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Listen: Jonathan Jansen discusses Making Love in a War Zone on Cape Talk

‘My father-in-law did not show up for the wedding. My future wife had to leave her family home the moment we asked permission to ‘go out’ together, a tradition in those days. There were certain members of the family whom she visited on her own; my presence was not welcomed. I was a confident human being and a proud black man, but those things stick when it comes to flesh and blood.’

– Jonathan Jansen

Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?

Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out.

But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.

Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after serving for many years as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jansen recently discussed the inspiration and journey behind Making Love in a War Zone with Pippa Hudson on Cape Talk. Take a listen:

Book details

"Intense, haunting, exceptional" - Anna Stroud reviews Sally Partridge's Mine

Published in the Sunday Times

Mine *****
Sally Partridge, Human & Rousseau, R240

“People are complicated and love can make us do crazy and unkind things,” says Sally Partridge, whose fifth young adult novel, Mine, is an intense read. It follows the lives of two ordinary teenagers who fall in love, but their love turns sour as their pasts come back to haunt them.

Kayla is a beautiful skater girl with long blue hair and a love for comic books and classical music. Her mother sends her to a posh school in Rondebosch where she can hone her musical craft, but the boys take advantage of her and the girls smear her name. Friendless and alone, Kayla finds it difficult to trust Finlay, who enters her life and promises to save her. Fin makes promises he can’t keep. He’s broken too, and copes by smoking weed and binge drinking. He lives with his old man in Lansdowne, and often arrives at school with fresh bruises on his face. Fin is repeating matric, but he’s the lead rapper in a crew (not band) and calls himself Thor on stage. When he meets Kayla, all he wants to do is protect her from the world that’s been so cruel to her.

But good intentions have a way of causing more trouble.

The most impressive thing about Mine is that the characters are three-dimensional young people who could be from anywhere in the world, battling with anxiety, self-doubt, paranoia, and self-sabotage.

Partridge says the young adult genre appeals to her, “because this is the time we start experiencing the moments that define us and not all those experiences are happy ones. I try to explore how we deal with these experiences.”

Some of the scenes were difficult to write, she says. “If say, a description of a young girl being manipulated or gaslit (having her head messed with) is important to the story or the message I want to communicate, then it needs to be written, even if it’s uncomfortable.”

Partridge gets inspired by “watching people and wondering what’s going on in their heads, making up their stories”. She has a notebook and jots down observations.

Mine is exceptional, from the fast-paced plot, evocative landscape and haunting characters to the awesome cover art by illustrator Astrid Blumer. @annawriter_

Book details

David Bristow received 174 rejection slips before Jacana published Running Wild. The Daily Maverick asked why he persevered...

Running WildFollowing in the footsteps of Jock of the Bushveld, Running Wild is an African story for all ages. It is a tale of resilience, of courage and endurance, a book that will uplift, enrich and warm every lover of the African bush.

The story of Zulu is based on the life of a real stallion that lived on the Mashatu Game Reserve. The versions of the story of Zulu are about as numerous as the people who recount them. The horse and the myth were at times indistinguishable. This account of his life has been stitched together from all those stories.

In February 2000, tropical Cyclone Leon-Eline resulted in a storm so severe that the horses of Mashatu broke out of their enclosure and roamed wild and free for days before returning. Zulu was the only one that did not return. He was thought to be lost to the scourges of the Bushveld.

Years pass before Zulu is discovered to be not only alive and well, but running as the lead stallion of a herd of wild zebras. He is recaptured and returned to the safari stables as a much bolder and wiser stallion – knowledge he passes on to the other horses as well as the humans of Limpopo Valley.

David Bristow has a degree in journalism. He is one of South Africa’s first full-time travel photojournalists and was the editor of Getaway magazine. David has written more than 20 books about Africa, taking a three-year sabbatical mid-career to earn a master’s degree in environmental sciences.

As well as travelling from Antarctica to Alaska, Hillbrow to the Himalayas, he has ridden horse safaris in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Kenya. David now lives on a lake close to the sea near Cape Town with his partner, one cat, two surfboards, three canoes and four bicycles. He has three children and a grand one.

Upon hearing that Bristow received 174 rejection slips before Jacana okay’d his manuscript, the Daily Maverick’s Tiara Walters was intrigued as to why exactly David didn’t just. give. up. Here’s why…

DM: I don’t understand. Why not just self-publish after rejection slip number 83, for argument’s sake?

DB: I really believed in the story, simple as that. I just had to convince someone else. As soon as Jacana heard the premise, they jumped at it, smart people.

With regards to self-publishing, or not in this case, it was about shelf space and numbers. If your book isn’t housewives’ porn or young adult fantasy, you don’t want to go that route unless you are serious about selling books. Making them is the easy part. This is not my first book by a long way so it was not what they call a “vanity-publishing” exercise. But it was my first paperback, so it needed to be a commercial success. I’ve thrown a lot of marketing resources at it, from serious media launches to talks at book clubs.

I think the story of Zulu has the potential of becoming a modern-day equivalent of Jock of the Bushveld. It’s the rollicking, true story of an African stallion that bolts from his stable during the cyclonic floods of 2000, joins a dazzle of zebras in Mashatu Game Reserve and, remarkably, rises to the position of lead stallion.

DM: So what was the problem, then? Were you not photogenic enough? I heard this might be a thing in the unsparing world of contemporary publishing now.

DB: Yup, ugly as original sin. My girlfriend calls me OS (although that might just be os) (os n. Afrikaans for bovine male. Sometimes used for pulling vehicles or carrying things). But also publishing is like that well-trotted-out saying about capitalism: it’s a kak system, but it’s the best we’ve got. Which I guess is my way of saying they know nothing. The accountants and marketing people make all the decisions. And they think only in boxes (very small ones usually), like, does this book fit neatly into one of our sure-selling categories?

DM: Is Zulu the only horse ever known to have “gone” zebra? Did you look for other, um, “horsebra” stories? Perhaps it’s not entirely fanciful to picture a dazzle of zebra running wild through the Namib, displaying suspiciously desert horse-like traits.

DB: In the wilds, yes, this is unique. In captivity zebras and horses, as well as zebras and donkeys, have been crossed. Crosses were common amusements in Victorian circuses, but it was always a zebra male and female horse (zorses). The other way around is not known to ever have occurred. Not even the equine scientists could tell me why.

Continue reading their conversation HERE.

Book details

Katherine Paterson se Bridge to Terabithia in Afrikaans beskikbaar!

Jess Aarons se grootste droom is om die vinnigste in sy graad te hardloop. Hy het die hele somervakansie geoefen en kan nie wag om sy klasmaats se gesigte te sien wanneer hy hulle almal wen nie.

Maar op die eerste skooldag is ’n nuwe meisie dapper genoeg om die seuns aan te durf en boonop almal uit te stof.

Dis nie ’n baie belowende begin vir ’n vriendskap nie, maar Jess en Leslie Burke word onafskeidbaar. Saam skep hulle Terabithia, ’n magiese koninkryk in die woud waar hulle twee as koning en koningin heers.

Dan is daar eendag ’n verskriklike tragedie.

Eers wanneer Jess hierdie tragedie begin verwerk, besef hy uiteindelik hoeveel krag en moed Leslie vir hom gegee het.

Wenner van die Newbery-medalje.

“Roerend en met groot impak.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Hierdie storie is merkwaardig ryk en diep, pragtig geskryf.” – The Horn Book
Katherine Paterson is die outeur van meer as 30 boeke, insluitend 16 kinder- en jeugromans. Sy is twee keer bekroon met die Newbery-medalje: in 1978 vir Brug na Terabithia (Bridge to Terabithia) en in 1981 vir Jacob Have I Loved. Sy is onderskeidelik in 1998 en 2006 bekroon met die Hans Christian Andersen-prys en die Astrid Lindgren gedenkprys.

Kobus Geldenhuys het in 2015 die Elsabé Steenbergprys vir vertaalde kinder- en jeugliteratuur in Afrikaans ontvang vir Cressida Cowell se Hoe om jou draak te tem: Hoe om Drakonees te praat (Protea, 2014), en in 2016 is hy met die Alba Bouwerprys vir kinder- en jeugliteratuur bekroon vir sy vertaling van Michael Morpurgo se Hoekom die walvisse gekom het (Protea, 2015).


Sewe kinderboeke om na uit te sien in Februarie!

Z is vir Zackie 9: Die dieretuin
Jaco Jacobs
Illustreerder: Alex van Houwelingen


Vandag is ’n spesiale dag. Zackie se klas gaan dieretuin toe! Hulle kan nie wag om die leeus, olifante, apies en ander diere te sien nie. Maar Anton gaan ook saam. Anton is ’n boelie. Hy hou vreeslik baie van spog. En hy gaan sy bes probeer om almal se dag te bederf.

Z is vir Zackie 10: Die vreemde fossiel
Jaco Jacobs

Illustreerder: Alex van Houwelingen

Zackie en Vincent is op soek na fossiele! Dalk is daar ’n T-rex in die tuin begrawe? Of ’n trikeratops in die parkie? Of ’n stegosourus op die sypaadjie! Almal dink hulle is laf. Daar is tog nie fossiele in Granaatstraat nie. Maar dan ontdek hulle iets fantasties!

Hoezit! Die wonderwêreld van perde en ponies
Jaco Jacobs & Fanie Viljoen

Wat is die verskil tussen ’n perd en ’n ponie? Watter soort perd kan meer as ’n klein motor weeg? Waarvoor word verskillende soorte perde regoor die wêreld gebruik? Hoe moet jy jou perd of ponie versorg? Ontdek die wonderlike wêreld van perde en ponies met hierdie boek propvol prettige feite en aktiwiteite! Met 48 bladsye vol fassinerende feite, volkleurfoto’s en hope aktiwiteite, speletjies en kopkrappers waarmee jy die wonderwêreld van perde en ponies kan verken, is hierdie boek gewaarborg om jong feitevrate se tone te laat omkrul van lekkerkry! Maak van naderby kennis met van die indrukwekkendste perderasse, vind uit wat alles by ’n ryskool gebeur, ontmoet perde se verlangse familie in die diereryk, en ontdek ’n paar asemrowende perderekords! Die temas en aktiwiteite maak hierdie reeks boeke die perfekte hulpbron vir skoolprojekte en sal sorg vir ure se prettige vermaak by die huis. Sedert Hoezit! se bestaan in boekvorm, is daar al meer as 51 700 kopieë van hierdie reeks verkoop.

Reënboogrant Maats: Omnibus 1
Maritha Snyman

Een van die gewildste Afrikaanse reekse is nou vir die eerste keer in ’n omnibus beskikbaar! Kom deel in die lekkerste tye van Shani en haar sussie Sunette se lewens – tydens die Reënboogrant-jare! In die Reënboogrant Maats-boeke is Shani-hulle op laerskool, en hulle beleef allerlei opwindende avonture – van ’n dief wat straatnommers steel, tot ’n droomrol in ’n balletkonsert.

Hierdie omnibus bevat die eerste drie titels uit dié gewilde reeks: Skelmstreke en kattekwaad, Alleen tuis en Die balletkonsert.

Die Reënboogrant-boeke, waarvan die eerste in 1995 verskyn het, was uiters gewild. Reënboogrant is destyds as ’n “boeksepie” beskryf. LAPA is trots om dit weer aan jong lesers beskikbaar te stel.

Susan Ongansie
lllustreerder: Linki Lutz


Susan Ongansie is ’n splinternuwe skrywer!

Mietsie en haar boetie, Maans, is twee katjies. Hulle hou daarvan om met hulle bal op die sagte gras te speel. Maar toe Mietsie aan die slaap raak, besluit Maans om oor die muur te spring en iemand te gaan soek wat met hom wil speel.

Mietsie word wakker en ontdek haar boetie is skoonveld! Toe sy hom gaan soek, kry sy vir Mors en Jors, die twee grys straatkatte wat hou van stry en baklei! Sal die twee straatkatte haar kan help om haar boetie te kry – en uit die pad van die gevaarlike straatbrakke te bly?

Susan Ongansie is ’n grondslagfase-onderwyseres wat op Beaufort-Wes gebore en getoë is. “Die aard van my werk bied ’n lekker geleentheid vir skryf, aangesien ek graag stories, liedjies en gediggies skryf wat vir my leerders relevant is. Ek geniet die genot op hul gesiggies.”

Linki Lutz het aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch gegradueer met ’n cum laude vir haar prakties in Skone Kunste. Piet Grobler is haar peetpa, so sy wou van ’n vroeë ouderdom reeds ’n loopbaan as illustreerder volg.

Kom ons praat oor waar babas vandaan kom
Robie H. Harris
Illustreerder: Michael Emberley

Hierdie deernisvolle boek fokus op belangrike dinge waaroor kinders wonder: babas, voortplanting, liggame, gene, grootword, liefde, gesondheid en nog baie meer. Die inligting word op ’n eenvoudige manier oorgedra met humoristiese kommentaar van ’n baie nuuskierige voëltjie en ’n teësinnig by wat sou verkies om eerder nie oor dié dinge te praat nie! Vrolike volkleurstrokiesprentillustrasies help om die teks nog meer toeganklik te maak.

Seksvoorligtingboeke vir jonger kinders is in groot aanvraag en hierdie titel is al vir 15 jaar in Amerika en Engeland ’n topverkoper.

Robie H. Harris is ’n bekroonde skrywer wat veral bekend is as skrywer van kinderboeke oor seksualiteit. Sy het jare se ondervinding as onderwyser en as die direkteur van ’n náskoolprogram vir jong kinders. Sy woon saam met haar man in Boston, VSA. Michael Emberley skryf en illustreer al meer as dertig jaar lank kinderboeke. Hy woon in Ierland.

Aksieheld Austin: Nag van grille
Skrywer en illustreerder: Fanie Viljoen

Ligte, kamera, aksie!

Ewald is nog op laerskool, maar sy naam is reeds op almal se lippe. G’n wonder nie – hy is immers die ster van die gewilde Aksieheld Austin-rolprente. In die flieks is hy ’n dapper held met vuiste soos kanonkoeëls wat skurke laat les opsê!

Die tweede fliek, Aksieheld Austin: Nag van grille, is pas voltooi, en Ewald kan nie wag vir die bekendstelling nie. Dit gaan by ’n ou fliekteater in die stad gehou word.
Die middag voor die vertoning gaan maak Ewald en sy beste vriend, Carlo, egter ’n draai by die grillerige ou fliekmuseum wat deel van die teater is. Kort voor lank is hulle vasgekeer in die museum – saam met ’n geheimsinnige figuur wat in die donker rondsluip …

As hulle wil ontsnap, sal Ewald hierdie keer net so dapper soos ’n REGTE aksieheld moet wees!

Dié asemrowende reeks avontuurverhale uit die pen van Fanie Viljoen is perfek vir jong lesers wat hou van stories propvol aksie en adrenalien!


Fiona Snyckers's first book in a new series is fun, fast-paced and features a strong female protagonist, writes Tiah Beautement

Published in the Sunday Times

Fiona Snyckers, Indie Publishers,
Available on Amazon, R40

This fun and fast-paced read is the start of the six-book Eulalie Park murder-mystery series, which includes a hint of romance.

Private investigator Eulalie Park is used to working alone. But the new chief of police, Donal Macgregor, is not easy to ignore, especially after he accuses Park’s best friend of murder. As Park sets off on her cherry-red Vespa to prove her friend’s innocence, sparks ignite between the detective and the chief.

“Chief Macgregor is a series regular,” says Snyckers. “I like to think he would be played by fellow Scot James McAvoy if this series made it to the big screen.”

Hacked is set on the fictitious Prince William Island, near Madagascar.

“I’m fascinated by the way in which parts of the world were carved up on paper by Europeans sitting at a conference table thousands of miles away,” says Snyckers. “I wanted Prince William Island to be a real melting-pot of cultures, with a strong Francophone influence.”

The novel’s pacing is smooth, keeps readers guessing, and the narrative avoids deus ex machina to resolve the case.

“It is very important that readers should feel satisfied after reading a murder mystery,” Snyckers says.

“You don’t want want your readers actually to solve the mystery themselves, but you want them to look back on the build-up of evidence in the book and to feel as though they could have solved it if only they had been a little more alert.”

Snyckers’s long-time fans expect stories that feature strong and intriguing female characters. Park is no exception – a heroine with larger-than-life abilities, she’ll be admired by readers young and old. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie