Karina Magdalena Szczurek

Karina M Szczurek is the author and (co)editor of eleven works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently a memoir, The Fifth Mrs Brink, and an anthology of stories, Fluid: The Freedom to Be. Her doctoral thesis was published as Truer than Fiction: Nadine Gordimer Writing Post-Apartheid South Africa. She won the MML Literature Award in the Category English Drama in 2012 and received the Thomas Pringle Award for a portfolio of ad hoc reviews from the English Academy of Southern Africa in 2018. She is a board member of Short Story Day Africa. In 2019, she founded Karavan Press, an independent publishing house, and a year later, established the Philida Literary Award. She lives in Cape Town.  

Press release: Announcement of the winner of the Philida Literary Award in 2023

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2023-02-07

The Philida Literary Award is awarded annually to a writer mid-career for an oeuvre of between three to five books of any genre. Here is the announcement of this year’s winner.

Books on the Bay Festival: The literary riches of Simon’s Town

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2023-01-26

"The enthusiasm for the project from the local community, sponsors and writers is palpable. 'The goodwill of the community has been astounding, with the Simon’s Town Civic Association providing the start-up funding,' Attwell told me. And as his co-organiser, Darryl David, mentioned in his CapeTalk interview: 'Book festivals and scenery go hand in hand, and it doesn’t get better than Simon’s Town.'"

The yumness of the Kingsmead Book Fair 2022

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2022-05-31

"There was something for every literary taste."

Real fiction: The revival of the Franschhoek Literary Festival

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2022-05-26

"We all have crocodiles to tame. Writing – and living, ageing, dying – does take courage. One day, we will all end up in 'the big library in the sky', to quote Deon Meyer. But before we do, we will continue raging in the service of The Story."

Interview with a former refugee, Karina Szczurek

Karina Magdalena Szczurek, Naomi Meyer, Izak de Vries Interviews 2022-03-13

"Watching Ukrainian parents evacuate their children to safety while staying behind to fight for their future breaks my heart. I cannot imagine the levels of anxiety and distress this kind of separation causes for a family. These people will never fully recover from this, even if they survive."

Cosmonauts do it in heaven by Keith Gottschalk: a book review

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2022-03-08

"For the uninitiated, Cosmonauts do it in heaven might feel like an exploration of space itself, seemingly obscure and impenetrable at first, but the poetry is infused with a desire to take the great leap, to reach for the sky and to celebrate its wonders and 'mysteries,/ solved & sensuous' ('First light')."

Heritage to ashes, dust to dust

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2021-04-20

"What I remember most is the silent communication, between researcher and librarian, between researcher and the past – in my case literary."

A book of friends: In honour of JM Coetzee on his 80th birthday, edited by Dorothy Driver: reader impression

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-12-21

"What will stay with me for a long time after reading this multilayered collection is the deep sense of curiosity which runs through A book of friends – it is an expression of care which the authors and artists share with the man they pay tribute to."

Searching for Simphiwe by Sifiso Mzobe: a book review

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-12-09

"Mzobe is a consummate storyteller, and it is easy to lose oneself in the tales he shares so compellingly. My hope is that we won’t have to wait another decade for his next book to hit our bookshelves and hearts."

Review: Leaving word by Steven Boykey Sidley

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-06-04

"It offers fascinating insight into a dying art – editing – and the industry that is killing it instead of treasuring it for what it can contribute to the wealth of our knowledge and the joys of our entertainment."

Review: I wish I'd said: Volume 2 by Johann de Lange and Mandla Maphumulo (eds)

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-04-28

"To me, the anthology was a revelation. It achieves precisely the goal it sets out to: it consoles, enlightens, nourishes the grieving soul."

Review: JM Coetzee: Photographs from boyhood by Hermann Wittenberg (ed)

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-04-22

"It is a beautifully produced book that will surprise and enlighten even the most devoted Coetzee readers, but might also be an intriguing entry point for those yet unfamiliar with the Nobel Prize winner's work."

South African writing in transition, edited by Rita Barnard and Andrew van der Vlies: a review

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-04-02

"The individual contributions focus on a fascinating and relevant selection of primary sources, mostly novels and short stories, reaching as far back as Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi (1930) and incorporating contemporary texts into the diverse readings of the South African literary canon."

Review: Asleep Awake Asleep by Jo-Ann Bekker

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2020-03-10

"Bekker has a fascinating voice and she is not afraid to experiment with the short form."

Karavan Press: an interview with Karina Szczurek

Naomi Meyer, Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2019-08-04

"I did not buy a caravan; but I realised that a book is like a caravan, a home away from home, taking you to unexpected places. It seemed only natural to name the publishing house I was dreaming of Caravan Books. My friend, Alex Smith, recommended 'Press' instead of 'Books', and the 'K' was my own idea."