Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE


@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

300 Artworks Sold and R450 000 Raised for Book Dash at the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition

Broken MonstersBroken Monsters author Lauren Beukes announced earlier today that altogether 300 artworks were sold and R450 000 was raised in the name of literature at the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition:

The Johannesburg leg of the exhibition was held at the Nando’s Central Kitchen in Lorentzville last night. This followed on the success of the Cape Town edition, where enough money was raised to fund 21 000 children’s books through Book Dash.

Over 120 local artists, designers, illustrators, architects and photographers were invited to depict scenes from Broken Monsters for the exhibition, which was curated by Jacki Lang. The artworks sold for R1 500 each and all the proceeds will go to Books Dash.

Some of South Africa’s most accomplished artists – Brett Murray, Conrad Botes, Kilmany-Jo Liversage, Liza Grobler and Roger Ballen – took up the challenge to reimagine the haunting scenes from Beukes’ latest book on canvas.

Sunday Times Books Editor Ben Williams tweeted from the event in Johannesburg:

Have a look at the hashtag #BrokenMonstersArt to read all the tweets from the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition in Joburg:


Book details

» read article

Don’t Miss the Joburg Edition of Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition

Invitation to the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition


Broken MonstersThe Cape Town edition of the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition raised enough money to fund 21 000 children’s books through Book Dash. Lauren Beukes and the event organisers are hoping to double that number at the Johannesburg show, which takes place this week.

Over 120 local artists, designers, illustrators, architects and photographers – including Brett Murray, Conrad Botes, Kilmany-Jo Liversage, Liza Grobler and Roger Ballen – have been invited to customise pages from Broken Monsters in any way they please. The artworks are then sold for R1 500 each, with 100 percent of proceeds going to Book Dash. Each R1 500 pays for the printing of 150 books, which will be distributed to kids free of charge.

Beukes tells the Mail & Guardian: “It’s very humbling to have people engage with your work like this and put in such time, effort and generosity for a really great cause.

“The idea of collaboration ties into the themes of the exhibition. The whole point of reading is that it is a kind of telepathy and you bring your own experience, vision and your own perspective.”

The Joburg event takes place on Thursday, 26 November, at the Nando’s Central Kitchen in Lorentzville. Don’t miss it!

The Mail & Guardian reported on the success of the Cape Town event:

6pm strikes and the doors are opened as excited viewers flood into the space to locate their artwork. Held in a vacant shop, this year’s version affords more room to move around than the narrow Cape Town School of Photography space which housed the Shining Girls exhibition. What follows is a bit of a frenzy –albeit an extremely civil one – as works are quickly snatched up. The constraint of being limited to a single piece from a rapidly diminishing pool adds a sense of high stakes pressure to proceedings; hesitate and your work is gone. Of course this is all part of the fun.

Follow the Broken Monsters Charity Art Show page on Facebook to stay updated, and join the events for furthers information on the exhibitions:


Book details

» read article

A Measure of Excellence in South African Literature: Art-Movie-Book Interviews Claire Robertson

The Magistrate of GowerThe latest author to be featured on the Art-Movie-Book website is Claire Robertson.

Robertson’s debut novel, The Spiral House, won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and a South African Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize.

Robertson chatted to Art-Movie-Book about her new novel, The Magistrate of Gower, at the Winston Hotel in Johannesburg, before the launch event at Love Books in Melville, with Michele Magwood of the Sunday Times.

Art-Movie-Book notes Robertson’s consummate skill at the historical novel; an opinion that Magwood shared at the book’s launch:

Robertson insists that she is not a political writer and although her immaculate attention to historical detail cannot be denied, this is a timeless narrative that has in the past and is sure to repeat itself in the future. [...] On the evening of her book launch for the Magistrate of Gower, Michele Magwood of the Sunday Times gave her the most wonderful accolade, referring to her as a measure of excellence in South African literature.

Book details

» read article

Broken Monsters Charity Art Show: Nando’s and Lauren Beukes Team up to Raise Funds for Book Dash

After the success of The Shining Girls Charity Art Show for Rape Crisis in 2013, Lauren Beukes has announced another similar event – this time in support of local children’s literacy charity Book Dash.

Invitation to the Broken Monsters Charity Art Exhibition

Broken MonstersThe Broken Monsters Charity Art Show will be an exhibition to launch Beukes’ latest book, Broken Monsters, and to raise funds for Book Dash.

Over 120 local artists, designers, illustrators, architects and photographers have been invited to customise pages from the book in any way they please. These will then be sold for R1 500 each with 100 percent of proceeds going to Book Dash. Each art work sold for R1 500 will pay for the printing of 150 books which will be distributed to kids free of charge.

The exhibition is once again curated by Jacki Lang, who was also involved in the 2013 event, and will be held in Cape Town on 12 November and Johannesburg on 26 November.

The Broken Monsters Charity Art Show is sponsored and supported by the Nando’s Art & Design.

Follow the Broken Monsters Charity Art Show page on Facebook to stay updated, and join the events for furthers information on the exhibitions:


On her website, Beukes explained why she supports Book Dash, how the charity works and why stories are so important. She also shared some epic images to give you an idea of what to expect:

Literacy is critical. The reason our matrics are failing? Because they didn’t get the early childhood development they needed. Neil Gaiman gave an amazing talk a few years ago about the importance of reading and how US private prisons predict their future prison population 15 years from now based on a very simple algorithm: what percentage of 10 and 11 year olds can’t read.

Reading is also about understanding the world and who we are in it. Stories allow us to live other lives, to spend time in someone else’s head, to feel empathy.

Stories allow to be more than we are.

It’s a big theme in Broken Monsters – the doors in our heads. So BookDash felt like the perfect charity partner. What could be better than using a book to create accessible art to fund more stories with art that become accessible books in the hands of kids?”

Book Details

» read article

Cover Reveal: Ninive, the Spanish Translation of Henrietta Rose-Innes’ Novel, Nineveh

Green LionnullNinevehHomingThe Rock AlphabetShark's Egg


Henrietta Rose-Innes has revealed the cover for Nínive, the Spanish translation of her third novel, Nineveh.

Nínive is to be published by Mexican publisher Almadia, and Rose-Innes will be at the Oaxaca International Book Fair to launch the book in October.

Rose-Innes shared the cover for Nínive on her website, saying:

Thrilled to reveal the cover for the new Spanish-language edition of my novel Niniveh (Ninive)! Publisher Editorial Almadía have produced something beautifully unsettling, sweet and creep-crawlingly appealing. It shares a family resemblance with the South African cover but is also entirely its own thing. What’s fun about it is the surprise: the mauve dustjacket has a section cut out of it, so the green cover peeks through … and when you lift the top cover, the beetle transforms into butterfly/hair. I’m very proud to be launching this in Mexico at the FIL Oaxaca in October.

Ninive, the French translation of Nineveh, recently won the François Sommer Literary Prize, which is awarded annually to novels and literary works that explore the relationship between humans and nature and support “the values of humanistic ecology”.

Nineveh tells the story on an out-of-control swarm of insects hampering the completion of Nineveh, a luxury estate outside Cape Town. The novel was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and received high praise from Ivan Vladislavić, who said: “In Nineveh, [Rose-Innes] has created a densely layered, totally absorbing tragicomedy for our anxious time and place.”

Related news:

Book details

  • Nineve by Henrietta Rose-Innes
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9782881829147

» read article

Cover Revealed for the North American Edition of Masande Ntshanga’s The Reactive


The ReactiveThe cover for the North American edition of The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga has been revealed by his publisher in that region, Two Dollar Radio.

Two Dollar Radio acquired the rights to The Reactive in May – and optioned the rights to a film adaptation as well.

A second international publishing deal for The Reactive was sealed in June, when Verlag das Wunderhorn acquired the German rights.

Ntshanga shared the cover on Twitter:

The cover was designed by local illustrator Pola Maneli:

Two Dollar Radio shared a picture on Instagram:



Book details

» read article

“Mountain Landscape” by Ivan Vladislavic Adds to Debate: Is Pierneef’s Work Relevant in Contemporary South Africa?

101 DetectivesThe FollyDouble NegativeThe Restless SupermarketThe Loss Library

A short story by Ivan Vladislavić – published in his latest anthology, 101 Detectives – has found itself included in a larger debate about the stigma attached to, or increasingly detached from, artworks by internationally renowned iconic South African artist Pierneef.

Sue Blaine writes in her review of the current Standard Bank Art Gallery exhibition titled “JH Pierneef: A Space for Landscape” for Financial Mail that the November purchase of a Pierneef landscape for R11.9 million made one thing clear: “the painter’s work sells, despite some people dismissing him as an Afrikaner nationalist hero”.

“Its main premise is that, while Pierneef was a product of his time, he was not painting paeans to the Afrikaner nation,” Blaine writes of the collection on display in Johannesburg until 12 September. This is the first major exhibition of his work in 30 years.

Read the article:

What is true is that the nationalist government in the 1960s adopted Pierneef as its artistic hero. It’s also true that he took official commissions — among his most famous works are the 32 panels (unveiled in 1932) that were displayed in the concourse of the then new Park Station in Johannesburg.

Van Rensburg says that one way to read Pierneef’s work is to say that, like any other artist, he “just wanted to make a buck”.

“It was as difficult for Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser and Wolf Kibel to break into a very conservative orthodoxy as it was for him. The reigning orthodoxy was the 19th century English-Dutch one. That was what people bought.”

Pierneef’s work sells well because what he produced, over and over, was “undeniably an SA landscape”, says Peffers. “You can almost taste the dust in your mouth.”

What does this have to do with Vladislavić? His perceptive story “Mountain Landscape” is included in the exhibition catalogue. It is written as a black CEO named HK Khoza’s defence of a Pierneef piece hanging on his office wall – refuting the notion that the artist’s work is to be reserved as Afrikaner nostalgia.

Read an old article by fine artist and author Andries Bezuidenhout in which he explores Vladislavić’s story and the main character’s reason for loving Pierneef’s work so, questioning the writer’s own struggle in identifying with the art in question.

Bezuidenhout also shares a quote from “Mountain Landscape” in which Khoza explains why he swapped the photograph of Tokyo Sexwale and a soccer team for the seemingly inappropriate painting:


“I have spent some time looking at Mountain Landscape. Occasionally, I bring a cup of tea in here, turn my back on our much envied city panorama, and simply gaze at that square of paint on canvas. There are golden foothills, soaring peaks in purple and mauve, storm clouds advancing or retreating. I get quite lost in it… Afterwards, when I return to the present… I feel as if I’ve been away to some high place where the air is purer. I feel quite refreshed. I cannot speak with authority – one day at the Louvre will hardly atone for a lifetime of ignorance – but I suspect this capacity to refresh the senses and the spirit is one of the marks of great art.”

Book details

Image courtesy of 5th Avenue Auctions

» read article

See All the Existing Covers for Charlie Human’s Books, Including New US and Japanese Editions

Apocalypse Now NowKill BaxterLondon-based literary agency Zeno, who represent the wonderful speculative fiction author Charlie Human, has shared the US and Japanese covers for Human’s breakout novel, Apocalypse Now Now.

Four translations of this incredible debut have been published – including Bokveld binnekort in Afrikaans, and Turkish, Italian and Japanese – and the US and UK each have their own edition, with a unique cover.

Have a look at the Japanese cover, which stands out among the others as the artist has taken a completely different approach. 鋼鉄の黙示録 was published in Japan last month by Tokyo Sogensha:

The cover for the US edition, which was published by Titan Books last week, looks very similar to the local one, with minor changes:

Zeno has created a nice image to show the different faces of Apocalypse Now Now:

Kill Baxter, Human’s riveting sequel in which Baxter Zevcenko has to try to save the world from the apocalypse, again, was released in the UK this month and will soon be released in the US too. See the three different covers:

Read reviews of Apocalypse Now Now and Kill Baxter

‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’ — Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

‘I don’t even know how to describe reading this book, so just look at my wide eyes and my silently mumbling mouth and take my shell-shock as a good sign that you need to read this book right now.’ — Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds

‘With a wild imagination and savage glee, Charlie Human throws us into a school yard battle zone that’s part teenage wasteland, part Lovecraft fever dream. Rock and Roll High School meets the apocalypse.’ — Richard Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim

‘Brilliantly entertaining.’ — British Fantasy Society
‘… a riot – a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’ — SFX Magazine

Book details

» read article

Presenting Green Lion, The New Novel by Henrietta Rose-Innes

The much anticipated new novel by Henrietta Rose-Innes, Green Lion, will be launched at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May.

Have a look at the striking cover, designed by publicide:

Read an interview with publicide to find out more about their work, and this cover specifically:

Did you have a theme or a particular style you were aiming at last year? More variety.

Were you at all inspired or influenced by a more continental design outlook in this cover? Not to speak of. The title provides the reveal so the goal is to try cue a lion without fully portraying it.

Were you supplied with an image, or did you start from scratch? No image was supplied, which can often be a good thing.

Do you make a habit of reading the manuscript before designing the cover? Ignore the manuscript at your peril.

What programs and hardware do you use? Mac + Adobe Suite.

Do you think South Africa can keep a unique identity? No, local covers have to compete with the rest of the world.

Do you have any designers that you keep an eye on, or particularly admire? No-one and everyone.

Are there any formulaic design tropes that annoy you? Side-view silhouettes of generic ‘African’ portraits.

Finally, what’s your go-to font – and is it open source? No font in particular. Every typeface has its own personality.

* * * * * * * * *


Rose-Innes spoke to Books LIVE after she won the François Sommer Literary Prize last year, sharing more about Green Lion:

The book is also an exploration of human relationships with the natural world, even more explicitly so than Nineveh. At the heart of the book is the figure of a black-maned lion, one of vanished sub-species that used to be common in the Cape. It’s a book about extinctions, and loss, and the impossibiity of bringing things back from oblivion; and also about the mythic importance of animals in human lives.”

Related links:


* * * * * * * * *


About Green Lion

Green LionCon stared hard into the vegetation, tightening his eyes to sharpen their focus. Come out, he thought. I know you’re in there. Each shadow, each blade of grass was suggestive. But nothing moved: no amber eye between the leaves.

Con, adrift and emotionally numb, is drawn into a fascinating but disturbing new world when Mark, an old school friend, is mauled by a rare lion at the breeding park where he worked. The lion involved has been shot, and the remaining lioness, a disturbed animal rescued from abuse in a safari park, needs a keeper. Jolted out of his lethargy by the animal’s powerful presence and memories of his charismatic friend, Con steps into the role, becoming obsessed with the lioness, the only remaining Cape black-maned lion known to exist.
His obsession is shared by government officials and investors who are concerned about the loss of their flagship breeding project, locals who are terrified by the roars of lions on Table Mountain, and a shadowy group who have adopted the lion as their totem.

When Con is seduced by one of the cultists, the lioness escapes. It roams the streets of Cape Town, charming or terrifying those who encounter it. In his quest to track down the mythic beast, Con must confront dark memories of the accident he and Mark were involved in as boys, as well as his own deepest fears of power and loss.

Rose-lnnes writes fresh, invigorating prose, vividly creating character and evoking the spirit of place. – Witness

There’s only one author who does local landscapes, inside and out, with such absorbing insight and tragicomic skill. Read her right now. – Shape

About the author

Recipient of the 2008 Caine Prize for African Writing and the 2007 African PEN Literary Award, Henrietta Rose-Innes is the author of the novels Shark’s Egg, The Rock Alphabet and Nineveh, and the short story collection Homing. She is currently completing a PhD in creative writing in the UK.

Book details

» read article

Cover Revealed for the French Translation of Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

The cover for the French edition of Lauren Beukes critically acclaimed, genre-defying novel Broken Monsters has been revealed, featuring an entirely different approach to other covers for this book.

First, refresh your memory and have a look at the South African, UK and US covers:

Broken MonstersBroken MonstersBroken Monsters

The French cover captures an entirely different side of Broken Monsters. After being sent this cover by her French publisher, Beukes wrote on her site that she is “completely in love with it and beside myself”. Laurent Philibert-Caillat is responsible for the French translation. He is no stranger to her work, as he translated her other novels too.

Have a look at the bright, but still very eerie, cover of the French edition and see what fans have had to say about it:


Book details

» read article