Books and writers

Information about the latest books and the people behind them

Inter-review with Stephen “Spling” Aspeling about his book, The essence of dreams: An anthology of film reviews

Janet van Eeden, Stephen Spling Aspeling Books and writers 2023-12-04

"[South Africa’s] biggest challenge is self-esteem for our own talents – having to be told who’s world-class by international speculators, rather than realising this through our own people and media. Then, we’re also struggling to get the funding of local films right, performing miracles on shoestring budgets and being expected simply to rinse and repeat these miracles."

Press release: Can you tell a story in 500 words?

LitNet Books and writers 2023-12-04

Call for flash stories for a new anthology to be published in 2024.

Fresh off the press: The South African alphabet of affirmations by Nyasha Williams

LitNet Books and writers 2023-12-01

A book of affirmations that highlights each of South Africa’s eleven official languages [and] is a love letter to children (especially Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) in South Africa honouring their magic, worth and power.

Jacques Coetzee reading with the Ecca group

LitNet Books and writers 2023-11-30

Award-winning poet Jacques Coetzee will be reading in Gqeberha on 5 December when the Ecca Poets will launch their new collection, The salt of being.

Emperor of Rome: Mphuthumi Ntabeni interviews Mary Beard

Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Mary Beard Books and writers 2023-11-30

A transgender Roman emperor? Why were there no bedrooms in Caesar’s palace? How about an emperor who may have worn more shoes than Imelda Marcos? Is democracy better than a benign dictator? These are but a few of the hot topics Mphuthumi Ntabeni teases out of Mary Beard during an interview in Cape Town.

Still breathing | Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2023

Tony Jackman, Marita van der Vyver Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2023-11-30

Tony Jackman interviewed Marita van der Vyver on her novel Still breathing and her memoir A long letter to my daughter. What is it like to get older? How does one hold an entire cast of characters in one’s hand? Are her characters based on real people? How does it feel to dream in a language that differs from the one your daughter dreams in?

Inkwenkwezi Efihlakeleyo: Uhlalutyo Lwencadi | The hidden star translated: A book review

Mphuthumi Ntabeni Books and writers 2023-11-28

"Mandivale ngokucoma Umuzi/Praesa ngalo mbono mhle kangaka wokuguqulela le ncwadi kulwimi lweSintu. Nakugqirha Guzula ngomsebenzi omhle encomekayo." | "I think this is a superb translation that not only makes the book accessible in Xhosa, but, because a language lends a new way of seeing the world, will enrich your knowledge and enjoyment of the book even if you have already read it in English."

Fresh off the press: Sunshine and shadows by Busisekile Khumalo

LitNet Books and writers 2023-11-24

Vimbai soon learns that every action has a consequence and some of our wishes come to haunt us when we are at our happiest. Her carefully orchestrated life takes a nosedive when her secrets are held against her.

Fresh off the press: Who will rule South Africa? by Adriaan Basson and Qaanitah Hunter

LitNet Books and writers 2023-11-17

Basson and Hunter map out the likely scenarios for a coalition government after the 2024 election and what it will mean for the country if politicians such as John Steenhuisen, Julius Malema or Herman Mashaba gain access to the Union Buildings.

An overview of the Cape Flats Book Festival 2023

Karina Magdalena Szczurek Books and writers 2023-11-15

"When a book festival brings the joy of reading and engaging with writers to places that are not known for such events, it is an additional pleasure to participate."

Son of a whore by Herman Lategan: a review

Erla Diedericks Books and writers 2023-11-13

"For those few hours that you read the book, and hopefully afterwards as well, you feel less mad and less alone."

The anatomy of reform | Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2023

Frans Rautenbach Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2023-11-08

"We all have to take ownership," says Frans Rautenbach, an advocate and the author of several books, the latest being Help yourself South Africa. In this lecture, delivered at the Etienne van Heerden Veldsoirée 2023, he highlights practical things that ordinary citizens can do to make South Africa work again.

An interview with Taryn Lock on Read to Rise and The Cape Flats Book Festival on 4 and 5 November 2023

Naomi Meyer, Taryn Lock Books and writers 2023-11-02

"We started Read to Rise in 2013 to promote youth literacy in under-resourced communities in South Africa. We believe that if children can read, they will excel at school and go on to become good, constructive members of society. It all starts with reading."

The Otto Foundation making a huge impact in District Six

SarahBelle Selig Books and writers 2023-10-25

"The main goal of the foundation is to help kids discover – and practise – a love of reading, their work goes far beyond the library."

Press release: UJ announces winner of the 2023 UJ Prize for Translation

LitNet Books and writers 2023-10-25

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is pleased to announce the recipient of the prestigious 2023 UJ Prize for Translation.

Each mortal thing by Michiel Heyns: a review

Anthony Akerman Books and writers 2023-10-25

"The wheels obviously come off, or we wouldn’t have a story. I won’t give anything away, but trust me when I say that Heyns is a masterful storyteller and the narrative often veers off in quite unexpected directions."

Death is knocking at writers’ doors

Zongezile Matshoba Books and writers 2023-10-24

"Death knocked at the door of the writer Simphiwe Nolutshungu. He unfortunately and reluctantly opened it."

Avenues by train by Farai Mudzingwa: a review

Mphuthumi Ntabeni Books and writers 2023-10-24

"There’s an inherent risk of disharmony in this, but most amazingly the symphony of the book is melodious, and it fluently overlaps in a pleasing manner that doesn’t tax the reader’s concentration powers. I am sure it owes that not only to the writer’s skills, but also to those of the book editor. It is superbly achieved."

Press release: UJ announces shortlist for the 2023 UJ Prize for Translation 

LitNet Books and writers 2023-10-20

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is delighted to present the shortlist for the esteemed 2023 UJ Prize for Translation. This accolade acknowledges the remarkable achievements of translators in the realm of literary translation. UJ received a multitude of entries, each demonstrating remarkable quality, making the process of shortlisting both demanding and rewarding.

Madibaland @ Bookbedonnerd 2023: an interview with Darryl David

Naomi Meyer, Darryl David Lifestyle and entertainment 2023-10-19

"When we created Book Town Richmond, that Obama phrase, 'the audacity of hope', was uppermost in my mind. Because it was sheer audacity to create a Book Town with not a cent to our names. It was sheer audacity to think that writers and bibliophiles would travel nearly 1 000 kilometres to a book festival. And somehow, here we are. Seventeen years later. Against all odds."