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Listen to five short stories by Nadine Gordimer (including Loot read by the author) via @openculture: fb.me/6CqAHMz7y

Leandie du Randt gesels oor haar deelname aan Strictly Come Dancing (Plus: Video)

Gemaklik in jou eie lyfComfortable in Your Own SkinLeandie du Randt neem dié maand die konsep van Gemaklik in jou eie lyf: Wees die beste jy na nuwe hoogtes wanneer sy as een van tien Strictly Come Dancing-finaliste sal meeding om die titel as danskoningin.

“Om die beste te wees, moet jy fokus op jou eie vordering. Ek is my eie grootste kompetisie en solank ek net elke dag beter is as die vorige dag, is ek tevrede,” het du Randt onlangs aan Sarie se Elmari de Vos gesê. Lees die artikel waar sy oor die kompetisie en die wonder van haar nuwe liefde gesels:

Leandie speel later vanjaar in die flieks Hollywood in my huis en Strikdas. Sy is ook in Mooirivier, wat volgende jaar uitgereik word, het pas haar eie boek, Gemaklik in jou eie lyf, uitgereik én is in die nuwe seisoen van Strictly Come Dancing.

“Op die oomblik sê ek nee vir onnodige werk, want Strictly Come Dancing is nou my eerste prioriteit,” sê sy oor die werklikheidsreeks wat vanaf 18 Julie op SABC 3 wys.

Die kompetisie sal vanaf Vrydag, 18 Julie weekliks op SABC 3 afspeel. Kyk na ‘n kort voorskou van Du Randt en haar dansmaat, Brandon Le Riche:

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Boekbesonderhede

New Edition of Famous Dinosaurs of Africa by Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, Illustrated by Luis V Rey

Famous Dinosaurs of AfricaStruik Nature presents an updated edition of Famous Dinosaurs of Africa by Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, illustrated by Luis V Rey:

Although African dinosaurs make a significant contribution to palaeontology, they are often omitted from books in favour of better-known species like T Rex. But their fossils have been discovered across the continent – from the Sahara Desert and the dusty plains of Tanzania to the rocky outcrops of the Karoo – and they are no less magnificent or fascinating than their ‘celebrity’ cousins.

Famous Dinosaurs of Africa is written for children, but has broad appeal for anyone interested in learning more about dinosaurs. A brief general introduction is followed by short chapters on dinosaur species, among them those that were fish-eating, sociable, predatory, etc, as well as those that were cannibals, and the biggest meat-eating dinosaur of all time – the thread being that they all come from Africa.

Details are given about where they were found, the meaning of their scientific names, and their size and diet. Spectacular, colourful illustrations bring the creatures vividly to life; photographs, maps and line drawings further illustrate the subject, while ‘Unsolved’ and ‘Up close’ panels add to the intrigue. With a large, pull-out poster, this is a most attractive and inspirational book.

About the author

Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan holds a PhD from Wits, is a Fellow of UCT, and president of the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering. In 2005, she received the ‘Distinguished Woman in Science’ award from the Department of Science and Technology. She is widely published in academic journals and popular media.

About the illustrator

Luis Rey is an illustrator, painter, sculptor and author. A full-time palaeo-artist, his digital paintings of dinosaurs have appeared in many publications and his work has been featured in exhibitions in the USA and UK. He lives and works in London.

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Join Alex Smith for the Launch of Devilskein & Dearlove at The Book Lounge

Devilskein and DearloveUmuzi and The Book Lounge would like to invite you to join them for the launch of Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex Smith on Thursday, 17 July, at 5:30 for 6 PM.

Smith will be in conversation with Verushka Louw.

See you there!
 
 
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Khaya Dlanga Ponders South Africans' Reluctance to Date Across Racial Lines

In My Arrogant OpinionKhaya Dlanga, author of In My Arrogant Opinion, believes that as South Africans we are still “very much in our comfort zone” when it comes to dating across the colour line.

Using his own and a friend’s personal experiences as a launching pad for his piece, Dlanga comes to the conclusion that often “race seems to matter more than how people actually feel”.

Dlanga says he “finds it fascinating” that in a country where the vast majority of people are black, he meet an “overwhelming amount of white people who have never kissed a black person”.

I spent some time with a very good friend of mine who lives in Cape Town. Now, for the purposes of this column I have to mention his race. He is a black guy who has predominantly dated white women in South Africa. He is not South African. He made some interesting observations I found stinging and interesting at the same time. He told me to write about how – as contradictory as this may sound – he hasn’t ended up with white girls exclusively because he just likes white women. It’s because he has felt that it’s more difficult for him to get with black women in South Africa because he senses a barrier because he does not speak any South African languages.

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Alex Smith Returns with a Magical YA Novel, Devilskein & Dearlove

Devilskein and DearloveOut from Umuzi this month, Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex Smith:

When thirteen-year-old Erin Dearlove has to move in with her aunt on Cape Town’s bustling Long Street, she struggles to adapt to her new life, harbouring a dark secret. But her friendship with their upstairs neighbour, Mr Devilskein, soon helps her to adjust. Like Erin, Mr Devilskein has something to hide: he is the keeper of six mysterious doors. He entrusts Erin with the key for one of these doors, and she discovers that they lead to infinite magical worlds. In wonder she explores an underwater paradise, the lost works of William Shakespeare, and a beautiful Chinese garden. During her adventures she meets a prisoner names Julius Monk, but Julius is not all he appears to be. The captive and his Book of Dooms prove dangerously enticing, and soon it is up to Erin to save the lives of those she’s grown to love.

Devilskein & Dearlove is as sinister and intriguing as it is quirky and colourful. With inimitable storytelling flair, Alex Smith weaves an enchanting tale of friendship, adventure and magic.

About the author

Alex Smith is the author of Algeria’s Way, Four Drunk Beauties, Agency Blue and Drinking from the Dragon’s Well. Her writing has been short-listed for the SA Pen Literary Award and the Caine Prize for African writing, and has won a Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature and a Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award. She lives in Cape Town with her partner, their book-loving baby boy and their dogs.

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Should Science Fiction and Fantasy be Included in the "New Wave of African Writers"?

Nigerian American Science Fiction author Nnedi Okorafor has expressed “anger” at being left off a recent New York Times list of what it called the “New Wave” of African authors.

AfroSFWho Fears DeathDark Matter

Purple HibiscusHalf of a Yellow Sun Americanah

CrossbonesAll Our NamesWe Need New NamesEvery Day is for the ThiefGhana Must GoDustBoy, Snow, Bird

The article, entitled “New Wave of African Writers With an Internationalist Bent”, mentions Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dinaw Mengestu, Helen Oyeyemi, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Taiye Selasi, among others, and outlines what are perceived to be the main trends in African and African American writing.

The newspaper quotes Adichie on the subject of different categories of black. “In the US, to be a black person who is not African-American in certain circles is to be seen as quote-unquote, the good black,” Adichie said, adding that people may comment: “You’re African so you don’t have all those issues.”

The article also highlights the new international inclination in African writing, with books beginning to feature more characters who are “citizens of the world”. Manthia Diawara, professor of comparative literature and film at New York University, comments: “Now we are talking about how the West relates to Africa and it frees writers to create their own worlds. They have several identities and they speak several languages.”

According to the article, apart from certain exceptions such as Wole Soyinka and Ben Okri, who broke through in a “fallow period” for African literature, publishing tends to follows trends: “Women, Asian-American, Indian and Latino writers have all been ‘discovered’ and had their moment in the sun”, with African-Americans currently in vogue, and more ‘authentic’ African voices even more preferable.

But for all the different themes and kinds of writing, the novelist Dinaw Mengestu said that he saw a thread. “There’s this investigation of what happens to the dislocated soul,” said Mr Mengestu, 36, the author of All Our Names and a MacArthur “genius” award winner, who was born in Ethiopia but left at age two and grew up in Illinois.

The novelist Okey Ndibe, 54, said for his part, “My reflexes are shaped mostly by life in Nigeria, but so many aspects of me are in the American mode.”

However, it seems the “different themes and kinds of writing” do not stretch to the corner containing the science fiction and fantasy genres.

Writer and publisher Sheree Thomas, who edited Dark Matter, an anthology of African-American science fiction and fantasy that won the World Fantasy Award, was incredulous, and took to Twitter to protest: “I’m trying to figure out how an article on the new wave of African writers does not include Nnedi Okorafor…smh @ the separation of genres”.

Okorafor replied, thanking Thomas, and admitting that she felt “angry” at her omission, but declining to expand too much on the subject:

Do you agree with the New York Times’ summation of current African writing? Do you think genre fiction should be included in a discussion about African fiction? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

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