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Franschhoek Literary Festival

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

All the debut novelists at the 2016 Franschhoek Literary Festival

Writing a first novel is a major achievement.

We celebrate some of the newest writers on the block at the Franschhoek Literary Festival this year, six of whom, published in 2015, have made it onto the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize longlist.

11 first-time novelists will appear in 22 events across the three days of the festival this year.

Joining the local authors are a writer from Ireland and another from Nigeria/USA.

The 2016 FLF takes place on the 13, 14 and 15 May.

See also:

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In order of their first events, here is who to look out for:

flfThe RaftFred Strydom: The Raft

Strydom’s dystopian fiction follows the story of one man on his quest to discover the truth behind Day Zero: the day humankind lost its memory.

Strydom will appear in three events on Friday 13 May, and one on Saturday 14 May.


[1] What so great about speculative fiction. With Lauren Beukes and Scarlett Thomas, chaired by Joe Vaz.
[42] From first lines to last. With Claire Robertson and Scarlett Thomas, chaired by Victor Dlamini.
[49] What was that?! An oral story-telling enactment, led by Amabookabooka’s Jonathan Ancer, with Lauren Beukes and Louis Greenberg.


[68] Knowing when to stop. With Niq Mhlongo and Steven Boykey Sidley, chaired by Ekow Duker.

flfPowers of the KnifeBontle Senne: Powers of the Knife

Powers of the Knife is the first book in the Shadow Chasers trilogy. It’s an African fantasy adventure for young adults – one part family saga, one part hero’s quest.

Bontle will participate in two events on Friday 13 May:


[6] Just imagine! With Nakhane Touré and Rosie Rowell, and Karabo Kgolen in the chair.
[15] Creating captivating childen’s books. With Helen Brain and Marlene Winburg, and Dianne Stewart chairing.


flfPiggy Boy's BluesNakhane Touré: Piggy Boy’s Blues

Davide’s journey from the city to pastoral Alice for peace and quiet, disturbs and troubles the silence and day-to-day practices that his uncle and the man he lives with have kept, resulting in a series of tragic events.

Touré will appear in two events on Friday 13 May and two on Saturday 14 May.


[5] Just imagine! with Bontle Senne and Rosie Rowell, chaired by Karabo Kgoleng. Schools interest.
[33] The reader within. With Finuala Dowling and Sara Baume (see below), chaired by Michele Magwood.


[73] In conversation with … Victor Dlamini speaks to musicians-cum-writers Hugh Masekela and Nakhane Touré.
[95] Creative writing techniques. With Claire Robertson and Sara Baume, chaired by Karabo Kgoleng.

flfTaking ChancesSicelo Kula: Taking Chances

The 10th book in the Harmony High series, which follows the lives of a group of teenagers attending a fictional township high and reflects their choices, struggles and triumphs.

Kula will be part of one event on Friday 13.

[18] Have you got a reading habit? With Dianne Case, Kgauhelo Dube, chaired by Samantha Page.

flfWhat Will People SayRehana Rossouw: What Will People Say

Neville and Magda Fourie live in Hanover Park with their three children, trying to “raise them decent” in a township festering with gang wars and barricaded with burning tyres.

Rossouw, in her second appearance at the FLF, will appear in one event each day of the 2016 festival.


[26] Contemporary issues in fiction. With Nthikeng Mohlele and Patrick Flanery, chaired by Nancy Richards.


[86] Language and character in literature. With Claire Robertson and Finuala Dowling, chaired by Harry Garuba.


[117] Journos writing books. With Claire Robertson, chaired by Rebecca Davis.

flfSpill Simmer Falter WitherSara Baume: Spill Simmer Falter Wither

27 April update: With regret, Sara Baume has had to withdraw from the festival for family reasons.

A misfit man finds a misfit dog. Both are accustomed to being alone, unloved, outcast. Spanning the four seasons echoed in the title, a savage act forces them to abandon the precarious life they’ve established, and take to the road.

Baume’s presence at FLF 2016 has been made possible with the support of a Culture Ireland grant.

She will appear in four events in the course of the weekend.


[33] The reader within. With Finuala Dowling and Nakhane Touré, chaired by Michele Magwood.


[54] “This is how it was …” With Javier Perez and Sindiwe Magona, chaired by Victor Dlamini.
[95] Creative writing techniques. With Clare Robertson and Nakhane Touré, chaired by Karabo Kgoleng.


[104] First books. With David Cornwell (see below), chaired by Damon Galgut.

flfA Slim, Green SilenceBeverly Rycroft: A Slim, Green Silence

Scheepersdorp, a small South African (fictional) town in 1995 forms the backdrop to the tale of Connie as she unravels the stories of her loved ones, and allows a secret of her own past to emerge.

Rycroft presented this novel at the FLF in 2015, and has previously appeared on the poetry programme. She will appear in one fiction and one poetry event at FLF 2016.


[46] Finding your first story. With Chinelo Okparanta (see below), chaired by Karabo Kgoleng.


[119] The personal journey of poetry. With Eliza Kentridge, chaired by Nick Mulgrew.

flfUnder the Udala TreesChinelo Okparanta: Under the Udala Trees

The story of two girls from different ethnic communities who fall in love during Nigeria’s civil war, a love that has to be hidden. Okparanta uses one woman’s lifetime to examines the ways in which Nigerians continue to struggle toward selfhood.

Okparantawas born in Nigeria and lives in the USA. Her presence at the festival is made possible with the support of Delta Airlines. She will appear in one event on each day of the festival.


[46] Finding your first story. With Beverly Rycroft, chaired by Karabo Kgoleng.


[67] Writing relationships. With David Cornwell and Nthikeng Mohlele, chaired by Karina Szczurek.


[128] Writing from the outside. With Ekow Duker and Patrick Flanery, chaired by Alison Lowry.

flfThe YearningMohale Mashigo: The Yearning

The story of Marubini, a young woman whose past starts spilling into her present. Something from her past is making her sick and her mother is not willing to tell her what it is. She embarks on a magical and frightening journey to find out what it is that haunts her.

Mashigo will appear in an event on Saturday 14 May:

[56] Women’s journeys in fiction. With Bridget Pitt, chaired by Palesa Morudu.

flfRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysterySally Andrew: Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery

Meet Tannie Maria: small town agony aunt turned amateur detective when a woman in the area is murdered. She becomes entangled in an investigation that blends intrigue, romance and cooking …

Andrew will participate in two events at the festival.


[58] Food in fiction. With Kathryn White and Paige Nick, chaired by Michele Magwood.


[118] Murder, she wrote. With Karin Brynard and Michéle Rowe, chaired by Catherine du Toit.


flfLike It MattersDavid Cornwell: Like It Matters

The story of the life of a man cast adrift, until he meets a woman who comes with a story of her own.

Cornwell will appear in two events over the course of the FLF weekend.


[67] Writing relationships. With Chinelo Okparanta and Nthikeng Mohlele, chaired by Karina Szczurek.


[104] First books. With Sara Baume, chaired by Damon Galgut.

flfThe Seed ThiefJacqui L’Ange: The Seed Thief

Botantist Maddy Bellani, on a journey to collect rare seeds of a Brazilian plant protected by a secretive sect, enters a world influenced by unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies and the selfish motives of others.

L’Ange will be part of an event on Saturday 14 May:

[83] Seeds of the imagination. With Charlotte Otter and Scarlett Thomas, chaired by Darrel Bristow-Bovey.


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