Cape Flats Book Festival is back with a bang!

Taryn Lock, Nancy Richards, Lester Walbrugh, Rešoketšwe Manenzhe, Qarnita Loxton and Karina Szczurek at the Cape Flats Book Festival 2022

“When you live a life of reading, you live like a cat, you experience nine lives,” Premier Alan Winde said at the opening ceremony of the second Cape Flats Book Festival, and added: “There’s nothing like a good book, nothing.” Totally agreed!

And when you live a life of reading, you get to hang out with the coolest of people – readers and writers!

This weekend, readers and writers gathered at the West End Primary School in Mitchells Plain to celebrate the wealth and wonder of literature, and it was an honour to participate. According to the organisers, the festival is “an act of hope, an opportunity to dream beyond our circumstances.” Indeed. And every minute of it was literary delight.

Great vibes, great sessions, laughter and wisdom, lots of connecting and reconnecting and simple sharing – of experience, ideas and the love of books.

Karavan Press authors participating: Joy Watson, Nancy Richards, Lester Walbrugh, Cathy Park Kelly and Joanne Hichens.

Joy Watson, Sara-Jayne Makwala King and Karina Szczurek

The second day of the festival was a little bit quieter, but smaller audience create more intimate interactions and often strong bonds are forged not only between authors and their fans, but also between the authors themselves. Writing is mostly a solitary and often lonely occupation, and it is simply wonderful to encounter others in the same boat and feel slightly less alone in the world.

And when you are lucky, you get to hug Oaky 🙂

Thank you to everyone who made this fantastic event possible!

Karavan Press family – Lester Walbrugh, Thobeka Yose (to be published next year), Karina Szczurek (holding a freshly baked bread, a gift from Lester) and Cathy Park Kelly

Hope to see everyone at the next Cape Flats Book Festival!

Cape Flats Book Festival 2022

Please join us for the Cape Flats Book Festival 2022!

Karavan Press authors on the 2022 CFBF programme:

Saturday, 15 October

12:35-13:15 In Conversation (Adults): Sara-JayneMakwala King (Mad Bad Love) & JOY WATSON (The Other Me)

15:20-16:00 In Conversation (Adults): Colleen Higgs (my mother, my madness) & NANCY RICHARDS (The Skipper’s Daughter) moderated by Leslie Swartz (How I Lost My Mother)

Sunday, 16 October

10:55-11:35 In Conversation (Adults): Karina Szczurek (Disruption) & LESTER WALBRUGH (Elton Baaitjies)

11:50-12:30 Against the Odds (Adults): JOANNE HICHENS (Death & the After Parties) & CATHY PARK KELLY (Boiling a Frog Slowly)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Let It Fall Where It Will by Lester Walbrugh shortlisted at the HSS Awards in the Best Fiction Short-Stories subcategory

Congratulations to Lester – we are so proud! – all the other shortlisted authors, and the winner of the subcategory: Nthikeng Mohlele!

Congratulations also to the winner of the Best Fiction Edited Volume subcategory: Hauntings edited by Niq Mhlongo. The anthology includes short stories by Lester Walbrugh and Joanne Hichens!

Joanne Hichens reviews BOILING A FROG SLOWLY by Cathy Park Kelly for the Sunday Times

‘Boiling a Frog Slowly’ is an intensely personal memoir about escaping abuse

Cathy Park Kelly’s compelling and painstakingly honest book describes the insidiousness of abuse and how hard it is to leave a toxic and violent relationship

Boiling a Frog Slowly is a courageous, emotionally sincere exposé of a romantic relationship that slides into increasingly disdainful and abusive territory, when love indeed goes wrong. It’s about how terribly difficult it is, as a woman, to extricate oneself from a toxic, manipulative relationship in which one is treated with violence and contempt.

Right from the opening scene, which describes violence so extreme that I caught my breath, I was hooked and wanted to know how this could have happened to a woman I know — albeit on the periphery — as professional, caring and compassionate. What led to the point where Cathy was held down by her partner, as he scrawled the words slut, whore and c**t across her breasts with a red Koki pen?

Continue reading: Sunday Times

Joanne Hichens interviews Cathy Park Kelly about her memoir, Boiling a Frog Slowly

Boiling a frog slowly is a courageous exposé of a romantic relationship that slides into increasingly disdainful and abusive territory, when love indeed goes wrong. In this interview, Joanne Hichens chats with Cathy Park Kelly about her experiences and the writing of her memoir.

Boiling a frog slowly, a memoir of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of an early lover and partner, is searing in its honesty. Your story shows how terribly difficult it can be for a woman to extricate herself from a relationship in which she is treated with violence and contempt. What prompted you to write your account of abuse at the hands of your male partner?

It’s what I do – I use my writing to explore my life and pick out threads that shine with truth for me. What I have learned, and what I am coming to trust, as I write more and share my writing more, is that these threads are universal. They are present in many human stories. When it comes to the story of the abusive relationship, I wanted to do two things: make sense of this experience for my own sake, and also make something out of this chapter in my life that I could share with others.

On the first, personal level, I used my writing to make sense of this chapter and to crack through the disbelief I was left with, to dig beneath the feeling of “What the f*ck?” to get at the truth of what it meant. I was weirdly fascinated, as well as confounded, by what I had gone through, so I used my writing to create some sense of order and understanding.

But, on the more universal level, I was driven to write this for the unknown reader out there. I felt that I had learned much and gained many insights, and this hard-earned knowledge burned inside me. It felt alive, like it wanted to be given a voice …

LitNet

Interview with Cathy Park Kelly, author of Boiling a frog slowly

Last night at Exclusive Books Cavendish

Readers gathered last night at Exclusive Books Cavendish for a live literary event: a discussion of Death and the After Parties by Joanne Hichens. I (Karina) had the great privilege of interviewing Joanne and the occasion gave us a wonderful opportunity to talk about the path our friendship has taken through first encounters at launches and festivals, reading of each other’s stories, grieving the sudden deaths of our husbands, drinking many bottles of pink bubbly and working on several literary projects together – Short.Sharp.Stories and the HAIR anthology among them – before most recently publishing this exquisite memoir at Karavan Press.

Our gratitude to Linda and the wonderful team of booksellers at EB Cavendish – your support for local authors is exemplary. Thank you also for making us all feel safe during these difficult times. And thank you to everyone who attended the event, especially readers who had loved the book and came to listen to Joanne talk about it. Last but not least, thank you to all readers who bought the book and had it signed – your support is what keeps us going.