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The African Library: A life full of holes by Driss ben Hamed CharhadBooks and writers 2020-04-29
"A life full of holes is the fruit of an illiterate man’s imagination and harsh experiences, reflecting a life from childhood to young adulthood that must closely resemble the author's, who was a street vendor and a lowly household employee, like the central character."
Kwarantynketting: "Playing cat and mouse with anxiety" by Chirikure ChirikureKwarantynketting 2020-04-28
"But, as the week progressed, I began to realise that things were no longer the same." Writer Chirikure Chirikure tells more about Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 lockdown.
Review: I wish I'd said: Volume 2 by Johann de Lange and Mandla Maphumulo (eds)Books and writers 2020-04-28
"To me, the anthology was a revelation. It achieves precisely the goal it sets out to: it consoles, enlightens, nourishes the grieving soul."
"The first step is to keep the book industry alive" – an interview with Mark GevisserBooks and writers 2020-04-28
"The first step is to keep the book industry alive: to save jobs and preserve the space in which books provide information to South Africans. That is the main task of this initiative."
Press release: The Baxter Theatre Centre launches Baxter Radio during lockdownLifestyle and entertainment 2020-04-28
In response to the impact of coronavirus and the nation-wide lockdown, the Baxter Theatre Centre has launched a brand new initiative called Baxter Radio, aimed at recording school setworks, children’s books, new South African works and classics. These will be made directly accessible to The Baxter’s subscriber database and to community radio stations.
Reader impression: Eb Koybie by Ebrahim EssaBooks and writers 2020-04-28
"Eb Koybie has all the elements of a riveting read: daredevil adventure, childhood reminiscences, mystery and mayhem."
Living while feminist – an interviewBooks and writers 2020-04-28
"I think that there is always more room to explore a feminist life, and so I wanted to do that. In particular, I was interested in why so few pieces in Feminism is touched on the body and on what it meant to live in the world physically as a feminist, so I hoped to get more of those in this collection."
An open letter regarding the buying, selling and reading of books as an essential serviceBooks and writers 2020-04-28
We do not ask that bookshops be open physically for business just yet. Rather, we ask for a simple addition to the current Level 4 regulations: that all books be available for purchase online or over the phone and for delivery, and that all booksellers, big and small, be allowed to trade.
In a time of plague: Memories of the “Spanish” flu epidemic of 1918 in South Africa by Howard Phillips – a reviewBooks and writers 2020-04-24
"Phillips pointed out that in South Africa, the 1918 pandemic highlighted socio-political issues which demanded attention."
Inter-review with Lauri Kubuitsile about her book, But deliver us from evilBooks and writers 2020-04-24
"This novel is full of the spirit of adventure and the desire for justice, which make for great storytelling."
Fresh off the press: All that is left by Kirsten MillerBooks and writers 2020-04-22
When Rachel’s brother disappears under mysterious circumstances, she must come to terms with his apparent death, though there is no body. She travels to Joburg to support her sister-in-law, Maya, with the memorial – also to escape her stifling life as a wife and mother.
Press release: 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist announcedBooks and writers 2020-04-22
Twenty outstanding stories have been shortlisted by an international judging panel for the world’s most global literature prize. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from any of the Commonwealth’s 54 member states.
Review: Dream of a lifetime: Crossing Antarctica by Mike HornBooks and writers 2020-04-22
"The pages fly by. The journey over the ice is as ferocious as the pace its reading makes."
Review: JM Coetzee: Photographs from boyhood by Hermann Wittenberg (ed)Books and writers 2020-04-22
"It is a beautifully produced book that will surprise and enlighten even the most devoted Coetzee readers, but might also be an intriguing entry point for those yet unfamiliar with the Nobel Prize winner's work."
South Africa's liquor on lockdownOpinion 2020-04-21
"The ban on alcohol does not come without harsh social consequences: substance users who go cold turkey face a real fatality risk; liquor stores have been looted; and shebeen and tavern owners, as well as their employees, are going without income. Furthermore, alcohol is being traded illicitly, which could result in a black market being established."
Lockdown: Streaming content, part 1Lifestyle and entertainment 2020-04-20
"Most of us are under lockdown and turning to online entertainment. Some nights I don’t even know what to watch, and I write about film and series for a living. So, I thought it would help sift through the jumble, to compile a list of every title that a) I have ever reviewed positively and b) is available online."
The world’s largest online literary festivalBooks and writers 2020-04-16
"The coronavirus has turned the world on its head. Every day, I hear echoes of Morgan Freeman’s voice from the movie Deep impact in my head. The coronavirus is indeed a deep impact moment. As an evangelist of the literary arts, I have agonised over what this moment means for us."
"Start with the determined decision to fight for your business"Books and writers 2020-04-16
"Start with the determined decision to fight for your business. No matter how small or trivial it may seem, it is an important block in the foundation of our civilisation. It’s your baby, your dream – don’t let it go without a fight." Naomi Meyer and Cliffordene Norton interview Douglas Kruger about his latest book.
Review: Future-proof your child for the 2020s and beyond by Nikki Bush and Graeme CodringtonBooks and writers 2020-04-15
"I consider it an invaluable guide to equip children with the right skill sets, attitudes and world views to enable them to identify future opportunities and thrive, no matter what tomorrow may or may not hold."
The annual National Arts Festival goes virtual amid corona crisisOnderhoude 2020-04-15
The 2020 National Arts Festival (NAF) will go down in our history as the first ever South African virtual festival, taking place from 25 June to 5 July. Marli van Eeden chats to Monica Newton (CEO, NAF) to find out more.