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Storytime: Cool Nguni

Saturday, July 31st 2010 at 11:00 AM

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31 July 2010 @ 11am

Storytime: Cool Nguni
Two local sisters have created a great series of books about a Cool Nguni cow and his family. What a pleasure it will be to have Maryanne and Shayle Bester here to read their stories and tell us more about adventures that this young cow gets up to. They will let you take part in telling a brand new story. This is not a morning to be missed!


Fanie du Toit and Erik Doxtader at Lobby Books – In the Balance: South Africans debate Reconciliation

Friday, July 30th 2010 at 5:30 PM

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30 July 2010 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Fanie du Toit and Erik Doxtader at Lobby Books – In the Balance: South Africans debate Reconciliation
Please note this event will take place at Lobby Books (in IDASA), 6 Spin Street. Please RSVP to
Reconciliation is an open and urgent question. We do not agree about what reconciliation means. We do not agree about how it works. We certainly do not agree about what it has done or the ways in which it can be brought to bear on the problems that confront South Africa today. In short, reconciliation keeps us off balance. A source of strength that sits at the very heart of South Africa’s remarkable transition to democracy, reconciliation is also a frustrating fault line and a yet unfulfilled promise.
There are no simple answers. As the leading voices in In the Balance – including Antjie Krog, Zackie Achmat, Njabulo Ndebele, Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk – make clear, the question of reconciliation is a question that must be debated – together – with a candid acknowledgement that the disagreements provoked by reconciliation are an opportunity to interact and learn from one another. Only by sharing our diverging accounts of reconciliation will we come to terms with its contested legacy, its contemporary meaning, and its future possibilities. Direct and thought-provoking, the essays here offer staunch defences and pointed criticisms of reconciliation. Together, they challenge the conventional wisdom and sound an important call: once again, it is time to ask after reconciliation’s meaning, practice and value.
Fanie du Toit is the Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.
Erik Doxtader is a Professor of Rhetoric at the University of South Carolina and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town.
This is a Jacana Media, Book Lounge, Cape Times and Equal Education initiative
If you have high quality children’s and young adults books, please bring them to donate to the Equal Education book drive for school libraries. For more information please visit
10% of all Jacana books sold on the night will also go to Equal Education’s book drive.


Jay Naidoo: Fighting for Justice

Friday, July 30th 2010 at 5:30 PM

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30 July 2010 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Jay Naidoo: Fighting for Justice
Jay Naidoo was a tireless anti-apartheid campaigner in the 1980s, serving as the first General Secretary of Coastu, South Africa’s largest union federation and the backbone of the internal mass struggles against apartheid. In 1993, he stepped down to lead twenty leaders from Cosatu into parliament on an ANC ticket, and was asked by Nelson Mandela to work as the Minister responsible for the Reconstruction and Development Programme, and then as the Minister of Communications.
In 1999 Jay moved away from politics and entered the world of business, setting up the J&J Group, an investment and management company. He remained engaged in the field of development and was appointed as the Chairman of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. In 2003 he became the Chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, launched to fight the malnutrition facing 2 billion people around the world.
Fighting for Justice is a gripping account of Jay’s life, from his roots in a distant village in India to his present fierce engagement with global issues of social justice.
Jay will be in conversation with Peter Harris, author of the wonderful In a Different Time.
Published by Pan Macmillan.


Wole Soyinka: You Must Set Forth at Dawn – A Memoir

Thursday, July 29th 2010 at 5:30 PM

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29 July 2010 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Wole Soyinka: You Must Set Forth at Dawn – A Memoir
In this engrossing follow-up to his acclaimed childhood memoir, Aké, the Nigerian poet, playwright and Nobel laureate demonstrates what it means to be a public intellectual. Soyinka revisits a tumultuous life of writing and political activism, from his student days in Britain through his struggles, sometimes from prison or exile, against a succession of Nigerian dictatorships. Soyinka is on a first-name basis with almost every major Nigerian figure and he’s sometimes involved in high-level intrigues; his chronicle of political turmoil is very personal, full of sharply drawn sketches of comrades and foes, and emphatic rejoinders to critics. His novelistic eyewitness accounts of repression and upheaval widen out from time to time to survey the humiliation and corruption of Nigerian society under military rule. Soyinka includes recollections of friends and family, of sojourns abroad with W.H. Auden and other luminaries, and of stage triumphs and fiascoes. His lyrical evocations of African landscapes, the urban nightmare of Lagos, the horrors of British cuisine and the longing a dusty fugitive feels for a cold beer both entertains and educates. By turns panoramic and intimate, ruminative and politically resolute, Soyinka’s memoir is a beautiful and intriguing conversation between a writer and his times.
Wole Soyinka will be in conversation with his publisher, Becky Clarke.
Published by Book Promotions.


Andie Miller: Slow Motion

Wednesday, July 28th 2010 at 5:30 PM


28 July 2010 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Andie Miller: Slow Motion
Slow Motion was written over a period of six years and has become something of a documentary project, witnessing transformation in South Africa through the eyes of pedestrians across the economic, racial and age spectrum.
Though it inevitably looks at the issue of crime, and how we have moved from a race-based to a class-based society and pedestrians of all colours continue to be marginalised and thought of as second-class citizens in an increasingly autocentric society, it is essentially an optimistic book. It tells the stories of South Africans (and visitors) who have chosen to ‘reclaim the streets’ from predatory traffic.
While the focus is primarily on Johannesburg, several of the stories are about Cape Town, contrasting the experience of walking in these two cities. Other international cities such as Los Angeles, Paris, London and Mumbai are also visited along the way.
The style of the book is such that, while it can be opened anywhere and each story can be read and enjoyed on its own, the stories are interlinked, as people’s paths inevitably cross. There is a bigger story at play as well.
The band of pedestrians includes writers, artists, political activists, disabled people, dogs and their owners, Walk for Life members, Jews on the Sabbath, domestic workers, refugees, babies learning to walk, and even a golfer and a caddie.

Andie Miller will be in conversation with internationally acclaimed author Damon Galgut.

This is a Jacana Media, Book Lounge, Cape Times and Equal Education initiative
If you have high quality children’s and young adults books, please bring them to donate to the Equal Education book drive for school libraries. For more information please visit
10% of all Jacana books sold on the night will also go to Equal Education’s book drive.


2010 Man Booker Longlist announced

Wednesday, July 28th 2010 at 11:44 AM

The judges for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction yesterday, Tuesday 27 July, announced the longlist for the prize, the leading literary award in the English speaking world.

A total of 138 books, 14 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ longlist of 13 books.

The Longlist

Peter CareyParrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)

Emma DonoghueRoom (Pan MacMillan – Picador)

Helen DunmoreThe Betrayal (Penguin – Fig Tree)

Damon GalgutIn a Strange Room (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Books)

Howard JacobsonThe Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

Andrea LevyThe Long Song (Headline Publishing Group – Headline Review)

Tom McCarthyC (Random House – Jonathan Cape)

David MitchellThe Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Hodder & Stoughton – Sceptre)

Lisa MooreFebruary (Random House – Chatto & Windus)

Paul MurraySkippy Dies (Penguin – Hamish Hamilton)

Rose TremainTrespass (Random House – Chatto & Windus)

Christos TsiolkasThe Slap (Grove Atlantic – Tuskar Rock)

Alan WarnerThe Stars in the Bright Sky (Random House – Jonathan Cape)

The Book Lounge looks forward to congratulating Damon Galgut in person tonight when he is here in converstaion with Andie Miller!

The chair of judges, Andrew Motion, comments:

Here are thirteen exceptional novels – books we have chosen for their intrinsic quality, without reference to the past work of their authors. Wide-ranging in their geography and their concern, they tell powerful stories which make the familiar strange and cover an enormous range of history and feeling. We feel confident that they will provoke and entertain.”

Peter Carey is one of only two authors to have won the prize twice, in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda and 2001 for True History of the Kelly Gang. In 1985 his book Illywhacker was shortlisted for the prize and Theft: A Love Story was longlisted in 2006.

Three authors have been shortlisted before: David Mitchell (twice shortlisted in 2001 for number9dream and in 2004 for Cloud Atlas), Damon Galgut (in 2003 for The Good Doctor) and Rose Tremain (shortlisted in 1989 for Restoration). She was also a judge for the Booker Prize in 1988 and 2000.

Howard Jacobson has been longlisted twice for his book Kalooki Nights in 2006 and for Who’s Sorry Now? in 2002.

The 2010 shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 7 September at a press conference at Man Group’s London headquarters. The winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010 will be revealed on Tuesday 12 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall. The winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction will receive £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their shortlisted book.

Chaired by Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate, the 2010 judges are Rosie Blau, Literary Editor of the Financial Times; Deborah Bull, formerly a dancer, now Creative Director of the Royal Opera House as well as a writer and broadcaster; Tom Sutcliffe, journalist, broadcaster and author and Frances Wilson, biographer and critic.

Megan  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open Shuhada Street Lecture: Shamil Jeppie

Tuesday, July 27th 2010 at 5:30 PM

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27 July 2010 @ 5.30 for 6pm

Open Shuhada Street Lecture: Shamil Jeppie
Professor Shamil Jeppie will be presenting on Israel & the Politics of its Neighbours with Andre Zaaiman as the discussant.

Shamil Jeppie is a senior lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Popular Memory. He is a key advisor to the South Africa-Mali Timbaktu Manuscript Project.

Andre Zaaiman is a member of the Presidential Support Unit, which advises the Presidency and South African government on international conflict areas. He has recognised competencies in the field of national security, with extensive field experience in the Middle East.


A whole bunch of awards announced

Sunday, July 25th 2010 at 11:40 AM

The winners of the Sunday Times Fiction Award and the Alan Paton Literary Prize were both announced last night, and the choice must have been tough, because both shortlists this year were incredibly strong.

 However, those of you who may have heard Mervyn extolling Imraan Coovadia’s High Low In-Between as one of the best South African novels published in the last few years, will not be surprised to hear that it is the recipient of this year’s Fiction Prize. Our heartfelt congratulations to Imraan!

 The Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction this year went to Albie Sachs for The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, which has received equally glowing praise both locally and abroad this year. Again, we extend hearty congratulations to Judge Sachs! 

 And to round out a trifecta of congratulations, Terry Bell was last night awarded the 2010 Nat Nakasa Award for Media Integrity.

JohaN  Sunday, July 25, 2010

Storytime: Friendship Day

Saturday, July 24th 2010 at 11:00 AM


24 July 2010 @ 11am

Storytime: Friendship Day
The bestest thing in the world is to have a great friend, and also to be a good friend. Today we are having Friend Day, and we are reading stories about friendship and how important it is. Please bring along a friend today and come and listen to stories on the carpet with Jody and Helen. We will be making friendship bracelets to share.


James Brabazon: My Friend the Mercenary – A Memoir

Friday, July 23rd 2010 at 6:00 PM

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23 July 2010 @ 6 for 6.30pm

James Brabazon: My Friend the Mercenary – A Memoir
Please note this event starts at 6 for 6.30pm. James Brabazon will be in conversation with John Maytham.
In a fly-blown bar in West Africa, British war reporter James Brabazon found himself being briefed on covert military plans to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea by one of Africa’s most notorious mercenaries – his friend Nick du Toit. The Byzantine plot, its farcical execution and its tragic consequences led to Simon Mann and a host of celebrated guns-for-hire falling victim to their own avaricious plans, Machiavellian scheming and ruthless double-crosses. In a twist of fate, James Brabazon remained free. His mercenary friend wasn’t so lucky. Nick du Toit was sentenced to serve thirty-four years in Black Beach prison, Africa’s most notorious jail – a sentence which James could have been serving alongside him. Their unlikely friendship began two years earlier on the bloody battlefields of the Liberian civil war. With Nick as his bodyguard, James was the only journalist to film behind rebel lines. Establishing him as a brave and talented filmmaker, the war tested James’s physical and moral boundaries to the limit – and opened a door on to a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies and violent regime change. My Friend the Mercenary recounts James’s courageous journey into the Liberian war, and tells the inside story of the most infamous coup attempt in recent history. Through this gripping narrative, James Brabazon explodes the myth of the modern mercenary, and paints a moving portrait of an extraordinary friendship. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor and friend in the morally corrosive crucible of war.
A classic story of intrigue, greed and violence.’                Sebastian Junger

Outstanding…I couldn’t put this book down.’   Andy McNab