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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Jami Yeats-Kastner Presents Sam and Me & the Hard Pear Tree: Her Memoir on the Aftermath of Her Son’s Death

Sam and Me and the Hard Pear TreeNew from Jacana Media, Sam and Me & the Hard Pear Tree by Jami Yeats-Kastner:

This is a very sad book but not a depressing one. Sam’s death forces her to confront other personal truths about herself, her life and Sam’s older special needs brother, Jack.

Jami shares her journey with searing honesty and a wry sense of humour and, as she finds her way back into the light, it becomes less about grief and more about self-discovery, about synchronicity and about following the signs that are everywhere. If this story has a message, it is that finding your own true path is the only way to personal self-fulfilment and that it is only when we are ourselves fulfilled that we can be of proper service to others. Initially an unwilling seeker, this is what Jami eventually discovers, and in doing so she draws on all her available strength and inspirational new insights to continue building a happy future for herself and her young family.

About the author

Jami Yeats-Kastner is a 39-year-old mother of three amazing boys. Her youngest son, 18-month-old Sam, tragically drowned in the family’s swimming pool at their house on Friday 8 February 2013. Jami has written about her grief on her blog on Sam and Me & the Hard Pear Tree is her first book.

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A Collection of Articles and Reviews of Thando Mgqolozana’s Unimportance

UnimportanceThando Mgqolozana launched his third novel, Unimportance, earlier this year. The stream-of-consciousness novel is an allegorical look at the way we choose our political leaders.

Charl Blignaut from City Press called the book’s release “the best literary news of the week” in April and Fikile Moya from Pretoria News wrote that the book “delivers more than the words and the images on the pages”. Read these and other articles collected by Jacana Media from print sources:

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Join JP Landman for the Launch of The Long View in Port Elizabeth

The Long ViewJacana Media, Fogarty’s Bookshop and the GFI Gallery are pleased to invite you to the launch of The Long View by JP Landman.

The event will be held on Thursday 31 July at 6:30 PM.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 31 July 2014
  • Time: 6:30 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: GFI Gallery (formerly known as Ron Belling Gallery),
    30 Park Drive
    Port Elizabeth | Map
  • RSVP:, 041 368 1425

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New: Second Short Sharp Stories Anthology, Adults Only Edited by Joanne Hichens

Adults OnlyWithin the pages of Adults Only lies a wonderful range of modern sex writing; stories that are raw, dangerous and powerful, as well as those that are delicate, sensitive and poignant. This book will expose you to provocative and erotic stories that titillate the senses, as well as perverse stories that are riotously funny (but not quite pornography). Adults Only offers a sense of real characters caught in tangled webs of love and lust; the stories included run the gamut from raw and dangerous to sensitive and reserved.

Adults Only is the second of the SHORT.SHARP.STORIES annual anthologies, produced in conjunction with the National Arts Festival to showcase South African fiction-writing talent. Following 2013’s successful Bloody Satisfied, an eclectic mix of crime-thriller stories, this year’s anthology covers the fashionable theme of sex and sensuality. An anthology from established authors and rising talents, Adults Only is South African short-story writing at its best.

“Whatever you are looking for – filth, fantasy, tenderness, suspense or a grand belly laugh – you will find it here.” – Helena S Paige

About the editor

Joanne Hichens, curator of the SHORT.SHARP.STORIES awards, is an author, editor and creative-writing teacher at Rhodes University. She has edited three short-story anthologies, Bad Company, The Bed Book of Short Stories and Bloody Satisfied. Her first novel Divine Justice was published in 2011.

About the contributors

The contributors are established authors and journalists as well as previously unpublished writers. They are: Ken Barris, Efemia Chela, Christine Coates, Anthony Ehlers, Chantelle Gray van Heerden, Bobby Jordan, Aryan Kaganof, Donvé Lee, Carla Lever, Justine Loots, Alexander Matthews, Sean Mayne, Wamuwi Mbao, Dudumalingani Mqombothi, Tiffany Kagure Mugo, Nick Mulgrew, Gillian Rennie, Arja Salafranca, Alex Smith, Jo Stielau, Alan Walters, Eugene Yiga. The book features a foreword by Helena S. Paige, and an introduction by Makhosazana Xaba.

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Join The Troyeville Hotel Book Club in a Chat with Glenn Moss, Author of The New Radicals

The New Radicals: A generational memoir of the 1970sThe Troyeville Hotel Book Club invites you to a chat with Glenn Moss about his recently published book, The New Radicals.

The event will take place on Tuesday, 22 July, at 7 for 7:30 PM sharp. Booking is essential.

Don’t miss this!
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Excerpt from Unimportance by Thando Mgqolozana: What Makes a Good Student Leader?

UnimportanceAerodrome has shared an excerpt from Thando Mgqolozana latest novel, Unimportance, in which Zizi, the protagonist, questions what makes a good student leader.

“Being an A-grade student doesn’t automatically make one the fittest to govern. The scenario in the country’s parliament made my case strong. Indeed, the scenario of any parliament or boardroom anywhere in the world strengthened the logic of my argument – in our era, no country is being presided over by a professor,” Zizi muses to himself as he prepares for the SRC presidential debate.

Read the excerpt:

If one faculty managed to argue successfully against the readmission of an SRC member, this would mean that the said comrade wouldn’t be allowed to register as a student, and thus had no business leading, or being at university at all. We would have to announce this shameful news to the student populace. Who wants a stupid leader? Who would ever believe anything saidby an organisation that had deployed a leader of such questionable intellect? This wouldn’t be well received by the mother body. The Azanians would milk the story, and it would be a dark cloud hanging over the organisation’s proverbial head for years to come.

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Podcast: Penny Busetto Explains How She Learnt About Her Novel’s Italian Setting with a Webcam

The Story of Anna P, as Told by HerselfPenny Busetto spoke to Sue Grant-Marshall on Radio Today’s Reading Matters about her process of researching the setting for The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself.

Busetto, who won the European Union Literary Award for the manuscript of The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself, reveals to Grant-Marshall that despite living in Italy for many years she has never in fact been to the island of Ponza, where it is set.

“You infuse it with such atmosphere, Penny!” Grant-Marshall says, to which Busetto replies: “Sue, can I tell you a secret? I’ve never been to this island.”

The author says she’s not sure why she chose Ponza as the setting for her novel – “it sort of just came to me” – but says she got to know the island intimately by watching a webcam, down to the way the light shifted throughout the day.

Listen to the podcast:

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Extract: Five Recipes from Daniel Jardim’s Retreat: The Joy of Conscious Eating

RetreatAerodrome has shared a few recipe’s from Daniel Jardim’s sumptuous recipe book, Retreat: The Joy of Conscious Eating.

The beautifully photographed recipes in the extract are Vegetable Onigiri, Watermelon and Green Chilli Soup, Ambrosia Couscous, Pear and Fig Crumble, and Aduki and Shitake Shepherd’s Pie.

View the pages on Aerodrome:

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Join Karen Dudley for a Love Sandwich and Movie (Babette’s Feast) in Plettenberg Bay

Another Week in the KitcheniKasi Media has partnered with Plett Tourism to host the first South African Food Film Festival in Plettenberg Bay.

Karen Dudley, author of Another Week in the Kitchen, will be there on the final night to share the story behind her famous Love Sandwiches as you settle in to a feast in the candlelit courtyard to watch the acclaimed Danish film, Babette’s Feast.

Tickets cost R150 and includes music, a meal, a movie and a presentation by Dudley.

Don’t miss this!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 12 July 2014
  • Time: 6 PM, movie starts at 7 PM
  • Venue: The White House,
    6 Crescent Street
    Plettenberg Bay | Map
  • Refreshments: Love Sandwiches
  • Cover charge: R150
  • RSVP: Plett Tourism, Buy ticket online

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Mhlengi Wandile Ngcaweni Reflects on the Pressure of Being a “Born-free” in Liberation Diaries Excerpt

Liberation DiariesLiberation Diaries: Reflections on 20 years of democracy edited by Busani Ngcaweni is a collection of 50 essays by South Africans on their experiences of the country’s 20 years of democracy.

Mhlengi Wandile Ngcaweni’s contribution is titled “History Will Be Kind to Us for We Intend to Write It” and in it the University of Johannesburg student describes what being a “born-free” can mean: “We have a lot of pressure on us as born-frees because we are actually the proof of the success or failure of this democracy. Our successes or failures will expose many things about being born post-apartheid and whether it really was a privilege to be born post-1994. Twenty years after democracy we are the proof that everyone has been waiting for to determine how successful our democracy has been.”

Read the excerpt, shared in the Mail & Guardian:

Born-free? What born-free? Born on May 2 1994, I was born right in the middle of everything: the elections had just happened on April 27 and the inauguration was on May 11. I am a first generation “born-free” – a child born into democracy. This means that we should never have to be disadvantaged on the basis of our race and, in theory, our backgrounds.

What does being a born-free mean to us, you might ask. In truth, being born-free means more in theory than it does in practice.

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