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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:


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“Boeke kan jou verlei as jy hulle die kans gee” – Fourie Botha

“Om Afrikaanse boeke by Penguin Random House uit te gee is maklik. Ek is Afrikaans, ons bemarkingsmense is Afrikaans, en hoewel die Engelse grootkoppe min Afrikaans verstaan, verstaan hulle die Suid-Afrikaanse boekemark: ’n Afrikaanse roman het ’n baie beter kans om suksesvol te wees as ’n Engelse roman deur ’n plaaslike skrywer.”

ValsrivierDie Alibi Klub’n Huis vir EsterHuisies van papierWoudfonteinDie dag van die Lord

Só het Fourie Botha, fiksie-uitgewer by Penguin Random House, onlangs in ‘n onderhoud aan die gesoute boekjoernalis Elmari Rautenbach gesê. Sy het by hom gaan aanklop om uit te vind hoe hy dit regkry om Afrikaans steeds ‘n prioriteit te hou by dié enorme internasionale uitgewershuis.

Hy vertel ook meer oor sy werkswyse, betrokkenheid by die boeke, die dinge wat bepaal of ‘n boek in Afrikaans én Engels uitgegee word en wat hom as uitgewer gryshare gee.

Lees die artikel om te sien “wat maak al daardie bloed, sweet en trane die moeite werd”:

Wat maak ’n uitgewer grys?

Soveel boeke wat goeie verkope verdien, verkoop nie. Dit is ook swaar om te sien daar is so min mense wat werklik geesdriftig oor skrywers en boeke raak. Dit alles laat die bedryf krimp en affekteer die ondersteuning wat ’n mens vir skrywers kan gee.

En wat maak al daardie bloed, sweet en trane die moeite werd?

’n Boek in sy fisieke vorm met ’n mooi omslag, ’n mooi lettertipe en boekontwerp kan baie naby aan perfek wees. Boeke kan jou verlei as jy hulle die kans gee.

Boeke is waardevol. Boeke leer jou om lank te luister. Daar is baie dinge – ingewikkelde moeilikhede – wat lank neem om te begryp en op te los. Twiets is slegte oefening hiervoor.


16 Days of Activism – Glowfly Dance by Jade Gibson

Jade GibsonGlowfly DanceGlowfly Dance by Jade Gibson

Given the recent interest in trials such as those of Pistorius and Dewani, and the issues they have raised, the themes of Glowfly Dance are highly topical. The novel, which focuses on the resilience, perspective and survival of children, examines the inability and failure of the law to shield women from violence, while protecting the perpetrators.

In a story peopled with intriguing characters, exotic landscapes and lush description, Glowfly Dance depicts the complexity of domestic violence and its devastating impact on the entire family. The novel was shortlisted for two international literary prizes in its unpublished form, and reviewers have described the book as both harrowing and beautiful.

Based on a true story, Glowfly Dance is a tale of struggle, survival, loss, humanity, resilience and hope, and includes the stories of women from across the globe. Told from the perspective of Mai, a young girl of mixed heritage, the story spans three continents and deals with issues of migration, identity, women’s refuges, abuse of women and children, law courts and violence. It exposes flaws in the ability of the authorities – legal, social, psychological and police – to protect, and thereby raises questions on policy and social responsibility. In depicting the failure of the law and society to protect women and children in danger, the novel aims to stimulate debate and ultimately bring about awareness and positive change.

Published in October 2015, Glowfly Dance has been featured as the “hero book” of Nancy Richards’ SAfm literature show and the Classic FM book show. The book is currently available in good bookshops in southern Africa, and as an ebook.

Related stories:

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Jabu Masina, One of Two Surviving of the Delmas Four, Contributes His Story to Oral History (Podcast)

In a Different TimeIn In a Different Time: The inside story of the Delmas Four, lawyer Peter Harris relates the real events of the trial of four ANC foot soldiers

Frans “Ting Ting” Masango, Jabu Masina, Neo Potsane and Joseph Makhura became well known for their refusal to participate in their trial, even though they could be sentenced to death. They disputed the legitimacy of the court, on the basis of being soldiers in the just war against the apartheid state.

Masina, who is one of the two surviving members of the group, was recently interviewed Masechaba Lekalake for Power FM about his experiences as a soldier for the ANC, and being involved in “one of the longest trials of the apartheid era”.

Lekalake calls the story of the Delmas Four “one laced with bravery and unshakable resolve”, and regards Masina’s story as an important element of South Africa’s oral history.

Listen to the podcast:


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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.

Related links:


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Image courtesy of Windham Campbell Prize

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:


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Join Masande Ntshanga for a Celebration of The Reactive at the Steve Biko Centre in King William’s Town

Invitation to the launch of The Reactive

The ReactiveThe Steve Biko Foundation and Umuzi would like to invite you to join a launch event celebrating The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga.

The Reactive is a poignant, life-affirming novel about secrets, memory, chemical abuse and family, and the redemption that comes from facing what haunts us most.

The event will take place on Thursday, 3 December, at 6 for 6:30 PM to 9 PM at the Steve Biko Centre in King William’s Town.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 3 December 2015
  • Time: 6 PM for 6:30 PM to 9 PM
  • Venue: The Steve Biko Centre
    2429 Mbeka Street
    King William’s Town | Map
  • RSVP:, 043 605 6736
  • More details: Mwelela Cele, 043 605 6736


Related stories

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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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“Being Included Felt Like a Form of Exorcism” – Karina M Szczurek on The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker

Flame in the SnowVlam in die sneeuKarina M Szczurek has written a moving essay in which she reflects on the experience of having her late husband André Brink‘s love letters to Ingrid Jonker published and scrutinised by the entire world.

These intimate writings have now been published in Afrikaans (Vlam in die sneeu: Die liefdesbriewe van André P Brink en Ingrid Jonker) and English (Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker), translated by Leon de Kock and Karin Schimke, and edited by Francis Galloway.

In the piece, titled “The heart has spaces”, Szczurek shares more about her marriage to Brink and her knowing, from the start, of the “life-defining relationship of his youth with Ingrid Jonker”.

“Coming to live with André in the South African spring of 2005, I very quickly realised that in order to know him – truly know him – I had to understand what had happened between him and Ingrid 40 years earlier. We both had to. No other woman in André’s life had left as indelible a mark on him as Ingrid. No other haunted me as much in the beginning of our relationship,” the Invisible Others author writes.

Remembering the time she first read the love letters – which happened during their engagement, two years after she met Brink while he was working on the translation of Jonker’s poems for Black Butterflies – Szczurek writes: “The title for the collection followed from a suggestion I’d made. Being included felt like a form of exorcism.”

Read the article for more about the enormous literary project that is Flame in the Snow and how Szczurek, the last woman to love Brink, was involved in his famous love affair with Jonker:

In the beginning there were the women of his past, a ghost among them. André Brink had never been afraid to love. After the life-defining relationship of his youth with Ingrid Jonker, her suicide, and four divorces, at the age of 69 he had the guts to say yes to a delicate possibility.

When we met in Austria towards the end of 2004 I was terribly young, on the verge of a divorce, broken by betrayals, and almost paralysed by mistrust. Continents and cultures apart, 42 years between us, the odds staked against us could not have been higher. Yet we somehow mustered enough courage to dare the impossible and turn it into reality. For ten years, the first thing we did every morning after waking up next to each other was to smile. No matter what. Of course it hadn’t been easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. And coming to terms with our respective pasts was our greatest challenge.

Related links:


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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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