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Alert! The programme for this year’s @OpenBookFest has been revealed! Click here to see it: fb.me/3EVHbDBFa

Fiction Friday: Extract From David Platt's Nova Short Story Competition-winning Entry "Doppleganger"

Tech-Savvy ParentingConquestRead an excerpt from David Platt’s short story “Doppleganger”, which took first place at last year’s Nova Short Story competition in the South African section. His winning story appeared in Probe 159, cover art courtesy of Jürgen Zimmerman.

The competition is organised by Science Fiction and Fantasy South Africa (SFFSA) and this year’s closing date is 30 September 2014, at midnight. Tech-Savvy Parenting: A Guide to Raising Safe Children in a Digital World author Arthur Goldstuck will judge the South African section, and Jenny Ridyard, co-author of Conquest, will judge the General section.

Read an extract from “Doppleganger”:

Chased him for months; promotion material.
One of two known Struggle leaders. The young one, charisma machine, apparently.
Not too charismatic with his face leaking. Mouth so swollen by now he couldn’t talk if he wanted to – China went one step too far hitting him with debilitator-shot early, cut off muscle reception, sealed his fate. Rookie error – literally. Now we don’t get intel – just the impact of a clandestine death.
Got him through infiltration, in a fucking hole in Mozambique. – untested biotech to lift classified MK intel. Traced a death threat on Security Minister Burger.
Me + van Staden: “Cheese”; top photo op for higher-ups.
Hero cop. Apartheid dog. I like both names equally.
Over now though, save the Wurm.
Rookie clips the crystal biosphere to Mphila’s neck, miniature claws cutting miniature holds into flesh. Press down. Hiss. Wurm burrows his way from synthetic plasma sludge to bloodstream. Convulsions.
Involuntary vomit, shits his pants, not pretty, Rookie leaps away. Botha laughs – one of the meanest motherfuckers I’ve ever met. Good cop; better assassin.
Wurmpie writhes under the skin.

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Final Author List for 2014 Open Book Festival

 
The final list for the 2014 Open Book Festival has been released, with international authors Billy Kahora, Geoff Dyer, Mike Carey, Philip Hensher, Raymond E Feist, Sefi Atta, Taiye Selasi, Tony Park, Satoshi Kitamura, Kader Abdolah and Keyi Sheng, as well as Johnny Steinberg and Wilbur Smith, all confirmed to be in Cape Town.

 
This year’s Open Book Festival takes place from 17-21 September at the Fugard Theatre, The Book Lounge, the Homecoming Centre, the District 6 Museum and the Central Library.

The final confirmed complete list is:
Adam Stower, Alison Lowry, Amy Kaye, André P Brink, Andrew Brown, Andrew Salomon, Antony Loewenstein, Ari Sitas, Arthur Goldstuck, Athol Williams, Barbara Boswell, Ben Williams, Bibi Slippers, Billy Kahora, Blaq Pearl, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Carol-Ann Davids, Damon Galgut, Dave de Burgh, David Klatzow, David wa Maahlamela, Deon Meyer, Derrick Higginbotham, Diane Awerbuck, Ekow Duker, Eusebius McKaiser, Felicitas Hoppe, Fiona Leonard, Francesca Beard, Futhi Ntshingila, Genna Gardini, Geoff Dyer, Greg Fried, Hakkiesdraad Hartman, Hedley Twidle, Helen Moffett, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Imraan Coovadia, Ivan Vladislavic, Jaco Van Schalkwyk, Jacob Sam-La Rose, Jacqui L’Ange, James Woodhouse, Jesse Breytenbach, Joan Metelerkamp, Joey Hi-Fi, Jolyn Phillips, Jonathan Jansen, Jonny Steinberg, Justin Fox, Kader Abdolah, Karen Jennings, Karina Szczurek, Kelwyn Sole, Keorapetse Willie Kgositsile, Keyi Sheng, Khanyisile Mbongwa, Koleka Putuma, Liesl Jobson, Linda Kaoma, Lwanda Sindaphi, Malaika wa Azania, Mandla Langa, Margie Orford, Marguerite Poland, Marianne Thamm, Marius du Plessis, Mark Gevisser, Mbongeni Nomkonwana, Melissa Siebert, Michele Magwood, Michiel Heyns, Mike Carey, Molly Blank, Nikki Bush, Niq Mhlongo, Oliver Rohe, Olivier Tallec, Philip Hensher, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Pieter Odendaal, Rabih Alameddine, Rachel Zadok, Raymond E Feist, Rebecca Davis, Richard Calland, Richard Peirce, Sally Partridge, Sampie Terreblanche, Sarah Lotz, Satoshi Kitamura, Sefi Atta, Shabbir Banoobhai, Simone Hough, Sindiwe Magona, Sixolile Mbalo, Songezo Zibi, Susan Hawthorne , Taiye Selasi, Thando Mgqolozana, Tiah Beautement, Tim Noakes, Toast Coetzer, Toni Stuart, Tony Park, Weaam Williams, Wilbur Smith, Zakes Mda, Zelda la Grange, Zethu Matebeni, Zoliswa Flekisi, Zukiswa Wanner.

Naughty KittyThe Other Side of SilenceDevil's HarvestTokoloshe SongProfits of DoomRough MusicTech-Savvy ParentingKwani? 05, Part 2Light on a HillThe Blacks of Cape TownArctic SummerJustice DeniedBetrayal's ShadowSejamolediCobraThe Ghost-Eater and Other StoriesWhite WahalaCould I Vote DA?HoppeThe Chicken ThiefDo Not Go GentleJeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
ParadiseA Girl Walks into a Blind DateNinevehTransformationsThe FollyThe Alibi ClubHow to Fix South Africa's SchoolsA Man of Good HopeWhoever Fears the SeaShort Story Day Africa: Feast, Famine Invisible OthersAbsent TonguesIf I Could SingRide the TortoiseMemoirs of a Born FreeThe Texture of ShadowsWater MusicHere I AmThe KeeperLost and Found in JohannesburgMbongeni Buthelezi
Garden of DreamsA Sportful MaliceThe Girl with All the GiftsDog Eat DogTaller than BuildingsSister-SisterMagician's EndThe Zuma YearsSharp EdgesWestern EmpiresThe ThreePot-San's Tabletop TalesA Bit of DifferenceInward Moon, Outward SunThe Ugly Duckling
Dear BulletRaising the BarGhana Must GoUnimportanceThis DayReal Meal RevolutionSouth AfricaIn the Heat of ShadowsDark HeartDesert GodRachel’s BlueGood Morning, Mr MandelaLondon – Cape Town – Joburg

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Join Henrietta Rose-Innes, Okwiri Oduor, Efemia Chela and Diane Awerbuck at the Launch of the Caine Prize Anthology

The Gonjon Pin and Other StoriesJacana Media and The Book Lounge invite you to the launch of the 2014 Caine Prize anthology, The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories.

“Africa’s most important literary award” – International Herald Tribune

Henrietta Rose-Innes, who won the Caine Prize in 2008, will chair the conversation, with this year’s winner Okwiri Oduor and shortlisted authors Efemia Chela and Diane Awerbuck.

Don’t miss this exciting event!
 
Event Details

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Bulawayo, Oduor, Huchu, Kahora and Chela Tackle the Tricky Subject of African Writing, and Hail the Rise of Afro-futurism

NoViolet Bulawayo, Okwiri Oduor, Tendai Huchu, Billy Kahora and Efemia Chela have all been in the news recently, contemplating the controversial topic of African writing.

Feast, Famine and PotluckThe Gonjon Pin and Other StoriesWe Need New NamesAmericanahGhana Must Go

Zimbabwean Bulawayo, whose debut novel We Need New Names won the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature, was a guest at the Writivism Festival in Kampala recently.

Bulawayo took part in an event hosted at the FEMRITE Readers and Writers club, alongside Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and 2014 Writivism regional winners, Kelechi Njoku and Ssekandi Ronald Sseguja. On the question of African literature, Bulawayo said that despite seeming reductive the classification still has an important place. Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire, who chaired the event, describes the conversation:

Abubakar tells us that whether African Literature exists or not is not important. He thinks that the debate is exaggerated. He says that when he is writing, he never tells himself that he is writing an African story. He just writes. The rest is the business of the academics. Kelechi agrees with him. He is not bothered by the debate. Any position is fine. NoViolet takes a strong stand on the matter. African Literature exists to her. She is interested in where literature comes from. She notes that African literature was never recognized by gatekeepers of so-called ‘human’ literature. Its existence is thus in itself a protest against what was essentially ‘European’ literature masquerading as universal ‘human’ literature. She adds; “Literature does not become less of literature because it is African. I am Zimbabwean and so everything I produce is African”. Ssekandi agrees. I am pleased. How can literature, cultures of a whole continent disappear? I want to thank NoViolet for spelling out why African Literature will never disappear, but I restrain myself. I must remain a balanced moderator.

In a recent article by CNN, entitled “These are the African writers you should be reading right now”, the very African writers quoted emphasise the problems and pitfalls associated with the term.

Oduor, winner of the 2014 Caine Prize, said: “I don’t know what ‘African Literature’ means, but I think there are many ways of thinking about it. I would hope for it to diversify – I’d like to read more science fiction, multiculturalism.”

Zimbabwean Huchu, Kenyan Kahora and Zambian Chela, who were all shortlisted for the Caine Prize, agreed that there is a need for experimentation with genre fiction, and argued against the over-simpiflication of the idea of African literature.

“I would hope for more diverse literature – by this I’m saying a lot more stuff in different genres,” he explains. “There’s the pulpy, entertaining stuff that goes to the masses but at the moment, we have a situation in which you do a story and someone says: ‘What does this tell you about Africa?’ which is problematic.”

For Zambian writer Efemia Chela, also shortlisted nominee, just talking about African literature is “a bit of an absurd idea.” She explained: “You could say European literature is like talking from Russia all the way to the Hebrides – no one really does that and it’s a bit tricky with African literature. It’s 54 countries and so you know, there’s so much scope and range of voices.”

Meanwhile, Kahora, also shortlisted for this year’s Caine Prize, said that this desire for different styles and genres was already on its way – and growing.

“A lot of people now are very interested in afro-futurism,” he said. “A lot of sci-fi, a lot of fantasy, a lot of erotica, and then a lot of cross genre — a kind of cross pollination of genre,” added Kahora. “You will also see [more] forms — you will see some straying to visual storytelling online that attempts to do what a book does.”

But despite these complications, most Africans would not deny feeling a twinge of pride when a writer from the continent bursts onto the world scene. In this spirit, we share Flavorwire’s recent list of “50 Excellent Novels by Female Writers Under 50 That Everyone Should Read”, which includes three African novelists:

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

If you haven’t heard of Adichie, you haven’t been paying attention. Hell, Beyoncé sampled her TED Talk, so you really have no excuses. Americanah is a breathtaking and dare I say important novel about race, identity, and love, and I know I’m not the first to tell you to read it, so, you know, go read it.

We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo

A powerful debut novel — shortlisted for the Booker, no less — that tells the story of a ten-year-old girl’s journey from Zimbabwe to America, and all the things she didn’t expect when she gets there. Fierce and sometimes terrifying in her prose, Bulawayo is one to watch.

Ghana Must Go, Taiye Selasi

An elegant novel about a splintered family painstakingly stitching itself back together.

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Joan Hambidge resenseer ’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg: ’n Stadsroman deur Harry Kalmer

’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg: 'n StadsromanUitspraak: wortel

Wat kom na postmodernisme?, is die vraag by vele literatuurteoretici. Nie dat modernisme en postmodernisme so eenvoudig geskei kan word nie, maar ek is van mening dat Harry Kalmer se jongste roman, ’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg hierdie vraag ten dele beantwoord. Daar kom ’n terugbeweeg na die belangrikheid van die storie.

Boekbesonderhede

Now Available: The 2014 Caine Prize Anthology, The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories

The Gonjon Pin and Other StoriesThe Gonjon Pin and Other Stories, edited by Caine Prize, to be published by Jacana:

The Caine Prize for African Writing is Africa’s leading literary prize. For fifteen years it has supported and promoted contemporary African writing. Keeping true to its motto, “Africa will always bring something new,” the prize has helped launch the literary careers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Segun Afolabi, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, EC Osondu, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Binyavanga Wainaina, and many others.

The 2014 collection includes the five shortlisted stories and the stories written at the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop along with 12 other stories from the best new writers. Insightful, arresting and entertaining – this collection reflects the richness and range of current African writing.

A last swim in a condemned pool leads a troubled teenager and her grandmother to common ground … A young woman finds it so hard to make her way in the city that she takes a drastic decision … A couple receive relationship counselling from a strange family grouping … A boy meets two exiles from Rwanda – one of them a gorilla – with remarkable results … A woman summons her father back from the dead …

The authors shortlisted for the 2014 Caine Prize were: Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) for “Phosphorescence”; Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia) for “Chicken”; Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe) for “The Intervention”; Billy Kahora (Kenya) for “The Gorilla’s Apprentice”; Okwiri Oduor (Kenya) for “My Father’s Head”. The prize was won by Oduor. In addition, 12 writers took part in the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop, held this year in Zimbabwe, where each produced a special story for this volume. These 17 stories – insightful, arresting and entertaining – reflect the richness and range of current writing on the African continent.

“Africa’s most important literary award.”International Herald Tribune

“Entertaining. Deserves to be widely read.” – Sunday Independent, South Africa

“It provokes and challenges.” – Harare News, Zimbabwe

“Dazzling and splendidly diverse.”The Times, UK

“The Caine Prize continues to gather the many-varied stream of African writing.”The Mercury, South Africa

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