Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Invitation to book launch hosted at Wordsworth Gardens

Our guest is Patricia Schonstein author of The Master's Ruse.

Date: Thursday, 18 December 2008
Time: 17h30 for 18h00
Venue: WORDSWORTH BOOKS, Shop 7, Gardens Centre, Mill Street, Gardens.

Patricia, the award-winning author of Skyline, will discuss her latest book.

RSVP: Leon before Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Tel: (021) 461-8464 Email: gardens@wordsworth.co.za

Drinks & light snacks will be served.

Wines kindly sponsored by Leopard's Leap.

The Master’s Ruse is Patricia Schonstein’s fifth novel. It follows: Skyline. A Time of Angels. The Apothecary’s Daughter. A Quilt of Dreams.

Set in a future time when the sea is biologically dead, in a country governed by a regime opposed to literature and free speech, The Master’s Ruse is the surrealist narrative of an aging authoress compromised by harsh laws governing literary freedom.

Stark, searing and eloquent, this novel, cast as an allegorical masterclass and as a memoir of authorship and conscience, reflects on the crafting of fiction and the creative scaffolding that supports it.

It laments the desecration of the earth’s fragile infrastructure and considers the power of fiction as a tool for peace.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Opportunity for unknown fiction authors willing to share his or her experiences

Reply to: job-954346991@craigslist.org

Looking for unknown fiction authors willing to share his or her experiences (anonymously if preferred) with one of the industry’s leading ‘book doctors’ for upcoming publication on debut novelists.

You could have:
• A clear, but unwritten, idea for a novel, a rough draft, or a completed manuscript you intend to have published.
• A manuscript that still needs polishing prior to submission.
• A basic knowledge of query letter writing – although you don’t need one completed.
• A manuscript that’s been shopped around with not much success.

You must have:
• A willingness and drive to keep working at it.
• A fresh ‘voice’.
• Access to a computer and email.

If selected, you will have the full coaching resources available to you: story development, polishing and editing prior to submission, isolating the top-pick literary agents and query letter coaching. You will also have the option of getting excerpts of your work published in a high-profile publication (you may also choose not to share your unpublished work).

Please send a short (one page or less) description of where you are in your writing process. You may include any relevant information: job and/or education history. Please include the words 'FICTION AUTHOR' in the heading.

Website and links to 'national bestselling' credentials will be made available.

* Telecommuting is ok.
* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brown Graduate Program in Literary Arts seeking applications and nominations

The Brown Graduate Program in Literary Arts and Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies are seeking applications and nominations for the 2009 - 2010 International Writers Project Fellowship.

The fellowship, which is sponsored by the William H. Donner Foundation, provides institutional, intellectual, artistic and social support to writers who face personal danger, oppression, and/or threats to their livelihood in nations throughout the world. Each academic year, the fellowship is granted to one writer who is unable to practice free expression in his or her homeland. Deeply practical in nature and intention, the academic-year fellowship covers the costs of relocation and the writer's living expenses in the U.S., and also provides an office on the campus of Brown University for ten months.

International Writers Project founder Robert Coover points out that, while the Literary Arts Program at Brown has been providing freedom-to-write fellowships since 1989 and has a long history of engagement in freedom of expression issues, "not in recent history has the basic principle of free expression been under such worldwide threat as right now, making fellowships like this one a top priority for any writing program or university. Not only does the fellowship provide needed support and sanctuary to an individual writer, it also signals a commitment to the principle of freedom of expression and, through its association with cultural programs, seeks to heighten awareness of that principle's vulnerability and the need for international solidarity in its protection."

The 2008 – 2009 IWP Fellow is Burmese novelist Thida. Previous IWP Fellows have included Zimbabwean novelist Chenjerai Hove, Iranian novelists Moniro Ravanipour, Shahryar Mandanipour, and Shahrnush Parsipur, and Congolese playwright and novelist Pierre Mumbere Mujomba.

The IWP Fellowship is open to established creative writers (fiction writers, poets, or playwrights) who are persecuted in their home countries or who are actively prevented from pursuing free expression in their literary art. Writers interested in applying for the fellowship should send a case history, providing publishing history and explaining need, a writing sample, and a resume, to the Graduate Program in Literary Arts, Box 1923, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, or they may email materials to iwp@brown.edu. Persons wishing to make the IWP aware of a writer in need, or wishing to nominate a candidate, should also contact the program as noted above. The IWP will be accepting applications until February 15, 2009. More information about the IWP is available on the Literary Arts Program website, www.brown.edu/cw (click on IWP).

Literary Arts Program
Box 1923
Providence, RI 02912
401 863-3260
Fax 401 863-1535

A call for stories


A new young MG/YA publisher is looking for passionate, talented writers to submit proposals and/or completed manuscripts of approximately 80 000 words.

About the publishers

"The Publishing Company is named Ispirato - it is very new in the 'commercial book' market (though it has been operational since 2006 in the corporate world). We decided to 'open' this side of the business since there seems to be a niche market for the MG/YA books (MG - Middle Grade/YA - Young Adult - so 9-18 years reader group) in South Africa - as sadly, so many seem to still be imported.

"We do not look at massive print runs initially, but the company will cover the costs of initial runs and marketing in selected stores. The author must obviously be available to appear at marketing drives/launches etc., etc. and as the sales increase so the runs will too (we are also looking to promote books - of any kind - online and are looking at a discount rate between 30-40% initially. Other on-line store usually charge around 45% " Our mission is to get young adult SA readers reading SA writers!

Contact details

"Our website is www.ispirato.co.za (the online store Ispirato Books -
one of the tags on your left - is still in development phase but you could link to it to see the work-in-progress), our contact details:

karen@ispirato.co.za or info@ispirato.co.za, our current address is 15 Sprigg Road, Tableveiw, 7441 and contact numbers are 0215579836.

"We use external editors (www.livewriting.co.za - the site is in development too but the main Editor is Maire Fischer) and depending on the amount of editing that will need to be done, we will negotiate with the writer (obviously if there is a lot of editing - according to Live Writing - then we won't want to cover the costs for this as we believe it is the writers responsibility to make sure it is 'mostly' publishable).

What we looking for

We are looking for MG - Middle Grade/YA - Young Adult (so for the 8-18 yrs reader group) writers at moment. (We will also accept already published books to be sold on the online site if anyone is interested.)

Submission details are:

1. Synopsis of story - 1-2 pages of the story (an outline if you will)

2. First 3 chapters of the story - we assume edited and in 'publishable' format

3. A cover letter with some information of the author i.e. learning, other published stories etc - who they are, what they've done and want to do

4. Remember to include your contact details

E-mail submissions to karen@ispirato.co.za or info@ispirato.co.za

Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature opens

Tafelberg and Sanlam once again invite writers, established or beginner, to enter manuscripts suitable for 12-18 year olds for the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature. The competition closes on 30 June 2009 and this time round the organisers are looking for stories in which humour play a role.

Entries may be in Afrikaans, English, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Tshivenda or Xitsonga.

The winning novels will be published by NB Publishers under the Tafelberg imprint in 2010. For enquiries contact Danita van Romburgh at dvanromb@nb.co.za or (021) 406 3412.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crink self-publishing platform launches

Via Afrika has launched a brand-new division. Crink, a ground-breaking online self-publishing platform, is set to lead the way in e-publishing in South Africa by enabling authors to self-publish, sell, buy and market their books online. Customers will be able to order books from Crink's online shop and have it delivered to their doorsteps in printed format.

The Web 2.0-enabled Crink platform is 80 per cent automated and the success of publications is determined mainly by the involvement of authors who now have the luxury of managing their titles. Crink simultaneously runs traditional self-publishing services to guide authors through the publishing value chain from manuscript origination to the final product in the bookstore.

Please visit www.crink.co.za for more information; alternatively call us at 012 342 7202.

Friday, November 14, 2008

South African Writers College offers writing courses

We have been running our courses for several years, and most are tutored by multi-award-winning South African writers - at an affordable cost. All our courses are one-on-one over a period of at least five months, and we aim to train writers from every corner of South Africa.

We also offer two full bursaries per year, and run two national writing competitions.

Henrietta Rose Innes and Jo-Anne Richards - Write A Novel Course.
admin@sawriterscollege.co.za (a national, one-year online course with one-on-one guidance and training by award-winning writers) Tel: 021
433-2879; enrol at www.sawriterscollege.co.za

Helen Brain's Write A Children's Book Course -
admin@sawriterscollege.co.za (a 12-month online course with one-on-one guidance and tutelage by award-winning author, Helen Brain)
Tel: 021 433-2879; enrol at www.sawriterscollege.co.za

Janie Oosthuysen's Skryfgeheime Vir Kinderboeke -
admin@sawriterscollege.co.za (an eight-month online course with one-on-one guidance and training by the multi-award-winning children's book author, Janie Oosthuysen) Tel: 021 433-2879; enrol at www.sawriterscollege.co.za

Ginny Swart: Short Story Writing Course - admin@sawriterscollege.co.za (a six-month online course with one-on-one tutoring by Ginny Swart - the multi-award-winning writer) Tel: 021 433-2879; enrol at www.sawriterscollege.co.za

Peter Cross: Write A Non-fiction Book - admin@sawriterscollege.co.za (a twelve-month online course with individual tutoring by author and journalist, Peter Cross) Tel: 021 433-2879; enrol at www.sawriterscollege.co.za

SA Writers' College - admin@sawriterscollege.co.za (a national, online writing school for career training and for creative writing enthusiasts.
All courses offer at least five months of one-on-one training under a top South African writer.) Tel: 021 433-2879; enrol at www.sawriterscollege.co.za

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Google Book Search settlement agreement

Google and the group of authors and publishers who were plaintiffs in the U.S. Google Book Search lawsuits announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement. This settlement, on behalf of a broad class of copyright holders, opens new opportunities for everyone - authors, publishers, libraries, Google and readers. You can learn more about the settlement and how it may affect you and your authors by visiting the copyright settlement site ( http://books.google.com/booksrightsholders/). Because the settlement is awaiting Court approval, we're limited in our ability to discuss it with you. However, you are encouraged to contact the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel, whose contact information is on the settlement website, for further assistance. You may also be interested in reading our blog post to users ( http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/new-chapter-for-google-book-search.html).

The proposed settlement covers books that were digitized as a part of the Google Book Search Library Project ( http://books.google.com/googlebooks/library.html). The relationship we have with you under the Google Book Search Partner Program does not change, although you will be entitled to the benefits conferred on you under the settlement, if and when the settlement is approved by the Court. You will continue to be able to market your books through the Partner Program exactly as you do today, and we'll be in touch about new features and opportunities for maximizing the benefits of the Partner Program for your books.

Because the settlement is awaiting preliminary approval by the court, there is no specific action you need to take, although we encourage you to visit the copyright settlement site ( http://books.google.com/booksrightsholders/) and read the material there. You will also be able to sign up on the site to be notified when more information about the settlement is available.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Launch of John Carlin’s Playing the Enemy

Exclusive Books and Penguin SA invite you to celebrate the launch of John Carlin’s Playing the Enemy

VENUE: Exclusive Books, V&A Waterfront
DATE: Friday, 10 October 2008
TIME: 5:30 for 6pm
RSVP: Exclusive Books on 021 419 0905
or email: waterfront@exclusivebooks.co.za

As the day of the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup dawned, and the Springboks faced New Zealand’s all-conquering All Blacks, more was at stake than just a sporting trophy. When Nelson Mandela appeared wearing a Springbok jersey and led the all-white, Afrikaner-dominated team in singing South Africa’s new national anthem, he conquered white South Africa.

The green jersey of South Africa’s Springbok rugby team, which whites loved and blacks saw as a detested symbol of racial oppression, became the instrument around which Mandela chose to heal ancient wounds, unite the country and prevent a war.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Self-publishing 101

Innovative publishing director Arthur Attwell is hosting a seminar on self-publishing for beginners. The lecture will explain how publishing and self-publishing works, the three basic areas of self-publishing (production, marketing and distribution) and what the author’s and production company’s areas of responsibilities are.

This is an opportunity for authors and publishers alike to have their questions answered from a company that is pushing the envelope - don’t miss out!

Date: 16 September 2008

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: Electric Book Works, 87 Station Road Observatory

Bookings: Please call Silma on 021 448 8336 or email info@mousehand.co.za

Cost: R200 p/p

Space is limited, so please respond soon.

Launch of The Nose by Margie Orford

Acclaimed crime writer Margie Orford has turned her hand to children's books, specifically to write a little book for her 8-year-old friend Jack. It's quirkily illustrated by Margie's husband Andrew Walton. And by 'little book', we mean very little. Seriously cute miniature. It was great fun to make this book for Margie, and we're inviting you to join her for the launch at the fabulous Book Lounge (cnr Roeland and Buitenkant, Cape Town) on Thursday 25 September at 5:30 for 6 pm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Following the success of the HSBC/SA PEN Literary Awards, SA PEN announces a call for entries for the new PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award. Writers from African and SADC countries are invited to submit original, previously unpublished, English-language SHORT STORIES.

The best entries will be selected by an editorial board for inclusion in a book to be published next year, under the working title


Three prize winners will be selected by Nobel Laureate J M Coetzee

Prizes, given by John Studzinski, will be awarded:

£5 000, £3 000 and £2 000

Rules for submission of entries:

* Entrants must be citizens of an African or SADC* country.

* Stories, on any subject, must be in English; length should be 2 500
to 5 000 words.

* Entries must be previously unpublished. More than one entry may be

* Entries must be typed, in double spacing, on one side of A4 paper.
Pages must be numbered and securely fastened together. Three copies must be

* No name or address should appear on the typescript, but each page
must carry the title of the story. The identity of authors will not be
revealed to judges.

* A covering letter with the name, e-mail & postal address, contact
numbers, and photocopy of the ID of the entrant (as proof of citizenship)
must be included. Entrants may currently reside outside of Africa.

* Submission of entries implies adherence to all rules and conditions
of this award, including that of copyright.

* Closing date: 30th September 2008

* Send your entry to: PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award, P O Box 30327,
Tokai, 7966, Republic of South Africa. Fax and e-mail entries will not be


Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Man Booker 2008 shortlist announced

Aravind Adiga, Sebastian Barry, Amitav Ghosh, Linda Grant, Philip Hensher and Steve Toltz are the six authors shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008, the English-speaking world's most important literary award. The shortlist was announced by the chair of judges, Michael Portillo, at a press conference at Man Group plc offices in London today (Tuesday 9th September 2008).

The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 13 and are:

Author Title Publisher

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger Atlantic

Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture Faber and Faber

Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies John Murray

Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs Virago

Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency Fourth Estate

Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole Hamish Hamilton

Michael Portillo, Chair of Judges, comments:

"The judges commend the six titles to readers with great enthusiasm. These novels are intensely readable, each of them an extraordinary example of imagination and narrative. These fine page-turning stories nonetheless raise highly thought-provoking ideas and issues. These books are in every case both ambitious and approachable."

The 2008 shortlist includes two first time novelists, Aravind Adiga and Steve Toltz. The six authors represent a broad geographical spread with two Indian authors, two English authors, an Australian author and an Irish author. The youngest on the list, at 34 years old, is Aravind Adiga. Sebastian Barry was shortlisted in 2005 for his novel A Long, Long Way, Linda Grant was longlisted in 2002 for her novel Still Here and Philip Hensher, once a Booker judge himself, was also longlisted in 2002 for his novel The Mulberry Empire.

The winner receives £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book.

The judging panel for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Michael Portillo, former MP and Cabinet Minister; Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar's bookshops and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at a dinner at the Guildhall, London. The announcement will be broadcast live on BBC One's 10 O'Clock News.

This year, the Man Booker Prize has exclusively partnered with mobile site GoSpoken to make extracts from the shortlisted books available to download free onto your mobile phone. They can either be read as text or listened to as audio. The extracts will be available from the moment the shortlist is announced by texting MBP to 60300. This is the first time that any book prize has used mobile technology to promote its shortlist.

On Monday 13th October, the eve of the winner announcement, the Southbank Centre in London will host an evening of readings and discussion with the 2008 shortlisted authors.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Atlantic Books, £12.99

Born in the heartland of India to the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram Halwai, the ‘White Tiger', dreams of escaping his life as a teashop worker turned chauffeur. Yet when his chance finally arrives and his eyes are opened to the revelatory city of New Delhi, Balram becomes caught between his instinct to be a loyal son and servant and his desire to better himself. As he passes through two different Indias on his journey from the darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success, he begins to realise how the Tiger might finally escape his cage, and he is not afraid to spill a little blood along the way.

Aravind Adiga was born in Madras on 23rd October 1974 and raised partly in Australia. He studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities and is a former correspondent for TIME magazine in India. Adiga's articles have also appeared in publications such as the Financial Times, Independent and Sunday Times. He currently lives in Mumbai.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Karen Duffy on 020 7269 1621 or at KarenDuffy@groveatlantic.co.uk

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Faber and Faber, £16.99

Roseanne McNulty, perhaps nearing her one-hundredth birthday - no one is quite sure - faces an uncertain future as the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital where she's spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. She talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene in the weeks leading up to the closure. Told through their respective journals, the shocking story of Roseanne's family in 1930s Sligo emerges. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne's story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland. The Secret Scripture is the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment yet marked by passion and hope.

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin on 5th July 1955. He has written a number of plays and his novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998), Annie Dunne (2002) and A Long Long Way (2005) which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Dublin International Impac Prize. He has won, among other awards, the Irish-America Fund Literary Award, the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize, the London Critics Circle Award and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize. He currently lives in Wicklow with his wife and three children.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Kate Burton on 020 7465 7554 or at Kate.burton@faber.co.uk

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

John Murray, £18.99

Set just before the Opium Wars, this novel has at its heart an old slaving-ship, The Ibis and its crew, a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races and generations.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta on 11th July 1956 and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford. He has taught at a number of institutions, most recently Harvard, and written for many publications. His international bestseller, The Glass Palace was published in 2000. He currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Nikki Barrow on 020 7873 6440 or 07813 806 297 or at nikki.barrow@johnmurrays.co.uk

The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant

Virago, £17.99

The Clothes on Their Backs is a story about concealed pasts, dark subjects, dark places and stark choices and how the clothes we wear define us all. In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Through Vivien we discover the colourful characters at Benson Court, who play a part in the development of this at first timid and unworldly woman. Then, one morning, a glamorous older man appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in leopard-skin on his arm. He is her Uncle Sándor, but why is he so violently unwelcome in her parents' home?

Linda Grant was born on 15th February 1951 in Liverpool and currently lives in London. She is the author of several award-winning novels, including The Cast Iron Shore, published in 1996 and When I Lived in Modern Times, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her novel Still Here was longlisted for The Booker Prize in 2002. Other award-winning books include Remind Me Who I am Again, Sexing the Millennium: A Political History of the Sexual Revolution and The People on the Street: A Writer's View of Israel.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Susan de Soissons on 020 7911 8069 or 07887 991424 or at Susan.deSoissons@littlebrown.co.uk

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher

Fourth Estate, £17.99

1974. Husbands and wives, arm in arm, stroll through an invincible suburb after a summer party, secure and hopeful. Over the next twenty years everything will change for them, and for England. Set in Sheffield, The Northern Clemency charts the relationship between two families: Malcolm and Katherine Glover and their three children; and their neighbours the Sellers family, newly arrived from London. The day the Sellers move in there is a crisis across the road: Malcolm Glover has left home, convinced his wife is having an affair. The consequences of this rupture will spread throughout the lives of both couples and their children, in particular 10-year-old Tim Glover, who never quite recovers from the moment of his mother's public cruelty and the amused taunting of 15-year-old Sandra Sellers. In the background England is changing: from a land of fire and industry to a gleaming landscape of shop fronts and chain restaurants, a shift particularly marked in the North with the miners' strike of 1984.

A Booker judge himself in 2001, Philip Hensher has written five novels, Other Lulus, Kitchen Venom which won the Somerset Maugham Award, Pleasured, the Booker-longlisted The Mulberry Empire (in 2002) and The Fit, as well as a collection of short stories, The Bedroom of the Mister's House. He is a columnist for The Independent, arts critic for The Spectator and a Granta Best of Young British Novelist. He was born on 20th February 1965 and lives in South London.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Robin Harvie on 020 8307 4146 or 07771 892 797 or at Robin.harvie@harpercollins.co.uk

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Hamish Hamilton, £17.99

Most of his life, Jasper Dean couldn't decide whether to pity, hate, love or murder his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a man who overanalyzed anything and everything and imparted his self-garnered wisdom to his only son. But now that Martin is dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the crackpot who raised him in intellectual captivity, and what he realizes is that, for all its lunacy, theirs was a grand adventure.

As he recollects the events that led to his father's demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries - about his infamous outlaw uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent European mother, and Martin's constant losing battle to make a lasting mark on the world he so disdains. It's a story that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip clubs, asylums, labyrinths and criminal lairs, and from the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition.

Steve Toltz was born on 21st June 1972 in Sydney and has lived in Montreal, Vancouver, Barcelona and Paris, working primarily as a screenwriter but also doing stints as a private investigator and an English teacher. A Fraction of the Whole is his first novel.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Amelia Fairney on 020 7010 3247 or 07764 774 291 or at Amelia.fairney@uk.penguingroup.com

The Gathering by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) won the Man Booker Prize 2007.

The Man Booker 2008 longlist, which was announced on 29th July, was:

Author Title Publisher

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger Atlantic

Gaynor Arnold Girl in a Blue Dress Tindal Street Press

Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture Faber and Faber

John Berger From A to X Verso

Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog Chatto & Windus

Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies John Murray

Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs Virago

Mohammed Hanif A Case of Exploding Mangoes Jonathan Cape

Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency Fourth Estate

Joseph O'Neill Netherland Fourth Estate

Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence Jonathan Cape

Tom Rob Smith Child 44 Simon & Schuster

Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole Hamish Hamilton
The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969, and Man Group plc was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002, with a five year extension agreed in 2006. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/. The site features the rules of entry, background information and breaking news and is the quickest way for the prize's worldwide audience to access information.

* Every year publishers are allowed to submit two books for the Man Booker Prize. Every former Booker Prize winner and any author who has appeared on the shortlist in the last ten years is also eligible.

* 2008 is the 40th anniversary of the Booker Prize (now the Man Booker Prize) for Fiction. To mark the occasion, a range of events and initiatives have been taking place throughout the year.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A sneak preview of Wordsetc

Wordsetc costs little (or very little, depending on the size of your pocket and the rate of inflation) and is very good reading for readers, writers, reviewers, publishers even.. It pulls together the SA literary scene without trampling on too many egos, includes some interesting pieces from abroad, provides an outlet for new short fiction and literary journalism and exploits the advantages that print offers over the internet when it comes to book news and reviews. A subscription makes a great gift.

Appropriately for women's month, the next issue of Wordsetc focuses on women writers. You might also want to check out Wordsetc at www.wordsetc.co.za

More about Wordsetc

Wordsetc promotes the consumption of South African literature. It also features great writing from elsewhere in the world. A quarterly, it launched in December 2007. So far three editions have come out. Most people have responded very positively to its emergence.

What some people have said about Wordsetc:

"Wordsetc is an essential new voice, not only for readers already hooked on African writing but for those who'd like to read more but aren't quite sure what. Well researched and written lead articles like those on Sol Plaatje, Es'kia Mphahlele and Ingrid Jonker, solid book reviews and insightful features like Why I Write and Writing Lives should guarantee Wordsetc an honoured place in readers' homes and all South African libraries – if only there were more." – Jenny Hobbs, Franschhoek

"Often as South Africans we tend to look to overseas texts as a means of fulfillment as we struggle to accept South Africa as a literary nation. Wordsetc aims to challenge such a mindset and takes into consideration that South Africa has indeed much to offer on the literary side of things." – Elizabeth Joss

"As a writer who treasures writing and beauty, I wanted to write to express my gratitude to you for the inspiration of Wordsetc. I am struck by the

high quality of everything from the layout, the photography and the writing." –

Barbara Nussbaum, Johannesburg

Wordsetc is R49.95. Subscription is R170 for four copies. The website is www.wordsetc.co.za. It's available at all Exclusive Books and CNA, as well as at these independent bookstores and outlets:



Xarra Books

Parkhurst Bookstore

Books Unlimited (Greenside)

Arternatives Gallery (Mall of Rosebank)

Service Station Cafe (Melville)

Protea Books (Hatfield)

Bookbinders (Fourways Crossing)

Bookdealers of Melville

Bookdealers of Bryanston

Western Cape

The Book Lounge

Clarke's Bookstore

Kalk Bay Books

The Book Cottage (Hermanus)

Readers' Paradise (Kloof Street)

Bright House Decor Store (cnr Shortmarket and Bree streets, CT)

Protea Books (University of Stellenbosch)


Adams (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts

The White Cottage (Nottingham Road, Midlands)

Urban Zulu (Berea Road)

Ike's Books and Collectables (Florida Road)

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Love Africa Carnival, an online celebration of Africa

The Love Africa Carnival, an online celebration of Africa, continent of 2000 languages, is calling for submissions for the Carnival blog-zine at BOOK SA, Africa's most lively literary website:

poems ,paragraphs, microfiction, short stories, comic strips, fables, fairytales, essays, Illustrated stories


Love Africa
Past, present or future of Love in Africa
Place, person, building, book, detail, language, object, insect, animal, or thing, I love in Africa
The day I love most in in my life so far in Africa/ in the history of Africa
Spirits, myths and legends of love in Africa
Sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell I love in Africa
Love --a story for children of Africa
Africa--a Grimm-like fairytale of Love


Hearty thanks to the following authors for supporting the Love Africa Carnival with book prize donations:

Michael Ambetchew, Gabeba Baderoon, André Brink,
Lauren Beukes, Richard De Nooy, Louis Greenberg,
Liesl Jobson, Sarah Lotz, Jo-anne Richards,
Henrietta Rose Innes, Ben Trovato
Please send submissions to Alex at loveafricacarnival@gmail.com , that are:
1.Original and unpublished
2.With author's full name, place of birth, country of residence and a couple of lines of 'about the author' bio.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the Other Side of Shame by Joanne Jowell launches

Kalk Bay Books & Pan MacMillan invite you to the launch of

On the Other Side of Shame by Joanne Jowell

When: THURSDAY 7 August 2008
Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Time: 6.30 for 7pm (please note starting time)
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by 6 August.

NB: Please indicate numbers for catering purposes)

Lynette Langman’s telephone rang on a Sunday night in 2001, heralding the call that would unravel her life. For 40 years she had waited to hear news about the son she gave up for adoption when she was virtually a child herself.

Set primarily against the backdrop of Cape Town, from the 1960s to the present day, On the Other Side of Shame hooks into the enduring traditions of the Jewish community and examines the intricacies of the adoption/reunion saga through the eyes of those most deeply affected, highlighting the peculiarities which make this story unique.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

*New* poetry: For Charity and Francis Matyaka by Rethabile Masilo

Unable to move, she watch them drag him
from the house into a donga
and beat him, one goon opening his body
to pour blood into the off-colour ditch,
like wine seeking the whiteness of cloth
that cover the brains of boys
and redden their eyes with joy.
Everyone try not to look
but go their way into the dim June dusk
to their families.
Even God don’t interfere
when they beat people like this
with sjambok and machete.
They killed him, killed him as I watched, she say,
speaking to no one in particular.
He wailed, but they kept on beating him quietly.
The women shake their heads and speak
in subdued dialect
of herd boy who find a half-clothed body,
half-eaten by hyenas. She wail some more,
as harpooned whale do.
Her hands hold her head
like she want to unscrew it
and give it back to God.
The women tut-tut and shake their heads
to see her wail like this.
Night come, and soon it is
the lighting of lamps, and everyone shout
to call daughter or son to table
for a bit of pap and soup, after
the ritual of water and soap.

© Rethabile Masilo 2008

First published by iBhuku.com

Rethabile Masilo is a native of Lesotho living and working in Paris, France. Mr. Masilo enjoys reading and writing poetry. He runs two blogs, Poéfrika http://poefrika.blogspot.com and Sotho http://sotho.blogsome.com, and is also co-editor of a literary magazine, Canopic Jar http://canopicjar.com. He is married and has two children.

Henrietta Rose-Innes wins 2008 Caine Prize for African Writing

Henrietta Rose-Innes has won the 2008 Caine Prize for African Writing. She started her published writing career in English Alive from 1985 to 1989 when she was a student at Westerford High School, and when Michael King was Editor of English Alive. She was shortlisted for the Caine in both 2007 and 2008. She attended the Caine Prize fortnight-long workshop in Noordhoek in April, and the award announcement and celebratory dinner in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

SA PEN announces PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award

Following the success of the HSBC/SA PEN Literary Awards,
SA PEN announces a call for entries for the new
PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award.

Writers from African and SADC countries are invited to submit original,
previously unpublished, English-language

The best entries will be selected by an editorial board for inclusion in
a book to be published next year, under the working title

Three prize winners will be selected by
Nobel Laureate J M Coetzee
Prizes, given by John Studzinski, will be awarded:
£5 000, £3 000 and £2 000

Rules for submission of entries:

Entrants must be citizens of an African or SADC* country.
Stories, on any subject, must be in English; length should be 2 500 to 5 000 words.
Entries must be previously unpublished. More than one entry may be submitted.
Entries must be typed, in double spacing, on one side of A4 paper. Pages must be numbered and securely fastened together. Three copies must be submitted.
No name or address should appear on the typescript, but each page must carry the title of the story. The identity of authors will not be revealed to judges.
A covering letter with the name, e-mail & postal address, contact numbers, and photocopy of the ID of the entrant (as proof of citizenship) must be included. Entrants may currently reside outside of Africa.

Submission of entries implies adherence to all rules and conditions of this award, including that of copyright.

Closing date: 30th September 2008

Send your entry to: PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award, P O Box 30327, Tokai, 7966, Republic of South Africa. Fax and e-mail entries will not be accepted.

Detailed rules and conditions for submission are available at www.sapen.co.za,
or e-mail SA PEN at rudebs@icon.co.za

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Henrietta Rose-Innes and Stanley Kenani attend Caine Prize prize-giving ceremony

The short stories "Poison", "For Honour" and "The day of the surgical colloquium hosted by the Far East Rand Hospital" by Henrietta, Stanley, and Gill Schierhout respectively, were featured in "African Pens", the third of the HSBC/SA PEN Literary Award publications. They are among the five authors who have been nominated for the Caine Prize.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Imraan Coovadia in conversation with Damon Galgut at Kalk Bay Books

Kalk Bay Books & Penguin SA invite you to an authors' discussion

Imraan Coovadia
in conversation with
Damon Galgut
at the Kalk Bay Books' launch of
The Imposter*

(RSVP not necessary if you have already replied to this invitation via the Kalk Bay Books newsletter or website.)

When: Saturday 5 July 2008
Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Time: 6.30 for 7pm (please note starting time)
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by 4 July.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ghost Writer, a collection of poems by Jane Fox

GHOST WRITER a collection of poems by JANE FOX published by Snailpress in its UMS series launches at Clarke’s Bookshop 211 Long Street Cape Townon Friday 4 July from 6pm

The poet will be introduced by Gus Ferguson. Wine and aqua frizzante
RSVP: snaily@pulsar.co.za or
021 762 3714 (leave message)

Jane Fox’s writing life took off when she first met her late husband and mentor, Lionel Abrahams. On his advice she tries to obviate the obvious, accentuate the positive, to be socially irrelevant, politically insignificant and hopefully unpredictable. She believes in the supreme value and spiritual dimension of the individual. She lives with children and grandchildren in an extended family home near Johannesburg.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Whiplash comes to the Book Lounge

Modjaji Books and the Book Lounge invite you to what promises to be a
fascinating discussion:

On Thursday 3rd July, 2008
At 6 for 6.30
Tracey Farren, author of "Whiplash" will be in conversation with Henry
Trotter, author of "Sugargirls and Seamen" (Jacana)
Tracey will also read a short excerpt from Whiplash and answer questions.

Whiplash is a gripping, funny, gritty story about Tess, a Muizenberg
street prostitute who changes her life in unexpected ways.

RSVP to the Book Lounge
Tel: 021 462 2425

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sarah Lotz launches "Pompidou Posse" at The Book Lounge

SA PEN member members Sarah Lotz and Lauren Beukes will be involved in a further launch of Sarah's book, "Pompidou Posse" at The Book Lounge on Tuesday, 24th June 2008, 6.00 for 6.30 p.m. Lauren will be introducing Sarah and grilling her on her book, a black comic romp based on her real-life experience of living homeless in the city of lights in the 80s. RSVP to booklounge@gmail.com if you would like to attend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How to write a screenplay course for Kalk Bay

This course is offered by Karin Johnstone, lecturer at AFDA Filmschool, in the quaint French bakery C'est La Vie in Kalk Bay (voted by Marie Claire one of the 20 best Cafes in South Africa)

Course content
Discover all of the elements involved in writing a great Screenplay for film. In a concise one-day course, discover everything that you need to know about screenwriting for feature film.

Structuring your story
Constructing a dramatic story
What is a screenplay?
Developing characters
Script format

28 June 2008 - from 09:30 until 16:30

500 Rand includes materials, Mid-morning snack and lunch, as well as coffees, teas and cool drinks

Book now as numbers are limited.
Chris 083-4123480
email: info@thetranslationagent.com

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Book Lounge hosts Rustum Kozain, Isobel Dixon and Kelwyn Sole

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
6:30pm - 7:30pm
The Book Lounge
Cnr. Roeland and Buitenkant Streets
Cape Town, South Africa

021 4622425
Email: booklounge@gmail.com

The Book Lounge provides wine, fruit juice and some snacks. The host also needs an idea of numbers for seating arrangements, so please RSVP at: booklounge@gmail.com

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lit-blitz, dinner & jazz fund-raising gig for refugees

Some of Cape Town's finest wordmongers, cooks & musicians get it on for

Lit-blitz, dinner & jazz fund-raising gig for refugees

On Sunday June 15

Baobab Books & Joburg Country Club

host an evening of literary, musical and culinary delight

** The
Lit-Blitz ** featuring :

Lauren Beukes

Finuala Dowling

Gus Ferguson

Hugh Hodge

Sarah Lotz

Epiphanie Mukasano

Patricia Schonstein

Mary Magdalene Yuin Tal

Sam Wilson

and Klean Kut by Terry Westby Nunn

with MC Ace Raconteur Guy Willoughby

starts in Baobab Bookshop @ 6 pm & ends @ 7:30 pm

followed by a three-course African feast in Joburg Country Club with live jazz:

Andrew Ford on keyboard

Lucrecia Rodrigues on vocals

Graham Beyer on double bass

COST: Entry by donations of 30 Rand or more

Optional dinner @ R100 a head
(Please book to secure a table.)

VENUE: Baobab Mall, 210 Long Street
(opposite Adult World)

Free entry to after-party @ Joburg Bar, 218 Long Street,

featuring The Lonesharks with Dave Ferguson.

Funds raised go to the Whole World Women Association

(founded in 2002 as a self-help and support group for refugee women)


Tania: 0712913337/ tvs@uskonet.com OR Julie: 0834111004/ firsted@iafrica.com




PERFORMERS’ BIOS -- in alphabetical order:

Lauren Beukes: is the author of Moxyland, a pyrotechnic urban thriller and Maverick: Extraordinary Women from South Africa's Past. She's also the head writer at Clockwork Zoo Animation and a freelance journalist.

Graham Beyer: is a double bass player, the new Head of Music at Bergvliet High and he often plays with the likes of Jimmy Dludlu.

Finuala Dowling: is the author of two novels – What Poets Need and Flyleaf – and two volumes of poetry — I Flying (awarded the Ingrid Jonker Prize) and Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe (joint winner of the SANLAM award). She has read her poetry at international festivals both locally and overseas. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in several anthologies.

Gus Ferguson: Cape Town’s much-loved poet, cartoonist, cyclist and publisher. He has received numerous poetry prizes. Under the imprints Snailpress and Firfield Press, Ferguson has published 97+ collections of poetry.

Andrew Ford: is a swinging piano player, old school style. This top jazz pianist studied music for 16 years, is the owner of 2 recording studios, he's worked with many artists and conducted the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.

Hugh Hodge: writes computer programs for a living, but poems for a life. Despite being commonly left-brained, and occasionally no-brained, Hugh writes poetry that is sometimes published. He hosts the Off-the-Wall poetry gig Mondays in Obz, and edits New Contrast.

Sarah Lotz: warps children's minds as a screenwriter for children's television and hopes to corrupt even more minds with her much anticipated, already acclaimed novel, Pompidou Posse, published by Penguin, launched on the 14th of June.

Epiphanie Mukasano: is a teacher with a Masters in English Literature, also a contributor to Living on the Fence: Poems by Women who are Refugees from Various Countries in Africa, she has performed her work at various venues, including the Spier Poetry Exchange.

Lucrecia Rodrigues: is a devilish diva-licious jazz vocalist. Listening to her iconoclastic renditions of favourite jazz classics certainly gives audience members some "fever". But, "what a lovely way to burn"! A regular act at the Grand West casino, Lucrecia has performed at various City venues including Kennedy's and the Green Dolphin.

Patricia Schonstein: is a novelist, poet and author of children's books. Her works, while being richly descriptive and opulent, question, at core, the recurrence of war and genocide. “If I have succeeded, through my novels and poetry, in highlighting the futility of war and the need to engender peace, not only among ourselves but also towards the earth and all living things; and if I have adequately described the plight of refugees, and the emotional carnage left by genocide, then I would consider these to be my greatest achievements as an author.”

Mary Magdalene Yuin Tal
: is an activist, writer and lawyer, co-ordinator of the Whole World Women Organisation, an NGO working with refugee women, as well as an editor and contributor to Living on the Fence: Poems by Women who are Refugees from Various Countries in Africa.

Guy Willoughby: Raconteur, writer and witty after-dinner mint, Guy has made plays, caused trouble and started people laughing on three continents. He is not continent. Be warned.

Sam Wilson:
is a television writer and comedian. He has written sitcoms and cartoon shows, and performed stand-up in various cities around the country. He was born in England and raised in Zimbabwe.

Klean Kut Barbing Salon:
Khayalitsha 1999: 7 minutes.

In an environment hostile to foreigners, Notemba from South Africa and Robert, a Ghanian, share not only a love for hairdressing, but also their Pan-African wisdom of integration.

Directed by Terry Westby-Nunn:
For 14 years Terry Westby-Nunn has been directing, filming, editing, and scripting. She’s worked on projects for The Nelson Mandela Foundation, the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, the SABC, e-tv and M-Net… Her latest documentary “Tripping Down Long Street” was broadcast on SABC in 2007.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

South African community libraries receive over R300 million

Community libraries in South Africa have been allocated R338 million for the current financial year in an effort to promote a culture of reading.

Presenting his Budget Vote on Monday, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan announced that the national library will receive R65.3 million while national museums will receive R409.9 million.

The minister also allocated R1 million towards the building of a library in Timbuktu, Mali.

Mr Jordan explained that the donation follows the signing of a Bi-National Agreement between South Africa and Mali.

He said this stipulates commitment to fund-raising and providing assistance toward the construction of a new library and archive for the Ahmed Baba Institute.

Other aims are to assist in marketing the heritage value of the Timbuktu Manuscripts, especially their conservation.

"We are pleased to announce that a separate trust fund was set up to fund raise from private and other donors towards the realisation of this project.

"Significantly, the Timbuktu Manuscripts are the first New Partnership for Africa's Development [NEPAD] Cultural Project which requires the support of government departments, including Arts and Culture," Minister Jordan said.

Timbuktu is the historic city in Mali where ancient manuscripts dating back to the early 13th century were found.

After visiting Mali in 2001, President Thabo Mbeki pledged to assist with the restoration and conservation of the ancient manuscripts in Timbuktu, which were in poor conditions.

An inter-governmental agreement between South Africa and Mali was signed in 2002 and the project to restore the Timbuktu manuscripts was officially launched in 2003.

The project has since been declared an official South African Presidential Project and has also been endorsed by the NEPAD as its first cultural project.

The agreement expresses the two countries' commitment to undertake a government-to-government project aimed at conserving the manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Centre and at rebuilding the library and archival infrastructure of the institute.

Speaking during the SA-Mali Timbuktu Project fundraising dinner, three years ago, President Mbeki said that African countries must contest the colonial denial of their history and initiate their own conversations and dialogues about their past.

"We need our own historians and our own scholars to interpret the history of our continent, and to undertake, with a degree of urgency, a process of reclamation and assertion," the President said at the time.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bookshop for South African and World Literature

Do you know the isiZulu word for the elbow? If you didn't know that it is indololwane, you could be accused of being a foreigner. And you and your family could be in mortal danger. According to the Mail & Guardian this is the new pencil test.

Scenes of brutal and violent attacks have shocked and saddened all South Africans and the world in the last two weeks.

* Are the attacks all about xenophobia? * Chances are you know the word Kwere-kwere. * "No one hates foreigners like we do". * Is stopping migration the solution? * How much has poverty and frustration about broken promises got to do with it? ("We vote for the ANC, but get nothing"). * Is ethnic bloodshed next? * What are the issues raised by these attacks?


invites you to join us to a discussion about immigrants, refugees, being foreign, home and literature.

Veronique Tadjo and Simao Kikamba,

both authors of books on ethnic and foreigner hatred will discuss

Where: BOEKEHUIS,Cnr. Lothbury and Fawley streets, Auckland Park

When: Saturday 31 May 2008, at 12:30

RSVP: by Friday 30/05 on

011 482 3609 or boekehuis@boekehuis.co.za

About the books:

Going home by Simao Kikamba is a story told by a political refugee living in South Africa. It investigates the life of one particular immigrant, Mpanda from Angola, and his experiences of trying to make the best of being an unemployed foreign national in South Africa.

Going home is a moving debut novel, revealing the anguish of a man trying to survive in a country where nobody allows him to belong. A constant search for a home.

The Shadow of Imana by Veronique Tadjo is a reflection on the Rwandan Genocide.

Along with nine other African Writers, Veronique Tadjo was invited to visit Rwanda to bear witness to the genocide that took place in 1994 - wiping out one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus during a hundred days of barbaric violence. A poet and a storyteller, Tadjo achieves the right tone that challenges our preconceptions. From the unexpurgated story of a young woman reliving the horrors of the massacre to dialogues between strangers meeting across the past, and finally to her own reflections.

About the authors:

Simao Kikamba was born in northern Angola in 1966 in the middle of liberation war against the Portuguese colonialists. At the age of two he emigrated to the neighbouring Zaire on the back of his mother. In 1992 he returned to Angola encouraged by the Bicese peace Accord between UNITA and MPLA.

In 1994 he was abducted in front of his pregnant wife. After his release he emigrated to Johannesburg in South Africa where he still lives and works. Going Home, which touches on the topics of xenophobia and displacement, is his debut novel. This novel won the Herman Charles Bosman Award in 2006.

Véronique Tadjo is a writer, poet, novelist, and artist from Côte d'Ivoire. She completed her BA degree at the University of Abidjan and her doctorate at the Sorbonne and she received the Literary Prize of L'Agence de Cooperation Culturelle et Technique in 1983 and the UNICEF Prize in 1993. Tadjo now lives with her husband and children in Johannesburg where she is the head of French Studies at Wits.

Saturday Voices is a series of readings and discussions by authors at Boekehuis

It normally lasts 45-60 minutes.

Words Create Worlds: Cape Town Book Fair limbers up

The pages are beginning to turn in earnest in preparation for the third Cape Town Book Fair which runs from 14 to 17 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Fair Director Vanessa Badroodien has confirmed that trade stands, comprising publishers, booksellers and more are already sold out.

The fair drew 50 000 to the convention centre last year, the largest number of people to come through the doors for a convention. It's an event where book lovers, authors and publishers come together to celebrate and promote the written word.

Two major international authors have already confirmed they will be attending Alexander McCall Smith author of the Number 1 Ladies Detective series who says, "As an author, I find book fairs offer a wonderful opportunity to hear from readers. If you are making any mistakes, readers will tell you; if you're getting anything right, they'll also tell you. But they are also opportunities to have fun - to share enthusiasms that one has and to get together with like-minded people.

" I attend book fairs and festivals all over the world. The Cape Town Book Fair is one of the very best of these. Why? The readers and the organisers are enthusiastic, and it shows in the positive atmosphere. And it all takes place in one of the most beautiful spots on earth. What more could one ask?"

The other big name author coming to Cape Town is Marina Lewycka, a short history of Tractors in the Ukranian. She will join a host of local and other African writers as they talk about the power of words to create worlds in a programme that will offer more than 370 talks and debates, a bigger children's zone offering the opportunity for children to fall in love with books, and talks and debates by authors hosted by some of South Africa's favourite book reviewers and personalities.

The book fair takes place under the auspices of the Publishers' Association of South Africa and in co-operation with the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the largest book fair in the world.

Where your passion is crime writing, political thrillers, green issues, children's books, romance or a host of other topics you are sure to find the book that is a must have at the fair. You'll also have the opportunity to meet your favourite authors, attend book releases and kick back and enjoy yourself with thousands of people who share a love of reading.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Launch of The Writing Circle by Rozena Maart

Kalk Bay Books & Shuter invite you to be part of the launch of:


a new book by Rozena Maart

In a Cape Town suburb, five women gather to discuss their writing. When one of the women is attacked in her car at gunpoint and raped, she manages to turn the gun on her attacker and shoot him. The narratives that follow make for a wholly engaging, highly suspenseful novel that holds up a mirror to the violence in women’s lives.

(If you have already replied to this invitation via the Kalk Bay Books newsletter or website, there is no need to respond again - your response has been noted.)

When: Saturday 31 May 2008 Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay Time: 6.30 for 7pm (please note starting time) RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by Friday 30 May (NB: Please indicate numbers for catering purposes)

To find out more about what's happening at Kalk Bay Books, visit our website at www.kalkbaybooks.co.za

Friday, May 16, 2008

New SA PEN literary award

JM Coetzee agrees to be final judge

The South African Centre of International PEN (SA PEN) is pleased to announce a new literary award in Africa to replace the HSBC / SA PEN Literary Award.

The new award for original short stories in English will be known as the PEN / STUDZINSKI Literary Award. John Studzinski, a global investment banker and philanthropist, has generously donated the prize money.

Nobel Laureate John Coetzee has agreed to be the final judge for the new award.

Award-winning author and SA PEN executive committee member, Shaun Johnson, has assumed leadership responsibility for the award. With Shaun’s guidance, the project will build on the momentum of the previous awards sponsored by HSBC Bank plc in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Johnson said he had agreed enthusiastically when asked to take on the task: ‘Having experienced myself how helpful and encouraging it is to a writer to have one’s work recognised in the form of literary awards, I’m delighted to be able to play a part in assisting other authors.’

His debut novel The Native Commissioner won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa, the MNet Literary Award, the Neilsen Booksellers’ Choice Award, was longlisted for the international Dublin/Impac prize, and shortlisted for the Sunday Times and University of Johannesburg awards.

In a sponsorship arrangement which makes the PEN / STUDZINSKI award one of the more financially rewarding literary competitions in Africa, the first, second and third prizes respectively will be £5 000, £3 000 and £2 000.

The award aims to encourage new creative writing in Africa and will offer talented writers an exciting opportunity to launch or develop a literary career.

The selected contributions of 86 writers to the earlier HSBC / SA PEN Literary Awards were published in a series of books of new creative writing, entitled AFRICAN COMPASS, AFRICAN ROAD and AFRICAN PENS. First prize winners of the HSBC / SA PEN Awards were Elizabeth Pienaar (2005), Sean O’Toole (2006) and Henrietta Rose-Innes (2007).

SA PEN authors shortlisted for 2008 Caine Prize

Three authors whose short stories were published in AFRICAN PENS in 2007 are on a shortlist of five for the 2008 Caine Prize. They are:

* Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi) – For Honour
* Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa) – Poison
* Gill Schierhout (South Africa) – The day of the Surgical Colloquium hosted by the Far East Rand Hospital

Their stories were selected from more than 90 entries which came in from 17 African countries. “SA PEN’s purpose is to encourage creative writing and this is a remarkable achievement by these authors,” said SA PEN President, Anthony Fleischer.

Eight authors whose short stories were published in the SA PEN series are now fully-fledged authors. They are:

* Lauren Beukes – Maverick
* Maxine Case - All We Have Left Unsaid
* Ceridwen Dovey - Blood Kin
* Louis Greenberg - The Beggar’s Signwriter
* Byron Loker – New Swell
* Kirsten Miller – All is Fish
* Sean O’Toole – The Marquis of Mooikloof
* Alexandra Smith – Algeria’s Way

SA PEN has in the past published other collections of South African writing, with contributions from distinguished writers such as Nadine Gordimer, Oswald Joseph Mtshali and Zakes Mda.

International PEN, the literary organisation with which SA PEN is affiliated, was founded in 1921 to advance the cause of literature and defend free expression. International PEN has 145 centres throughout the world and has undertaken to publicise winning contributions to the PEN / STUDZINSKI award in its global journal, PEN International.

Writers who are citizens of African countries are encouraged to begin preparing short stories for submission. There is no age limit. Further information and detailed rules of entry will be posted on the SA PEN website, www.sapen.co.za.

For media enquiries, contact:

Lesley Lambert

Tel: +27 (0)83 326 2500

Email: lesley@wisenet.co.za

For administrative enquiries, contact:

Deborah Horn-Botha

Tel: +27 (0)21 701 8510

Email: rudebs@icon.co.za

Launch of Zebra Crossings: Tales from the Shaman's Record

Kalk Bay Books & Jacana Media invite you to join us at the launch of:

Zebra Crossings: Tales from the Shaman's Record
by Peter Merrington

When: Friday 23 May 2008
Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Time: 6.30 for 7pm (please note starting time)
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by Thursday 22 May
(NB: Please indicate numbers for catering purposes)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kalk Bay Books' Open Book table to feature short stories

Because we hate it when books don't receive their due attention, and because as Samuel Butler once commented, 'The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them', we have created our Open Book table - a space where we can display books based on a theme, an author, or a category. Changed fortnightly, there is always something special to highlight, and a Bookseller's choice is offered at a reduced price. To find out more, click here... and see our current theme further down.


Launch of Whiplash, the much-anticipated debut novel by Tracey Farren

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kwela authors at The Franschhoek Literary Festival

Kwela Books is proud to present the following list of our authors featured at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, which takes place from 16 to 18 May. Please come and join our authors for these events:

The Style Council (Municipal Chambers)

You can’t buy style. It has to be hewn out of the language with the sweat of your brow. But what is it and how do writers come by theirs? Damon Galgut, The Good Doctor, Ingrid Winterbach, To Hell with Cronje, and Kgebetli Moele, Room 207, attempt to describe their style and that of others they admire. Chaired by Jeremy Boraine. Friday, 16 May, 13h00-14h00.

I Write What I Like (Hospice Hall)

Poet laureate, Keorapetse Kgositsile, This way I Salute You, and novelists Anne Landsman, The Rowing Lesson, Richard Ford, The Lay of the Land, and Siphiwo Mahala, When a Man Cries, discuss what they like to write and why they like to write what they write. Chaired by Victor Dlamini. Friday, 16 May, 14h30-15h30.

The Art of Review (Hospice Hall)

Poet Gabeba Baderoon, A Hundred Silences, novelist Etienne van Heerden, Asbesmiddag, playwright Mike van Graan and novelist Zukiswa Wanner, Behind Every Successful Man (out in June), talk to Jenny Hobbs about the state of reviewing in SA today. Friday, 16 May, 16h00-17h00.

A Writer’s Writer (Municipal Chambers)
Writers are often the most discriminating readers. Shaun Johnson, The Native Commissioner, Kopano Matlwa, Coconut, and Maxine Case, All I Have Left Unsaid, explain why certain authors make them warm with admiration while others make them burn with envy. Chaired by John Maytham. Friday, 16 May, 16h00-17h00.

Writing Home (Hospice Hall)

Christopher Hope, My Mother’s Lovers, Rayda Jacobs, Confessions of a Gambler, and Anne Landsman, The Devil’s Chimney, talk about the complexities of writing about SA from abroad. Chaired by Jeremy Boraine. Saturday, 17 May, 13h00-14h00.

Chic Lit vs Chick Lit (Hospice Hall)
Novelists Maxine Case, All I Have Left Unsaid, Zukiswa Wanner, Behind Every Successful Man (out in June), Kopano Matlwa, Coconut, and Bridget McNulty, Strange Nervous Laughter, chat to Jenny Crwys-Williams about the dividing line between chic and chick. Saturday, 17 May, 14h30-15h30.

Stranger than Fiction (Church Hall)
Strip away the veneer of fiction and you’ll find the true story. Kgebetli Moele, Room 207, Deon Meyer, Devil’s Peak, and Richard Ford, The Lay of the Land, reveal how they have altered the facts to fit the fiction. Chaired by Victor Dlamini. Saturday, 17 May, 16h00-17h00.

Confessions of a Gambler (Screening Room)
Rayda Jacobs presents the movie of her prize-winning novel, Confessions of a Gambler. Saturday, 17 May, 10h30.

Heartland (Municipal Chambers)
Three very different authors, the poet Gabeba Baderoon, A Hundred Silences, and novelists Zukiswa Wanner, Behind Every Successful Man (out in June), and Damon Galgut, The Good Doctor, talk about the place they call their heartland. Chaired by Jeremy Boraine. Sunday, 18 May, 10h00-11h00.

Family Affair (Hospice Hall)
Love them or loathe them we all have them, but what influence do relatives have on the work of an author? Novelists Maxine Case, All I have Left Unsaid, Imraan Coovadia, Green-Eyed Thieves, and Kgebetli Moele, Room 207, reveal all. Chaired by John Maytham. Sunday, 18 May, 11h30-12h30.

The Rowing Lesson (Municipal Chambers)
Anne Landsman, author of The Devils’s Chimney, talks to Helen Naudé about her life, her work and her new novel, The Rowing Lesson. Sunday, 18 May, 11h30-12h30.

Found in Translation (Hospice Hall)
Translation is a fundamental issue in a country with eleven official languages. Four authors, Etienne van Heerden, Asbesmiddag, Mhlobo Jadezwini, uTshepo Mde, Ingrid Winterbach, Die Boek van Toeval en Toeverlaat, and Thembelani Ngenelwa, The Day I Died/Ukuvuka Kwam Ekufeni come together to talk about the necessity, and process of, translation. Chaired by Victor Dlamini. Sunday, 18 May, 13h00-14h00.

All the above-mentioned authors’ titles will be on sale at the festival.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Creative writing courses & workshops

Creative Writing Courses & Workshops - Call Wiida 079 875-3719 for queries
Writers Write 1(4 weeks):
Saturday Mornings: 08.30 - 12.30 17 May 2008
Tuesday & Thursday Mornings: 09:00 - 11:00 3 June 2008
Tuesday & Thursday Evenings: 17:30 - 20:00 13 May 2008
Writers Write 2 (4 weeks)
Tuesday Mornings: 09:00 13 May 2008
Write a screenplay (5 weeks)
Sunday mornings: 09:00 - 12:00 from 18th May 2008
Creative Writing One-day Workshops
How to write for Mills & Boon: Romancing the Dollar 24th May 2008
Plot LUCK: Learn how to plot a novel on Saturday 10th May 2008
How to write lyrics: Music & Lyrics on Saturday 31st May 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Meet the Commonwealth Writers' Prize finalists

Bookshop for South African & World Literature and the Commonwealth Foundation invite you to meet the finalists of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2008 at a coffee morning reading on Tuesday 13 May 2008, 10:00 for 10:30.

This is your chance to meet the finalists of this year's prize at BOEKEHUIS and listen to them read from their novels.

The Best Book and Best First Book winners of the 22nd Commonwealth Writers' Prize will be announced, this year in South Africa, on 18 May 2008.

In a unique aspect of the Prize, the regional winners are taking part in a week-long country-wide programme of readings, community activities and other public events alongside the final pan-Commonwealth judging. The eight finalists, a mix of established and new voices, come from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India and Nigeria. The week's programme will culminate in the announcement of the overall Best Book and Best First Book winners in a special ceremony as part of the 2008 Franschhoek Literary Festival, on Sunday 18 May.

For further information about the Franschhoek Literary Festival visit http://www.flf.co.za/

Meet the authors @ BOEKEHUIS,

Cnr. Lothbury and Fawley streets, Auckland Park

When: Tuesday 13 May 2008 at 10:00 for 10:30am

Plenty of safe parking at Campus Square, from where it is a lovely and short walk to BOEKEHUIS

RSVP: by Friday 9/05/08 on

011 482 3609 or boekehuis@boekehuis.co.za

The 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize regional winners are:


Best Book: Karen King-Aribisala (Nigeria) The Hangman's Game Peepal Tree Press

A young Guyanese woman sets out to write an historical novel based on the 1823 Demerara Slave Rebellion and the fate of an English missionary who is condemned to hang for his alleged part in the uprising, but who dies in prison before his execution. She has wanted to document historical fact through fiction, but the characters she invents make an altogether messier intrusion into her life with their conflicting interests and ambivalent motivations. As an African-Guyanese in a country where a Black ruling elite oppresses the population, she begins to wonder what lay behind her 'ancestral enslavement', why fellow Africans had 'exchanged silver for the likes of me'. As a committed Christian she also wonders why God has allowed slavery to happen. Beset by her unruly characters and these questions, the novel is stymied. In an attempt to unblock it she decides that she should take up a family contact to spend some time in Nigeria, to experience her African origins at first hand...

Best First Book: Sade Adeniran (Nigeria ) Imagine This SW Books

Imagine This is the story of a young girl's journey from childhood to adulthood. Lola Ogunwole leaves all that is familiar behind in London and is sent to live in a village in Nigeria. Dogged by events she has no control over Lola's journal is a compelling story about one girl's resilience against the odds, which culminates in the bittersweet fulfilment of a long held desire.


Best Book: Lawrence Hill (Canada) The Book of Negroes HarperCollins Publishers

Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle-a string of slaves- Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic "Book of Negroes." This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own. Aminata's eventual return to Sierra Leone-passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America-is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey.

Best First Book: C.S. Richardson (Canada) The End of the Alphabet Doubleday Canada

Meet Ambrose Zephyr: thought of by friends as better than some; by his wife Zipper as in need of no adjustment. On or about his fiftieth birthday, Ambrose discovers that he has one month to live. And so he and Zipper embark on a whirlwind expedition to the places he has most loved or longed to see, A through Z, Amsterdam to Zanzibar. But after Istanbul, their journey takes an unplanned turn when Ambrose seeks out the destination most fittingly called home.


Best Book: Indra Sinha (India) Animal's People Simon and Schuster

Ever since That Night, the residents of Khaufpur have lived a perilous existence. The water they drink, the ground they walk on and the atmosphere they breathe is poisoned. Nobody has received compensation or help for the chemical leak, least of all Animal, as he is known, whose spine twisted at a young age, leaving him to walk on all fours. His mind is full of foul, insidious thoughts, but the bitterness is mixed with a longing to know human affection and, more urgently, sex. He inhabits a dark kind of half-life.

Best First Book: Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh) A Golden Age John Murray

It is spring 1971 in East Pakistan and the country is on the brink of a revolution. Rehana Haque is throwing a party for her children, Sohail and Maya, in the rose-filled garden of the house she has built, while beyond her doorstep the city is buzzing with excitement after recent elections. None of the guests at Rehana's party can foresee what will happen in the days and months that follow, and her family's life is about to change forever.


Best Book: Steven Carroll (Australia) The Time We Have Taken HarperCollins

'That exotic tribe was us. And the time we have taken, our moment.'
One summer morning in 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of the television and wireless shop, pronounces his Melbourne suburb one hundred years old.
That same morning, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband's snores, yet it is years since Vic moved north. Their son, Michael, has left for the city, and is entering the awkward terrain of first love.
As the suburb prepares to celebrate progress, Michael's friend Mulligan is commissioned to paint a mural of the area's history. But what vision of the past will his painting reveal?
Meanwhile, Rita's sometime friend Mrs Webster confronts the mystery of her husband's death. And Michael discovers that innocence can only be sustained for so long.

Best First Book: Karen Foxlee (Australia) The Anatomy of Wings University of Queensland Press

Jennifer Day tells the story in The Anatomy of Wings. She's a ten year old obsessed with birds, facts and great world catastrophes. And she is struggling to make sense of her teenage sister sudden death. In The Anatomy of Wings Jennifer recounts the final months of Beth's life, unravelling them like a mystery, while on her own journey to regain her singing voice. Through Jennifer's eyes we see one girl's failure to cross the threshold into adulthood and a family slowly falling apart.

What is the Commonwealth Writers' Prize?

The CWP, an increasingly valued and sought-after award for fiction, is presented annually by the Commonwealth Foundation. Now in its 22nd year, it aims to reward the best of Commonwealth fiction written in English, by both established and new writers, and to take their works to a global audience.

The outstanding literary talent exists in many parts of the Commonwealth is making a significant contribution to contemporary writing in English. To encourage and reward the upsurge of new Commonwealth fiction and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin, the Commonwealth Foundation established the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1987.

Who is rewarded?

Every year, prizes are given for the Best Book and Best First Book, valued at £1,000, in each of the four Commonwealth Regions: Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, Europe and South Asia, South East Asia and the South Pacific. From these regions, the overall winner for the Best Book and Best First Book prizes are chosen.

How can you enter this competition?

Publishers are invited to make entries online or by completing an entry form and sending it with three copies of each book to the appropriate regional chairperson and one copy to the Commonwealth Foundation Awarded annually, this major prize for fiction is fully international in its character, administration and judging. The Prize covers the Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Caribbean and Canada, Europe and South Asia and South East Asia and the South Pacific.

The £10,000 Best Book Prize 2007 was awarded to New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones for Mister Pip. The Best First Book Prize 2007 of £5,000 went to Canadian writer D. Y. Béchard for Vandal Love.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Modjaji Books is proud to invite you to a poetry reading

Modjaji Books is proud to invite you to a poetry reading featuring
Megan Hall (Fourth Child)
Azila Talit Reisenberger (Life in Translation)
at the Franschoek Lit Fest

Saturday 17th May
10h30 am
Essence Coffee Shop, Franschoek - in the Main Road.
Unlike many of the events at the FLF this is a free event.
See you there!

Later on in the day Rustum Kozain, Gabeba Baderoon, Barbara Farihead and Jacques Coetzee will also be featured.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Porcupine by Jane Bennett launches at Kalk Bay Books

Kalk Bay Books would love to see you at the launch of

Porcupine by Jane Bennett

Our first delivery of Jane Bennett's collection of short stories, Porcupine, sold out in its first week. Published by Kwela, Porcupine is a collection of 12 short stories exploring maverick, impossible, and incredulous moments in South Africa and elsewhere. They are unpredictable, both in style and approach.

Join us at the Kalk Bay launch and find out more...

When: Friday 9 May 2008
Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Time: 6.30 for 7pm (please note starting time)
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by Thursday 8 May
(Please indicate numbers for catering purposes)

To find out more about what's happening at Kalk Bay Books, visit our website at www.kalkbaybooks.co.za

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Wall Street Journal takes another look at eBooks

You can enjoy a book on a mere cellphone

The book business is no longer booming.
Lee Gomes, Wall Street Journal
Wed Apr 16 04:40:43 GMT+02:00 2008

If life can be described as the process of making peace with things once considered unpleasant, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that one day I looked down at my BlackBerry only to find Ian McEwan...

See: http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page94?oid=203544&sn=Detail

Think tank accepting submissions for annual Bastiat Prize for Journalism

For the seventh year, International Policy Network (IPN), a London-based think tank, is accepting submissions for its annual Bastiat Prize for Journalism.

The $15,000 prize fund will be divided among First, Second and Third placed authors. The Prize is open to writers anywhere in the world whose published articles eloquently and wittily explain, promote and defend the principles of the free society, including property rights, free markets, sound science, limited government and the rule of law.

Since 2002, the Prize has been inspired by the 19th-century French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat and his compelling defence of liberty. Bastiat's brilliant use of satire and allegory enabled him to relate complex economic issues to a general audience. In keeping with his legacy, Bastiat Prize entries are judged on intellectual content, the persuasiveness of the language used and the type of publication in which they appear.

Last year, the competition attracted over 280 entrants from more than 60 different countries.

Previous judges have included Lady Thatcher, James Buchanan and Milton Friedman. This year's panel includes the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lawson of Blaby, and Amity Shlaes, syndicated Bloomberg columnist, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a previous Bastiat Prize winner.

Submissions – in English – will be accepted from 1 April until 30 June 2008. (Postal entries must be postmarked 30 June or before). Submissions must be in the form of up to three articles totalling no more than 4,500 words, published between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2008 in recognized news publications. Finalists will be invited to a ceremony in New York in October 2008, where winners will be announced.

Last year’s Bastiat Prize winner was Amit Varma, an editorial columnist for Mint (a joint venture between the Wall Street Journal and India’s Hindustan Times). Second and third prizes went to Clive Crook, senior editor of the Atlantic Monthly, and Jonah Goldberg, Contributing Editor to National Review and a syndicated columnist. Previous winners include Robert Guest of The Economist, Brian Carney of The Wall Street Journal and Sauvik Chakraverti of the Economic Times (India).

An online submission form, rules, judging criteria, and articles written by previous winners can be found at IPN's Bastiat Prize website: www.bastiatprize.org/.

Queries to Marc Sidwell, Bastiat Prize Administrator

Friday, April 11, 2008

Invitation: Launch of Mike Nicol's Payback

Kalk Bay Books and Umuzi look forward to a thrilling evening to which you are invited:
the launch of a new novel by renowned Cape Town author Mike Nicol


Payback is about crime in the true sense - a fictive world where the pervading social order is criminal. The protagonists are streetwise, fast talkers who, in contrast to the heroes of other local crime writers, are not there to solve crimes so much as to provide a thin shield against a violent world.

When: Saturday, 19 April 2008 Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay Time: 6.30 for 7pm (please note new starting time)
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by Friday 18 April (Please indicate numbers for catering purposes)

International PEN Poem Relay arrives in South Africa on Sunday 13th April

The Poem Relay seeks to raise awareness about freedom of expression in China in a uniquely PEN way – through poetry and translation.

PEN Centres have been invited to translate and record a short poem, June (Liuyue) by the Chinese poet, journalist and PEN member, Shi Tao, into as many languages as possible. Shi Tao is serving ten years in prison on the charge of "revealing state secrets abroad".

Via a website with a map of the world and a relay itinerary (similar to the Olympic Torch Relay itinerary), the poem will virtually “travel” around the world, from centre to centre, language to language, adding new translations as it goes, and ending in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. Visitors to the website will be able to track the poem’s progress and read and hear new translations of the poem as it arrives at each new centre. As there are more PEN centres than there are destinations for the Olympic Torch, the Poem Relay Itinerary will be different from that for the Olympic Torch, but it is hoped it will intersect with it (unofficially) when it can.

The Poem Relay draws together several aspects of PEN -- freedom of expression, translation and linguistic diversity -- to send the world a message that only PEN can send:

• It supports Freedom of Expression. The poem is by an imprisoned writer, a main case of PEN, and is itself about a forbidden, censored topic.

• It celebrates Poetry and Linguistic Diversity. The translation and "relay" demonstrate the diversity of languages, literatures, and writers in the world, while at the same time demonstrating International PEN's diversity and global reach.

The Poem Relay is one of a number of actions organised as part of International PEN’s 2008 China Campaign in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics. The Relay will be managed by a Relay Team on behalf of International PEN and its China Campaign. The team consists of: PEN Sydney (Chip Rolley), Independent Chinese PEN Centre (Zhang Yu) and Swiss German PEN Centre (Kristin T. Schnider).

The following SA PEN members kindly agreed to participate in the project and have submitted their translations:

Dr. Azila Reisenberger – Hebrew

Stanley Onjezani Kenani – Chichewa

D.M. Bin Ngulu Kabemba - French, Lingala and Swahili

June "arrived" at the PEN Club Hellenique in Athens, Greece, on the 30th March. On the 31st March the poem “arrived” at the Austrian, German-speaking Writers Abroad and Polish PEN Centres. June will arrive in South Africa on the 13th April so diarise to visit www.penpoemrelay.org on this date! Click on the yellow flag on South Africa on the map of the world. You will be able to see and hear Azila, Stanley and Kabemba’s translations.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Modjaji Books calls for short story submissions by women

Modjaji Books, the exciting new publisher for women in Southern Africa, is inviting submissions for its upcoming short story anthology. We want innovative stories that define the world from a woman’s perspective.

The topic for the anthology is “BED”. What does it mean to you? Memories of cosy bedtime stories, sterile beds in hospitals, or that sexy bed where a lover waits…

You tell us! We’re waiting to hear from you!

Send us your best, unpublished story before 31st July, 2008 to modjaj@gmail.com

For more information about Modjaji Books check out http://modjaji.book.co.za


1. Stories should be between 3000 and 5000 words.

2. Stories should be unpublished.

3. The story should somehow involve the theme of BED.

4. All entrants must be women and citizens of a Southern African country (countries include: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Moçambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)

5. Entries should be sent by email only to modjaj@gmail.com.

6. The entry should have page numbers and the title of the story on each page.

7. The following details should be at the end of the story:

Full name of writer

Postal address

Email address

Telephone number

Short biography of not more than 300 words

8. Writers of selected stories will receive royalties and five author copies of the book.

9. Confirmation of receipt of story will be sent to all entrants.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Photo competition: literature and Africa

The eighth international literature festival berlin (24.9. – 4.10.2008), with the focus on “Africa”, is organizing the photo competition 'Literature in Africa. All submissions of analogue or digital photos (300dpi) in black / white or colour are welcome: photos of book shops with their owners, libraries, children reading, youth and adults, or other motifs that are associated with the theme.

These photos, as far as possible, will be displayed in an exhibition that will take place during the festival. The 'best' photo to be selected by the jury as the main motif for the festival, which among other things will grace the festival poster and website, will be awarded with US$500. The final submission date is 30.5.2008. Additional information required: name of the photographer, contact details, place where and date when the picture was taken.

Address: international literature festival berlin, Photo Competition, Chausseestr. 5, 10115 Berlin, Germany; or:

foto_competition@literaturfestival.com. Our website: www.literaturfestival.com

The international literature festival berlin

Experiencing literary diversity in times of globalisation: it’s possible here.

Arab poets will meet with American short-story writers, South Korean poets with their Russian colleagues and South African novelists with young, budding Albanian authors.

The most interesting, newly discovered authors still stand equally beside literature’s most established and respected talents. During the twelve days and approximately 300 events of the festival, 100 authors will introduce both new and more traditional developments to the world of contemporary literature; differences will appear and similarities become noticeable.

Prose, lyric poetry, conversations with authors and political discussions, literature for children and young people, film versions of literary works – the ilb is a lively, polyglot forum by and for literature enthusiasts, as well as for those who wish to become one.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Finnish/Nordic & African writers

----- Original Message -----
From: dahl@mappi.helsinki.fi Subject: Fwd: finnish/nordic & african writers

dear recipients,

I am vice-president of Finnish PEN, and I write to you because I look for couple of (young) African authors for a co-project between Finnish/nordic & african authors. I would like to hear from you as soon as possible.

What would it be concretely?

It would be written dialogue through e-mail on certain theme/topic as an aim a common text - the correspondence would be released partially at a blog also so that the public can follow its' proceeding.

the translator would translate finnish authors'answers into english. in the end of the project this "correspondence" would be published a printed anthology. this would be in year 2009.

Possibly there will be a workshop in the end of the whole project, where African and Finnish authors meet, but this realizes only if I manage to find the funding. Blog and anthology are however already sure & combined things:
they will be realized.

First we make the selection of Africans included:

1. Could you please suggest me somebody suitable for this project and send his/her contact details so that I can contact him/her asking their willingness to participate. Note, that I only look for about 4-5 people.
They should have already released something, proved their "professionality", and they have to live in Africa still. We also prefer them being younger authors.

2. i would like to know also what themes do you consider important in this cultural exchange kind of project? what themes would you like to discuss with finnish authors?

finns have proposed following themes:

-black and white reality - black and white signify different things in different cultures, also
-black and white north and south
-my africa - presentations of africa that affect in my mind, the reality, possible changing of these (re)presentations
-death in our cultures

yours sincerely,

Rita Dahl

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chimurenga 12/13: Dr Satan's Echo Chamber launch

How animal go know-say dem no born me as slave?
How animal go know say slave trade don pass?
And, dey wan dash us human rights
Animal must talk to human beings
Give dem human rights

I beg oh, make you hear me well-u well
I beg oh, make you hear me very well

Human rights na my property
So therefore, you can’t dash me my property

Fela Anikulapo Kuti (Beasts of No Nation)

We launch the double issue Chimurenga 12/13, Dr. Satan's Echo Chamber, on Sharpeville Day (Human Rights Day), March 21, 2008 at Distrix Cafe. An all-improv session of sound and visuals featuring: Robbie Jansen; Kesivan Naidoo; Moreira Chonguica; Kyla Rose Smith; Teba the OSW; The General S'bu; Helder Gonzaga; Toni Paco; Stacy Hardy; Jazzart Dance Theatre; Buddy Wells; Fong Kong Bantu Soundsystem and Neo Muyanga. We called it African Space Program, after the man who runs the school of sevens next door. (view the flier)

The thing itself, Chimurenga 12/13: Dr. Satan's Echo Chamber

12 is an all-faxion issue on black technologies no longer secret, featuring words and images by Allan “Botsotso” Kolsky, Koffi Kwahule, Joao Barreiros, Olufemi Terry, Doreen Baigaina, Stacy Hardy, Akin Adesokan, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, JG Ballard, Emmanuel Dongala, Blank du Blanc, Jean Malaquais, Liesl Jobson, Peter Kalu, Dominique Malaquais, Basim Magdy, Jean Lamore, Femi “Rage” Dawkins, James Sey, Minette Vari, Teju Cole and Rana Dasgupta

13 documents the (un)making of: Dr. Satan's Echo Chamber (Louis Chude-Sokei; Victor Gama); Mannenberg (John Edwin Mason; Abdullah Ibrahim); The Last Angel of History (John Akomfrah and Edward George and BAFC); Les Saignates (Jean-Pierre Bekolo Obama); Les Saignantes 2 (Lionel Manga), SAPE (Baudouin Mouanda); a painting (Pume Bylex); Julumbu (Abu Bakarr Mansaray); Palestinian Walls (Eyal Weizman); Beaubourg (Luca Frei) and Slackers like Nkrumah and Sartre (Shirana Shahbazi, Tirdad Zolghadr and Faouzi Rouissi)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A new novel by columnist and satirist Tom Eaton

KALK BAY BOOKS AND PENGUIN SA invite you to join them at the launch of THE WADING

On the beautiful island of Cape Formosa, the days still pass in heat and wind and silence. Separated from the ravaged Mainland by a shallow channel known as the Wading, the Cape seems a tropical idyll, intact and at peace. But when the regular supply aircraft is crippled in a storm, stranding the pilot and his granddaughter Claudette on the island, the dreamy calm of the Cape is broken, and a long-delayed confrontation between two of its most enigmatic figures can no longer be avoided.

Tom Eaton's eagerly-awaited literary novel promises something new from this highly-accomplished writer. Don't miss it...

Where: Kalk Bay Books, 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay
When: Saturday 8 March 2006
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
RSVP: books@kalkbaybooks.co.za or 021 788 2266 by 6 March
(please indicate number of people who will attend)

Drinks and snacks will be served

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Join us for a reading introducing poets and poetry

Johannesburg Poets @ BOEKEHUIS Saterdag 23 Februarie @ 12:30 Andries Bezuidenhout lees uit sy debuutbundel, Retoer

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers reads from her book, Taller than Buildings When: Saturday 23 February 2008 At 12:30

Where: BOEKEHUIS, cnr Lothbury & Fawley Streets, Auckland Park RSVP: by 21 Feb 08 boekehuis@boekehuis.co.za or 011 482 3609

Oor die digter:
Andries Bezuidenhout het veral bekendheid verwerf as lid van die rockgroep Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes en vir sy rubrieke op LitNet en in Rapport. Hy is dosent in Sosiologie aan die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand.

About the poet:
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

After winning the runner-up best writer award and the audience appreciation award in the Pansa Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings in 2005, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers started exploring her poetic voice. Last year she performed at the Jozi Spoken Word Festival, Word Power Festival of Black Literature and Book Fair in the UK, as well as Poetry Africa, and represented South Africa at the 12th International Poetry Festival in Havana, Cuba. In 2007 she wrote her one-woman show Original Skin and performed in Bloemfontein and Cape Town. It will appear in May and June at the Market Theatre. After winning a grant from the Centre for the Book in November 2006, she published her first volume of poetry, Taller than Buildings, which is now in its second edition.

She writes for television, magazines and newspapers. Find an interview with Phillippa by Victor Dlamini at


Find the audio recordings of poets reading their work at The Poetry Archive

The Poetry Archive is the world's premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work.

You can enjoy listening here, free of charge, to the voices of contemporary English-language poets and of poets from the past.

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