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Creative writing workshop with Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (25-30 January 2019)

The Talking Table is hosting a creative writing workshop presented by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen! The workshop will take place from 25-30 January in the eastern Free State village of Rosendal.

Facilitator: Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (novelist and head of creative writing at Wits)

Dates: 25-30 January 2019

Venue: DeTuinen country lodge in Rosendal, Eastern Free State

Progamme: A practical, playful, hands-on approach. Full programme at www.thetalkingtable.com

Fees: R13 600 per single person and R12 200 pp sharing. Included accommodation, breakfast and a long-table meal daily and programme fee.

To book: Write to info@thetalkingtable.com before 31 December 2018.

Bronwyn Law-Viljoen is Associate Professor and Head of Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand, editor and co-founder of Fourthwall Books, and former editor of Art South Africa magazine.

She has a PhD in Literature from New York University and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Her first novel, The Printmaker, was published in 2016 (Umuzi) and shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Award.

The Talking Table is a creative hub operated by two South Africans on the Greek island of Lesbos.

It hosts workshop in writing, painting, photography, philosophy, business ethics and more. Frederik de Jager, former Publishing Director at Penguin Books and Douw Steyn, former CEO of media companies in Naspers, accommodate, cook and create a sympathetic space for participating guests.

Rosendal will be their second workshop in South Africa.

Rosendal is a beautiful eastern Free State hamlet in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, three and a half hours’ drive from Johannesburg.

The Printmaker

Book details
The Printmaker by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen
Book homepage
EAN: 9781415209127
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Win a Nal'ibali mini-library fully stocked with storybooks in different South African languages!

Reading is the apex of educational escapism; reading is fun and informative; reading creates thinkers and dreamers. Slotsom: reading rocks! (Bibliophile shot by Daniel Born.)

 
Nal’ibali, the nationwide reading-for-enjoyment campaign which aims to spark children’s potential through reading and storytelling, is supporting caregivers in kick-starting their children’s 2019 school year by giving away 20 mini-libraries fully stocked with storybooks in different South African languages.

Research shows that children who read for pleasure, do better across all school subjects, including maths.

However, to keep children reading, it’s helpful to understand what motivates them to read.

According to American researchers, Kathryn Edmunds and Kathryn Bauserman, the following factors influence children’s reading behaviours.

• Children are more likely to read a book they chose themselves

• Children enjoy books that match their personal interests

• Children are more likely to choose books that have exciting covers, great illustrations and action-packed plots, as well as books that are funny or scary

• What they could learn from reading a book was important to them

• Their interest in reading was sparked and encouraged by their family members (especially mothers), teachers and friends

• Children were often excited to read books they had heard about from friends

• Children enjoyed being read to by family members and teachers, even if they could already read

• Once they’d caught the reading bug, children continued to motivate themselves to read!

Nal’ibali mini libraries contain a carefully curated selection of books designed to expose children to a range of literacy and illustration styles.

Every library is bilingual in a bid to support a culture a multilingualism, and to help children build a strong foundation in their other tongue as well as English.

“Providing families and classrooms with their own mini libraries is just one of the ways we are nurturing a culture of reading in South Africa. Nal’ibali stories can also be accessed directly from its website, in its regular reading-for-enjoyment supplement or heard on the radio,” explains Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director.

To stand a chance to win one of 20 mini-libraries, send a short motivation on how you plan to enjoy your mini-library with the children in your life to info@nalibali.org by 21 December 2018.

Entrants must also include their name, physical address and contact number. Winners will be notified during the week of 7th January 2019.

For more information about the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, free children’s stories in a range of SA languages, tips on reading and writing with children, details on how to set up a reading club or to request training, visit www.nalibali.org, www.nalibali.mobi, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

"A collection of moving stories of a diversity of people living in the gritty city of gold" - BusinessLive reviews I Want to Go Home Forever

Via Business Live: 6/12/2018

By Yvonne Fontyn

With Tanya Pampalone working as a journalist and Loren B Landau heading the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University, and the “go-to academic on everything migration and xenophobia in SA”, Pampalone says he was the obvious choice to partner with on a book of “stories of becoming and belonging” in Johannesburg.

They collaborated in 2013 on a book called Writing Invisibility: Conversations on the Hidden City, a collection of long-form stories exploring “different definitions of migrancy and lives lived outside the mainstream discourse”, she says.

Their subjects came not just from SA but reached as far as Kenya and Belgium.

“With the ongoing attacks on foreigners in SA and the various migration issues, Loren and I spoke often over the years,” says Pampalone.

But it was at the end of 2015, after the xenophobic attacks of that year, that she and Landau decided to commit to what became I Want to Go Home Forever.

They wanted to compile a collection of stories that would go beyond the headlines, to the root of the experiences of people involved in the violence.

The result is a collection of moving stories of a diversity of people living in the gritty city of gold, all in some way touched by migrancy, xenophobia, crime and violence.

Continue reading Fontyn’s review here.
 
Book details

  • I Want to go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis edited by Loren Landau, Tanya Pampalone
    EAN: 9781776142217
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Louis Botha is depicted warts-and-all in this biography, writes William Saunderson-Meyer

Published in the Sunday Times

Louis Botha: A Man Apart *****
Richard Steyn
Jonathan Ball Publishers, R260

It’s a cliché that we must take lessons from the past. There are at least two problems with this.

The first is hubris. Each generation feels that is unnecessary, since it is clearly wiser and more competent than the previous one. Until, of course, the passage of time proves it wrong.

The second is a growing, priggish moralism that demands right-thinking and right-speaking. Swathes of history are ignored, especially in SA, simply because the protagonists don’t fit into contemporary mores.

Richard Steyn seems to have a particular contrarian interest in the political giants who have fallen foul of such dismissive revisionism. This is his third biography, following upon his well-received works on Jan Smuts, then the friendship between Smuts and Churchill.

But Steyn is no hagiographer.

In enviably clear and unadorned prose his is a warts-and-all depiction, especially as regards the casual racism and assumed superiority of the white man.

While always sensitive to historical context, he examines in detail the failures and blind spots of Botha, including his “mixture of respectful paternalism towards any individual with whom he came into contact … and a disbelief that blacks as a group should enjoy the same political rights as whites”. It was an attitude that culminated, under his premiership, in the pernicious Native Land Act of 1913.

Following the Anglo-Boer War, it was Botha’s first priority to heal the deep divisions between Afrikaans- and English-speaking whites, as well as between the vanquished Boers and the victorious British.

His determination to achieve this took him along a remarkable, painful path: taking the former Boer republics into a union with the British colonies of the Cape and Natal; taking the Union into World War 1 on the side of the British, against the Germans who had nominally supported Boer independence; suppressing with force of arms the resulting Afrikaner rebellion; and conquering German South-West Africa.

Steyn makes the point a number of times that during the Anglo-Boer War those who called most stridently for war were those who most rapidly melted away when they got their wish. Whereas men like Botha, who had opposed the war, were the ones who were left to prosecute it.

Botha, the most brilliant of the Boer generals, paid a high personal cost for a war he never wanted. His health was shattered by the privations of those gruelling years. The family lost their farm and his brother was killed.

But what perhaps wounded him most grievously was the long, slow process of estrangement from fellow Afrikaners, who felt he betrayed them by allying SA to the Empire.

Reconciliation is never universally popular and there are always those who flourish in exacerbating divisions, rather than minimising them. As we are beginning to see with the increasingly strident repudiation of Nelson Mandela as “sell-out”. @TheJaundicedEye

Book details

Win a copy of Hagen Engler's latest lank kiff book!

A hilarious compendium of iconic South Africanness.

As they tend to say on Idols shortly before eviscerating some poor aspiring singer’s performance, this comes from a place of love. This book is a celebration of South Africa’s iconic people, places, situations, songs, character traits and consumer products … every part of our culture that makes us happy and proud to be South Africans.

Add a twist of humour to South African nostalgia with Hagen Engler’s latest offering.

Black Twitter, Blitz and a Boerie as Long as Your Leg is a light-hearted, humorous read of multiple entries that can be dipped into at will.

Optimistic, topical and definitely tongue-in-cheek, this book could easily be that last-minute gift that you pick up at the airport before you head back to the parental home for the holidays.

Not too politically edgy – so as not to offend any sensitive elephants in the room – it draws on the great many things that South Africans do have in common, and that will give us all a moment to agree on something, for a change. The book aims to list and celebrate the tiny, subtle aspects of South African life that we all experience but don’t always notice.

Engler looks at icons of our shared South Africanness but drills a little deeper to make them more specific, a bit more ridiculous, a bit funnier, and hopefully to induce an excited exclamation from the reader of, “Yoh! That’s so true!”

Look out for the following:

• A fake pair of Ray-Bans from the robots
• Your skaftien of last night’s stew
• Getting a proper vuvuzela blast going
• The passion and the glory of the Soweto Derby
• The hair salon that has it all
• Proof of address. Not more than three months old!
• Counting the black faces in any group photo
• The edgy hairstyles of Afrikaans ladies of a certain age
• Some construction workers on the back of a bakkie, judging you
• Building a 10-year relationship with the guy at your robots
• The way you like your Oros
• A room divider on the far side of a room
• Sunlight Soap. The green bar
• Chicken Licken Hotwings
• Black Twitter on a Sunday night
• Zodwa Wabantu’s vosho
• Khabonina Qubeka’s hamstrings

Hagen Engler has co-written, ghost-written and edited more than 12 books. He can peel a naartjie in one go, survive an extra-hot bunny chow, and drink all day while the Proteas occupy the crease at the Wanderers. So you see now.

Jacana Media are giving away FIVE copies of Hagen’s latest lank kiff contribution to the local literary scene. To stand a chance to win a copy, let our editor (Mila de Villiers) know on what day of the week Black Twitter is on fire. Mail your answer to mila@book.co.za before Thursday, 6 December.

Book details

Stories and smiles aplenty at Nal'ibali's book handover to the Thuma Mina Hillbrow Book Club

By Mila de Villiers

Bliss is perusing a bookshelf… (Shot for the shot, Daniel Born!)

 
The Thuma Mina Hillbrow Book Club, an exceptional book club created for orphanages in and around Johannesburg, was recently gifted books in English, Zulu and Sesotho by the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal’ibali.

The handover of the donations was celebrated at Killarney Mall’s Exclusive Books on a sunny Saturday morning with Thuma Mina Book Club organisers, Nal’ibali team members, media and the buoyant bookworms in attendance.

The group of animated bibliophiles were also offered the luxury of selecting any two books to add to their growing libraries, thanks to a fundraiser organised by the Thuma Mina Book Club.

(Colouring-in books seemed to be a hit and Nomalizo Xabana, marketing manager for the book club, had to encourage more than one youngster to please “pick another storybook”…)

Nal’ibali’s Bongile Mtolo (and storyteller par excellence) treated the riveted audience to a reading of two stories from Nal’ibali’s story collection: Sisande’s Gift tells the tale of Sisande, an orphaned giraffe who’s gifted a book after the passing of her mother and The Rainbird – a fairy tale about hope, magic, courage and a fantastical avian.

Bongile Mtolo working his magic. Pic by Daniel Born.

 
Bongile interacted with the crowd during the reading of both stories, asking questions such as which gifts they’d like to receive for Christmas (a confident “iPhone 8!” was met with mirth from the group), and what they would name a giraffe if they were to own one (“Owen” was quite a surprising answer…)

Youngsters do tend to get a bit kriewelrig after having to sit for a prolonged period of time but Bongile kept the vibe alive by leading two lively renditions of the Nal’ibali hand-clap – because no, one doesn’t clap “like you’re in church” after being read to, he quipped.

All together now: “One, two, three!” [clap, clap, clap] / “One, two, three!” [clap, clap clap] aaand [Ululate!]

To paraphrase the Von Trapp siblings, the time to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen and goodbye is inevitable and the merriment concluded with a donation from The Sowetan of R80 000 to Nal’ibali, presented to the organisation by Sowetan editor, S’thembiso Msomi.

Now that’s what one calls a contribution to a nation’s literary future.

A beaming Bongile Mtolo, Thuma Mina members and S’thembiso Msomi, as snapped by Daniel Born.