Books and writers

Information about the latest books and the people behind them

First sip: Rogues’ Gallery by Matthew Blackman and Nick Dall

LitNet LitNet Eerste Slukkie | First Sip 2021-03-26

If you reckon corruption in South Africa began with Zuma or even with apartheid, it’s time to catch a wake-up call.

Invitation to the launch of Yesterdays and imagining realities: an anthology of South African poetry

LitNet Books and writers 2021-03-19

We hope you may be able to join us for the launch of Yesterdays and imagining realities: an anthology of South African poetry this Sunday 21 March at 15h00.

Press release: Young children’s book author to meet COVID-19 expert Uzma Syed

LitNet Books and writers 2021-03-19

The books uniquely tell the story of the pandemic through the eyes of disadvantaged communities. 

Hidden Johannesburg by Paul Duncan and Alain Proust, a review

Paul Murray Books and writers 2021-03-16

"Duncan and Proust have compiled a magnificent book, a feast for the eye. In it, they have captured numerous buildings, each with its own intriguing story."

Hidden Karoo by Patricia Kramer and Alain Proust, a preview

Penguin Random House South Africa PRH/LAPA-Uitgewersportaal 2021-03-16

Here dreams are born, legends are made, and outcasts find sanctuary. It is also an ancient place, whose story is revealed through geology, fossils and artefacts.

Walking in the shadow by Carmen Radtke: an inter-review

Janet van Eeden, Carmen Radtke Books and writers 2021-03-11

"The story of Jimmy Kokupe is an unlikely subject for a historical drama, but his character is based on one of a number of men who were sent to the island by the British colony to live out their days in isolation during the early 1900s."

Still life by Zoë Wicomb – reader impression

Willem Krog Books and writers 2021-03-04

"If there is a recent literary work that can serve as an important example for fiction writers, Still life, in my view, is it."

Book launch: It’s not about the bats by Adam Cruise

LitNet NB-Uitgewersportaal 2021-03-02

Join the Zoom webinar on the 15th of March 2021.

African library: Chasing the tails of my father’s cattle by Sindiwe Magona

Annie Gagiano Books and writers 2021-03-01

"What she conveys (sometimes emphatically and sometimes more obliquely) in this text is a conviction that a culture needs both growth and pruning – as a living thing that should adapt to its surroundings. If tradition stalls and hardens into ideology, it stultifies rather than nurtures both communal and individual life."

Reader impression: Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are by Muako Maepa

Louise Viljoen (JBay) Books and writers 2021-03-01

"What I love about this cookbook is not only the fact that a teenage boy has brought such a marvellous gift to the world, but that I, as a reader, am treated to delightful glimpses of Muako’s life."

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."