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

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: 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

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,

For media enquiries, contact:

Lesley Lambert

Tel: +27 (0)83 326 2500


For administrative enquiries, contact:

Deborah Horn-Botha

Tel: +27 (0)21 701 8510


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: 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

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

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.