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Celebrating 80 Years of brilliant publishing at Faber

Saturday, August 29th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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28 August 2009 @ 7pm

Celebrating 80 Years of brilliant publishing at Faber
Please join us to celebrate Faber & Faber’s 80th birthday party – with giveaways, cake and fantastic books – an evening not to be missed!
About Faber :
Faber and Faber began as a firm in 1929, but its roots go back further – to The Scientific Press, founded in the early years of the twentieth century, which was owned by Sir Maurice and Lady Gwyer and which derived much of its income from the weekly magazine The Nursing Mirror. The Gwyers’ desire to expand into trade publishing led them to Geoffrey Faber, a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and ‘Faber and Gwyer’ was founded in 1925. Four years later, The Nursing Mirror was sold and Geoffrey Faber and the Gwyers agreed to go their separate ways. Searching for a name with a ring of respectability, Geoffrey hit upon the name ‘Faber and Faber’, although there was only ever one of him.

In the meantime, the firm had prospered. T. S. Eliot, who had been recommended to Faber by a colleague at All Souls, had left Lloyds Bank in London to join him as a literary adviser and in the first season the firm issued his Poems 1909-1925. Also appearing in the catalogues from the early years were books by Ezra Pound, Jean Cocteau, Herbert Read, Max Eastman, George Rylands, John Dover Wilson, Geoffrey Keynes, Forrest Reid and Vita Sackville-West.

In 1928 the anonymous Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man appeared, proving so popular that over the next six months it was reprinted eight times. Siegfried Sassoon’s name was added to the title page for the second impression as the book became Faber’s first commercial success, and an enduring literary classic.
Poetry was always to be a prime element in the Faber list and under Eliot’s aegis W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Louis MacNeice soon joined Pound, Marianne Moore, Wyndham Lewis, John Gould Fletcher, Roy Campbell, James Joyce and Walter de la Mare.
Under Geoffrey Faber’s chairmanship the board in 1929 included Eliot, Richard de la Mare, Charles Stewart and Frank Morley. This young and highly intelligent team built up a comprehensive and profitable catalogue which always had a distinctive physical identity and much of which is still in print. Biographies, memoirs, fiction, poetry, political and religious essays, art and architecture monographs, children’s books, and a pioneering ecology list years ahead of its time, gave an unmistakable character to the productions of 24 Russell Square, the firm’s Georgian offices in Bloomsbury. It also produced Eliot’s literary review The Criterion.
During the Second World War, paper shortages meant profits were large, but almost all went in taxes and subsequent years were difficult. However, with recovery a new generation joined Faber, bringing in writers such as William Golding, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Lowell, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, W. S. Graham, Philip Larkin, P. D. James, Tom Stoppard and John Osborne. These last two, first published in the 1960s, represented the firm’s growing commitment to modern drama, reflected in a pre-eminence that remains to the present day.
Faber and Faber remains one of the last of the great independent publishing houses in London. With the great depth of its backlist, featuring books by no fewer than eleven Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize-winners, a thriving frontlist, and new ventures including the Faber Finds imprint, the company continues to go from strength to strength.

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Storytime: Spring Day with Charlie and Lola

Saturday, August 29th 2009 at 11:00 AM

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29 August 2009 @ 11am

Storytime: Spring Day with Charlie and Lola
Spring Day is just around the corner (well, Tuesday) and who better to celebrate Spring with than Charlie and Lola! Come and do some green finger activities with our favourite brother-and-sister team, and of course there will be stories.

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Toast Coetzer: Naweek

Tuesday, August 25th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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25 August 2009 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Toast Coetzer: Naweek
Toast Coetzer says the thing that makes his mother most proud is that he works for the travel magazines Go! and Weg. But his fans will know him as the front man of cult music outfit Buckfever Underground, whose four albums have been lauded by critics.

But Coetzer’s printed word is spreading fast. He is the co-editor of Ons Klyntji, an erratic zine, with Erns Grundling and Drikus Barnard. And he’s one of South Africa’s finest poets, published in several collections, including the recently released Groot Verseboek.

We recently launched Key to Cape Town, a guide to the mother city, which he collaborated with photographer Sam Reinders, and tonight will be launching his novella Naweek – completed during his creative writing master’s at the University of Cape Town. 

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Storytime: Crocodiles!

Saturday, August 22nd 2009 at 11:00 AM

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22 August 2009 @ 11am

Storytime: Crocodiles!
So crocodiles are supposed to be scary, and rightly so, they have many teeth! But there are also great croc stories around which we will be reading, along with making our own baby croccies. Tickle a crocodile a day and it will keep the fear away!

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Maya Fowler: Elephant in the Room

Thursday, August 20th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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20 August 2009 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Maya Fowler: Elephant in the Room
A story of secrets, warped friendships and addiction, and how families guard their secrets to keep up appearances – with disastrous consequences.
Set in Kalk Bay, the Overberg and Plumstead, the story explores the life of a young girl called Lily, and the influence various strong characters have on her – most notably her domineering grandmother and her classmate Vera.
Fascinating and harrowing, this story examines a world that is all too familiar, and shows how those most dear to us can help to create a waking nightmare.
Maya Fowler was born in Cape Town in 1980. She started her schooling in Stellenbosch, but went on to spend most of her childhood in the Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet, where drought and a harsh landscape taught her to appreciate that beauty comes in many forms and resides in the tiniest things.
Maya holds a BA and an MA (Linguistics) from the University of Stellenbosch, and she works as deputy editor of Edgars Club Magazine.

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Jane Taylor: The Transplant Men

Tuesday, August 18th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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18 August 2009 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Jane Taylor: The Transplant Men

Jane Taylor’s richly imagined new work is of two men; Hawthorne, an organ recipient, and Barnard, the first person to perform a heart transplant. The novel opens with a mystery: an unexplained violent death and a video tape left with the body.
Your achievement is all the greater for being accomplished from Cape Town, I said in response to his complaint that the world was catching up. It will signal that our country is thriving. In those days I did not align myself with the nay-sayers who were making so much fuss in the aftermath of the Terrorism Act.
‘You are our sputnik.’ I spoke in a florid set of comparisons, as I often do when seized by an enthusiasm. I wasn’t exaggerating. ‘Our Yuri Gagarin’.
These words are spoken to Christiaan Barnard by Guy Hawthorne, the narrator of this gripping piece of storytelling, an investigation within an investigation.

Infused with the halfway modern spirit of South Africa in the 1960’s, this poetic and haunting thriller captures the tensions of the times, the story of medicine and psychological twists that lie at the heart of celebrity and obsession.

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Aernout Zevenbergen: Spots on a Leopard

Tuesday, August 11th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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11 August 2009 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Aernout Zevenbergen: Spots on a Leopard
Spots on a Leopard is a personal quest into modern-day perceptions of masculinity. In a wide variety of feature stories Zevenbergen explores, discusses, and writes in a personal way about day-to-day dilemmas and solutions pertaining to the question ‘What does it mean to be a man, today, in Africa?
 
During his five-year quest to find answers to this question Zevenbergen came to realise that the search for new ways of being a man is a worldwide phenomenon. This search is global in geographical scale, but deeply personal in scope.
 
The reader will meet a great number of men who spoke passionately and intimately about their personal lives, their dreams, their frustrations, their spirituality and their chores. ‘The men I met throughout Africa while researching Spots,‘ says Zevenbergen, ‘had the courage to share their deepest secrets, their painful paradoxes, their humour, their resilience and their modesty.’

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Storytime: The Great Pie Robbery

Saturday, August 8th 2009 at 11:00 AM

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08 August 2009 @ 11am

Storytime: The Great Pie Robbery
We will be joined by the brilliant crime author, Margie Orford, who will be reading to us from the beloved Richard Scarry’s Great Pie Robbery and other Mysteries. Who better to read this clever whodunit than Margie! A great treat for both parents and their little detectives.

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Welma Odendaal: Landskap Met Diere

Thursday, August 6th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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06 August 2009 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Welma Odendaal: Landskap Met Diere
One reader described Welma Odendaal’s voice as ‘something vital and at the same time lingeringly sad, something like good jazz‘. In these short stories a collection of landscapes appears in which human experience is portrayed within the larger movement of time passing. Animals often disturb the seeming order. A leguan hides beneath a girl’s bed. Bush pigs disturb fences between neighbours. A train passes a chained circus elephant. Stories rich in atmosphere and suggestion.

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Neil Parsons: Clicko the Wild Dancing Bushman

Tuesday, August 4th 2009 at 5:30 PM

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04 August 2009 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Neil Parsons: Clicko the Wild Dancing Bushman
Clicko (Franz Taibosh) was a star performer of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the 1920s and 1930s. When he died in 1940, an obituary in the New York Times called him ‘the only African bushman ever exhibited in this country‘. But it was not known where he really came from, or how he had come to America – where he was often mistaken for an Australian. Franz Taibosh danced and yelled on stage as the Wild Dancing Bushman for three decades in music halls, circuses and freak-shows, in England and France, Ireland and Cuba, as well as the United States and Canada. He entertained millions as a little Wild Man who thrilled and enchanted child spectators.
This book evokes the golden age of entertainment, and a lost age when Britain ruled the waves and America stood for the biggest and the best. It traces Franz Taibosh’s early life in South Africa and his Korana ancestry, and shows how Bushmen from Africa became exhibits in Western show business. It takes the reader through Franz’s misery under a vicious manager into his years of self-fulfilment as a member of an American show-business family. In these pages the reader encounters showbiz tsars and university anthropologists, the original Zip the Pinhead, real-life characters later immortalised in the novels of John Buchan and James Joyce, and the archetypal ‘small brown man’ of Carl Jung.

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