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Franschhoek Literary Festival

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Archive for the ‘Namibia’ Category

Stars From Afar at the Franschhoek Literary Festival

At this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival, 13 – 15 May, authors coming from the UK, USA, Thailand, France, Jamaica, Uganda, Namibia and Zimbabwe will again rub shoulders with some of SA’s top writers.

“Our focus has always been on SA authors writing, or translated into English, with the ultimate goal of raising funds for a new community library,” says Jenny Hobbs, one of the originators and now the Director of the FLF. “But we also enjoy introducing to local readers international writers who are not well known here. And of course, there’s a big welcome for SA writers who live overseas,” she added.

Flying in from America is Zakes Mda, Professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University, though he commutes home regularly. His many commitments include beekeeping in the Eastern Cape, working with the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, and being a director of the Southern African Multimedia AIDS Trust in Sophiatown.

Mda will take part in Perspectives with Antony Altbeker, Justice Malala and SAFM’s Karabo Kgoleng, an event about autobiography with Janice Galloway from Scotland and Namibia’s Jane Katjavivi, chaired by Jenny Crwys-Williams, and Writing From Exile with three fellow SA writers who live overseas, Barbara Trapido, Julian de Wette and Christopher Hope.

Trapido, a book club favourite, is travelling from Oxford to discuss issues round her recent novel Sex & Stravinsky, and will be joined by her chef/writer daughter Anna Trapido, author of the Madiba memoir, Hunger for Freedom.

An FLF favourite coming for the third time from London is Justin Cartwright, whose recent novel Other People’s Money is getting rave reviews overseas.

Janice Galloway and Kei Miller are flying in from Glasgow courtesy of the British Council, both impressively talented and engaging speakers at last year’s Edinburgh International Book Fair.

Galloway is a musician and teacher who is now considered one of Scotland’s top authors. She will be chatting to Ann Donald of Kalk Bay Books, and in an event called Digging Deeper, will join Peter Godwin and forensic scientist David Klatzow to talk about the surprises they uncover in their research, chaired by Michele Magwood.

Kei Miller is a Jamaican poet and novelist who teaches creative writing at Glasgow University, and local writers should not miss the opportunity to hear him in conversation with Harry Garuba, Director of the Centre for African Studies at UCT. He will also appear in Mindfields with poet Finuala Dowling, Doreen Baingana and Christopher Hope, and in Can You Teach Writing? with fellow creative writing teachers Dowling, poet Kobus Moolman and Leon de Kock, Head of English at Stellenbosch.

Doreen Baingana is the Ugandan writer whose Tropical Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in 2006. She will be brought to Franschhoek by the African Arts Institute, and appears also in Secret Women’s Business and Short Stories Africa.

In a new departure, there will be several graphic events at FLF 2011. Graphic novelist Marguerite Abouet, the Côte d’Ivoire-born author of the Aya series which have been runaway bestsellers in France and the USA, is this year’s French Institute writer.

Appearing with her in Serious vs Hilarious is another bestselling author new to our shores: crime writer and cartoonist Colin Cotterill whose novels about a coroner set in Laos in the 1970s have been praised as having, “richer plots than Alexander McCall Smith’s SA detective stories, but the same comic charm.”

And there are more. Tony Park is the Australian equivalent of Wilbur Smith, with an equal passion for Africa, spending months here in the bush every year. He and Cotterill will be appearing with our own Mike Nicol in the literary version of Skop, Skiet en Donder.

Zimbabwean writers who have also tapped the bestselling vein include Peter Godwin and Douglas Rogers, who appear together and separately in Zimbos, Bush Wars and Roads Less Travelled, the grand finale of the 70 events at FLF 2011.

The FLF is presented in association with Porcupine Ridge Wines and the Sunday Times, and is further made possible through the generosity of Franschhoek guest house owners and voluntary workers who give their time and energy to make it an event to remember. Ticket proceeds and other donations go towards the FLF Library Fund. The full FLF programme is available on Bookings are open and tickets can be booked on Ticket prices remain unchanged at R60 per event, unless otherwise indicated.

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