Books and writers
Information about the latest books and the people behind them
African Library entry: The actual true story of Ahmed & Zarga by Mohamedou Ould SlahiBooks and writers 2022-02-28
"Ahmed and Zarga educates its readers concerning the reverence in which camels are held in this context, as it does in making clear the basis of this Bedouin attitude towards their beasts. Slahi’s novel’s natural, informal style and the impression of oral narrative that it establishes are extremely appealing, as well as elegant and aesthetically admirable."
Inter-review with Michelle Edwards, author of the novel, Go away birdsBooks and writers 2022-02-24
Janet van Eeden interviews Michelle Edwards and also writes: "The novel is page-turningly good. The plot moves swiftly through the first-person voice of Skye, who is that most delicious of literary devices: an unreliable narrator."
Promotion: The Blanket Tree books | Promosie: Die KombersboomboekeBooks and writers 2022-02-23
The children’s picture book series, The Blanket Tree books (Die Kombersboomboeke in Afrikaans), were written and developed during the time of lockdown by Hélène Ferreira. "Blanket" refers to these comforting, inclusive fantasies, modern-day fairy tales for everyone. The word "tree" signifies growth, learning, renewal and development.
Booker winner included in Folio Prize shortlistBooks and writers 2022-02-11
The promise, Damon Galgut’s 2021 Booker Prize winning novel, has been included in the shortlist for the Rathbones Folio Prize.
Press release: PEN South Africa announces programme for season three of The empty chair podcast, "A Transatlantic conversation"Books and writers 2022-02-10
Starting on 3 February, the season continues to illuminate shared histories and values between South Africa and the USA, engaging with topics around social justice, racial equity and diversity. Coinciding with Black History Month in the USA, this series focuses on conversations inspired by this initiative.
Promosie: Die nuutste Francine Rivers nou by Bargain BooksBoeke en skrywers 2022-02-08
Almal wil graag ryk word in dié myndorpie, maar dit is ’n liefde baie kosbaarder as goud wat almal in die dorp uiteindelik sal red. Sy is myne deur Francine Rivers is nou te koop by Bargain Books.
Fresh off the press: Spoilt ballots by Matthew Blackman and Nick DallBooks and writers 2022-02-08
Spoilt ballots is as much about the people who voted in some of our most decisive elections as it is about those who didn’t get to make their mark.
Press release: Announcement of the winner of the Philida Literary Award in 2022Books and writers 2022-02-07
The Philida Literary Award is awarded annually to a writer mid-career for an oeuvre of between three to five books of any genre.
Interview with Cathy Park Kelly, author of Boiling a frog slowlyBooks and writers 2022-02-02
"My heartfelt hope is that this book reaches those who are in toxic situations (whether at home or at work), where their boundaries are being transgressed, and that reading it helps them to see their situation with clearer eyes and take steps to protect themselves."
Press release: Call for applications, Hear My Voice poetry retreatBooks and writers 2022-01-27
"Hear My Voice invites South African poets to a 4-day poetry retreat, calling for poets to explore the relationship between nature and the manifest in various art forms."
On The fall of the University of Cape Town: A further discussionUniversiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2022-01-18
"On any given issue, how should we weigh up the different issues at stake? This is where we need arguments, including evidence. We need, in other words, to reason our way, as best we can, through the issues. That is exactly what I was doing in the book."
A reflection on South Africa’s third Booker Prize winner: The promise by Damon GalgutBooks and writers 2022-01-14
"The book is fabulous: ironic, moving, sacrilegious, shocking, painful, insightful."
On The fall of the University of Cape Town by David Benatar: a discussionUniversiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2022-01-11
"Even if it doesn’t feel like we live in a rights-based constitutional democracy with equal access to the law and to the free exchange of ideas, which is what universities are for, we have no option but to continue to believe and act as if we do. Perhaps that explains his determination to hold on to the idea that people can and should do better. It’s part of his belief in the university as an institution."
Merrydown Farm, a Karoo novel by Michael KingBooks and writers 2022-01-05
"He wants to be alone to remake himself in conditions of aloneness, of brief solitariness. Here begins his exploration. He is a tabula rasa on which he can rewrite his story. He explores the place geographically, establishes a frame within which to live his life. He discovers new ways, new routines, sees new things."
First sip: Becoming a doctor by Hloni BookholaneLitNet Eerste Slukkie | First Sip 2021-12-24
"The first time I broke bad news to a real, live family it went horribly. If it were an OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) station, I would have failed."
The African Library: Aya Dane by Mhani AlaouiBooks and writers 2021-12-22
"Reading this novel and its record of great suffering and the profound emotional dislocations brought about by exile and migration, is arduous, often harrowing and disturbing; but as a narrative, Aya Dane is an immense and lasting achievement."
#ReadingAfrica | The women's panelInterviews 2021-12-14
On 10 December Aoife Lennon-Ritchie spoke to Gabeba Baderoon and Sifton Anipare about getting published, emigrating and feminism.
Dystopian, fantasy and sci-fi blended: A review of Charlie Human’s AncestralBooks and writers 2021-12-13
"There are plenty of fight scenes. The battles are impressively detailed, and sometimes shocking or gross. I think this is one of the book’s strongest points. The violence is completely unfiltered, with everything from a simple jab to the crunch of a bone breaking."
Wilbur Smith, an obituaryBooks and writers 2021-12-13
"And then, out of a crowd, there he was – standing at my table with his hand held out. To this day I can still hear his voice in my head, see that wry smile. ‘James Woodhouse,’ he said. ‘I’m Wilbur Smith.’ As if he needed to introduce himself."
Press release: Announcing PEN South Africa’s The Empty Chair podcast season twoBooks and writers 2021-12-09
PEN South Africa is excited to announce a new six-episode season of The Empty Chair podcast.