Open Book Festival Report 1: Forthcoming attractions

  • 0

Chris van Wyk

I should have recognised Chris van Wyk when I saw him in the Townhouse Hotel on the first morning of the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, but I didn’t. He asked for directions to Lobby Books and I gave him some, but being sort of lost myself, I don’t think they were any good. When I found him a little while later (not very far from where I had left him), looking somewhat lost, I offered to walk with him, seeing that I was heading there too. En route I found out he was one of the reasons I was going there, one of four authors scheduled to read from forthcoming works. Joining Chris on stage was local superstar Lauren Beukes, as well as Canadian author Steven Galloway and British writer Hari Kunzru.

Steven Galloway

Steven Galloway was first up and read from his work in progress, a novel called The Confabulist. According to Galloway the novel has not yet been completed, but the part he read to us is “almost finished”.

Hari Kunzru read a short story from a soon to be released anthology called One for the money. His story titled “New Gold Dream” is a description of a photo shoot involving a billionaire, his trophy wife and their baby, and had the audience giggling all the way through.

Lauren Beukes was up next, reading from her forthcoming novel The Killing Time, a story set in America in the 1930s. Lauren is a great reader, engaging the audience with her characterisation and dramatic narrative. She also happened to be wearing beautiful shoes.

Hari Kunzru
Lauren Beukes

Chris van Wyk

Chris van Wyk was the last author to take the stage, but had a false start because he couldn’t read his own writing. This was not because of his handwriting, but due to a recent eye op. (I think this is also why he couldn’t find the venue – nothing wrong with my directions – I’m choosing to believe he couldn’t see where he was going.) After he had taken out a giant spyglass, the reading went swimmingly. He joked that friend and fellow author Ivan Vladislavic saw him reading with the magnifying glass and said: “I didn’t know you were getting into crime fiction.” But he isn’t, really. He read from a work in progress called “The Adventures of Derrick September”, the story of a man who wants to become the greatest poet in the world, but ends up becoming a comedian. He assured us all that this work is not, as his wife assumed, autobiographical.

So, after being forth- and forth- and forthcoming, the first Open Book Festival was now truly on. Watch this space for forthcoming reports from the festival, and more updates on the action, the authors’ shoes and any further use of spyglasses.

  • 0


Jou e-posadres sal nie gepubliseer word nie. Kommentaar is onderhewig aan moderering.