Books and writers

Information about the latest books and the people behind them

Slabbert: Man on a mission. A biography by Albert Grundlingh: a review

Paul Murray Books and writers 2022-06-17

"The established South African historian Albert Grundlingh explains his decision to pen the biography on Frederik van Zyl Slabbert (1940–2010). Primarily a 'social historian', Grundlingh nevertheless decided to take up the challenge as a biographer and write about Slabbert. As he was working on an article on him, so he gradually became intrigued by his subject, leading to this cradle-to-grave biography. The book explores Slabbert’s life in each of his designations – as an academic, as a politician, as a social activist and finally as a person engaged in business and entrepreneurship."

Towards Shakespearean drama: a review of Nuclear: Inside South Africa’s secret deal

Peter Vale Books and writers 2022-06-15

"The danger of this story is that the country’s international relations were out of kilter with the views of its people, but – far more importantly – that the Zuma presidency came within a whisker of bankrupting several generations of South African tax payers."

Athol Fugard’s The island – David Willers investigates

David Willers Books and writers 2022-06-14

"The island, created at the height of apartheid repression, is a remarkable play for various reasons. In order to sidestep the authorities, it was workshopped but not initially scripted; it has no single author, and when a script did finally emerge, it provided actors with sufficient latitude as to re-interpret the play’s core messaging in subsequent productions, notably in the 1980s and 1990s."

Press release: Congratulating Idza Luhumyo and Mbozi Haimbre

LitNet Books and writers 2022-06-11

Please join Catalyst Press and our publishing partner, Short Story Day Africa, in congratulating Idza Luhumyo and Mbozi Haimbre. Idza was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for her story, "Five Years Next Sunday", and Mbozi was shortlisted for a Nommo Award in the short story category for her story, "Shelter".

The AKO Caine Prize for African writing

LitNet Books and writers 2022-06-10

The AKO Caine Prize is an annual award given to an African writer for a short story published in English. This year saw a 130% increase in submissions from writers across the globe; the five shortlisted authors were selected from a total of 349 entries from 27 African countries.

Competition: You could win the collector’s edition of Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone

LitNet Books and writers 2022-06-09

On 9 June 1997, exactly 25 years ago, Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone was released. To celebrate Bargain Books is giving away two copies of Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone – 25th anniversary edition, a proper collector’s item.

Fresh off the press: New history of South Africa, edited by Hermann Giliomee, Bernard Mbenga and Bill Nasson

LitNet Books and writers 2022-06-07

This newly updated, comprehensive history of South Africa presents the story of our turbulent country in a fresh, readable narrative.

Press release: No impact assessment underlying the economically destructive Copyright Amendment Bill

LitNet Books and writers 2022-06-06

PwC estimated that the bill will lead to a 33% reduction in booksales with 30% of the industry losing their jobs.

Competition: You could win the new memoir Finding me by Viola Davis

LitNet Books and writers 2022-06-06

There’s a new book absolutely smashing the bestseller lists and we thought you’d like to know about it! It’s a stunningly honest memoir written with unrestrained fervour, and it packs one heck of a personal punch. You could even win a copy, courtesy of Bargain Books.

Respectful, because it does not pretend: A review of Halley’s Comet by Hannes Barnard

Jessica Smith Books and writers 2022-05-31

"The three teenagers must navigate the aftermath of their shared experience and the illegality of interracial friendship, and survive the predator that still lives free among them."

The yumness of the Kingsmead Book Fair 2022

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2022-05-31

"There was something for every literary taste."

Promotion: The murders of Fleat House by Lucinda Riley

LitNet Books and writers 2022-05-27

The sudden death of a pupil in Fleat House at St Stephen’s – a small private boarding school in deepest Norfolk – is a shocking event that the headmaster is very keen to call a tragic accident. But the local police cannot rule out foul play and the case prompts the return of high-flying Detective Inspector Jazmine "Jazz" Hunter to the force.

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."

In conversation with Hannes Barnard about Halley’s Comet

Hannes Barnard, Izak de Vries Books and writers 2022-05-24

"They run for their lives as dusk turns into night. Bullets fly as he gets closer. They stop breathing because it’s making too much noise. Still, Rudie comes closer. And closer."

SA Festival of Children’s Literature: an interview with Darryl David

Naomi Meyer, Darryl David Books and writers 2022-05-19

"I believe it may well turn out to be my most important book festival."

Fresh off the press: To 100 & beyond by Wynand Gouws

LitNet Books and writers 2022-05-18

To 100 & beyond  provides sound, tried-and-tested advice on how to approach living a longer, financially secure life, including how to invest wisely, generate alternative income streams, handle your tax affairs and plan your estate.

A home on Vorster Street: A memoir by Razina Theba: a book review

Bill Nasson Books and writers 2022-05-10

"But it is to be commended for the scrupulous directness with which it recounts the idiosyncrasies of multigenerational living, and for what it reveals about the making of one contemporary South African memory and about how we create the stories we tell about ourselves."

Book launch: Creating conditions for student success, edited by Magda Fourie-Malherbe

LitNet Books and writers 2022-05-09

You are invited to the online book launch of Creating conditions for student success on 12 May 2022. 

Beyond fear – Jacana releases Ebrahim Ebrahim’s post-1994 memoir

LitNet Books and writers 2022-05-06

Beyond fear: Reflections of a freedom fighter, Ebrahim Ebrahim’s memoir, is now available in book shops all over South Africa.

Fresh off the press: A century of South African naval history

LitNet Boeke en skrywers 2022-05-05

"While there are a number of books on the history of the South African Navy, this book brings them into perspective and gives an overall picture of the Navy and its development over the 100 years of its existence."