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Franschhoek Literary Festival

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Archive for the ‘Zimbabwe’ Category

New Faces at the Franschhoek Literary Festival

Two of the top international authors coming to the 2014 Franschhoek Literary Festival are Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s List, and top Israeli writer Shifra Horn.

This year’s festival takes place between 16 and 18 May.

Tamara Walks on WaterSchindler's List

Keneally, who hails from Australia, is best known for his Booker Prize-winning novel Schindler’s List, which Steven Spielberg adapted into an award-winning film.

Keneally has published 56 other titles, including novels, non-fiction and children’s books, and is an outspoken doyen of wordsmiths with a huge sense of humour, who has wowed literary festivals world-wide.

Readers can hear him speaking to Mike Wills of 567 Cape Talk on Friday, 16 May, in Masterwriter Australia and on Saturday in The Territorial Imperative with Yewande Omotoso and Richard de Nooy, chaired by the equally outspoken Zukiswa Wanner.

Shifra Horn is a leading Israeli women author, who has also lived in New Zealand and Japan. As a leukaemia survivor, Horn has a unique world vision and approach to life.

Readers can hear her speak on Friday, 16 May, in Identity: cultural resource or confinement?, in which she, Njabulo Ndebele and Richard de Nooy will discuss an issue all South Africans grapple with, chaired by broadcaster, writer and film-maker Kgomotso Matsunyane.

Visit our website at and take a look at the 175 authors coming this year.

Don’t miss this great annual celebration of writers and reading!

Book details

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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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Livetweets from the My Zimbabwe Session with Alexandra Fuller and Petina Gappah at the FLF

Petina Gappah, Alexandra Fuller and John MaythamThe chat on Zimbabwe between Alexandra Fuller, Petina Gappah and John Maytham was not without its awkward pauses – namely when Gappah challenged something that she perhaps felt was too lightly said by Fuller, or when the two disagreed over Morgan Tsvangirai’s entry into government with Robert Mugabe – but on the whole civility reigned and many of Zimbabwe’s lesser-seen facets were turned toward the light.

It was, in fact, a terrific discussion. Here are my livetweets, marked by #flf #zim for Twitter searchers:

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Zimbabwean headlines at the Franschhoek Literary Festival

There have been very few encouraging reports accompanying the alarming headlines heralding from South Africa’s troubled neighbour, Zimbabwe.

The once flourishing African state, now infamous for its political unrest and economic desperation, has however also been a source of inspiration for two internationally renowned authors who once called it home and will be speaking at this year Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF), from 15 – 17 May 2009.

In a session chaired by John Maytham on Sunday morning 17 May, Alexandra Fuller (Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight) and Petina Gappah (An Elegy for Easterly), in whose hearts Zimbabwe will forever hold a special place, will talk about their love for the country and their hope for its future.

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