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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Diane Awerbuck Presents a Talk on South Africa for the University of Tampa’s Global Scholar’s Series

Home RemediesDiane Awerbuck visited the University of Tampa in Florida, United States recently as part of the institution’s Global Scholar’s Series.

Awerbuck presented a talk titled “Angel of the Morning: Race, Sex and Self-Image in Post-Apartheid South Africa”, focusing on “the ongoing violence in South Africa and the transition of privilege that white South Africans once held as minorities in a black majority rule”.

Last year, Awerbuck won the 2014 Short Story Day Africa competition, and was runner up for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. However, she also works as a teacher and develops language material for high schools. Her most recent novel is Home Remedies.

Read the Minaret Online‘s report from the event:

Awerbuck wants people to visit Africa before forming glossy or detrimental views about the continent.

“We all have preconceptions and stereotyped notions of people in countries not our own: they’re often inaccurate, and that kind of ‘othering’ hurts us because it stops people telling their own stories,” Awerbuck said.

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I Will Probably Wrestle with the Notion of Being an African for the Rest of My Life – Ivan Vladislavic

101 DetectivesThe FollyDouble NegativeThe Loss Library The Restless SupermarketPortrait with Keys

Ivan Vladislavić recently travelled to the US to launch the North American edition of The Folly and celebrate his 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction during the Windham Campbell Prize Festival at Yale University.

The esteemed South African writer stopped by Bard College for a special event where he read from his works and discussed his literature and all that it entails with novelist Nuruddin Farah and poet Robert Kelly. Literary Hub transcribed the conversation and have published it on their site.

Farah and Kelly asked a myriad questions, and led the conversation in many incredibly interesting directions. Read the edited transcript to see what Vladislavić said when asked by Farah, “When did you start to think of yourself as an African?”:

I grew up thinking of myself as a South African, with no real sense that this was an exclusionary category. Bear in mind that I was a child in the harshest period of apartheid. I was born in the late 1950s, so I was a child in the particularly repressive period of the 60s, when the opposition had been more or less shattered or forced underground, and people had been driven into exile. I grew up in Pretoria, which was the seat of government, in a very conservative, racist white environment. As I say, my family gave me a rather proud sense of being a South African. I guess the question is whether the “African” in that “South African” had a content that extended beyond the borders of the country, or beyond a narrowly conceived white identity. I certainly didn’t think I was a “European,” although the term was applied to white South Africans. I became conscientized about South Africa and its politics when I went to university in the mid-70s, where questions of identity were being discussed very intensely. There were programs of what we called “Africanization” among white students on some campuses and there were campaigns that drew attention to the fact that as white South Africans, we were not fully rooted in our own space, in our own country. Then I began to think about the idea of being an African —of actually being in Africa—in a different way. Living in a democratic society has given me a different, fuller sense of being an African, partly because our country is more open to seeing itself as part of Africa. Still, it’s not a simple notion for me, and I will probably wrestle with it for the rest of my life.

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Image courtesy of Windham Campbell Prize

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Londoners: Join SJ Naude, John Boyne and Kirsty Logan for a Short Story Salon at The Word Factory

SJ Naude

The Alphabet of BirdsAlfabet van die voëlsSJ Naudé, author of the award-winning collection of short stories The Alphabet of Birds, will be joining Ireland’s John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and Kirsty Logan, author of The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales, for an intimate short story salon in London next weekend.

The event, organised by The Word Factory, will see these three esteemed authors discuss and read their short stories on Saturday, 28 November. Tickets cost £12, or £8 if you are a student, senior citizen, unwaged or disabled.

The Word Factory will also be hosting a masterclass titled “Be Seen and Be Heard – and beat digital depression” on the same day. Host Kristen Harrison, a “publisher and digital agony aunt”, will teach participants how to build and maintain a web presence for their writing and showcase writers who have done so successfully. Tickets to this masterclass cost £38 and includes free entrance to the evening’s event with Naudé and co. Find out more.

Don’t miss this!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 28 November 2015
  • Time: 1 to 4 PM – masterclass, 6 to 8 PM – salon
  • Venue: Waterstones
    203-206 Piccadilly
    W1J 9HD London
    United Kingdom
  • Speakers: SJ Naudé, John Boyne, Kirsty Logan, Kristen Harrison and the Visual Verse team
  • Cost: £38 for the masterclass; £12, or £8 if you are a student, senior citizen, unwaged or disabled for the salon
  • Buy tickets: Eventbrite


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Alastair Bruce Chooses His Top 10 Books About Forgetting for The Guardian

Wall of DaysBoy on the WireAlastair Bruce recently wrote a piece for The Guardian on the top 10 books about forgetting.

Bruce, who was born in Port Elizabeth and now lives in Buckinghamshire in the UK, is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Wall of Days. His latest book is Boy on the Wire, an “elegy to our fragile memory and the lives entangled in it”, set in South Africa and London.

Bruce’s selection includes The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, The Childhood of Jesus by JM Coetzee and The Sea by John Banville.

“The irony of books about forgetting,” Bruce writes, “is that they are often about remembering.”

Read the piece:

In my second novel, Boy on the Wire, loss and recovery of memory plays a key role in the lives of two brothers who are the survivors after their third brother died in a childhood fall. The oldest, Peter, fell at the same time as his younger brother and awoke with no memory of the event; years later it starts to return. The youngest brother, John, who witnessed the fall, found his own memory of the event so traumatic that for years he has repressed and changed it. Only in encountering his brother’s new and tentative memories do his own begin to resurface 30 years on.

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Tannie Maria’s Recipe for Murder – Don’t Try it at Home! (Plus: Podcast)

Recipes for Love and Murder

Are you curious about the actual recipe for murder?

Sally Andrew shared hers at the launch of Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery. Here it is, along with advice to not try it at home – rather read the book to see what Tannie Maria did with it!



1 stocky man who abuses his wife
1 small tender wife
1 medium-sized tough woman
   in love with the wife
1 double-barelled shotgun
1 small Karoo town marinated
   in secrets
3 bottles of Klipdrift brandy
3 little ducks
1 bottle of pomegranate juice
1 handful of chilli peppers
1 mild gardener
1 fire poker
1 red-hot New Yorker
7 Seventh-day Adventists
   (prepared for The End of the World)
1 hard-boiled investigative journalist
1 soft amateur detective
2 cool policemen
2 lambs
1 handful of red herrings and
   suspects mixed together
pinch of greed


Throw together all the ingredients into a big pot and simmer slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon for a few years. Add the ducks, chillies and brandy towards the end and turn up the heat

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Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysteryA jolly group composed of “rent-a-crowd” and avid fans joined Sally Andrew and Sandra Prinsloo at The Book Lounge on Guy Fawkes Day for the second Cape Town launch of Recipes for Love and Murder. The book was first launched in Kalk Bay, also with this dynamic duo on stage.

The event was short and sweet, with amicable banter between the author, actor and loving crowd. Here are some highlights from the discussion:

Andrew on finding the appropriate attire for book launches:

I’ve been living out in the Karoo for some years now, so I am a bit out of date with the latest fashion and styles and stuff, but after the last launch I went to the library in Ladismith and I looked through magazines and there between the Farmer’s Weekly and the jagtydskrifte I found some women’s magazines and they explained to me the importance of accessories [said pointing to her oven mits and red veldskoene]

Prinsloo on recording the audiobook:

I loved doing the audiobook. It was gruelling, there were long sessions in the studio, but I got so involved and I fell completely in love with Tannie Maria. I think I sort of felt that I had become her. The only problem was there was all this talk about Tannie Maria who is always dreaming up recipes to help people and I got so incredibly hungry in the studio. My stomach kept rumbling and the poor sound engineer was desperate in the end.

Andrew on the inspiration for her first novel:

Let’s just say I invented Tannie Maria to keep me grounded and to keep me laughing and to teach me how to love – not cook! I also really love the old-style cosy genre of Agatha Christie type of scenes, Dick Francis, Earl Stanley Gardner … so this definitely shaped the genre that I chose. And I was influence by the slow-moving, feel-good writers: Alexander McCall Smith, Herman Charles Bosman. And I do just love to play with words to try and evoke beauty and open-hearted emotions with the right combination of syllables.

Andrew on her intention with this book:

To be honest, when I examine my motives for this book, I do have some intentions of how I hope to affect readers. I am not sure if I would define them as political, emotional of spiritual intentions, but they are there between the lines. I feel that if intentions are overstated then they can be less effective. I’d rather they are evoked from the reader, as Peter van Straaten said opening an art exhibition recently: it’s not for the artist to tell the viewer what to think or feel about the art, the viewer, or in this case the reader, must discover for themselves what the writing means to them.

Listen to a recording of the event for more anecdotes and some classic Andrew silliness:



* * * * * * *

For a taste of this immensely popular debut novel – of which rights have already been sold to 17 countries and translation contracts settled for 12 – watch this video of Andrew reading from her book:

YouTube Preview Image

Also read:

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Cover Reveal: The North American Edition of The Raft by Fred Strydom

Fred Strydom

The RaftThe cover has been revealed for the North American edition of The Raft, Fred Strydom’s debut novel.

The Raft, which was published by Umuzi in South Africa at the beginning of April, was the subject of a multi-party auction just ahead of the London Book Fair, with United States publisher SkyHorse Publishing ultimately securing the rights.

SkyHorse publishing editor Cory Allyn said the novel is “Lost meets Life of Pi meets The Road“.

Strydom revealed the cover on Twitter:

Related news:

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Order Your Special Limited Edition of Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of Andre Brink and Ingrid Jonker

Flame in the SnowVlam in die sneeuA special limited edition of the landmark publication Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink & Ingrid Jonker is available for pre-order until 30 October, 2015!

In a telegram dated 29 April 1963, 30-year-old Afrikaans poet Ingrid Jonker thanks André Brink, a young novelist of 28, for flowers and a letter he sent her. In the more than 200 letters that followed this telegram, one of South African literature’s most famous love affairs unfolds. Jonker’s final letter to Brink is dated 18 April, 1965. She drowned herself in the ocean at Three Anchor Bay three months later.

More than 50 years on, this poignant, often stormy relationship still grips readers’ imaginations.

In December 2014, three months before his death on 6 February, 2015, André Brink offered these never-before-seen letters, as well as personal photographs, for publication.

Flame in the Snow is also available in Afrikaans as Vlam in die sneeu: Die liefdesbriewe van André P Brink en Ingrid Jonker.

More information:

Limited Edition of Flame in the Snow


Related links:


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  • Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker translated by Karin Schimke and Leon de Kock
    EAN: 9781415208786
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew Published in 17 Countries – and Counting

Sally Andrew

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew is one of the biggest titles of 2015. In fact, before it was even published it had people talking!

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysteryLast year’s Frankfurt Book Fair set off a bidding war for the manuscript, creating hype around this new series with “the gentle charm of The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and the culinary appeal of Like Water For Chocolate”.

Rights were sold to three countries (UK, ANZ and SA) with a pre-empt in Canada. In the year that has passed many other countries have come to the party, making Andrew’s first novel, represented by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedman Literary Agency, a global success before it had even gone to print.

By 2016, Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery will be available in the following territories, distributed by various publishing houses:

Australia – Text Publishing (September 2015)
South Afria – Umuzi (October 2015)
USA – Ecco Press (November 2015)
UK – Canongate (November 2015)
Canada – HarperCollins (November 2015)
Italy – Guanda (November 2015)
Catalan – Ara llibres (2016)
China – Shanghai 99 (2016)
Estonia – Varrak (2016)
France – Flammarion (2016)
Germany – Atrium (2016)
Holland – Orlando (2016)
Israel – Kinneret (2016)
Poland – Otwarte (2016)
Spain – Grijalbo (2016)
Sweden – Norstedts (2016)
Turkey – Ruhum Gidasi (2016)

The US, Canadian, Australian and South African editions all share the same cover image with slightly different text and design features. Have a look at the local cover compared to two international ones, Italy on the left and UK on the right:

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysteryRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysteryRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery

Related links:

Keep an eye on this space as we will soon be publishing coverage of the local launch of Andrew’s globally successful novel where she chatted to Sandra Prinsloo, the audiobook narrator.

* * * * * * *

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery tells the story of Tannie Maria, an agony aunt from the Little Karoo. A murder in her area sets her off on a sinister journey as she becomes entangled in the investigation. The novel is filled with delicious recipes, intrigue and a dash of romance, promising a thrilling read.

Andrew, a former social and environmental activist who now writes full time, answered some frequently asked questions on her website. These include “Do you ever get writer’s block?”, “Where do you get your ideas?” and “What is your aim as a writer?”

Head on over to Andrew’s site to see her answers:

What is your aim as a writer?

The first time I saw the musician Dave Ferguson play, my mouth fell open, and I fell off my chair onto the floor, moved by the power and beauty of his song.
I would like my words to have an effect like that on someone, sometime.

A more prosaic aim (but one as unlikely) is to become – through my writing – the best version of myself, and to allow others to do the same.

Melbourne-based publisher Text Publishing, who was the first publisher to release this glorious mystery novel, created a flipagram to give readers a taste Recipes for Love and Murder. Watch it:

Book details

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Paper on the Spirit of Ubuntu in Claire Robertson’s The Spiral House Presented in Japan and Ireland

The Spiral HouseProfessor Cheryl Stobie from the University of KwaZulu-Natal presented a paper on The Spiral House by Claire Robertson in Japan and Ireland earlier this year.

Stobie introduced delegates of the 2015 Asian Conference on Cultural Studies to Robertson’s writing in her paper entitled “Emancipation Moments and Ubuntu in Claire Robertson’s The Spiral House”.

Stobie presented the same paper in August at the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies’ sixth biennial congress on “Longing and Belonging”. The event took place at the Dublin City University.

In 2014, Robertson received the Sunday Times Fiction Prize for her debut novel. In The Spiral House, two stories echo across centuries to expose that which binds us and sets us free. Her latest novel, The Magistrate of Gower, was launched in September this year.

UKZN Ndaba Online, UKZN’s campus electronic newsletter, shared a synopsis of Stobie’s paper, in which she analyses The Spiral House using the framework of Ubuntu.

Read the article:

Robertson’s text highlights human rights abuses during two periods in South African history, critiquing the ideology of slavery and the effects of enlightenment scientific experimentation on human subjects.

Robertson also portrays the violence of apartheid, contrasted with attempts to act ethically and autonomously.

Stobie’s paper used the framework of Ubuntu to evaluate concepts of land, colonialism, slavery, gender, science, religion and apartheid as represented in the novel, with the aim of identifying the lessons of history to illustrate the possibility of an emancipatory praxis in contemporary society.

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A Whirlwind of Waiting: Louis Greenberg’s Catalogue of a 13-day Mystery Tour

Dark WindowsLouis Greenberg, author of the moody literary thriller Dark Windows, recently embarked on a 13-day mystery tour, sharing his travel album on Instagram.

The journey, titled “A Whirlwind of Waiting”, exhibited “the magic and the mundane, an obsessive cataloguing of ‪‎transport‬ and ‪‎waiting‬, very likely art and food and beer, and unexpurgated pretty random #onthehour shots”, Greenberg wrote on his website before the adventure started. “I’ll be searching for fuel for big questions and the comfort of minutiae; we may find what I’m looking for along the way.”

The question is: will this mystery tour inspire a new novel, or even just fuel the fire of a story he was already working on? We can’t wait to find out!

Head on over to the Instagram account dedicated to Greenberg’s whirlwind of waiting to see snippets of this journey which saw him stopping in magnificent places like London, Brussels and Berlin:



Have a look at Greenberg’s own Instagram account, where he posts images related to things that inspire him creatively:



* * * * * *

For a taste of Dark Windows, read an excerpt we shared last year:

Johannesburg is becalmed. A wave of New Age belief and an apparent cure for crime have radically altered South Africa’s political landscape.

Jay Rowan has been hired to black out the windows of random vacant rooms. He’s trying to keepout of trouble, but he’s a pawn in political aide Kenneth Lang’s project Dark Windows. A mystical charlatan has convinced Lang’s boss that she can affect the ultimate transformation with a supernatural visitation, the Arrival, and Lang needs to prepare for its coming. When Jay and his married girlfriend Beth realise that someone has died in every room, political and personal tensions come to a head and Jay, Beth and Lang must confront the past they’ve been trying to avoid.


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