Category Archives: Book News

Virus leads to postponement of Jewish Literary Festival

The organisers of the Jewish Literary Festival, due to take place in Hatfield Street on Sunday, have postponed the event in the light of Covid-19.

Spokeswoman Beryl Eichenberger said they did not yet have a new date, but the festival would place at some stage. People who had bought tickets should hold on to them as they would remain valid.

“We have decided to be proactive and postpone the festival. This regrettable but responsible action is to limit transmission of COVID-19.

Our team has been working for the past 18 months and so we are  deeply disappointed at having to make this call but our responsibility is to act in the best interests of our literature-loving community.”

Dynamic programme for third Jewish Literary Festival

TERRY Kurgan, whose moving book Everyone is Present, was reviewed on this website last week, is one of the speakers at the third Jewish Literacy Festival in Cape Town on Sunday March 15.

Kurgan’s book, about her family’s flight from Poland one day ahead of the Nazis, is based on her grandfather’s diary of their long and often desperate journey and a slim photo album with pictures of what was a happy middle-class life until they turned into refugees literally overnight.

Other top writers taking part include Joanne Fedler, Diane Awerbuck, Jonny Steinberg and Joanne Jowell Harding.

Beryl Eichenberg writes: “Perhaps listening to Judge Dennis Davis debate with Pierre de Vos interests you or maybe getting a sneak preview into the new novels of Gail Schimmel, Hedi Lampert and Lynn Joffe?

“If you love the heady 60s and Leonard Cohen, there’s a session for you or, if sport is your bag, then cricket legend Ali Bacher in conversation with David Williams will tick your box.

“Then again murder and mayhem may be your choice, so Nechama Brodie, Tanya Farber and Annika Larsen will be on your list.

“You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this gathering, just have a love of reading and conversation.”

Books will be on sale at the festival through The Book Lounge.

The festival also boasts a young adult programme in partnership with Herzlia Middle and High schools. Children from four to 11 can enjoy a full day programme which includes stories, puppets, music and book writing.

The festival takes place on March 15 from 9am to 5pm at the Gardens Community Centre in Cape Town in Hatfield Street, home to the Jacob Gitlin Library, SA Jewish Museum and Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre who partner the event.

Visit www.jewishliteraryfestival.co.za to view the programme of over 40 sessions and be spoilt for choice.

Tickets are R380 for adults, R115 for teens and R100 for under-12s.

Booking: www.jewishliteraryfestival.co.za or through Quicket or
the Gitlin Library 021 462 5088

 

Read more, say group of self-published authors

Fancy meeting a group of self-published South African authors?
John West writes:
A group of self-published South African authors is holding a book fair at Cosmic Comics, 254 Beyers Naude Drive, Blackheath, Johannesburg, on Saturday the 24th of August, from 9:30 to 15:30. Entrance is free.

Our aim is to encourage South Africans – particularly the youth – to read more books, in anticipation of National Book Week in September. We will be selling & signing copies of our own books, with book prices starting from just R50.

A wide variety of genres is represented. Horror, Sci-Fi, Kids Books, YA, Self-Help, Personal Finance, Business, Short Stories, and even Poetry. Truly something for everyone, with many of these stories taking place in and around Johannesburg.


Time: 16th Aug 2019 at 9:34 am
IP Address: 105.4.4.85
Contact Form URL: https://thebookspage.co.za/about/
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ sequel makes Booker Prize longlist

 

booker longlist

Margaret Atwood

Devotees of The Handmaid’s Tale, both the novel by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and the prize-winning TV series, will be delighted to know that a sequel, The Testaments, is on the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction’s longlist of 13 books announced today.

It is set 15 years after the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, but any summary of the story is forbidden until the novel comes out on September 10. The chair of the judges’panel, Hay festival director Peter Florence, was prepared – or allowed – to say only: “Spoiler discretion and a ferocious non-disclosure agreement prevent any description of who, how, why and even where. So this: it’s terrifying and exhilarating.”

This Atwood’s sixth nomination, and if she wins, it will be her second award, after The Blind Assassin in 2000.

Another writer in line for a second award is Salman Rushdie for Quichotte, a novel inspired by Cervantes’s Don Quixote, about an ageing salesman who falls in love with a TV star and drives across the United States to claim her. The judges described it as a “picaresque tour de force of contemporary America”. Continue reading

Local author challenges JM Coetzee over ‘Disgrace’

Article: Vivien Horler

Lacuna, by Fiona Snyckers (Picador Africa)

lacunaWhat right do you have to your name and history? Can you object if someone makes you the subject of their fiction?

Do you have less right to your own persona if you are world famous?

These questions were prompted by beginning to read Lacuna, a new novel by the successful South African author Fiona Snyckers.

A leading character in the novel is one John Coetzee, winner of the Booker Prize for his novel Disgrace, and a former professor at the “University of Constantia”.

He has since gone to live in Adelaide in Australia, a feted man of letters. And going after him is Lucy Lurie, a former junior colleague at the university, who believes her gang rape by a number of black men on her father’s farm in the Boland inspired Coetzee’s prize-winning novel. Continue reading

A spread of top foreign-language reads (handily in English)

 

man booker internationalThirteen novels have been longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize of 2019.

This prize celebrates the finest works of fiction translated into English from around the world, and is not to be confused with the Man Booker Prize which is awarded for fiction originally published in English.

The international prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is published in Britain and Ireland after translation. Short-story collections as well as novels are eligible. Continue reading

Author Justin Cartwright dies

Justin Cartwright

Justin Cartwright

Justin Cartwright, the Cape Town-born British writer, has died aged 73.

Cartwright was a stalwart of the Franschhoek Literary Festival.

He wrote 13 novels, including In Every Face I Meet, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Leading the Cheers, which won the 1998 Whitbread Book Award for best novel. Masai Dreaming (1993) won an M-Net Literary Award.

His last novel, published in 2015, was Up Against the Night, and deals with a British family who visit Cape Town where they are victims of violent crime.

My favourite of his novels was The Promise of Happiness published in 2005 and set in Cornwall, as a family prepares for a wedding. This was his bestselling novel which saw more than 120 000 copies sold, according to The Bookseller.

It won both South Africa’s Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the 2005 Hawthornden Prize.

Long-time friend Gordon Walker, whom he met at Oxford, told The Bookseller: “The main themes of his books were about South Africa; some were set in Cornwall where we went on holiday. He was very good at drawing on characters, some of whom I knew in real life, some of whom were composite…I always felt he was fulfilled and he would write a book every two years.”

Cartwright, who had been awarded the MBE, worked in advertising after university and also directed documentaries, films and TV ads. – Vivien Horler

Police probe Bird Island book claims

 

TAFELBERG publishers says a “top‐level police investigation into allegations of a paedophile ring involving senior members of the National Party government”, is underway.

The allegations were made in the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island by former policeman Mark Minnie and journalist Chris Steyn.

In a press statement the publishers said several people with knowledge of the alleged paedophile ring had given “valuable information to the police”.

“A number of victims have come forward and have given written statements of alleged sexual abuse related to the allegations in the book.” Continue reading

Northern Irish writer wins 2018 Man Booker prize

Writer Anna Burns has become the first person from Northern Ireland to win the Man Booker Prize.

She won for her third novel, Milkman, which is set in an unnamed Northern Irish city during the troubles. It is a coming-of-age tale of a girl’s affair with a powerful married man.

The announcement was made at a function at London’s Guildlhall last night.

The chair of the 2018 judging panel, Kwame Anthony Appiah, said of Milkman: “None of us has ever read anything like this before.

“Anna Burns’s utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose.

“It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour.

“Set in a society divided against itself, Milkman explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life.”

Burns, 56, was born in Belfast but lives in East Sussex in England. Her first novel, No Bones, was also set during the Troubles.

Burns beat two other British writers, two American writers and a Canadian writer to win the award which recognises quality literary fiction written in English. Four of those shortlisted were women. Burns wins  £50 000 (about R930 000).

British writer Daisy Johnston, at 27 the youngest author ever shortlisted for the prize, was widely tipped to win for her novel Everything Under.

The others on the shortlist were Canadian Esi Edugyan for Washington Black, American Rachel Kushner for The Mars Room, American Richard Powers for The Overstory, and Briton Robin Robertson The Long Take.

Appiah said the shortlisted books were a “miracle of stylistic invention” and that “language takes centre stage”. – VIVIEN HORLER