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An Unnatural History: Hedley Twidle Reviews Henrietta Rose-Innes' Green Lion

"It's an Incredible Boost": Masande Ntshanga Reflects on the Success of The Reactive

The ReactiveFrom achieving an international book deal (film rights included) to being shortlisted for not one but three esteemed literary awards, 2015 has been a killer year for debut author Masande Ntshanga.

The author of The Reactive spoke to Dispatch LIVE this week about being shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, the 2014/2015 University of Johannesburg Prizes for South African Writing, the Caine Prize for his short story “Space” and his upcoming trip to Italy for the 2015 Civitella Ranieri Fellowship.

“It’s an incredible boost, not just for the sake of the book’s exposure, which is great, but also for my own,” Ntshanga says.

Read the article for the author’s thoughts on contemporary South African writing:

“In terms of recognition, though, I feel like we’re at the point where different parts of the world are starting to pay attention to contemporary South African writing, which is a good development.

“Lastly, I’ve always felt that South Africa had enough innovation, but only that it isn’t always represented.

“For example, more experimental writers might publish with smaller houses that don’t have the marketing reach to compete with bigger ones.

“Unfortunately, that also has to do with the readership and how many people have a taste, as well as a demand, for innovative fiction.”

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Video: Pitika Ntuli Performs His Poetry and Talks About Identity, Place and Space at Dispatch Dialogues

Pitika Ntuli: The poetryScent of Invisible FootprintsLast month Dispatch Dialogues invited Professor Pitika Ntuli to present a talk on “Identity, Place and Space”.

The poet, sculptor, artist, academic and author spoke about the role of statues in society, the #RhodesMustFall movement and his own sculptures, among others his memorial to mark the Marikana massacre.

Ray Hartle writes that Ntuli believes “memorials should recognise the contributions of communities, rather than individuals”.

Read the article:

“As an academic and intellectual, my own philosophy is not to fill people with knowledge but to disrupt their habit of thinking and feeling, so that they (are able) to see something afresh.”

It is exactly the approach Ntuli adopted during this week’s Dispatch Dialogue on Identity, Place and Space, provocatively arguing that even statues which depicted the revered Nelson Mandela alone were inappropriate, and suggesting that Afrikaner leader Paul Kruger’s statue should not fall.

He is adamant that memorials should recognise the contributions of communities, rather than individuals. Instead of doing statues of a solitary Mandela, he says the deceased struggle icon should be depicted in the context of other members of his generation.

In the video Ntuli ends off the evening with a performance of his explosive poetry. For more about the Professor Extraordinaire at Tshwane University of Technology read Pitika Ntuli: The poetry and Scent of Invisible Footprints: The Sculpture of Pitika Ntuli edited by Antoinette Ntuli.

Watch the video:

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What Does a Publisher Actually Do? Bridget Impey Explains

Bridget Impey

Jani ConfidentialThe Search for the Rarest Bird in the WorldAerodrome recently caught up with Jacana Media publisher Bridget Impey to ask her more about the role of a publisher, what she is working on at the moment and other interesting things including the hardest and best parts of the job. They also tried to get her to name the one book that changed her life, but she wouldn’t budge.

“I love being a publisher. It is a delicious mix of often very contrary things. One needs the nerves of a gambler, the nose of a vintner, the financial smarts of a banker, the planning skills of a city engineer and, over and above all, a love of great stories,” Impey says. She is currently working on Jani Confidential by Jani Allan and The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World by Vernon RL Head and seeing to their needs.

Read the article to find out what a publisher actually does, and more about an average day in Impey’s working life:

What things are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been very occupied just lately with Jani Allan and her knock-out memoir, Jani Confidential, which touches with such clarity on the issue of public shaming and just what happens after. Such a book needs infinite care, lawyers’ approval, lots of chutzpah and a big marketing budget. She arrived in South Africa, fresh from the chill of New Jersey, in mid-April. We had a gorgeous success over the festive season with Vernon Head’s very pretty bestseller, The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World. We took it as our lead title to the Frankfurt Book Fair and have since signed up a very prestigious Dutch publisher, as well as Pegasus in the States. Now the search for further rights deals continues. I’ve also been quite caught up in the start-up of a new division at Jacana called Staging Post. It is a home for authors who wish to self-publish, but lack the know-how. We’ve been meeting the most interesting bunch of authors who want to go it alone, and learning a lot in the process.

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Koos Roets to Produce Film Versions of Two Novels by Author Carol Campbell

Carol CampbellMovie rights to Durban-based author Carol Campbell’s highly acclaimed two novels Karretjiemense and ‘n Huis vir Ester have been optioned by well-known South African film maker Koos Roets in a co-production arrangement with actor and director André Stolz, known for his roles in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Stander.

KarretjiemenseMy Children Have Faces’n Huis vir EsterEsther's House

Roets, the celebrated director of, among others, the Afrikaans classic Koöperasiestories, and Stolz intend to shoot the films back to back. Roets will direct ‘n Huis vir Ester and act as director of photography on Karretjiemense. Stolz will in turn direct Karretjiemense, and act as production manager on ‘n Huis vir Ester.

Both directors are celebrated for being ‘hands on’ and very passionate about their projects, and will be adapting the novels for screen themselves.

Carol Campbell rose to prominence with her bestselling debut novel Karretjiemense, a novel about the nomadic donkey-cart people of the Karoo. She is known for crafting moving stories which are simultaneously poignant and hopeful. Campbell is a journalist who has worked for the Argus, the Cape Times and the Mercury. She currently works as news editor for The Daily News in Durban, where she lives with her family.

Contracts were negotiated by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie of the Lennon-Ritchie Agency.

Karretjiemense and ‘n Huis vir Ester are also available in English as My Children Have Faces and Esther’s House respectively.

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2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Day 1 Round-up

The Franschhoek Literary Festival kicked off on Friday. Check out Books LIVE’s coverage of the first day’s events as they happened!

The festival will be covered by Books LIVE editor Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer), deputy editor Helené Prinsloo (@helenayp), assistant editors Erin Devenish (@ErinDevenish811) and Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) and Jennifer Platt (@Jenniferdplatt) of the Sunday Times.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page ( and our Twitter profile (@BooksLIVESA) for more information and pictures!

2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Friday, Session 1 (10 AM)

2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Friday, Session 2 (11:30 AM)

2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Friday, Session 3 (1 PM)

2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Friday, Session 4 (2:30 PM)

2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Friday, Session 5 (4 PM)

Durban Tourism: We Are Not Going to Sit Back and Let Our Efforts Go Up in Flames Because of Xenophobia

Picturesque Durban and SurroundsBusinesses in Durban have suffered losses running into the millions as a result of the xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

In an article for The Mercury, Zohra M Teke reports that some hotels, restaurants and shops have lost 70% of their ordinary revenue.

Phillip Sithole, head of Durban Tourism, says that the city is doing all it can to bounce back from the serious blow, and to ensure that tourists know they will be safe and welcome in Durban.

Read the article:

“We are not going to simply sit back while all our efforts to put Durban on the tourism map go up in flames. We are pursuing an aggressive strategy to show the world that Durban is not burning and that we are still a nation open to tourists.

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