The Cape Town Literary Bus Tour started at Clarke’s Books in Long Street, where guests mingled, munching on crisp cinnamon biscuits and savouring the scent of cloves rising off the jugs of fortifying gluwein.
The first port of call was Bob’s Bar in Long Street, where Patricia Schonstein, pointed out the fittings that featured in her latest novel, Banquet at Brabazan: ceiling fans and heavy billiard tables under dim lighting that created a sense of a permanent night. She read an extract that featured locals, Chris Wildman and Hugh Hodge set in the spot.
The bus headed up to the nearby ghost town of District Six where Ronnie Govender sang an ancient Hindu sacred chant. He translated it as “Life is illusory. The only certainty is death.”
Helen Moffett urged visitors to the city to stay a mite longer in order to treat themselves to Govender’s iconic play, The Lahnee’s Pleasure, based on the book, and showing at the Baxter Theatre in August. It is being staged to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indian people in South Africa.
Tourists and authors got off the bus and strolled around the area. Moffett encouraged folk to “look at the mountain, which hasn’t changed and which won’t change; to look at the sea and the vista. Walk several paces up to the hill and as you walk up the quiet, overgrown weedy space, imagine you’re walking on cobbles. Try to blot out the highway and office buildings and try to imagine the narrow tenement buildings that you see in Maitland and Woodstock and Salt River. There would have been the smells of sewage and drains, the rotting fruit and incense. And there would have been the people. Try to impose all of that on this vista which otherwise hasn’t changed.”
Rustum Kozain, prize-winning poet, translator, editor and social commentator, is the author of This Carting Life. He was next to read and the poems he chose were from – and this will thrill South African poetry aficionados – a new manuscript. Sindiwe Magona said she didn’t quite recognise Searle Street now, which she’d frequented on the high holidays of Christmas and Easter to attend church. She said, “We trekked from Retreat, the Blouvlei Location where I grew up, to worship and to visit my father. He came here as a migrant labourer.”
She said the place had fond memories for her as she recalled the long walk to the Retreat station, the train ride and the steep haul up the hill. She read a series of poems from Please Take Photographs, her debut poetry collection that explored the darker themes of living through a dehumanising time.
As the bus trundled down the narrow streets, where terraced houses perched on the side of the slopes below De Waal Drive, Don Pinnock pointed out the verandahs on every house which played a significant role in the stability of the community. With forced removals, this vital containing element of the community was lost. “In an urban area with no verandah, there’s no street control by the older people. Here, they’d sit on the stoep and say, ‘Hey! I know your father. Don’t you do that.’ This high-level of informal social control, with Babi’s general dealer on the corner and everybody knowing everybody.”
When the bus came to rest in Salt River, Pinnock read from his debut novel, Rainmaker, which was short-listed for the EU Literary Award last year. The extract ventured into the gang culture and the tragic outcome of bored youth and social fragmentation.
Jacana Media, in association with the Cape Times and Equal Education, is thrilled to invite you to the Jacana Jamboree, a series of events running in venues all across Cape Town before, during and after the Cape Town Book Fair.
Please join us from Wednesday 28 July to Sunday 1 August – and again from 19 to 31 August – to partake in an incredible lineup of books, authors and events. The complete programme is below – we’ll see you at the Jamboree!
Please bring high quality children’s and young adults’ books, in good condition, to donate to Equal Education’s book drive for school libraries. 10% of all Jacana Books sold at the event will also go to Equal Education for their library book drive
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Print and download the complete programme at Scribd:
Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland St, Cape Town Cost: Free RSVP: 021 462 2425 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 021 462 2425 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, firstname.lastname@example.org
The author in conversation with Damon Galgut!
Slow Motion is a collection of non-fiction stories about walking. This collection has been written over a number years, and documents transformation in South Africa through the eyes of pedestrians across the economic, racial and age spectrum. The book inevitably examines the issue of crime, and how we have moved from a race-based to a class-based society, as pedestrians of all colours continue to be marginalised in an increasingly autocentric society. It is, nevertheless, essentially an optimistic book; it tells the stories of South Africans (and visitors) who have chosen to ‘reclaim the streets’ from predators and traffic. The band of pedestrians includes writers, artists, political activists, disabled people, dogs and their owners, Walk for Life members, Jews on the Sabbath, domestic workers, refugees, babies learning to walk, and even a golfer and a caddie.
In conversation: Jonathan Crush and Daniel Tevera, with a performance by Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala!
The ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe has led to an unprecedented exodus of over a million desperate people from all strata of Zimbabwean society. The Zimbabwean diaspora is now truly global in extent. Yet rather than turning their backs on Zimbabwe, most maintain very close links with the country, returning often and remitting billions of dollars each year. Zimbabwe’s Exodus is written by leading migration scholars, many from the Zimbabwean diaspora. The book explores the relationship between Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis and migration as a survival strategy. It includes personal stories of ordinary Zimbabweans living and working in other countries, who describe the hostility and xenophobia they often experience.
At the launch, Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala will be performing, The Crossing, his one-man play about his journey on foot from a dusty Zimbabwean village to Cape Town.
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Thursday 29 July
PINK CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST WITH GRAND DAMES OF THE GARDEN: Margaret Wasserfall, Una van der Spuy, Pat Featherstone and Christine Stevens in conversation about growing for love and growing for food
Time: 11 AM – 12:30 PM Venue: Fraiche Ayres at Stark Ayres Nursery, Liesbeek Parkway, Rosebank Cape Town Cost: R80 RSVP: To book: www.strictlytickets.com
Margaret Wasserfall, in conversation with Una van der Spuy, Pat Featherstone and Christine Stevens!
Margaret Wasserfall, former editor of SA Garden & Home speaks with Una van der Spuy, Pat Featherstone and Christine Stevens about their passion: growing.
Una van der Spuy is one of South Africa’s best-known gardeners, author of 11 gardening books – most recently Old Nectar, on her famous home garden, Old Nectar, which has been visited and admired for decades. Now an irrepressible 97 year old, still active and enthusiastic, Una will share the wealth of knowledge and experience she has distilled over a lifetime.
Christine Stevens, organic farmer, wine-maker, extraordinary cook and author of Harvest: Recipes from an Organic Farm, will share her passion for growing things and taking food straight from the garden into the kitchen, focusing on the benefits of seasonal planting and companion planting.
Acclaimed home-grown photographer, Jodi Bieber, has created an open-ended essay which is a celebration and a portrait of life in Soweto today. The importance of Soweto in the collective consciousness is hard to overstate. It registers as a place born of resistance, perhaps even embodying the South African struggle for freedom. But the birth of Kwaito is attributed to Soweto too. And beyond the grand narratives, there is, and always was, a proliferation of dancing, art and fashion in this place defined by its energy and cosmopolitan nature. Labelling and un-labelling, claiming and discarding, Sowetans have created Soweto anew. This is a phenomenon that is celebrated in this photographic publication, which contemplates daily lived realities, where here, as elsewhere, South Africans are continually reinventing themselves and their urban space.
Jodi will be in conversation with Ismail Farouk, an artist and urban geographer. His work explores creative responses to racial, social, political and economic justice. He is currently employed as a researcher at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town.
DISCUSSION: Writing science in South Africa
Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM Venue: Central Library, The Old Drill Hall, Darling Street (opposite the Grand Parade), Cape Town Cost: R30 Book: www.strictlytickets.com
Science writers and journalists in discussion about how to make quality science writing more accessible and exciting for the public.
Activist and writer Nathan Geffen (author of Debunking Delusions) in conversation with Marcus Low (editor of Equal Treatment magazine), Christina Scott (President of the South African Science Journalists Association), Adele Baleta and Prof. George Claassen (author and co-author of five books including, most recently Geloof, Bygeloof en Ander Wensdenkery: Perspektiewe op Ontdekkings en Irrasionaliteite, 2007).
HIV denial, global warming scepticism, fears over the Hadron collider, defences of intelligent design: How can science writers rejuvenate scientific discourse and help liberate it from the murky waters of social relativism and uninformed scepticism? How do we prevent the flame of science from being extinguished in a storm of over-hyped press releases, sensationalist headlines and short attention spans? Top South African science writers and journalists discuss these and other burning issues in the world of South African science writing.
DISCUSSION: Pop, Popular, Populist: examining the relationship between the ruling party and society
Librarians, educators and others concerned with creating literature for children in Africa, come and share your ideas about what books our children should be reading, what they should look like AND how we get these books to them!
Speakers: Carole Bloch (PRAESA’s Early Literacy Unit), Niki Daly (author/ illustrator), Arabella Koopman (publishing consultant), Nombulelo Baba (Centre for the Book/National Library) and Pamela Maseko (UCT).
CAPE TOWN LITERARY BUS TOUR
Time: 12:00 PM for 12:30 – 2:30 PM Venue: Meet at Clarke’s Bookshop, 211 Long Street for a bus trip around the Cape Town CBD Cost: R80 Catering: Mulled wine and cinnamon biscuits Book: www.strictlytickets.com
Come with us on a literary tour that will provide a chance to meet some of the writers who have created and recreated Cape Town in writing. Writers on board the bus will read extracts from their work at the places that have served as locations for scenes in their work or provided the inspiration for their writing, and there will be an opportunity to chat with them on the road. This will be followed by mulled wine and cinnamon biscuits and a chance to get books signed by the authors at Clarke’s Bookshop.
DISCUSSION: Cannibal Ogres, Mock Europeans, Faux Tintins and the Hovering Showerhead
Time: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Venue: Michael Stevenson Gallery, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town Cost: Free Capacity: 50 people seated Book: 011 628 3204, email@example.com, or book via www.strictlytickets.com
World-class political cartoonists come together to examine symbols, stereotypes and issues of representation in South African political cartoons!
Speakers: Moderated by Dr Stella Viljoen, in conversation with Zapiro (aka Jonathan Shapiro), Andy Mason and Anton Kannemeyer.
BOOK LAUNCH: In The Balance: South Africans Debate Reconciliation
Speakers: Editors Fanie du Toit (Director for the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation) and Erik Doxtader in conversation Raenette Taljaard and Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.
Reconciliation is an open and urgent question. We do not agree about what reconciliation means. We do not agree about how it works. We certainly do not agree about what it has done or the ways in which it can be brought to bear on the problems that confront South Africa today. In short, reconciliation keeps us off balance. A source of strength that sits at the very heart of South Africa’s remarkable transition to democracy, reconciliation is also a frustrating fault line and a yet unfulfilled promise.
There are no simple answers. As the leading voices in this book make clear, reconciliation is a question that must be debated – together – with a candid acknowledgement that the disagreements provoked by reconciliation are an opportunity to interact and learn from one another. Only by sharing our diverging accounts of reconciliation will we come to terms with its contested legacy, its contemporary meaning and its future possibilities. Direct and thought-provoking, the essays here offer staunch defences and pointed criticisms of reconciliation. Together, they challenge the conventional wisdom and sound an important call: once again, it is time to ask after reconciliation’s meaning, practice and value.
DISCUSSION: South African Writing Now
Time: 8:00 PM Venue: Societi Bistro, 50 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town Cost: R180 Book: www.strictlytickets.com Promotion: Win a hamper of books
Some of South Africa’s most exciting and innovative writers come together over dinner to talk about new directions in local literature!
Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM Venue: (to be confirmed) The Annex (Iziko), Govenment Ave, Company’s Garden Cost: Free Capacity: 60 people Book: firstname.lastname@example.org, 011 628 3204
An interactive one-day introduction to the world of cartooning, facilitated by Andy Mason and Kathy Coates, with appearances by Zapiro, Stephen Francis & Rico of Madam & Eve, and artists from Supa Strikas!
STORYTIME READING with Maryanne and Shayle Bester
Time: 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town Cost: Free RSVP: 021 462 2425, email@example.com
The Bester sisters are an author-and-artist team who publish exquisite children’s books in English, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans.
How do we get sustainability on the political agenda for the upcoming local elections?
Speakers: Moderated by Prof. Edgar Pieterse (African Centre for Cities), in conversation with Lance Greyling (MP and Chief Whip of ID Parliamentary Caucus), Muna Lakhani (Earthlife Africa), Prof. Mark Swilling (Director, Sustainability Institute) and author Richard Calland.
HIGH TEA AT THE MOUNT NELSON with Wole Soyinka and Kopano Matlwa
Time: 4:30 PM Venue: The Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange Street Book: Booking at the Cape Town Book Fair booking office
EXHIBITION OPENING: SA Cartooning: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The event will include the launch of the Toonlab Tabloid, a publication featuring work by South Africa’s current and future generations of political cartoonists.The exhibition will run from 19 to 31 August.
Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM Venue: (to be confirmed) The Annex (Iziko), Company’s Garden Garden RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org, 011 628 320
2009 marks the celebration of Ronnie Govender’s 75th birthday with a truly special evening of festivities on Saturday, 16 May at Durban’s Playhouse Theatre.
Billed by the Playhouse as a “glittering birthday bash”, the event will be hosted by Govender’s friend and associate, TV news anchor, Pat Pillai, and will include the opening performance of Thunsil, a new production featuring excerpts of Govender’s best loved works. (more…)
“Behind the simple facade of rural charm, Miss Kwa Kwa has a mind as sharp as a panga, and somewhere in this Rainbow Nation there’s a pot of gold with her name on it.”
This may be true, but Miss Kwa Kwa’s creator, Stephen Simm, has a smile that’s just as deadly, and flashed it on and off at his Jacana-stand signing during the CTBF.
Miss Kwa Kwa began as a play – one of six Simm has written – starring Makgono Mamabolo, who was closely involved in the character’s development (and is from Qwa Qwa, ironically). The play, which made its debut at the 2004 National Arts Festival, was a vehicle for the two to poke fun at “everyone – black, white, coloured, yellow, green, whoever,” he said.