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.@TheFolioPrize 2015 Longlist Revealed, Including Damon Galgut, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and @dinawmengestu:

Words Worth Packing: What Notable South Africans are Reading on Holiday

Published in the Sunday Times

The Sunday Times books team asked an array of notable South Africans which books they will be taking with them on holiday.

When the Lions Came to TownParadiseThe Letters of Ernest HemingwayOne Midlife Crisis and a Speedo

THE COLUMNIST – Darrel Bristow-Bovey

I’ll be reading Luke Alfred’s When the Lions Came to Town (Zebra Press), about the 1974 British Lions’ tour of South Africa, because Luke is a sportswriter with heart and flair and tells a good story. I also have Paradise by Greg Lazarus (Kwela Books), a smart, funny and cosmopolitan local pair of novelists. Each year for the past two years has seen the release of a new volume of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway (Volume 2, 1923-1925 – Cambridge University Press). Last year’s volume 2 took us to 1925, and I’m desperately hoping volume 3 is about to be released. I’ll also be obsessively re-reading my own book, One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo (Zebra Press), to check for spelling errors and typos.

The Art of WarLove Is Letting Go of FearJesus CEOThe Richest Man Who Ever Lived


I intend reading these books during the holidays: The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Pax Librorum, R80), Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky (Celestial Arts), Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership by Laurie Beth Jones(Hyperion) and The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K Scott (Broadway Books).

Stoep ZenYoga for ChickensLost and Found in Johannesburg

THE TRAVEL WRITER – Bridget Hilton-Barber

First up is Stoep Zen: A Zen Life in South Africa by Antony Osler (Jacana), whose blurb says it’s Lao Tzu meets Oom Schalk Lourens. The question Osler poses is how do we reach down through swirling emotions into a quieter space where we can see a little further and love a little deeper? The other little gem that awaits on my bedside table is an illustrated book called Yoga for Chickens by Lynn Brunelle (Chronicle Books). “Feeling fried? Feathers ruffled? The birdbrained wisdom in this little book will have you clucking like a spring chicken in no time.” And finally, I am going to get stuck into Lost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser (Jonathan Ball Publishers).

AskariThe Fire Next Time

THE INTELLECTUAL – Eusebius McKaiser

I have already started on my holiday reading because, well, why wait?! I’m halfway through Jacob Dlamini’s Askari: A Story of Collaboration and Betrayal in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle (Jacana). It is narrative writing at its lyrical best, and the moral philosophy student in me is intrigued by the complexity of black people who betrayed black communities during apartheid. I will also read James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time (Vintage Books), a classic on race relations in America. In the wake of Ferguson, revisiting this masterpiece is compulsory.

The Facts of Life and DeathEsther's HouseTales of the Metric SystemAskariUnimportanceThe Paying Guests


My summer reading will be a continuation of my reading all year: the books of authors who’ll be attending the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May, including The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press), Esther’s House by Carol Campbell (Umuzi), Tales of the Metric System by Imraan Coovadia (Umuzi), Askari by Jacob Dlamini, Unimportance by Thando Mgqolozana (Jacana), and The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (Little, Brown).

Ragged GloryThe Rings of Saturn


For me Christmas starts very early, so I have just read Ray Hartley’s Ragged Glory (Jonathan Ball Publishers), an overview of the last 20 years of South Africa political history, which is characteristically sane and balanced. I am now reading – recommended to me by Corina van der Spoel who ran the Boekehuis before it was closed in act of barbarity not seen since the ransacking of the churches during the Reformation – WG Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (Vintage Books) which, from the depths of his erudition and his appreciation of the complexities of history, moves seamlessly from the very local to the exciting diversity of the human and natural world.

For the King's Pleasure

THE CELEBRITY – Gareth Cliff

Surprisingly, despite starting this year, I have found some time to read. From Barry Bateman and Mandy Wiener to Pamela Stephenson to Jerm the cartoonist, there is so much great stuff being published that it’s hard to narrow things down to just one book. But to be really self-indulgent, I have to admit that my current obsession is a book by Sir Hugh Roberts, Director of the Royal Collection, about the furnishing and decoration of King George IV’s private apartments at Windsor Castle. It’s called For The King’s Pleasure (Royal Collection Enterprises Ltd).

The Texture of ShadowsThe GoldfinchYou Can't Get Lost in Cape TownI Would Die 4 UStokely

THE GONZO ESSAYIST – Bongani Madondo

I will be reading a lot! Ok, maybe I will be lucky to finish at least three of the following: Mandla Langa’s latest novel The Texture of Shadows (Picador Africa); The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown); You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town by Zoë Wicomb (Umuzi); I Would Die 4U: Why Prince Became An Icon by Touré (Free Press), and Stokely: A Life by Peniel E. Joseph (Basic Civitas Books), which is the latest biography of the revolutionary Stokely Carmichael (Miriam Makeba’s one time husband … one of the five exes). I don’t think I will get halfway through the list though. There’s just so much to do, especially with family demanding its pound of flesh of your time.

H is for Hawk

THE INDIE BOOKSELLER – Kate Rogan (Owner of Love Books)

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Jonathan Cape). I cannot wait to get my teeth into this. It’s just won the Samuel Johnson prize, which is the biggest thing in non-fiction awards – and it’s the first ever memoir to do so. In a nutshell, Helen Macdonald loses her father, and in her grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. My ears pricked when someone said it was the next The Hare with Amber Eyes (Chatto & Windus,). Whatever it turns out to be, it’s the kind of book that needs the time I can only give it while on holiday.

Ordinary MenCatastrophe 1914Strandveldfood


Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher Browning (HarperCollins). For students of the Holocaust there is a fascinating debate between Browning and Daniel Goldhagen about the culpability of ordinary Germans caught up in the implementation of the Holocaust. Also in a historical vein is Max Hastings’ Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War (Alfred A Knopf). Hastings concentrates on the accidents of timing and long-held simmering nationalisms that coalesced in that fateful year. I am an adequate amateur cook, love cookbooks, and the best local cookbook that I have seen for a long time is Kobus van der Merwe’s Strandveldfood (Jonathan Ball Publishers). I think it is sensational.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of PilgrimageThe Hare with Amber EyesAi Weiwei SpeaksThe Cuckoo's Calling


I have earmarked the following for my festive break: The latest Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage (Harvill Secker). I am a huge fan and will read anything that he writes. The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. I’m fascinated by Japanese culture (hence Murakami being on my list) and this biography also explores the exquisite art of “Netsuke” – tiny but intricate wood or ivory carvings. Ai Weiwei Speaks (Penguin Special) – a collection of interviews by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist that follows Weiwei’s incredible installation “S.A.C.R.E.D” at the Venice biennial, depicting scenes from his 81-day incarceration by the Chinese government. Finally, for much needed escapism, I’ll also be tackling The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling, Little Brown).

The Three-Body ProblemCollected Haiku of Yosa BusonMicrocosmsPlenty MorePereira MaintainsBoyhood Island

THE NOVELIST – Imraan Coovadia

I’m reading The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (Tor Books), a great Chinese science fiction writer, the Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson (Copper Canyon Press), translated by WS Merwin, Microcosms by Claudio Magris (Gallimard Education), Plenty More by Ottolenghi (Ebury Press) and Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi (Canongate, R180). Five books which promise to be miraculous. I just finished Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Boyhood Island (Alfred A Knopf). Great.

Fortunes of AfricaA Man of Good HopeTales of the Metric SystemThe Texture of ShadowsAskari

THE MAVERICK – Marianne Thamm

I have quite a neglected stack next to my bed, including Martin Meredith’s The Fortunes of Africa: A 5 000-year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavour (Jonathan Ball Publishers). This “vast and vivid panorama of history” offers a renewed opportunity to engage with the backdrop to contemporary political developments. I’m halfway through Jonny Steinberg’s extraordinary A Man Of Good Hope (Jonathan Ball Publishers), which charts the journey of refugee Asad Abdullah from Somalia to Cape Town. And in a further attempt at understanding the physical, political and intellectual geography of South Africa, there is Imraan Coovadia’s novel, Tales of the Metric System, Mandla Langa’s The Texture of Shadows and Jacob Dlamini’s Askari.


The KeeperLost and Found in Johannesburg

Alex Matthews, editor of Aerodrome

I’m a huge fan of both lighthouses and Marguerite Poland, so The Keeper (Penguin) is therefore an irresistible prospect. I also can’t wait to finish Mark Gevisser’s Lost and Found in Johannesburg, which is an eloquent, vivid merging of maps and memories.

Helen Sullivan, editor of Prufrock

One of the best things about summer for me is magazines. Thick Christmas issues full of beautiful things, and stories and articles that seem to be more moving when it’s the end of a year. I’ll also be looking out for South African literary mags like Prufrock – uHlanga (an anthology of poetry from KZN – R50 on, Aerodrome (R140 from and New Contrast (R90 on

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Wen een van vier boeke, insluitend Nuwe stories 3, Die vierde stem en Noko en die Koel Katte

Nuwe stories 3Die vierde stemNoko en die Koel KatteSakkie Slakkie en ander stories

Vier Bloem Nuus-lesers kan hierdie maand onderskeidelik een van vier boeke wen – Nuwe stories 3 saamgestel deur Suzette Kotzé-Myburgh en Leti Kleyn, Die vierde stem deur Francois Bloemhof, Noko en die Koel Katte deur Fiona Moodie en Sakkie Slakkie en ander stories deur Pierre Coetzee, Shân Fischer en Leighton Jones.

Die kompetisie sluit Maandag, 12 Januarie 2015 om 09:00. Registreer op Bloem Nuus se webtuiste om deel te neem.


Excerpt: "Killers of Prinsloo's Kloof" from the New Edition of African Myths and Legends

African Myths and LegendsNamibiana Buchdepot has shared an excerpt from “Killers of Prinsloo’s Kloof”, a story from African Myths and Legends, by Dianne Stewart and Jay Heale.

African Myths and Legends was recently rereleased in a new edition, beautifully illustrated by Gina Daniel and late Angus McBride.

In this story, set in the 1860s, a family move into a farm in the Kouga Mountains. Everything seems well at first, but soon their horses begin to take fright at night, seemingly at nothing. Eventually the farmer spots a mysterious figure in a wide-brimmed hat, who seems impervious to bullets.

View the pages from African Myths and Legends:

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Spring gou en skaf Storieman teen ’n baie spesiale prys aan!

Is jy nog opsoek na idees vir die kerskous? Spring gou! Die aanlynwinkel Takealot bied vandag ‘n byna-ongelooflike aanbieding op die verskeie Storieman Omnibusse, insluitend ‘n spesiale Storieman Omnibus bundel teen slegs R299.

Storieman Omnibus 1Storieman Omnibus 2Storieman Omnibus 3Storieman Omnibus 4Storieman Omnibus 5Storieman Omnibus 6

Vier 30 jaar van Storieman met hierdie spesiale aanbieding van al ses boeke in een sakkie. Dit is ’n handige versameling van die volledige reeks, met al die boeke en CD’s in een pak, teen ’n spesiale afslagprys – ses boeke vir die prys van vier. Dié versamelpak sluit ses boeke en twaalf oudio CD’s in.

Nou kan ’n nuwe generasie lesertjies ook die wonderwêreld van stories geniet!


"Sestien Onse" – Program vir 2015 Woordfees bekendgestel (6 tot 15 Maart)

“Ons moes besluit, we go big or go home, so ons gaan groót.”

Só het Saartjie Botha, bedryfsbestuurder van die jaarlikse Woordfees, gesê met die bekendstelling van die program vir Woordfees 2015. Die fees word vanaf 6 tot 15 Maart in en om Stellenbosch aangebied rondom die tema “Sestien Onse”.

Die program hou oudergewoonte hope lekkernye vir boekwurms van alle kleur en geur in. Botha het met Netwerk24 gesels oor die opwindende program en beklemtoon dat die 2015 program iets vir álle kunsliefhebbers in hou. “Maar, die Woordfees is in die eerste plek ‘n fees van woorde, daarom is ons boekprogram báie belangrik.”

Botha het ook op Dagbreek gesels oor die program en gesê, “Die hart van die Woordfees sal altyd die boeketent wees, die boekeprogram en die diskoersprogram.”

Kyk na die video-onderhoud:

YouTube Preview Image

Feesgangers kan uitsien daarna om na van die volgende skrywers te luister:

Antjie Krog, Zelda la Grange, Albert Blake, Fanie Viljoen, Alfred Schaffer, Marguerite Poland, Henry Jack Cloete, Daniel Hugo, Hein Kruger, Marida Fitzpatrick, Lindie Strydom, Al Lovejoy, Toast Coetzer, Paul Bogaert, Rodaan Al Galidi, SD Fourie, Tanya O’Connor, PJ Powers, SJ Naude, Marianne Thamm, Koos van der Merwe, Leon van Nierop, Anchien Troskie, Errieda du Toit, Danie Marais, FJ Labuschagne, Pat Stamatélos, Tannie Poppie, Tiaan en Mynhardt, Marlene van der Westhuizen, Marzanne Leroux-Van der Boon, Maretha Maartens, Esta Steyn, Dorothea van Zyl, Marco Botha, Kerneels Breytenbach, Igna Klynsmith, Joan Hambidge, Riëtte Rust, Izak de Vries, Jakkie Louw, Johan Vlok Louw, Pieter Dirk-Uys, Herman Lategan, Helene de Kock, Francois Smith, Suzette Kotze-Myburg, Edwin Cameron, François Bloemhof, Gerrit Rautenbach, Nanette van Rooyen, Riana Scheepers, Zandra Bezuidenhout, Irma Venter, Rudie van Rensburg, Willem Anker, Chanette Paul en Johan Bakkes – en nog vele meer!

Geheime van ’n Franse kookklasWat sê die prokureur?SondebokBuys – ’n GrensromanPanoramaDie bewakerVermis op AllesverlorenAcid AlexDonker spoorKopskootAfrikamasutratjieDie dooies leefThe Alphabet of BirdsMooiloopSkulpDie BaanbrekersDie Alibi KlubBallade vir ’n enkelingMens dier dingBinnekring van spookasemsDraalnoot vir ’n janfiskaalVan sprokie tot tragedie in die kolligDiepsee - kortverhaleIn a Burning SeaBeseringstydGeloof sonder sekerhedeDie 13de kaartMede-weteOepse daisyJusticePleisters vir die dooiesBrothers in War and PeaceDie staat vs OscarEwebeeldGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaKamphoerEsterHere I AmMeditasiesMakietieBeseringstydDie vierde stemKobra


Foto met dank aan Woordfees>

Damon Galgut Lists His Top Five Books, Including The Folly and The Alphabet of Birds

Arctic SummerThe FollyThe Alphabet of BirdsDamon Galgut recently shared with Swati Sharma from The New Indian Express the top five books that have made an impact on him, including The Folly by Ivan Vladislavic and the recently launched The Alphabet of Birds by SJ Naudé.

“I don’t usually read books that have been recently published. I prefer older offerings that have been tested by time, without the hype and publicity that distort perception,” Galgut told Sharma, while he was in India to participate in the 2014 Tata Literature Festival. His latest book, Arctic Summer, was announced as the Book of the Year during the festival awards held on the final evening of this annual event.

Read the article:

‘The Folly’ by Ivan Vladislavic who is one of South Africa’s best writers and bafflingly under appreciated. He’s ripe for some big international enthusiasm by now. This is his first novel, though I only came upon it recently. In a country obsessed with social realism, Vladislavic has always tried to find less obvious ways to approach the world. An immaculately-written allegory or parable (though neither word is quite right) about two unlikely neighbours, it’s a clever and elegant book that lodges in the mind like a dart.

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