #ZumaMustFall. With Nenegate and SARS wars, it’s the rand that’s really falling. Meanwhile, Pravin and Thuli fight the good fight.

Each cartoon is worth a thousand words and helps us make sense of our crazy, beautiful country where fact is indeed stranger than fiction.
 
 

How Long will South Africa Survive? How Long will South Africa Survive?
RW Johnson

In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’ Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom. (Also available as an eBook.)

Goodnight Zzzuma! Goodnight Zzzuma
Anonymous

Tucked up in bed, President Zuma says goodnight to all the familiar things in his softly lit world. Goodnight to the pictures of his favourite wives, to the Gupta brothers and to the helipad at Nkandla. To everything, one by one, he says goodnight.
Generations of children have been lulled to sleep with Margaret Wise Brown’s and illustrator Clement Hurd’s classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon. In 2008, Little Brown US published the New York Times bestseller, Goodnight Bush. It became a runaway bestseller and viral sensation. In 2009 Bush left office. Now it is our turn, with Goodnight Zzzuma! A must-read for anyone still possessing a sense of outrage.

Clever Blacks, Jesus and NkandlaClever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla
Gareth van Onselen

Gareth van Onselen has put together a comprehensive collection of Zuma’s most controversial – and often contradictory – public statements. With some 350 quotes collected along ten themes that define Zuma’s personal beliefs, Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla documents some of Zuma’s most notorious moments. It aims to serve as both an easy guide to Zuma’s personal philosophy and a reference point for some of the debates that have defined his political career. The quotes represent one of the fundamental fault lines that run through South African discourse today – a society trapped between its Third World realities and its much-vaunted First World ambitions. In many ways, Zuma is the epicentre around which the subsequent debate has unfolded. (Also available as an eBook.)
 
 
 

When Zuma GoesWhen Zuma Goes
Ralph Mathekga

South Africa has been in the grip of the ‘Zunami’ since May 2009: Scandal, corruption and allegations of state capture have become synonymous with the Zuma era, leaving the country and its people disheartened. But Jacob Zuma’s time is running out. What impact will his departure have on South Africa, its people and on the ruling party? Can we fix the damage, and how? Ralph Mathekga answers these questions and more as he puts Zuma’s leadership, and what will come after, in the spotlight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Book details

Zapiro launches his new book Dead President Walking at The Market Theatre

Dead President Walking

 
Jonathan Shapiro, the cartoonist popularly known as Zapiro, launched his new book, Dead President Walking, at the John Kani Theatre at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg recently.

 

The book could have been titled “Buy the Beloved Country” in reference to Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country and the alleged Gupta influence on national issues, Shapiro said.

But because the state capture report had been the biggest story of the year, with potential to ultimately topple Jacob Zuma, Shapiro had decided to focus on the president instead. And while the African National Congress (ANC) at times criticised itself, Shapiro said the party finds it difficult to deal with ridicule and differing opinions.

Shapiro produced a few giggles from the audience when he presented his most provocative cartoons, which he accompanied with sometimes cutting commentary.

Former president Thabo Mbeki was “Mr Paranoid”. His successor, Zuma, “Mr Complete Idiot”. University activist, Chumani Maxwele, “an interesting guy, but a bit psychotic”. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, now head of Corporate Affairs at the SABC “thinks he’s God”.

 

Another public figure to have been subjected to Shapiro’s ridicule is Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. While the pair have sorted out their differences, Shapiro believes Dikgang Moseneke, the former Deputy Chief Justice, would have made a better Chief Justice.

Asked whether he didn’t find his work hurtful to targets, invading their privacy, Shapiro said that because they are public figures, “I absolutely don’t care.”

 

Zuma has sued Shapiro in the past, but Shapiro stands by work – no matter how offensive. He did however single out a cartoon that “brought him grief”. The cartoon depicted Shaun Abrahams as a monkey and Zuma an organ grinder.

Black people had been offended and called him racist, he said. But people who subscribed to this view had selective memory, Shapiro insists, as his work has depicted and ridiculed those who stepped out of line regardless of race.

 

“The real racists are out there,” he said, adding that it was unfair to be compared to Penny Sparrow, a former estate agent who came under fire for describing black people as monkeys earlier in the year.

Themba Siwela, cartoonist with the Citizen newspaper, found nothing wrong with the cartoon. But Shapiro could have looked at the “timing” before publishing, Siwela believes.

Shapiro said cartoonists have an important role to play in any democracy, and that South Africa is one of the countries in the world that has made an impact with its cartoons.

“We put a lot of pressure on someone who is stepping out of line.”

 

Elections produce rich material for cartoonists, Shapiro said: “Local government elections are hot stuff.”

In one “hot” cartoon, Shapiro shows Motsoeneng approving good news footage and ignoring violent protests. But Shapiro condemns destructive protests, and believes it is counterproductive to burn things.

On last year’s statue demolitions, Shapiro said the statues had no right to be in prominent sites: “Why the hell should they be in our urban spaces?”

 

Zapiro also revealed his naughty side – a side his editors and lawyers have to put up with when dealing with him. “There’s a certain adrenaline fighting editors and lawyers,” he grinned.

Deadlines were a pain, he said, commenting that sometimes his cartoons would be late or just in time for publication.

Dead President Walking is Zuma’s 21st annual; “A remarkable feat for anyone to achieve,” Jacana, his publisher, said.

Book details

Die Groot Drie deur Francois Verster: Afrikaner-nasionalisme vanuit die perspektief van drie wêreldklas-satirici

Die Groot DrieDie Groot Drie: ’n Eeu van spotprente in Die Burger deur François Verster is nou beskikbaar by Penguin:

Die Groot Drie bied ’n sonderlinge blik op die opkoms, hoogbloei en uiteindelike ondergang van Afrikaner-nasionalisme vanuit die perspektief van drie wêreldklas-satirici: D.C. Boonzaier, T.O. Honiball en Fred Mouton.

Die Burger is in 1915 in die lewe geroep om as mondstuk te dien vir Afrikaners wat aan die begin van die 20ste eeu op hul knieë gedwing is deur die Anglo-Boereoorlog, verstedeliking en grootskaalse armoede. In die eerste honderd jaar van die koerant se bestaan het net dié drie kunstenaars diens gedoen as spotprenttekenaars. Boonzaier het skerp en raak aanvalle op opponente van die Nasionale Party geloods, en die karikatuurkuns ten volle bemeester; die veelsydige Honiball het lesers se empatie gewek met sy speelse styl; en Mouton se uitbeelding van tipies Suid-Afrikaanse tonele het van hom ’n gewilde humorskepper en belangrike meningsvormer gemaak.

In hierdie boek gee Verster, Naspers se maatskappy-argivaris, ’n onderhoudende historiese oorsig van die bydrae wat elk van dié spotprenttekenaars gelewer het.

Oor die outeur

Dr. François Verster het vir 17 jaar as staatsargivaris gewerk en het in 2007 by Naspers as maatskappy-argivaris en geskiedskrywer aangesluit. Hy het drie romans en sy memoires gepubliseer, en nie-fiksiewerke insluitend Van Kaspaas tot Kaas, die lewe en werk van T.O. Honiball. Hy is die skrywer van talle artikels oor spotprente en strokieskuns vir beide vakkundige en populêre publikasies. Hy werk ook as vryskut-joernalis en is veral bekend om sy rubriek “Geskiedenis vandag” in die streekskoerant Bolander.

Boekbesonderhede

Nostalgies, humoristies en hartroerend: Wat die hart van vol is deur Peter Veldsman en Elmari Rautenbach

Wat die hart van vol isWat die hart van vol is: Herinneringsreise van ‘n fynkok deur Peter Veldsman, met Elmari Rautenbach, is nou beskikbaar by Penguin:

’n Wydlopende herinneringsreis, deurspek met staaltjies, deur een van ons land se fynkospioniers …

Met erfeniskos wat deesdae internasionaal hoogmode is, staan een kok uit: Peter Veldsman. As enigste kind op ’n plaas in die Klein-Karoo het Peter ’n fyn waarnemingsvermoë en goddelose sin vir humor ontwikkel. Die resultaat is eindeloos vermaaklike stories oor die kos en mense in sy lewe, van sy dae as kosredakteur van die tydskrif Sarie, waar Peter twee generasies Afrikaanse vroue voor die stoof touwys gemaak het, toe as kosskrywer van Rapport en, uiteindelik, as “Mister V”, eienaar van Emily’s, waar hy hom amper 20 jaar lank beywer het om van streekskos fynkos te maak en só ’n formidabele restaurant-nalatenskap gevestig het.

Baie van die stories is snaaks. Ander is soet-nostalgies. Sommige kyk eerlik na kwessies ná aan sy hart, soos gay-wees en die kerk. En tog, al het hy al vir bekendes en selfs beroemdes gekook en die wêreld deurkruis op soek na nuwe smake, is dit sy tante Julia en haar “koskys” wat hy steeds die helderste voor die oog roep, sy Skotse ouma, en die dag toe hy as ’n vierjarige op sy oupa se plaas in die Klein-Karoo die eerste keer ’n doukomkommer tussen sy tande geknars het …

Nostalgies, humoristies en hartroerend – ’n boek wat jou terugvat na Ouma se kombuis, maar dan ook die drumpel oor, na die wye wêreld daarbuite.

Boekbesonderhede