Books and writers

Information about the latest books and the people behind them

Review of Promised land by Karl Kemp

Rian Malan Books and writers 2021-02-23

"Every South African city is already ringed by giant shack settlements, almost all erected on land that was illegally grabbed at the outset, and some still technically subject to eviction. But on the ground, everyone knows this will never happen."

An island by Karen Jennings: an interview

Joanne Hichens, Karen Jennings Books and writers 2021-02-19

"Violence begets violence. Samuel has been exposed to it from a young age through the different stages that his country has gone through politically, and through the effects of those changes on him and those around him."

The Karen Book of Rules by Karin Schimke and Karen Jeynes: a book review

Louise Viljoen (JBay) Books and writers 2021-02-16

"Karin Schimke and Karen Jeynes, both award-winning writers, pull out all the stops in The Karen Book of Rules and have a field day unleashing unbridled wit, humour, satire, sarcasm, and numerous lists of do’s and don’ts on their readers, presenting them with the choice 'to be a karen or not to be a karen.'"

Press release: Announcement of the winner of the Philida Literary Award in 2021

LitNet Books and writers 2021-02-10

The Philida Literary Award is awarded annually to a writer mid-career for an oeuvre of between three and five books of any genre.

Okay, okay, okay by Finuala Dowling: a book review

Janet van Eeden Books and writers 2021-02-09

"The paragraph above sums up for me the life of a woman writer who has to work while being the mainstay of a family. Even Jane Austen mentioned in her diaries how she wrote her novels in short bursts, hiding her work under a book when others came into the room, trying to find continuity between family interruptions."

Dreaming of freedom in South Africa by David Johnson: a book review

Bill Nasson Books and writers 2021-02-03

"What gives his book its especially concentrated quality is its microscopic examination of a body of ideological fragments – visionary novels, poems, pamphlets, manifestos and other documents – some of them fairly trivial, it could be said. These direct our attention to an alternative tradition of South African political literature, enthusiastically radical in its stance and resolutely internationalist in its inspirational reach."

Prisoner 913 – the release of Nelson Mandela by Riaan de Villiers and Jan-Ad Stemmet: reader impression

Barend van der Merwe Books and writers 2021-01-21

"Prisoner 913 is a wonderful book and definitely worth the read, and it will be of particular interest to serious scholars of history and cognate disciplines, particularly as it contains archival material that has not been published before."

Paradise in Gaza by Niq Mhlongo: a book review

Edwin T Smith Books and writers 2021-01-20

"Paradise in Gaza is an ambitious enterprise."

Fresh off the press: 40 years of iconic food by Dorah Sitole

LitNet Books and writers 2021-01-13

Each chapter features various stages of Dorah’s fascinating life, with recipes to match: traditional African, Township, Pan-African and Western.

Gus Ferguson: Old poets never die, they simply decompose

Finuala Dowling In memoriam 2021-01-11

"Gus’s totem, the snail, holds the key to a less well-known aspect of his make-up. He was a closet scientist; for him, science had a beauty and patterning that made it mystical."

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."

The Afrikaners: a concise history by Hermann Giliomee: a book review

Bill Nasson Books and writers 2020-12-18

"Now running to just over 200 pages, and wearing his immense learning much more lightly, the author’s new Concise history is more of a tapas-trek through the topic than his original pièce de résistance."

African library: The Lotus people by Aziz Hassim

Annie Gagiano Books and writers 2020-12-14

"The impressive and morally valuable account that Hassim has produced should, in my view, be honoured as a classic of anti-apartheid literature. It is a complex work rich in meaning and serves as an act of commemoration, but one which never preaches or flags in its breathtaking pace."

First sip: The Afrikaners, a concise history by Hermann Giliomee

LitNet NB-Uitgewersportaal 2020-12-14

"On 1 January 1827 English became the only official language in the courts. Evidence in Dutch or Afrikaans was translated. The British jury system was imported and members of the jury were required to be proficient in English."

People don’t read crime if they don’t have hope

Catalyst Press Books and writers 2020-12-11

“People don’t read crime if they don’t have hope.” So said Jessica Powers, head of Catalyst Press, quoting the South African author Andrew Brown, during a panel discussion hosted by Micheal Sears on Wednesday 9 December 2020.

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."

Die stoute Corona / The naughty Corona: ’n resensie

Izak de Vries Resensies 2020-12-08

"Hierdie mooi, insiggewende teks is deur ’n mediese dokter vir sy kleinkinders geskryf. Die idee was aanvanklik om seker te maak dat hulle nie onnodig vir hulle eie veiligheid hoef te vrees nie."

Press release: Launch event of Liberty Books cancelled

LitNet Books and writers 2020-12-08

Due to the surging number of COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape, the manager and owner of Liberty Books and the management of the Peregrine Farm Stall have decided to cancel the launch event that would have taken place on 10 December 2020.

Fresh off the press: Paradise in Gaza by Niq Mhlongo

LitNet Books and writers 2020-12-04

"When Mpisi Mpisani travels to his home village for the burial of his mother and a visit to his first wife, he is anxious to hurry back to Johannesburg."

Three women providing a catalyst for African literature: An interview

Izak de Vries, JL Powers, Ashawnta Jackson, SarahBelle Selig Interviews 2020-12-02

"I just began to feel excited about the possibility of bringing African literature of all genres to a North American readership – not scholarly work, which I think has some real champions, but crime novels, thrillers, literary fiction, children’s fiction and graphic novels."