Books and writers

Information about the latest books and the people behind them

Fresh off the press: Spoilt ballots by Matthew Blackman and Nick Dall

LitNet Books 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 2022

LitNet Books 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 slowly

Joanne Hichens, Cathy Kelly Books 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 retreat

LitNet Books 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 discussion

Bernard Kripke, David Benatar Universiteitseminaar | 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 Galgut

Maditte Coornaert Books 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 discussion

David Attwell, Bernard Kripke Universiteitseminaar | 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 King

Paul Murray Books 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 Bookholane

LitNet LitNet 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 Alaoui

Annie Gagiano Books 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 panel

Aoife Lennon-Ritchie, Gabeba Baderoon, Sifton Anipare Interviews 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 Ancestral

Jessica Smith Books 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 obituary

James Woodhouse Books 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 two

LitNet Books and writers 2021-12-09

PEN South Africa is excited to announce a new six-episode season of The Empty Chair podcast.

#ReadingAfrica | The children’s literature panel

Bunmi Emananjo, Ekiuwa Aire, Hannes Barnard, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Caroline Kurtz Interviews 2021-12-09

How do we represent Africa as a multicultural, multifaceted continent to our readers? How do we embrace diversity in early readers for Africa’s kids? And how do we market our wonderful African stories to a Eurocentric world?

Full particulars podcast: Orality and the novel, Zakes Mda’s The Wayfarers' Hymns

David Attwell, Zakes Mda Books and writers 2021-12-09

In this, the fifth episode of his monthly podcast series, David Attwell talks to Zakes Mda about his latest, and possibly his last, novel. 

Satisfying, like a spicy curry roti: The Tearoom by Gretchen Haley

Joanne Hichens Books and writers 2021-12-07

"This is a simple tale of a love-struck man, wanting out from what has become a tedious and unfulfilling life. In essence, it is a tragicomedy, a fated love story, a fable of our times, in which Tubby Reddy is himself complicit."

Join us for our fifth annual #ReadingAfrica Week celebration

LitNet Books and writers 2021-12-02

It’s that time again! Join us for our fifth annual #ReadingAfrica Week celebration. Each year, in the first full week of December (this year, December 5–11, 2021), we invite publishers, authors, librarians, literary organisations, bookstores and book lovers of all kinds to share the best in African literature across social media.

Press release: Invitation to PEG’s webinar on editing fiction

LitNet Books and writers 2021-12-01

If you number yourself among the yearners, or perhaps even want to dip your toes in the waters of fiction, or need to satisfy your curiosity about what being “sunnies” to an author’s wild imaginings entails, then why not join PEG’s climactic webinar of 2021?

Sol T Plaatje: A life in letters – edited by Brian Willan and Sabata-mpho Mokae

Barend van der Merwe Books and writers 2021-11-26

"Sol T Plaatje: A life in letters provides an important glimpse into the life of Plaatje, his ideas, his relationships and the world in which he lived. Another important feature of note in the book is the index, which is critically important and will greatly ease the task of future researchers."