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Launch of Writing What We Like compiled by Yolisa Qunta

Tuesday, May 31st 2016 at 5:30 PM

WRITING WHAT WE LIKE‘We still dream, but the innocence of the promise of freedom is lost.’

From the serious to the lighthearted, this book presents a snapshot of what smart young South Africans think about living in South Africa today. From black tax and whitesplaining, all the way to hip hop and kinky sex, it is provocative, fearlessly honest, and often very funny.

Shaka Sisulu tackles being black and privileged, Simphiwe Dana pleads for mother tongue education, Yolisa Qunta shares lessons learnt from taking the taxi, while David Kau, Loyiso Gola and Sivuyile Ngesi provide comic relief.

Writing what we like will spark debates in workplaces, in bars, and around the dinner table both ekasi and in the suburbs for some time to come

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Special event with The Centre for African Language Diversity

Monday, May 30th 2016 at 5:30 PM

caldi_launch
Katrina Esau, alias Ouma Geelmeid, is the youngest of the three remaining speakers of Nǀuu. In tandem with her granddaughter, Claudia du Plessis, she has been engaged in teaching her highly endangered mother tongue for more than a decade. The Centre for African Language Diversity Centre (CALDi) at UCT has been supporting these teaching efforts through the development of educational materials since 2012.

Nǀuu is one of the more than 100 distinct non-Bantu click languages which were spoken by hunter-gatherers before the arrival of Khoekhoe pastoralists and various Bantu-speaking peoples. The spread of European settlers in Southern Africa accelerated the rapid physical and cultural decline of hunter-gatherer communities and surviving members were marginalised and linguistically assimilated. Today, Nǀuu is the last of these languages still spoken in South Africa.

The trilingual Nǀuu-Afrikaans-English reader which will be launched at the Book Lounge has been produced in collaboration with ǂKhomani community members. It is now being used in the Nǀuu language classes conducted by Ouma Geelmeid. Even though it was mainly designed as a language teaching tool, it will also be of interest to the wider public as well as an academic audience. The reader documents a language on the brink of extinction and plays a crucial role in the practical implementation of the community’s aspirations to revive their heritage language.

The reader is not available for sale, but can be freely downloaded on OpenUCT here.

 

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May 2016

Monday, May 30th 2016 at 11:56 AM

Fiction

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

Pure, sensuous enjoyment.”             Times

The stories collected in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours are linked by more than the exquisitely winding prose of their creator: Helen Oyeyemi’s ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another.

The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi’s Day.

It is a collection of towering imagination, marked by baroque beauty and a deep sensuousness.

Oyeyemi’s imagination is impressive and vast . . . Her ability to conceive her stories on such a grand scale is what makes her work so magnetic, sucking the reader into any number of netherworlds. Perhaps it’s this ability to consume and be consumed that keeps Oyeyemi constantly, and prolifically, at work.”                              Guardian

Transcendent . . . the pleasurable awareness of a story being told courses through the collection like electricity . . . Oyeyemi expertly melds the everyday, the fantastic and the eternal . . . with each story I had the delightful and rare experience of being utterly surprised . . . Oyeyemi has created a universe that dazzles and wounds.”                      New York Times

Ethereal beauty and unexpected humour.”             Independent on Sunday

Ladivine by Marie NDiaye

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016

Clarisse Rivière’s life is shaped by a refusal to admit to her husband Richard and to her daughter Ladivine that her mother is a poor black housekeeper. Instead, weighed down by guilt, she pretends to be an orphan, visiting her mother in secret and telling no-one of her real identity as Malinka, daughter of Ladivine Sylla.

In time, her lies turn against her. Richard leaves Clarisse, frustrated by the unbridgeable, indecipherable gulf between them. Clarisse is devastated, but finds solace in a new man, Freddy Moliger, who is let into the secret about her mother, and is even introduced to her.

But Ladivine, her daughter, who is now married herself, cannot shake a bad feeling about her mother’s new lover, convinced that he can bring only chaos and pain into her life. When she is proved right, in the most tragic circumstances, the only comfort the family can turn to requires a leap of faith beyond any they could have imagined.

Centred around three generations of women, whose seemingly cursed lineage is defined by the weight of origins, the pain of alienation and the legacy of shame, Ladivine is a beguiling story of secrets, lies, guilt and forgiveness by one of Europe’s most unique literary voices.

“Ladivine is a real jewel… impeccable craftsmanship, refined phrasing that swirls with description, and a bewitching story. All of the author’s talents are on display here.”               Marianne Payot, Express

Marie NDiaye’s new novel is magnificent. A mesmerising dive into the chaos in the lineage of three women.”             LaLibreBelgique

Relativity by Antonia Hayes

“Help,” he said. “He’s not breathing.”

A tiny baby is rushed to hospital. Doctors suspect he was shaken by his father, who is later charged and convicted. The baby grows up in the care of his mother. Life goes on.

Twelve years later, Ethan is a singular young boy. Gifted with an innate affinity for physics and astronomy, Ethan sees the world in ways others simply can’t – through a prism of light, time, stars and space.

Ethan is the centre of his mother’s universe. Claire has tried to protect him from finding out what happened when he was a baby. But the older Ethan gets, the more questions he asks about his absent father.

A single handwritten letter is all it takes to set off a dramatic chain of events, pulling both parents back together again into Ethan’s orbit. As the years seem to warp and bend, the past is both relived and revealed anew for each of them.

Relativity is wonderful, a beautifully written, heartbreaking novel that I feel certain will find the huge audience it deserves.”                   S J Watson, author of Before I Go To Sleep

Relativity is a novel of assured and measured empathy, a story of familial love and familial hurt that is fair, honest and remarkably non-judgemental. Hayes is a convincing writer and a true storyteller: her characters are alive.”              Christis Tsiolkas, author of The Slap

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

An addictive, propulsive read.”                                Sunday Times

When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided.

Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is – bewilderingly – made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

In a powerful combination of both humour and heartbreak, this dazzling novel weaves little-known history, and a perfect love story, through the vast sweep of the Second World War – daring us to understand that, against the great theatre of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs, that change us most.

Cleave cements his reputation as a skilful storyteller, and a sensitive chronicler of the interplay between the political and the personal . . . intricately researched and evocatively conveyed.”               Observer

The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary.

But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and, most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.

When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband’s violent past might also be his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly.

The Blade Artist is an elegant, electrifying novel – ultra violent but curiously redemptive – and it marks the return of one of modern fiction’s most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting.

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

Ghosts, murder, a terrifying psychotic who seems normal, and beautiful writing. Loved it.” Stephen King

Can make you gasp in astonishment or break your heart with a single line.”                    Wall St Journal

Upstate New York, 1980s

The farm stood at the foot of the hill. Around it, an aching emptiness of fields and wind. Within, a weight, a sense of being occupied, with more than its inhabitants.

The Clares got it cheap. George knew why, though he didn’t let on ­- he didn’t want to give Catherine any excuses. He’d given her an easy excuse to get married. He wasn’t prepared to give away much more.

Catherine, at home with their young daughter, has the feeling they’re not alone. She is helped by the Hale boys, young Cole and his brothers. Though they never tell her what happened to their mother in this house.

As the seasons burn and then bite, the Clares will find their place in this small upstate community. George, the inscrutable professor; his beautiful, brittle wife. He will try to tame the hollow need inside him. She will pull strength from the friends she makes. But as their marriage splinters, so too does the border between sanity and rage; between this world, and the inexplicable beyond.

With masterful tension and understanding of human nature, Elizabeth Brundage has crafted a novel that is at once a community’s landscape spanning twenty years and an intimate portrait of a disturbed mind. This is new American fiction at its most piercing, ambitious and chilling.

Brundage’s brilliant new novel is as terrifyingly unsettling-and as beautiful-as cracking ice over a raging river.”                        Caroline Leavitt

I bloody loved this. I could have taken weeks over it, lingering on the harmony and beauty of her language and the creeping delicacy of what was going on – but the plot and the people pull you in. It’s an iceberg in disguise.”                        Louisa Young

Superb . . . think a more literary, and feminist, Gone Girl. As the seemingly perfect marriage at its core reminds us, the most lethal deceptions are the stories we tell ourselves.”                Vogue

The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer.

In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.

Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

“The Ashes of London presents a breathtakingly ambitious picture of an era… The multiple narrative strands are drawn together in a brilliantly orchestrated finale.”             Financial Times

This is terrific stuff: intelligent, engrossing and, in its evocation of a long-vanished London, wonderfully plausible.”            Daily Telegraph

Thrilling… Gripping, fast-moving and credible… It’s a well-constructed political thriller with moments of horror, admirable and enjoyable. Taylor has done his research so thoroughly as to be unobtrusive.”                    Spectator

“The Ashes of London is a chilling murder mystery and an equally transporting historical novel. A genuine pleasure from start to finish.”               Peter Swanson, author of A Kind Worth Killing

Fellside by M.R. Carey

A haunting and heart-breaking new thriller from the author of the bestseller The Girl With All the Gifts

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

It’s a place where even the walls whisper.

And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.

Will she listen?

An intense, haunting thriller with heart. You will not want to put this down.”                   Laini Taylor

A fantastic, twist-upon-twist, shape-shifting novel. Gripping, deeply affecting and arrestingly beautiful, it is a haunting tale of raw horror and extraordinary redemption. I adored every page.”                        Miranda Dickinson

“[A] grand piece of storytelling.”                   Sunday Express

Moskva by Jack Grimwood

Red Square, 1985. The naked body of a young man is left outside the walls of the Kremlin; frozen solid – like marble to the touch – missing the little finger from his right hand.

A week later, Alex Marston, the headstrong fifteen year old daughter of the British Ambassador disappears. Army Intelligence Officer Tom Fox, posted to Moscow to keep him from telling the truth to a government committee, is asked to help find her. It’s a shot at redemption.

But Russia is reluctant to give up the worst of her secrets. As Fox’s investigation sees him dragged deeper towards the dark heart of a Soviet establishment determined to protect its own so his fears grow, with those of the girl’s father, for Alex’s safety.

And if Fox can’t find her soon, she looks likely to become the next victim of a sadistic killer whose story is bound tight to that of his country’s terrible past . . .

Tom Fox is well drawn, the action scenes are filled with energy and tension, but the real hero of Moskva is Russia itself, bleak, corrupt, falling apart, but with an incurable humanity.”                      Tom Callaghan

Like the city herself, Jack Grimwood’s Moskva is richly layered, stylish, beautifully constructed, and full of passion beneath the chills. Part political thriller, part historical novel, part a story of personal redemptions, Moskva cements Jack Grimwood as a powerful new voice in thriller writing. Not to be missed.”                Sarah Pinborough

The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

After being court-martialed for their actions during the Civil War, a band of hardened Union soldiers recast themselves as outlaws. Among these twisted men who ve found brotherhood in battle are a psychopathic killer, a mean, moronic pair of brothers, an impassive ex-slave, a dangerous child prodigy and, at the malevolent center, their cold, stoic leader: Augustus Winter, a man with an almost pathological resistance to society’s rules and a preternatural gift for butchery that is matched only by his eerie charisma.

From political thuggery during a Chicago election to work as bounty hunters in the deserts of Arizona, Winter and his crew follow a grim, borderland morality that plays out, time and again, in ruthless carnage.

Clifford Jackman uses the adventures of a gleefully nihilistic group of outlaws to tell the story of ‘civilization’s’ implacable march westward… If Sam Peckinpah had been a novelist rather than a filmmaker, this is the book he would’ve written: brutal, at times darkly funny, and utterly gripping from the first page to the last.”                   Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan

The Last Days of Jack Sparks

Jack Sparks died while writing this book.
It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now.

Wow. Seriously hard to put down…Chilling and utterly immersive.”          M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All The Gifts

“This is The Omen for the social media age.”                       Chris Brookmyre,

Wittier than the lovechild of Stephen Fry and Charlie Brooker, scarier than watching The Exorcist in an abandoned asylum.”                      Sarah Lotz, author of The Three

Non-Fiction

The Mysterious World of the Human Genome by Frank Ryan

How could a relatively simple chemical code give rise to the complexity of a human being? How could our human genome have evolved? And how does it actually work?

Over the past 50 years we have deciphered the inner workings of the human genome. From the basic structure of DNA through to the complete sequence of the code, what first appeared to be simple is actually a complex and beautiful three-dimensional world that makes each of us who we are.

In The Mysterious World of the Human Genome acclaimed science writer Frank Ryan leads us through the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last 50 years, revealing how this science has unlocked the cure of some genetic diseases, developed the use of DNA in forensic science and paternity testing, helped us trace our ancestors and provided a definitive map for the movement of humans out of Africa. This scientific journey has had a profound impact on our understanding of the evolution of life itself, through the role of the most ancient of organisms in our basic biology all the way to the revelation that our most recent ancestor, Homo neanderthalensis, lives on in many of us.

In the ever more complicated world of the human genome, this is the first book to explain how the human genome actually works as a whole and how that knowledge will have a profound effect on our understanding of where we have come from and where we are likely to be going in the future.

No Need for Geniuses: Revolutionary Science in the Age of the Guillotine by Stephen Jones

Paris at the time of the French Revolution was the world capital of science. Its scholars laid the foundations of today’s physics, chemistry and biology. They were true revolutionaries: agents of an upheaval both of understanding and of politics.
Many had an astonishing breadth of talents. The Minister of Finance just before the upheaval did research on crystals and the spread of animal disease. After it, Paris’s first mayor was an astronomer, the general who fought off invaders was a mathematician while Marat, a major figure in the Terror, saw himself as a leading physicist. Paris in the century around 1789 saw the first lightning conductor, the first flight, the first estimate of the speed of light and the invention of the tin can and the stethoscope. The metre replaced the yard and the theory of evolution came into being.
The city was saturated in science and many of its monuments still are. The Eiffel Tower, built to celebrate the Revolution’s centennial, saw the world’s first wind-tunnel and first radio message, and first observation of cosmic rays.
Perhaps the greatest Revolutionary scientist of all, Antoine Lavoisier, founded modern chemistry and physiology, transformed French farming, and much improved gunpowder manufacture. His political activities brought him a fortune, but in the end led to his execution. The judge who sentenced him – and many other researchers – claimed that ‘the Revolution has no need for geniuses’. In this enthralling and timely book Steve Jones shows how wrong this was and takes a sideways look at Paris, its history, and its science, to give a dazzling new insight into the City of Light.

An ingenious guidebook to the scientific past of Paris, written in lucid, erudite prose.”                            Ruth Scurr, New Statesman

The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg & the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich by Robert K Wittman and David Kinney

A page-turning narrative of the Nazi rise to power, the Holocaust, and Hitler’s post-invasion plans for Russia told through the recently discovered lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg – Hitler’s ‘philosopher’ and architect of Nazi ideology.

A groundbreaking historical work, The Devil’s Diary offers a chilling window into the mind of Adolf Hitler’s ‘chief social philosopher’, Alfred Rosenberg, who formulated some of the guiding principles behind the Third Reich’s genocidal crusade. It also chronicles the thrilling detective hunt for Rosenberg’s diary, which disappeared after the Nuremburg Trials and remained lost for almost three quarters of a century, until author Robert Wittman, a former FBI special agent who founded the Bureau’s Art Crimes Team, played an important role and tells the story now for the first time.

The authors contextualize more than 400 pages of diary entries stretching from 1936 through 1944, in which the loyal Hitler advisor recounts internal meetings with the Führer and his close associates Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler; details jealousy and rivalries within the Nazi leadership – particularly with Goebbels; describes the post-invasion occupation of the Soviet Union; considers the ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish question’; and discusses his overseeing of the mass seizure and cataloguing of books and artwork from homes, libraries, and museums across occupied Europe. An eyewitness to events, this narrative of Rosenberg’s diary offers provocative and intimate insights into pivotal moments in the war and the notorious Nazi who laid the philosophical foundations of the Third Reich.

This engaging book deftly combines the various strands of the story … Lively and well written … Part detective story, part history book it restores Rosenberg to his rightful place … A fascinating read.”             The Times

Cannot be recommended too highly.”          New York Journal of Books

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

Shortlisted for a British Book Industry Book of the Year Award 2016

Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories – from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia – still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today.

SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world’s foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome.

SPQR is the Romans’ own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, ‘the Senate and People of Rome’.

Fast-moving, exciting, psychologically acute, warmly skeptical.”               Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

Vastly engaging … a tremendously enjoyable and scholarly read.”                        Observer

Masterful … This is exemplary popular history, engaging but never dumbed down, providing both the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life.”               Economist

This book is a treasure, both as a fascinating read in itself and as a fine work of reference to correct our lazy misconceptions about an ancient world that still has much to instruct us today.”               Herald

The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power & Intrigue in an English Stately Home by Natalie Livingstone

A Sunday Times bestseller – Five women. One house. One extraordinary history.

From its construction in the 1660s to its heyday in the 1960s, Cliveden played host to a dynasty of remarkable and powerful women.

Anna Maria, Elizabeth, Augusta, Harriet, and Nancy were five ladies who, over the course of three centuries, shaped British society through their beauty, personalities, and political influence.

Restoration and revolution, aristocratic rise and fall, world war and cold war form the extraordinary backdrop against which their stories unfold.

An addictive history of the period and an intimate exploration of the timeless relationships between people and place, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a story of sex, power and politics, and the ways in which exceptional women defy the expectations of their time.

Narratively enthralling … chronicled with scholarship, readability, wit and a fine eye for telling detail.”                        Evening Standard

Her scholarship is considerable and yet she wears it lightly, producing a book which is always lively, entertaining and immensely readable.”                 Daily Express

Wide-ranging and deliciously enjoyable…”              Telegraph

The Moth Snowstorm: Nature & Joy by Michael McCarthy

A great, rhapsodic, urgent book full of joy, grief, rage and love . . . A must-read.”                       Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

Nature has many gifts for us, but perhaps the greatest of them all is joy; the intense delight we can take in the natural world, in its beauty, in the wonder it can offer us, in the peace it can provide – feelings stemming ultimately from our own unbreakable links to nature, which mean that we cannot be fully human if we are separate from it.

In The Moth Snowstorm Michael McCarthy, one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment proposes this joy as a defence of a natural world which is ever more threatened, and which, he argues, is inadequately served by the two defences put forward hitherto: sustainable development and the recognition of ecosystem services.

Drawing on a wealth of memorable experiences from a lifetime of watching and thinking about wildlife and natural landscapes, The Moth Snowstorm not only presents a new way of looking at the world around us, but effortlessly blends with it a remarkable and moving memoir of childhood trauma from which love of the natural world emerged. It is a powerful, timely, and wholly original book which comes at a time when nature has never needed it more.

Impassioned, polemical and personal . . . In the autobiographical passages nature is a marvel and a solace. . . At its heart, this is a book aiming to persuade those who are broadly sympathetic to think in a different way, and in that it is surely a success – and a joy.”                       Independent

Deserves to be widely read.”                        Scotsman

The natural world, whether birdsong, butterflies or wild flowers, can give us joy. It can bring us peace. The ability of nature to do this, through a sense of awe, is articulated beautifully in a book by Michael McCarthy, The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy. His quest to track down every British butterfly as a tribute to his dead mother brought me to tears.”               Sunday Times

In his beautiful book . . . Michael McCarthy suggests that a capacity to love the natural world, rather than merely to exist within it, might be a uniquely human trait.”             Guardian

Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Adam Hochschild

From the moment it began in 1936, the Spanish Civil War became the political question of the age. Hitler and Mussolini quickly sent aircraft, troops and supplies to the right-wing generals bent on overthrowing Spain’s elected government. Millions of people around the world felt passionately that rapidly advancing fascism must be halted in Spain; if not there, where? More than 35,000 volunteers from dozens of other countries went to help defend the Spanish Republic.

Adam Hochschild, the acclaimed author of King Leopold’s Ghost, evokes this tumultuous period mainly through the lives of Americans involved in the war. A few are famous, such as Ernest Hemingway, but others are less familiar. They include a nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman, a fiery leftist who came to wartime Spain on her honeymoon; a young man who ran away from his Pennsylvania college and became the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid; and a swashbuckling Texas oilman who covertly violated US law and sold Generalissimo Francisco Franco most of the fuel for his army. Two New York Times reporters, fierce rivals, covered the war from opposite sides, with opposite sympathies. There are Britons in Hochschild’s cast of characters as well: one, a London sculptor, fought with the American battalion; another, who had just gone down from Cambridge, joined Franco’s army and found himself fighting against the Americans; and a third is someone whose experience of combat in Spain had a profound effect on his life, George Orwell.

Beautifully written with a hawk-eye for the telling anecdote, Spain in Our Hearts constitutes an endlessly fascinating and utterly unputdownable survey of the war to defend democracy in Spain that was not only the first act of the Second World War but also, for many across the world, the last great cause.”              Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, and Revenge

Atlas of Lost Cities: A Travel Guide to Abandoned & Forsaken Places by Aude de Tocqueville

Like humans, cities are mortal. They are born, they thrive, and they eventually die. In Atlas of Lost Cities, Aude de Tocqueville tells the compelling narrative of the rise and fall of such notable places as Pompeii, Teotihuacán, and Angkor. She also details the less well known, including Centralia, an abandoned Pennsylvania town consumed by unquenchable underground fire; Nova Citas de Kilamba in Angola, where housing, schools, and stores were built for 500,000 people that never came; and Epecuen, a tourist town in Argentina now swallowed up by water. Original artwork shows the location of the lost cities, as well as a depiction of how they looked when they thrived.

Creative Schools: Revolustionising Education from the Ground Up by Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education. In this inspiring, empowering book, he sets out a new vision for how education can be transformed to enable all young people to flourish. Filled with practical examples and groundbreaking research, it will inspire the change our children urgently need.

Compelling … an elegant, powerfully written manifesto for change.”       Tristram Hunt, Guardian

Inspires and brings a new sense of possibility to the goal of transforming education . . . This is a global game-changer.”                    Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly

Wonderful and enjoyable.”               Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize Laureate

A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid from the Taliban in Plain Sight by Maria Toorpakai

Armed with a squash racket and enormous will, Maria Toorpakai has risen from the turmoil of tribal life in Pakistan to become not only a world-class athlete, but a true inspiration, a pioneer for millions of other women struggling to pave their own paths to autonomy, fulfilment and genuine personhood.”                 Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

Maria Toorpakai Wazir has lived her life disguised as a boy, defying the Taliban, in order to pursue her love of sport. Coming second in a national junior weightlifting event for boys, Maria decided to put her future in her own hands by going in disguise. When she discovered squash and was easily beating all the boys, life became more dangerous.

Heart-stopping and profoundly moving, Maria shares the story of her long road and eventual triumph, pursuing the sport she loved, defying death threats and following her dream.

It’s hard enough to become the best in the world at anything. It’s even harder when people want to kill you just for trying.”                  Mary Carillo – NBC Sports

A vivid personal account of a courageous young woman standing up to one of the world’s most oppressive theocracies.”               Kirkus Reviews

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the World Economy by Mervyn King

The past twenty years saw unprecedented growth and stability followed by the worst financial crisis the industrialised world has ever witnessed. In the space of little more than a year what had been seen as the age of wisdom was viewed as the age of foolishness. Almost overnight, belief turned into incredulity.

Most accounts of the recent crisis focus on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of what went wrong. But those events, vivid though they remain in our memories, comprised only the latest in a long series of financial crises since our present system of commerce became the cornerstone of modern capitalism. Alchemy explains why, ultimately, this was and remains a crisis not of banking – even if we need to reform the banking system – nor of policy-making – even if mistakes were made – but of ideas.

In this refreshing and vitally important book, former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King – an actor in this drama – proposes revolutionary new concepts to answer the central question: are money and banking a form of Alchemy or are they the Achilles heel of a modern capitalist economy?

I have read umpteen books about the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and its lessons. This is the cleverest one, brimming over with new ideas. While other “lords of finance” publish memoirs, King has produced a brilliant analysis not only of what went wrong in the global financial system, but also of what went wrong in economics itself.”             Niall Ferguson

An outstandingly lucid account of postwar economic policymaking and the dilemmas we now face. [King] is a master of the well-turned phrase, the apposite quote and the pungent boutade. It is rare to encounter a book on economics quite as intellectually exhilarating as The End of Alchemy – a dazzling performance indeed.”             Financial Times

Mervyn King may well have written the most important book to come out of the financial crisis. From his extraordinary perspective as a brilliant economist who made policy at the highest level, he issues a clarion call for new ideas and new policies, and then delivers. Agree or disagree, King’s arguments deserve the attention of everyone from economics students to heads of state.”                     Lawrence H. Summers

The depth of King’s thinking is impressive, and he makes a powerful case for putting “radical uncertainty” at the heart of any formal attempt to model economies . . . an exceptionally thought-provoking book – and might even become a modern landmark once its many fresh ideas have percolated.”              Independent

Wide ranging, historically informed and elegantly written . . . Like Keynes he is well aware that economics is in the end about people . . . Life is an art, not a science, and this richly rewarding treatise confirms that truth.”                 David Kynaston, Guardian

Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things by Rebecca Roke

An inspiring, surprising and fun collection of 300 works of small-scale architecture including demountable, portable, transportable and inflatable structures as well as pavilions, installations, sheds, cabins, pods, capsules and tree houses.

The words Roke uses to describe small-scale architecture can also be used for the book she has produced: ‘inspiring, surprising and delightful.”                         ArchitectsJournal

300 intriguing small-scale works, from pavilions, installations and cabins to colourful homes for cats, dogs and even bees.”                 Elle Decoration

“[T]here’s a little genius behind all these little buildings… Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things celebrates a wide range of designs, and shows good things certainly do come in small packages.”               Cool Hunting

“Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things, a new book filled with pint-sized architectural projects, shows just how much you can do with a tiny footprint.”              Mental_Floss

Books That Changed My Life by Bethanne Patrick

One hundred of today’s most prominent literary and cultural icons talk about the books that hold a special place in their hearts and made them who they are today. Leading authors, politicians, CEOs, actors, and other notables share the books that changed their life, why they love them, and their passion with readers everywhere. Regan Arts has teamed up with the literary charity 826National, which will receive a portion of the book’s proceeds to provide students ages 6-18 with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills.

Turns out great writers are also great readers. Or at least the ones in this book are. Their essays will entertain you and move you and also add several dozen titles to your reading list. So beware.”                    A.J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically

Black Sheep: The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad by Richard Stephens

Richard Stephens became the focus of international media attention in 2009 for his research on the psychological benefits of swearing as a response to pain. Now, fresh from winning the 2014 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, Richard’s first popular science book uncovers other pieces of surprising and occasionally bizarre scientific enquiry showing that what we at first perceive as bad can, in fact, be good.

More pub conversation than science book, Richard’s writing style is very accessible – both engaging and humorous. Think wasting time is bad? Not always! Research shows that taking time out can help you solve difficult problems. And if you can’t be bothered tidying up, well fine, research shows that people are more creative in a messy environment. Swearing is rude but research shows that in some situations it can be a form of politeness. Swearing can also be used as a tool of persuasion.

Black Sheep casts a slant on a range of human experiences from life to death, sex to romance, from speed thrills to halting boredom and from drinking alcohol (in moderation) to headily excessive bad language. This is a fascinating left-field tour of the world of psychological science. Get ready for the many hidden benefits of being bad that you really won’t have seen coming.

Nick Cave

Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave

The Sick Bag Song is an exploration of love, inspiration and memory. It began life scribbled on airline sick bags during Cave’s 22-city journey around North America in 2014. It soon grew into a restless full-length contemporary epic.

Spurred by encounters with modern day North America, and racked by romantic longing and exhaustion, Cave teases out the significant moments, the people, the books and the music that have influenced and inspired him, and drops them into his sick bag.

About as rock’n’roll as you can get . . . [The Sick Bag Song] is shot through with fantasy, fiction, apocalyptic musings and tall stories.”                    Sunday Times

An epic narrative poem about his travels across North America . . . Cave is experimenting with a new literary form – a mash-up of prose, poetry, song lyrics and autobiography.”                        New York Times

Part tour diary and part free-ranging rumination on the business of performance. Capture[s] the mind-frazzling disorientation of “the road.”               Guardian

A page turning mash up from the prince of darkness.”                   Independent

Mad and amazing.”               Ian Rankin

Local

The Spirit of District Six by Cloete Breytenbach

The spirit of District Six was in the hearts and minds of its people at that time, not the houses they lived in.

The Cape Town area known as District Six developed into a dense residential area close to the center of Cape Town during the second part of the nineteenth century. Home to a diverse community with a wide range of historical origins, neglect on the part of landlords and local authorities led to the area becoming rundown. The government repeatedly directed requests to the city council and the landlords – most of whom were white and not residing in the area – to upgrade what was fast becoming a slum on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On 11 February 1966, the government declared District Six a white area under the Group Areas Act, and the wholesale removal of the inhabitants was started – mainly to areas away from the city. This process took fifteen years and some 60 000 people were removed.

Through his images Cloete Breytenbach captures the spirit of the people of District Six. They tell the story of a place and culture that was one of a kind, but is no more.

 

Always Anastacia: A Transgender Life in South Africa by Anastacia Tomson

I stand in front of the mirror as I remind myself that I don’t have to wear the uniform anymore. I don’t have to dress myself in men’s attire. I can grow out my nails, and paint them with polish. I am finally free to have my ears pierced. I can speak in the voice that I’ve spent so many hours cultivating with my speech therapist. I don’t have to hide my disgust anymore at being called “boet” or “sir.” I no longer have to tolerate any references to my deadname.”

Anastacia has fought hard for her right to live, held back for decades by a body that didn’t fit, and an identity that never belonged to her. At first, it had seemed impossible – like transition was some romantic, impractical ideal that was incompatible with reality. But now, after five months of hormone therapy, countless sessions of painful laser hair removal, multiple appointments with doctors and psychologists, it is very much a reality. Born into a Jewish family in Johannesburg and raised by her parents as a boy, Anastacia Tomson was never sure just how much of her persistent internal discomfort to blame on an often troubled family life. She qualified and practised as a doctor, but it would take a great deal more clear-sighted and difficult questioning to finally find peace and self-acceptance, as a woman. This memoir is a clarion call for a more nuanced understanding of trans people and the concepts of sex, gender and identity.

Living the Best Day Ever by Hendri Coetzee

He preferred to assume that plenty was still unknown, and to accept that fear was the price you paid for paddling into Nature’s secrets.”            Economist, Obituary, December 29, 2010

This is a true story of the greatest African explorer you have never heard of. Equipped with a core philosophy and a lot of luck, Hendri Coetzee embarks on a series of increasingly outrageous adventures in search of what he calls the best day ever. Through a series of harrowing and often hilarious experiences, he is subjected to gruelling challenges in the most unique and compelling classroom on earth: the rivers and jungles of Africa.

Recognised for his unique approach to extreme adventures, Johannes Hendrik (Hendri) Coetzee was a true African explorer; a modern day incarnation of the nineteenth century mould of Livingston, Stanley, Baker, Burton and Speke. A South African, born in 1975, he ventured into the depths of Africa evoking the legacy of his predecessors when he jokingly referred to himself as a ‘Great White Explorer’. Coetzee spent more than a decade risking his life on the riverine veins that pulse thorough the heart of Africa, only to discover an intangible way to feel most alive.

The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the World Cup by Ray Hartley

Everyone has wonderful memories of the 2010 Fifa World Cup

In June 2010, the richest World Cup ever kicked off as delirious South African fans gathered in a rare act of national unity to make the world’s biggest sporting event a success. The magnificent new stadiums were packed and the streets were safe. It all went off like clockwork.

 But behind this impressive achievement lay billions in wasted public money, crooked companies rigging construction tenders and the fixing of a string of matches involving the national team. Tragically, one of those who blew the whistle would pay with his life.

 Then, in May 2015, the arrest of Fifa executives revealed that the tournament’s very foundations were rotten. Evidence emerged that South Africa had encouraged Fifa to pay money to a corrupt member of its executive to secure three votes in favour of its hosting the tournament.

As Sepp Blatter’s Fifa edifice crumbled, a web of transactions, from New York to Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands, showed how money was diverted to ensure that South Africa’s bid to host the tournament succeeded.

In The Big Fix, Ray Hartley reveals the truth about the rotten foundation on which an epic national achievement was built, exposing the people who used the event to amass wealth and power. This is the real story of the 2010 World Cup.

Fordsburg Fighter: The Journey of an MK Volunteer by Amin Cajee

When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle he believed he had volunteered to serve a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime. Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, “I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption.” Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical journey – from home in South Africa, to training in Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania to England. The book is both a significant contribution to opening up the hidden history of exile, and a documentation of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to disillusionment.

In his introduction to the book, Paul Joseph, ex-treason trialist, South African Communist Party member and MK recruiter, writes:

What happened to them and to the others in that chaotic and confused time is both sad and tragic. But his honestly told story is essential for us to have a fuller picture of our history, if only to ensure, perhaps, that future generations will learn from our mistakes.”

Dr Philip’s Empire: One Man’s Struggle for Justice in Nineteenth-Century South Africa by Tim Keegan

Dr John Philip towered over nineteenth-century South African history, championing the rights of indigenous people against the growing power of white supremacy, but today he is largely forgotten or misremembered.

From the time he arrived in South Africa as superintendent of the London Missionary Society in 1819, Philip played a major role in the idealist and humanitarian campaigns of the day, fighting for the emancipation of slaves, protecting the Khoi against injustice, and opposing the dispossession of the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape.

A fascinating picture of South Africa and the British Empire during a time of great change, Dr Philip’s Empire documents Philip’s encounters with Dutch colonists, English settlers and indigenous South Africans, his never-ending battles with fellow missionaries and colonial authorities, and his lobbying among the powerful for indigenous people’s civil rights.

A controversial and influential figure, Philip was considered an interfering radical subversive by believers in white superiority, but he has been labelled a condescending, hypocritical ‘white liberal’ in a more modern age. This book seeks to revive him from these judgements and to recover the real man and his noble but doomed struggles for justice in the context of his times.

The Road to Soweto by Julian Brown

This account of the decade that preceded the Soweto uprising of June 1976 not only transforms our understanding of this crucial flashpoint of South Africa’s history, but also creates a longer, more evolutionary, historical narrative for the overthrow of apartheid. It argues that the suppression of opposition movements after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 did not lead to a period of ‘quiescence’, as many writers maintain, in which activists retreated into private acts of dissent and the opposition went underground, followed, a decade later, by a sudden eruption of the townships, first in Soweto, and then across the country. Rather, these years were marked by experiments in resistance and attempts to develop new forms of politics which prepared the ground for the uprising in Soweto, introducing new modes of organisation, new models of protest, and new ideas of resistance, identity, and political ideology to a generation of activists.

This book begins by showing how students at South Africa’s segregated white and black universities began to re-organise themselves as a political force; how new ideas about race reinvigorated political thought; and how debates around confrontation shaped the development of new forms of protest. The author then builds upon this narrative to show how protest began to move off university campuses and onto the streets: through the independent actions of workers in Durban, and then through attempts by students to link their struggles with a more public political agenda. These actions made protest public once again, and helped establish the patterns of popular action and state response that would come to shape the events in Soweto on 16 June 1976.

For Younger Readers

Tidy by Emily Gravett

From the creator of Meerkat Mail and Dogs, comes a very funny rhyming woodland story about the perils of being too tidy.

Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates quickly and ends with the complete destruction of the forest! Will Pete realise the error of his ways and set things right?

Lush foliage and delightfully funny characters abound in this dramatic tale of overzealous neatness that delivers its message of environmental preservation with subtlety and humour. The freshness and vibrancy of the illustrations, the endearing charm of the animal characters, and the many deft comic details throughout make this a very special book. With a sumptuous double-sided jacket and a breathtaking series of die-cuts from the cover through to the title page, once you enter this forest, you’ll never want to leave.

Emily Gravett’s engaging woodland creatures will appeal to fans of such classics as The Animals of

The Great Journey by Agathe Demois and Vincent Godeau

It’s time to fly away! Every year, birds from around the world leave their homes and gather together in the jungle. This is the first time Red Beak has joined the birds’ great journey, and he has a long way to travel.

Follow Red Beak as he flies to the other side of the world and use the magic viewfinder inside the book to discover what’s really going on behind the scenes. As Red Beak flies over forests, farmlands, cities, and even the North Pole, readers can use the viewfinder to see some amazing hidden sights: acrobatic ants, a cruise-ship crocodile, factories in the clouds—even a monkey playing the cello!

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

Poetry and children belong together, and for a long time, the music and playfulness of verse wove itself through children’s days and lives. Beastly Verse aims to help return the wonder of poetry to children’s lives through sixteen exquisitely illustrated poems, four of which have the surprise and pleasure of being foldouts. Consisting of playful as well as powerfully memorable poems, Beastly Verse transports the reader into a richly worded world of tigers, hummingbirds, owls, elephants, pelicans, yaks, snails, and even telephones! A playful romp through verse, rhyme, and gorgeous images, this book carries children into the poetic realm in a way that is not only fun and inviting, but inspiring as well! Representing poems from Anonymous, as well as some lesser well-known poets, this volume also includes poems from Lewis Carroll, William Blake, Robert Desnos, Hilaire Belloc, William Cowper, Christina Rossetti, and D.H. Lawrence. Both short and long, these poems can be read and reread, committed to memory and enjoyed all life long.

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill

The Wolves of Currumpaw is a beautifully illustrated modern re-telling of Ernest Thompson Seton’s epic wilderness drama “Lobo, the King of Currumpaw,” originally published in 1898. Set in the dying days of the old west, Seton’s drama unfolds in the vast planes of New Mexico, at a time when man’s relationship with nature was often marked by exploitations and misunderstanding. This is the first graphic adaptation of a massively influential piece of writing by one of the men who went on to form the Boy Scouts of America.

A University of Falmouth graduate and London resident, William Grill’s first book Shackleton’s Journey made him the youngest Kate Greenaway Medal winner since 1960.

For Older Readers

Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen

A moving story of the extraordinary friendship between a boy and his fox, and their epic journey to be reunited. Beautifully illustrated by multi-award winner, Jon Klassen.

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed and he was rescued by ‘his boy’, Peter. Now the country is at war and when his father enlists, Peter has no choice but to move in with his grandfather. Far worse than leaving home is the fact that he has to leave Pax behind. But before Peter spends even one night under his grandfather’s roof he sneaks out into the night, determined to find his beloved friend. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their journeys back to each other as war rampages throughout the country.

Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan

Life isn’t easy for Johnny. He is trying to help his mum, he is looking after his little brother and he is going to a new school. Then Liam Clarke starts to bully him and it all begins to get a lot worse. But when Johnny gets some very surprising help from an unexpected source his life takes a dramatic turn.

A magical story about finding your place and having the courage to fly.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Alaska, 1970: growing up here is like nowhere else.

Ruth wants to be remembered by her grieving mother.
Dora wishes she was invisible to her abusive father.
Alyce is staying at home to please her parents.
Hank is running away for the sake of his brothers.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Because if we don’t save each other, how can we begin to save ourselves?

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s extraordinary, stunning debut is both moving, and deeply authentic. These intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare and wonderful talent.

The physical landscape of Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Alaska is raw, beautiful and wholly unfamiliar, but the true wonder of this thrilling, arresting debut novel is that the emotional landscape feels just as powerful-and just as untrammeled.”                       Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

“Can a robot survive in the wilderness?”
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.
As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.

HAPPY READING!

 

Storytime: Dogs in Space

Saturday, May 28th 2016 at 11:00 AM

dogs in space

SOLD OUT! Down in the Basement: The Plot Hole

Friday, May 27th 2016 at 5:30 PM

PLOTHOLE POSTER

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!!!

Stuart Cairns(Winner Laughmaster 2014) and Westley Cockrell(Winner Joke Slam 2015) are fresh new talents on the South African entertainment scene. They have been producing shows all over South Africa and run several monthly and weekly gigs in Cape Town including hosting, auctioneering and stand-up comedy. Both acts have been featured on numerous occasions on TV, Internet and radio platforms including ‘news 24-Real news funny people’ and Goodhopefm with Nigel Pierce. They performed at the national art festival in 2014 with the Cape Town Comedy Club and were featured on Pants on Fire.In 2015 Cairns and Cockrell produce, wrote and starred in their two man show the Plot Hole.After runs in Cape Town, The National Arts Festival and Johannesburg  The Plot Hole received critical acclaim:

“For an hour, Cairns and Cockrell take you through the wacky process that goes into creating stand-up comedy. Pursuing a career in comedy is not easy, as you will soon learn, and both guys have had their fair share of embarrassment. Instead of quitting though, the duo have transformed their trials and tribulations into one of the funniest stories you will ever hear.”
Cassy Van Eden for www.mediaupdate.co.za

“A highly energetic show. Two whimsical characters take you on an explorative journey to becoming standup comedians. They maintain good humour, despite obstacles in their journey. Their creative use of props and audience interaction guarantee an hour of hearty laughter.”
Simone Ferreira for Cue Magazine

Now in 2016 they have enlisted the services of Rob Van Vuuren to direct the show and take it to the next level.On the 27th of May Down in the Basement brings you the first opportunity to see this amazing show in its new form under the direction of Van Vuuren.

Tickets- R50 Cash. Please note tickets are limited. Mail us or call us to book. No more then 4 tickets per person if booking.

Launch of Bitter Komix 17 by Anton Kannemeyer & Conrad Botes

Thursday, May 26th 2016 at 5:30 PM

bitterkomix

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Launch The End of Whiteness by Nicky Falkof

Wednesday, May 25th 2016 at 5:30 PM

end of whitenessThe End of Whiteness aims to reveal the pathological, paranoid and bizarre consequences that the looming end of apartheid had on white culture in South Africa, and overall to show that whiteness is a deeply problematic category that needs to be deconstructed and thoughtfully considered.

This book uses contemporary media material to investigate two symptoms of this late apartheid cultural hysteria that appeared throughout the contemporary media and in popular literature during the 1980s and 1990s, showing their relation to white anxieties about social change, the potential loss of privilege and the destabilisation of the country that were imagined to be an inevitable consequence of majority rule.

The ‘Satanic panic’ revolved around the apparent threat posed by a cult of white Satanists that was never proven to exist but was nonetheless repeatedly accused of conspiracy, murder, rape, drug-dealing, cannibalism and bestiality, and blamed for the imminent destruction of white Christian civilisation in South Africa.

During the same period an unusually high number of domestic murder-suicides occurred, with parents killing themselves and their children or other family members by gunshot, fire, poison, gas, even crossbows and drownings. This so-called epidemic of family murder was treated by police, press and social scientists as a plague that specifically affected white Afrikaans families. These double monsters, both fantastic and real, helped to disembowel the clarities of whiteness even as they were born out of threats to it. Deep within its self-regarding modernity and renegotiation of identity, contemporary white South Africa still wears those scars of cultural pathology.

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Launch of Continental Shift by Kevin Bloom & Richard Poplak

Tuesday, May 24th 2016 at 5:30 PM

Invitation_Continental Shift launches at Book Lounge

Africa is falling. Africa is succeeding. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on earth. Africa is squandering its bountiful resources. Africa is a roadmap for global development. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future. All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year roadtrip through the paradoxical continent they call home. From pillaged mines in Zimbabwe to the creation of an economic marketplace in Ethiopia; from Namibia’s middle class to the technological challenges facing Nollywood in the 21st Century; from China’s investment in Botswana to the rush for resources in the Congo; and from the birth of Africa’s newest country, South Sudan, to the worsening conflict in CAR, here are eight adventures on the trail of a new Africa. Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent.

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Storytime: Ocean

Saturday, May 21st 2016 at 11:00 AM

oceanThe ocean is swimming with marvellous creatures. Today we’ll be reading about a boy who rescues a whale and keeps it in his bathtub, come and find out what happens next and tell us all about your favourite underwater friends.

Launch of Fordsburg Fighter by Amin Cajee

Thursday, May 19th 2016 at 5:30 PM

fordsburg fighterWhen Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation
struggle he believed he had volunteered to serve ‘a
democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an
oppressive and racist regime’. Instead, he writes, in this
powerful and courageous memoir, ‘I found myself serving a
movement that was relentless in exercising power and
riddled with corruption’.

Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical
journey – from home in South Africa, to training in
Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania to
England. The book is both a significant contribution to
opening up the hidden history of exile, and a documentation
of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to
disillusionment.

Journalist Terry Bell worked with Amin Cajee to finalise the
manuscript. Bell is author of several books, including
Unfinished Business: South Africa, Apartheid and Truth.

RSVP