Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Books LIVE


@ Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Funny Stories and Outrageous Opinions from Ndumiso Ngcobo in Eat, Drink and Blame the Ancestors

Eat, Drink and Blame the AncestorsNew from Jacana, Eat, Drink and Blame the Ancestors by Ndumiso Ngcobo:

For five years, Ndumiso Ngcobo, South Africa’s favourite big-headed columnist, has entertained Sunday Times readers with his regular hallucinations: amusing anecdotes, outlandish opinions and furiously funny tales that are required reading for legions of fans.

Eat, Drink and Blame the Ancestors is a collection of Ngcobo’s most memorable columns in that time, edited and reworked for maximum effect, providing the perfect overview of his unique and wonderful insights. Whether he’s consuming fermented beverages and communing with the ancestors, describing life with terrorist children and skollie dog (RIP Spiderman), or dissecting dung-beetle philosophy with the Men of Thurst, this is the finest and funniest writing in the land.

“The finest and funniest columnist in this country” – Carlos Amato, Sunday Times Lifestyle editor

About the author

Ndumiso Ngcobo is a creative phenomenon of the new South Africa. A one-time corporate lackey who used to write amusing emails for fun, he decided a change in career was in order and authored the bestsellers Some Of My Best Friends Are White and Is It Coz I’m Black? before securing a columnist’s gig with the Sunday Times. He is also a radio presenter on Power FM and writes for television.

Book details

» read article

Get Your Copy of The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World Signed by Vernon RL Head in Cape Town

The Search for the Rarest Bird in the WorldVernon RL Head, the author of The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World, will be signing copies of his book in Belville.

The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World is a memoir about Head’s journey to spot a very rare bird in the hills of the Great Rift Valley.

The book signing will be held at Exclusive Books Tyger Valley on Saturday, 25 October from 11 AM to 12 PM.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

Book Details

» read article

Gia Nicolaides Tells the Untold Stories from the Marikana Massacre in Reporting from the Frontline

Reporting from the FrontlineNew from Jacana, Reporting from the Frontline: Untold Stories from Marikana by Gia Nicolaides:

So much has been said about Marikana since the tragedy of 16 August 2012, when 34 miners were gunned down and police were killed. The news and the images of the massacre made headlines around the globe, for weeks. What the world didn’t take into account was who and what it took to bring that news from the small town of Rustenburg to the world.

“This book will be compulsory reading for all journalism courses and should also be compulsory reading for everyone. This lady has guts and a way of conveying the job that is remarkable. I couldn’t put it down and will never see her the same again.” – John Robbie, Talk Radio 702

Reporting from the Frontline is about personal experiences describing incidents behind the scenes from the main action. Many journalists spent weeks covering the unfolding events at Marikana, but many did not get the opportunity to tell their own stories. A large group of journalists, producers and television presenters gathered at the North West Platinum Mine when several deaths were reported and the violence broke out, often discovering dead bodies themselves. Nicolaides’ story and account will take you to the heart of Marikana where journalists fought, often their own emotions, in order to deliver the bulletins.

With a foreword by Alex Crawford of Sky News

About the author

Gia Nicolaides is a senior news reporter for Eyewitness News.

Book details

» read article

Join Ivor Chipkin and Mathews Phosa for the Launch of Jacob Dlamini’s Askari at Wits

Askari by Jacob Dlamini

Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggleJacana and the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) would like to invite you to the launch of Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggle by Jacob Dlamini at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Dlamini will be discussing his book with Jacklyn Cock, emeritus Sociology professor, and Mathews Phosa, attorney and politician. Ivor Chipkin, executive director of PARI, will give an opening address.

The launch will be at the Graduate Centre Seminar Room on Thursday, 23 October at 6 for 6:30 PM. It will be followed by a cocktail party.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 23 October 2014
  • Time: 6 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Graduate Centre Seminar Room
    Faculty of Humanities
    South West Engineering Building
    Yale Road
    East Campus
    University of the Witwatersrand | Map
  • Guest Speakers: Ivor Chipkin, Jacklyn Cock and Mathews Phosa
  • Refreshments: Cocktail party
  • RSVP: Neilwe Mashigo,

Book Details

» read article

Betrayal and Collaboration During the Struggle Against Apartheid in Jacob Dlamini’s Askari

Askari Jacana presents Jacob Dlamini’s latest book, Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggle, to be published this month:

In 1986 ‘Comrade September’, a charismatic ANC operative and popular MK commander, was abducted from Swaziland by the apartheid security police and taken across the border. After torture and interrogation, September was ‘turned’ and before long the police had extracted enough information to hunt down and kill some of his former comrades.

September underwent changes that marked him for the rest of his life: from resister to collaborator, insurgent to counter-insurgent, revolutionary to counter-revolutionary and, to his former comrades, hero to traitor. Askari is the story of these changes in an individual’s life and of the larger, neglected history of betrayal and collaboration in the struggle against apartheid. It seeks to understand why September made the choices he did – collaborating with his captors, turning against the ANC, and then hunting down his comrades – without excusing those choices. It looks beyond the black-and-white that still dominates South Africa’s political canvas, to examine the grey zones in which South Africans – combatants and non-combatants – lived.

September’s acts of betrayal form but one layer in a sedimentation of betrayals, for September himself was betrayed by the Swazi police, when he was abducted from his hideout in Swaziland by the apartheid death squad in August 1986. This, then, is not a morality tale in which the lines between heroes and villains are clearly drawn. At the same time, the book does not claim that the competing sides in the fight against apartheid were moral equivalents. It seeks to contribute to attempts to elaborate a denser, richer and more nuanced account of South Africa’s modern political history. It does so by examining the history of political violence in South Africa; by looking at the workings of an apartheid death squad in an attempt to understand how the apartheid bureaucracy worked; and, more importantly, by studying the social, moral and political universe in which apartheid collaborators like September lived and worked. This is not a biography – a cradle-to-grave account of September’s life – even though it does, where necessary, look at his life. September was not the first resister-turned-collaborator. But he was also no ordinary collaborator. That is why his story deserves telling.

“Subtle, touching and often quite lovely … Its core is a warm and often amusing form of personal storytelling, replete with a kind of gentle irony, that enriches one’s understanding of past, present and the relation between them.”
– Shaun de Waal, Mail & Guardian

“Dlamini is a humdinger of a talent. He takes from his childhood a great jumble of objects – … and almost at will, it seems, he makes them play … Insouciant, pleasurable writing.”
– Jonny Steinberg, Sunday Times

About the author

Jacob Dlamini is at present a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and a Research Associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP), University of the Witwatersrand. He holds a PhD from Yale University. Previously he worked as a journalist and was at one time the political editor of Business Day. His book Native Nostalgia (Jacana, 2009), about growing up in the township of Katlehong on the Witwatersrand, has won great acclaim.

Book details

» read article

A True Modern-day Odyssey: The Story of Gene Gualdi’s Filmworthy Life in Bollywood Blonde

Bollywood BlondeNew from Jacana, Bollywood Blonde by Gené Gualdi:

Bubbly fine arts graduate Gené is desperate to get into the film industry. She moves to Cape Town and works as a photographer for a tabloid magazine. Gené starts moonlighting on film sets and finds herself on an Indian paint commercial where a big Bollywood producer offers her a six-month stint in his company in Mumbai. Unable to resist the lure and glamour of working in film and travelling the world business class, she leaps at the opportunity and soon finds herself on a plane headed for India.

But there is no free curry in Mumbai. On arrival she realises she is expected to sleep with the producer, and slips into an uneasy, culturally challenging role as his new firangi girlfriend.

The producer soon insists on transforming Gené into a size six blonde who he can show off on the red carpet. He puts her on a gruelling diet and stringent exercise regime. Once a teenage anorexic, this pushes all her deepest buttons of insecurity around her fraught body issues.

Even though he is twice her age, overweight and often rude, she becomes obsessed with him, and is soon convinced that he is cheating on her. She goes on an all-out mission to make him love her.

When it becomes clear the producer no longer wants her, she manipulates her way into turning her six-month work stint into a six-year epic stay. In her first year there, she works on 96 commercials and gets drawn into the rich cultural textures of India, experiencing India in a way rarely written about. With access to the who’s who in Bollywood, she rubs shoulders with India’s most famous glitterati, including the great Bly Avibath, India’s most famous actor.

Gené also becomes close to Bollywood’s top director, Kiran, and they dream about making the film of her life, together.

After a traumatic night with the producer in a London hotel, she realises it’s time to leave India and come home. Although she continues to return to Bollywood over the next few years to do films with her hero Bly Avibath, who insists that she work with him, the producer now has little hold over her.

On the last film that Gené does with Bly she tells him about her dream to tell her story. He surprises her by buying her a MacBook Pro, which she ends up using to write this book.

Book details

» read article

Don’t Miss “Rhinos in Crisis”: A Talk by John Bassi at the Kirstenbosch Bookshop in Cape Town

Rhinos in Crisis

Pilot in the Wild: Flights of conservation and survivalJohn Bassi, author of Pilot in the Wild: Flights of conservation and survival, will being giving a talk about the current rhino crisis.

As a pilot who works in the bush, Bassi has witnessed poaching and taken part in the fight against it. He will share his experiences and his opinion about the current rhino crisis.

The talk will be at the National Botanical Society Bookshop at Kirstenbosch on Wednesday, 22 October at 4:30 for 5 PM

Event Details

Book Details

» read article

Presenting The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IV

The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IVThe Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IV, with poems by various poets, will be published by Jacana this month:

This is the fourth annual Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology, and is a compendium of the poems longlisted for the 2014 Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award.

Every year South African poets, young and old, debut or previously published, are invited to submit up to three of their poetic efforts to the Award, in any of the country’s 11 official languages. The Anthology seeks to publish voices in as many different languages as possible, and be one of the spaces in which these tongues are given equal space and respect. The Anthology is a truly democratic as well as creative effort, in keeping with the spirit of the legendary intellectual giant, Sol Plaatje, the activist, linguist, translator, novelist, journalist and leader.

About the award

The jury comprises of three distinguished South African poets, who are each experts in their language field. Once a shortlist has been created, the presiding judge Dr Mongane Wally Serote decides on the winning poem, in consultation with his judging panel. The winner will be announced at Poetry Africa in October. Poetry Africa is the preeminent local poetry festival, held in Durban annually, and the shortlisted poets are also invited to the festival as guests.

The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award is supported by the European Union.

Book details

» read article

Excerpt from Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen: Pistorius and Samantha Taylor Plan a Trip to the Seychelles

Oscar: An Accident Waiting to HappenThe Daily News has published an excerpt from Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen by Melinda Ferguson and Patricia Taylor.

Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen is the story of Samantha Taylor’s tumultuous relationship with Oscar Pistorius from the perspective of her mother.

In the excerpt, Taylor speaks about her daughter’s attempts to keep Pistorius happy when were engaged in a plan to “rekindle their romance”. Taylor felt it was a farce from the outset.

Read the excerpt:

As part of their plan to rekindle their romance, Oscar invited Sammy to go to the Seychelles with him on a trip that would be filmed by the glamorous South African travel show, Top Billing.

Sammy was very excited. I think she was still really hoping that this time round things would be different. Before they left, Oscar e-mailed Peet, his manager, from my computer.

He obviously forgot about it and didn’t delete the correspondence from the system.

Book details

» read article

Join Christa Kuljian for a Discussion on Her Forthcoming Book Rocking the Cradle at WiSER

Jacana Media and Witwatersrand University invite you to a lunchtime discussion of Christa Kuljian’s work-in-progress, Rocking the Cradle: A New Look at the Stories Behind the Search for Human Origins in South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind.

Kuljian is a Writing Fellow at WiSER and her book about the history of paleo-anthropology in South Africa is scheduled to be published by Jacana in April 2016.

The discussion will take place on Wednesday, 15 October, at 1 PM in the WiSER Seminar Room. Kuljian will provide an overview of her research and the structure of the book and welcomes any feedback and ideas.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 15 October 2014
  • Time: 1:00 PM
  • Venue: WiSER Seminar Room,
    6th Floor,
    Richard Ward Building,
    East Campus,
    Wits University | Map
  • RSVP:

» read article