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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Potgooi: Johann Nel lees Chris Barnard se kortverhale uit Oulap se blou

Oulap se blouSuzette Kotzé-Myburgh het onlangs vir Johann Nel genooi om twee kortverhale deur Chris Barnard op RSG se Kortom-program voor te lees. Die verhale verskyn in Oulap se blou: Veertig kort vertellings.

Nel het begin met “Rooi Koos hardloop die myl”. In hierdie storie onthou die verteller ’n armsalige klasmaat wat saam met hom grootgeword het, Rooi Koos van Niekerk. “Rooi Koos se pa was ’n sukkelaar,” begin die vertelling oor die seunskind wat eerder op die plaas gewerk het as om skool toe te gaan. Rooi Koos se huiswerk was dikwels agter, maar op atletiekdag het hy geskitter.

Die spreker beskryf hoe Rooi Koos van alles af probeer weghardloop het: “Rooi Koos van Niekerk hol weg van die goiter, en sy pa wat skel op die werf, en die huiswerk wat hy nie gedoen het nie, sy suster se asma.” Aan die einde wonder hy wat van Rooi Koos geword het: “Die lewe is heelwat langer as ’n myl en die lewe het ’n manier om ’n mens in te haal.”

Die tweede verhaal, “Poensie herwin sy geloof”, handel ook oor ’n buitestander. Poensie is ’n boekwurm met ’n dikraambril wat boeke oor bygelowe versamel het en self bygelowig was. Diep in die dertig het hy nog nie ’n meisie fliek toe gevat nie. Op 37 trou hy uiteindelik met ’n vrou wat hy op ’n bus ontmoet het, maar wanneer die spreker by sy huis gaan kuier sien hy Poensie bekommer hom nie meer oor bygelowe nie.

Luister na die potgooi om te hoor hoe Poensie dan uiteindelik sy geloof herwin het:

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SJ Naudé’s The Alphabet of Birds Launched With Michiel Heyns at The Book Lounge

SJ Naudé

“Incredibly eery or incredibly beautiful?” asked Mervyn Sloman about the cover of SJ Naudé’s The Alphabet of Birds last week at The Book Lounge. He was welcoming an excellent turnout of readers and fans who had arrived to celebrate this remarkable collection. The author translated the text himself, from the original Alfabet van die voëls which first appeared in 2011 and was awarded the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize. In 2013 Naudé received the Jan Rabie and Marjorie Wallace Writing Scholarship.

SJ Naudé and Michiel HeynsThe Alphabet of BirdsAlfabet van die voelsSloman expressed his delight that the book was available to readers like him, whose Afrikaans was not good enough to appreciate fully the text in the original language. He welcomed Michiel Heyns, the author of seven novels, most recently A Sportful Malice.

Heyns, who is both an award-winning novelist and an award-winning translator, affirmed the quality of the translation in The Alphabet of Birds. “It’s wonderful. You’re not losing out by reading this work in translation,” he said.

Heyns referred to the very nice commendation of fellow South African short story writer, Ivan Vladislavic, who says, among other things, “Naudé writes compellingly about South Africa and its dilemmas, but he is equally at home, or perhaps not at home, in many other places, in Hanoi, Phoenix, London, Tokyo.” He observed that a unifying theme among all the stories in Naudé’s collection was a “not-at-homeness” or “ontheemdheid”.

Naudé said there were different kinds of displacement and exile or migration, and suggested that his going to study overseas was a privilege. “If you’re on an overloaded boat in the Mediterranean sea, or off the coast of Australia it’s not so cushy,” he said. Heyns said the characters in the stories that comprise The Alphabet of Birds have often voluntarily left home but this spoke to an existential displacement.

“Sandrien is not at home in her own country, nor even in her own skin,” said Naudé. “Returning to the geographic sense of not-at-homeness, there’s something quite precious about South Africans and their sense of South African exceptionalism, their sense of home being something very special. Yet, if you go to any to any major metropolis, everybody is in the same boat.”

Heyns reflected on the characters who have a sense of alienation from themselves as well as from a specific locale, and yet, from the privileged position of being free to travel and live overseas, they find upon their return to South Africa that everything as rather dreary.

Naudé wrote these stories in “a state of fevered automation” soon after returning to South Africa. He suggested there was a universal experience when one moved from the country of one’s birth to another, which was “the state of constantly translating your environment to yourself and yourself to your environment. It’s as if you end up at the intersection of various processes of translation. It also results in the abstract construction of a certain notion of home and the abstractness, the detachment from the physical space is, in a sense, quite liberating. It can be quite soothing and quite consoling even though there are losses.”

The erudite conversation was hugely rewarding to all who joined Naudé and Heyns for the evening. While those who were fortunate enough to attend will have an enhanced reading pleasure for engaging in the discussion, Heyns pointed out that the deep sense of homecoming in the stories from The Alphabet of Birds promises readers a truly satisfying encounter.

* * * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:


 

Facebook galery

 

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Excerpt from The Alphabet of Birds by SJ Naude: “She is in Fact the Only White Person in Town”

The Alphabet of BirdsAlfabet van die voelsThe Alphabet of Birds is the translation of SJ Naudé’s award-winning debut, Alfabet van die voëls.

This collection of longer short stories offers fresh perspectives on gay, expat and artistic subcultures and tackles the pain of loss head on. Pulsating with passion, loss, and melancholia, Naudé’s stories are filled with music, art, architecture, myth, the search for origins and the shifting relationships between people.

Random House Struik has shared an excerpt from The Alphabet of Birds, in which Sandrien, the only white woman in Bella Gardens, attends a refresher course at the training college of the provincial health department and acquaints herself with her environment.

Read the excerpt:

Sandrien is the only white woman in Bella Gardens. She is in fact the only white person in town. An establishment for the accommodation of women travellers, reads the website of Bella Gardens. The most luxurious home for females, reads the brochure in the dim entrance hall. One could mistake it for a refuge for unwed mothers.

Her hostess is Mrs Edith Nyathi, who introduces herself as a widow and retired matron of Frere Hospital. She never stops talking about her ‘second life’. She raises her eyebrows and drops her head forward when pronouncing the phrase. The guest house is her pension, she says, ‘my little egg’. The number of maids in her employ permits her to relax with a cigarette on the veranda during the day; sometimes, late in the evening, with a cigar. Mrs Nyathi does not raise her voice to any of the maids – a phalanx of demure village girls, ready to fry up sizzling English breakfasts or to polish baths and wooden floors to a high gloss. When she calls to one of her girls, it is in the same cooing voice she uses to address her guests.

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Diving into the Uncanny: An Excerpt from Cabin Fever by Diane Awerbuck

Cabin FeverNamibiana Buchdepot has shared an excerpt from Cabin Fever by >Diane Awerbuck.

Cabin Fever is a collection of short stories that is haunted by a particularly South African version of the uncanny.

The excerpt is taken from a story about a girl holidaying at a dam. She is fearful of jumping of a cliff into the water below her, because she knows that people have drowned there. Her companion has no such apprehension.

Read the excerpt:

Mami Wata
‘Look,’ he said, while she was still panting behind him on the path. Their shoes had crushed the oils from the fynbos as they went, and the smell settled sharply in her skull so that she remembered being sick as a small child, with her mother propping her up like a doll and rubbing Vicks on her back with warm hands.

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Join SJ Naude at The Book Lounge for the Launch of The Alphabet of Birds with Michiel Heyns

Alphabet of Birds Launch

 
The Alphabet of BirdsAnd Other Stories, Umuzi and The Book Lounge would like to invite you to the launch of The Alphabet of Birds by SJ Naudé.

Naudé will be speaking about his collection of short stories with Michiel Heyns.

The launch is happening at The Book Lounge on Tuesday, 4 November, at 5:30 for 6 PM.

See you there!
 
Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 4 November 2014
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge
    71 Roeland Street
    Corner of Buitenkant Street
    Cape Town | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Michiel Heyns
  • RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com, 021 462 2425

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Excerpt from Ivan Vladislavic’s Twenty in 20 Short Story, “The Loss Library”

The Loss Library Namibiana Buchdepot has shared an excerpt from Ivan Vladislavić’s 2011 collection of short stories, The Loss Library.

The extract is taken from the title story of the collection, “The Loss Library”, which was recently chosen for the Twenty in 20, an anthology of the best South African stories since democracy.

Read the excerpt:

She’s pretty, this librarian, the young man thinks, sun-browned and outdoorsy, with none of the papery pallor he associates with the profession. Perhaps she goes waterskiing or horse-riding on the weekend, or perhaps she has interests even more at odds with book-tending, like fire-eating or swordplay. Her high heels are as sharp as nails. Not very sensible, he thinks. ‘We don’t need to be sensible here,’ she says. ‘This way please.’ He follows her down a corridor, his eyes on her supple calves, and they stop before a locked door. She takes a key from a pocket of her dustcoat, pauses – for effect, he supposes – and unlocks the door.

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Now in English: The Alphabet of Birds, SJ Naude’s Pulsating Collection of Short Stories

The Alphabet of BirdsThe English translation of SJ Naudé’s award-winning debut, Alfabet van die voëls, to be published by Umuzi as The Alphabet of Birds:

“Cool and intelligent, unsettling and deeply felt, Naudé’s voice is something new in South African writing.” – Damon Galgut, author of Arctic Summer

From an ancient castle in Bavaria and a pre-war villa in Milan, to a winter landscape in Lesotho and the suburban streets of Pretoria, the stories in The Alphabet of Birds take an acute look at South Africans at home and abroad.

In one story, a strange, cheerful Japanese man visits a young South African as he takes care of his dying mother; in another, a woman battles corrupt bureaucracy in the Eastern Cape. A man trails his lover through the underground dance clubs of Berlin, while in London a young banker moves through layers of decadence as a soul would through purgatory.

Pulsating with passion, loss, and melancholia, SJ Naudé’s collection The Alphabet of Birds is filled with music, art, architecture, myth, the search for origins and the shifting relationships between people.

About the author

SJ Naudé studied law at the University of Pretoria as well as at Cambridge and Columbia. He also holds an MA in creative writing. The Alphabet of Birds in Afrikaans was awarded the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize. In 2013 he was awarded the Jan Rabie and Marjorie Wallace Writing Scholarship. Having worked in New York and London for many years, he currently lives in Cape Town.

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Umuzi Authors at Open Book Festival 2014 (17-21 September)

The 2014 Open Book Festival is being held in Cape Town from Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 September. Umuzi authors to look out for at the festival include Damon Galgut, André Brink, Johan Vlok Louw, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Justin Fox, Diane Awerbuck, Imraan Coovadia, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Tony Park, Meg Vandermerwe, Andrew Salomon and Ivan Vladislavić.

Arctic SummerPhilidaKaroo DuskDie sirkel van bekende dingeDie Alibi KlubThe Alibi ClubWhoever Fears the SeaThe Ghost-Eater and Other StoriesTales of the Metric SystemNinevehDark HeartZebra CrossingTokoloshe SongThe Folly

 

Wednesday 17 September

Writing Sexuality
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 2 PM to 3 PM
Damon Galgut, Michiel Heyns and Karina Szczurek speak to Karin Schimke.

Art of the Essay
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Imraan Coovadia and Geoff Dyer talk to Hedley Twidle.

Afrikaanse Voorlesing
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
Kom luister na Andre P. Brink, Karin Brynard, Henry Cloete, Johan Vlok Louw, Jaco van Schalkwyk en Ingrid Winterbach.

Writing to be Read
Venue: Fugard Annexe 2
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
Andrew Brown, Justin Fox and Fiona Leonard discuss their entertaining, issue driven novels with Diane Awerbuck.

Thursday 18 September

Tribute to Nadine Gordimer
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: Free
Time: 2 PM to 3 PM
Imraan Coovadia, Billy Kahora and Margie Orford read from Nadine Gordimer’s work and share stories about her influence on their creative lives. Curated by Karina M Szczurek.

Landscape Architects
Venue: Fugard Annexe 1
Price: R40
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Kader Abdolah, Damon Galgut and Marguerite Poland discuss constructing the literary foundations of their respective novels. Chaired by Jacqui L’Ange.

Surprising Diversions
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
Rabih Alameddine, Geoff Dyer, Deon Meyer and Henrietta Rose-Innes share a passion unrelated to their work as writers. Chaired by Ben Williams.

Friday 19 September

Wilbur Smith
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
After worldwide sales of more than 120 million books, Wilbur Smith launches his latest novel, Desert God, in the company of Kevin Ritchie.

Cry the Beloved Other Country
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
Distance gives you an edge. Damon Galgut and Zakes Mda talk to Alison Lowry.

Saturday 20 September

The Episodic Novel
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 2 PM
Imraan Coovadia (Tales of the Metric System) and Philip Hensher (Emperor’s Waltz) answer questions from Fourie Botha.

IPA 1: Independent Feminist Publishing – Experiences from Around the World
Venue: Fugard Annexe 2
Price: R40
Time: 2 PM to 3 PM
Meg Vandermerwe discusses the experiences of feminist publishers, Susan Hawthorne (Spinifex, Australia), Colleen Higgs (Modjaji, South Africa) and Ritu Menon (Women Unlimited, India).

Under Pressure: Writing the next one
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Thando Mgqolozana and Ivan Vladislavic talk to Alison Lowry.

Fantasy and Crime Fiction – 2 sides of the same coin?
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
Raymond E Feist, Deon Meyer and Andrew Salomon discuss why crime is at the heart of fantasy and why crime fiction often ends with fantasy. Chaired by Greg Fried.

Writer Sports – Would I lie to you?
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: R40
Time: 8 PM to 9 PM
6 Authors, 2 Teams. Some lies. Some truth. Can you tell the difference? Featuring Mike Carey, Imraan Coovadia, Geoff Dyer, Sarah Lotz, Niq Mhlongo & Zukiswa Wanner. Ben Williams – MC.

Sunday 21 September

Because We Can
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 12 PM to 1 PM
Geoff Dyer, Mark Gevisser and Ivan Vladislavic try to keep on topic with Bronwyn Law-Viljoen. What topic?

Cutting Edge Fiction
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Sarah Lotz, Oliver Rohe and Jaco van Schalkwyk discuss pushing fictional boundaries with Diane Awerbuck.

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Zombie Outbreak in Parliament: Lauren Beukes Reads a Short Story She Wrote While in Studio (Podcast)

Broken MonstersLauren Beukes was in studio at 5FM last week to discuss her new novel, Broken Monsters with Nick Hamman and Kim Schulze.

Hamman and Schulze took reader suggestions for characters and locations and gave Beukes 10 minutes to write a short story using these. “The zombie outbreak happened in parliament. It was the best thing which ever happened to the country,” the story starts.

Listen to the “zombie politician/ preggers teenager/cult/zoo keeper murder story”:

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Uittreksel uit “Die mobile”, ’n kortverhaal wat verskyn in Alfabet van die voëls deur SJ Naudé

Alfabet van die voelsNamibiana Buchdepot het ‘n uittreksel gedeel uit een van die kortverhale wat in die bekroonde Alfabet van die voëls deur SJ Naudé verskyn.

In “Die mobile” word ‘n sterwende kankerpasiënt obsessief betrokke by die lewens van verwaarloosde vigslyers in ‘n afgeleë dorpie ver van almal wie haar lief het. Lees oor haar tyd in die plek vol “pondokke, kaias en strooise” en die verpleegkursus by die dorp se opleidingskollege:

Sandrien is die enigste wit vrou in Bella Gardens. Sy is trouens die enigste wit mens in die dorp. “An establishment for the accommodation of women travellers,” lui Bella Gardens se webbladsy. “The most luxuriant home for females,” lui die brosjure in die skemer voorhuis. ‘n Mens sou dit straks kon aansien vir ‘n oord vir ongehude moeders. Haar hospita is Mrs Edith Nyathi, wat haarself voorstel as weduwee en afgetrede matrone van Frere-hospitaal. Sy raak nooit uitgepraat oor haar “second life” nie. Haar wenkbroue lig en haar kop knik vorentoe wanneer sy die frase uitspreek. Die gastehuis is haar aftredebelegging, vertel sy, “my little egg”. Sy huur genoeg huiswerkers sodat sy bedags breedbeen op die stoep met ‘n sigaret kan ontspan; laataand soms met ‘n sigaar. Mrs Nyathi verhef nie haar stem nie. In haar diens is daar ‘n falanks bedeesde dorpsmeisies wat regstaan om knetterende Engelse ontbyte te braai of baddens en plankvloere tot ‘n hoë glans te poleer.

Boek se tuisblad


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