While book stores around the world have struggled against tightening economies and the onslaught of digital books, a Cape Town phenomenon celebrates its 10 birthday today.
The Book Lounge, at the corner of Roeland and Buitenkant streets in the east city, was opened by Mervyn Sloman 10 years ago today.
He had been working at Exclusive Books for some years, but believed chain bookstores and independent bookstores could happily co-exist.
“They serve different functions. I felt there was room for my sort of independent bookstore at the time, so I opened my own space,” he said in a telephone interview earlier today (December 1, 2017).
He confesses to being a little surprised the Book Lounge is still here, but adds: “It’s a tough world, no question about it, but we believe in what we do and we’ve worked hard at it.
“Every now and then I meet people who want to open a shop, and I say that it is possible, but you have to live it and be very passionate about it. That’s one part of how you survive.
“Also, from early on we received lots of support from people who saw value in what we were doing – not only in selling books but having conversations about books and setting up conversations between writers and readers. We’ve tried to set up a place where people feel comfortable.”
The store holds launches and gatherings three to four times a week, and Sloman says they also say no to a lot of things. Continue reading
Acclaimed American short story writer George Saunders has become the second American to win the Man Booker Prize for his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.
The £50 000 (about R850 000) prize was presented to him at a ceremony in London’s Guildhall by the Duchess of Cornwall last night (October 17).
The judges described the book as “utterly original” and “deeply moving”. Continue reading
Like millions of people the world over, the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, trusts the BBC.
He was at home in Golders Green in London on Thursday (October 5), about to sit down to brunch, when his agent rang to tell him the good news.
“I thought it was a hoax in this time of fake news and everything,” he said on a Guardian video posted on YouTube.
“So I asked them to check up because I hadn’t heard at all – I thought the normal procedure was that the winner is told first. So I didn’t believe it for a long time.
“Then my publisher phoned. And finally when the BBC phoned, I thought it might be true.”
Ishiguro is probably most famous for his novel The Remains of the Day, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1989, and which was adapted into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in 1993. Continue reading
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is launching her book, View from City Hall, this week.
Spokeswoman Zara Nicholson says the book, co-written by Craig Kesson, is her take on her work in the city over the past six years; what it takes to build a leading city government; which major changes have been introduced and why; how she and her mayoral committee have aligned strategy with implementation; and some of the challenges they have faced.
The book is being launched at the Civic Centre tomorrow, September 19.
The Man Booker Prize judges have announced the 2017 shortlist of six titles.
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan) (Hamish Hamilton)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The judges said the novels, each in its own way, challenged and subtly shifted the reader’s preconceptions about the nature of love, about the experience of time, about questions of identity and even death. Continue reading
Formidable former public prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, launches her book Rule of Law – a memoir on Tuesday September 12, 2017.
The book, co-written with Nechama Brodie, looks back over her legal career of 26 years, and discusses why the rule of law is critical to the future of South Africa. She also has some pithy things to say about how some of the people she worked with in the NPA.
Breytenbach, now the DA’s shadow minister for justice, is quoted on the cover: “Oeloff de Meyer once said that I would prosecute my own mother. He meant it as an insult, of course. I took it as a compliment.”
Where: Exclusive Books, V&A Waterfront
When: Tuesday September 12, 6pm for 6.30pm.