Kim Gurney on a public panel about the politics, legacies and inheritances of independent spaces

Kim Gurney, the author of Panya Routes: Independent art spaces in Africa, is participating on a public panel in Cape Town on Saturday about the politics, legacies and inheritances of independent spaces. Along with: 

  • Ukhona Ntsali Mlandu, Director, Greatmore Studios
  • Nqaba Shakes Mbolekwana, Location Studio Practice 
  • Phokeng Setai, Interdisciplinary Scholar 
  • Itumeleng wa Lehulere, Revolutionary Papers

Date: 24 September

Time: 12h00-14h30

Venue: Theatre Arts Admin, Observatory 

The panel is part of ‘Power Talks’, convened by Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and African Centre for Cities, as a roving national series to unpack power mechanisms in the cultural world. The Cape Town iteration is curated by Ukhona Ntsali Mlandu, director of Greatmore Studios, to look beyond the trauma and violences of power and see what constructive manifestations of power might look, taste, sound and feel like. It involves sonic explorations, food networks, theatre explorations, and more. 

Event info here: www.instagram.com/powertalksza/

Session info: https://www.instagram.com/p/CixX5wDKdQJ/

Website: https://www.goethe.de/ins/za/en/kul/sup/pow/cap/events.html#i8640482

JRB: Read an excerpt from Lester Walbrugh’s debut novel and an interview with Joy Watson

The latest issue of the Johannesburg Review of Books features an excerpt from Lester Walbrugh’s debut novel Elton Baatjies and an interview with Joy Watson.

‘A raincloud sucks all the blue from the sky’—Read an excerpt from Lester Walbrugh’s forthcoming debut novel, Elton Baatjies

‘I think that it is important for every woman to claim the “nasty” in her’—Anna Stroud interviews Joy Watson on her debut novel, The Other Me

Elton Baatjies launched (and arrested) at Liberty Books

Family, friends, readers gathered last night at Liberty Books to celebrate the launch of Elton Baatjies, the eagerly awaited debut novel by local author Lester Walbrugh.

Cleo wanted to do the interview …

… but the humans insisted that they would do a better job and even dressed up – Elton-style! – for the occasion.

Full house for Lester, Christy, Elton and Cleo!

The humans did a great job for a while …

… but then Cleo did take over!

She (and the tiger) wanted to know about the role of wild horses in the novel, and whether any cats featured.

The novel is fiction, but it is so believably written and feels so real that the local cops showed up to arrest Elton!

To find out whether Detective Junaid Japtha is as successful in fiction, and about what happens to Tyron May, you will have to read Elton Baatjies.

Lester’s job is done: Elton Baatjies is in the hands of readers. Books were celebrated, sold and signed.

Thank you to Liberty Books and all who attended for another amazing literary event! Thank you to Peregrine Farm Stall for the delicious snacks! And thank you to Paul Cluver Wines for the elegant wines which made the evening all the more special!

Above all, thank you to Christy and Lester for a great conversation and all the literary joy you bring into our lives!

15 – 17 September: Karavan Press authors at Blown Away by Books

THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER

14.00 – 15.00 
So you want to write? How to start – how to continue: three writers give insight into their writing journeys and the genres they have explored

Lester Walbrugh – Elton Baatjies & Let It Fall Where It Will
Shameez Patel – The Last Feather 
Penny Haw – The Wilderness Between Us

Moderator: SarahBelle Selig

FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER

9.30 – 11.30 
Writing workshop with Cathy Park Kelly and Máire Fisher (Library Hall)

14.00 – 15.00 
What we know and what we learn – about ourselves, our families, our history

Sara-Jayne Makwala King – Mad Bad Love
Erika Bornman – Mission of Malice
Cathy Park Kelly – Boiling a Frog Slowly

Moderator: Karina Szczurek

16.00 – 17.00 
The stories we choose to tell – memoir, biography and the fictions between

Colleen Higgs – My Mother My Madness
Nancy Richards – The Skipper’s Daughter
Hedi Lampert – The Trouble With My Aunt

Moderator: Cathy Park Kelly

SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER

16.00 – 17.00 
Personal, social, political – stories that create the fabric of our country

Sindiwe Magona – Theatre Road
In Our Own Words: Nurses on the Front Line
Nick Dall and Matthew Blackman – Spoilt Ballots

Moderator: Tracey Farren

For the full programme, click here:

BLOWN AWAY BY BOOKS

Sunday Times Literary Awards: AN ISLAND by Karen Jennings shortlisted for the Fiction Prize

The shortlists of the prestigious Sunday Times Literary Awards have been announced and we are thrilled that An Island by Karen Jennings is nominated for the Fiction Prize! Congratulations, Karen, and all the other shortlisted authors.

FICTION PRIZE CRITERIA
The winner should be a novel of rare imagination and style, evocative, textured and a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction.

JUDGES: Ekow Duker (chair), Nomboniso Gasa, Kevin Ritchie

CHAIR OF JUDGES EKOW DUKER SAYS:

I’m sure we can all remember our school days when the teacher would pose a question to the class. Some pupils would immediately strain to answer. Others might look at each other in puzzlement, the answer tantalisingly out of reach. This year’s judging of the Fiction Prize was a little like that. Some novels by their magisterial telling of an important story, screamed at the judges to, “Pick me! Pick me!”. Others were more restrained, quietly confident in their ability to narrate a memorable tale. Each of the five books that made this year’s shortlist met the criteria but in remarkably different ways. An Island by Karen Jennings is a masterful depiction of a fragile life lived in near-solitude. With its cast of indentured labourers and colonial administrators, Joanne Joseph’s Children of Sugarcane took us on a meticulously detailed journey from India to the cruel fields of Natal, and back again. All Gomorrahs Are The Same by Thenjiwe Mswane gently lifts the veil of familiarity that shrouds the existence of three women, allowing us a powerfully intimate view into their inner lives. Damon Galgut’s The Promise, winner of the 2021 Booker Prize, is a compelling study of a once privileged family in terminal decline. Finally, and without any warning to buckle up, Junx by Tshidiso Moletsane, flung us headlong into the exhilaration of inner-city Joburg.

AN ISLAND
KAREN JENNINGS (Karavan Press)

Jennings doesn’t continue the postmodernist leitmotifs of living on an island which were established by Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and JM Coetzee’s response to it in Foe. Our reviewer wrote: “Instead of writing ‘back’ to another text, she digs deeper into the long term impact of a colonist rule, and the twisted dictatorship that follows it. This allegorical tale could be read as a warning of the long lasting impact of fear, violence, depravity and poverty and the role isolation plays in feeding these conditions.” Our judges said: “Haunting in its depiction of a life lived in solitude, where the past is more real than the present. She is masterful in building the suspense, stone by blood-soaked stone.”

Read the full press release here: The 2022 Sunday Times Literary Awards shortlist

ELTON BAATJIES by Lester Walbrugh to be launched at Liberty Books

We are delighted to invite you to the launch of Lester Walbrugh‘s eagerly awaited debut novel, Elton Baatjies. Equally delighted that it is going to take place at Liberty Books in Elgin – Lester will be in conversation with Christy Weyer.

Thank you to Paul Cluver Wines for sponsoring the wine for this special occasion!

We can’t wait to share this hauntingly dark, absolutely stunning novel with Readers.