Book News (2014-2016)

Book News (2014-2016)

A selection of book news and literary events

“The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.” – Zadie Smith

During my time as assistant editor at Sunday Times Books LIVE, I covered many literary events. This a selection of the best book news: from book launches and signings to fairs and festival:.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o receives the 2016 Pak Kyongni Prize in South Korea

Book news

Ngugi wa Thiong’o won the 2016 Pak Kyongni Prize in Wonju, South Korea.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o recently visited South Korea where he received the prestigious Pak Kyongni Prize, an international literary award established in 2011.

With a cash prize of 100 million Korean Won (about US$90 000 or R1.2 million), the Pak Kyongni Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world.

The award ceremony took place on Saturday, 22 October, 2016 at the Toji Cultural Center in the picturesque city of Wonju in Gangwon Province. Books LIVE’s Annetjie van Wynegaard witnessed the historic event.


* * *


“I was Interested in the Things I Couldn’t Find in the Archives” – Saskia Goldschmidt Chats About Her Work at Open Book

Saskia Goldschmidt Book News

Saskia Goldschmidt at 2015 Open Book Festival. Picture credit: Liesl Jobson

Die hormoonfabriek is a fictionalised account of the history of Organon – a Dutch pharmaceutical company that rose from an ordinary meat factory to one of the world’s leading producers of insulin, estrogen, testosterone and other types of hormones.

During her monologue at Open Book, Goldschmidt spoke about her research on the company and the twin brothers who ran the business which helped her to write a “fictional, emotional report of the people involved”. “I was so interested in the things I could not find in the archives,” she explained, elaborating on the sparse facts around the one brother’s rape trial.


* * *


What is a Terrorist? Asne Seierstad and Masha Gesson Discuss the Norway Massacre and Boston Bombing with Jonny Steinberg

Book News Asne Seierstad One of Us

Jonny Steinberg spoke to Åsne Seierstad and Masha Gessen about their books, One of Us and The Tsarnaev Brothers: The Road to a Modern Tragedy, at the 2015 Open Book Festival yesterday.

Seierstad’s book, One of Us, tells the story of the Norwegian massacre that took place on 22 July, 2011. On that day, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utøya. In The Tsarnaev Brothers: The Road to a Modern Tragedy Gessen writes about Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who planted bombs at the Boston Marathon on 15 April, 2013.


* * *


High Buns and Suzelfies – A Joburg Signing of SuzelleDIY: The Book

Book News Suzelle DIY

SuzelleDIY and the mini-Suzelles

It was a dark and stormy night. Beaming tweens milled about the shelves of Exclusive Books Rosebank, shooting occasional jittery glances at the door, waiting for the guest of honour to arrive.

For the longest time, book journalists at an undisclosed book news website longed for the day when Suzelle DIY would bring out a book, if only to justify the hours spent watching her videos on YouTube as “work”.


* * *


The Daveyton Book Club: Empowering the Youth of Ekurhuleni One Book at a Time

Book News Daveyton Book Club

Changing lives with books. Pic supplied by Daveyton Book Club

The Daveyton Book Club is only four months old but is already making great strides in uplifting the community of Ekurhuleni.

Kwandile Sikhosana, the 23-year-old founder of the NGO, which was recently featured on Mzanzi Insider on SABC 1, believes in free education for all and, together with his deputy chairperson Sarah Madingwana, strives to bring both formal and informal education to the community of Daveyton and surrounds.


* * *


Hlubi Mboya Reads “Tender” by Nozizwe Cynthia Jele at the Launch of Long Story SHORT

Book News Long Story Short

Hlubi Mboya reads “Tender” by Nozizwe Cyntha Jele

The highly anticipated Long Story SHORT project was launched on Friday, 27 March, at the Olievenhoutbosch Community Library in Tshwane. Legendary actress and Aids activist Hlubi Mboya kicked off the first of a series of public readings with her performance of “Tender”, a story by author Nozizwe Cyntha Jele.


* * *


Barbara Kingsolver Tells Ben Williams about Her Life as a Writer, Hillbilly, Literary Muso and Zakes Mda Fan

Book News Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver visited South Africa. Pic credit: Talita van Graan

Most people will be able to tell you that Barbara Kingsolver is an acclaimed novelist from the United States of America. But did you know that she’s a self-proclaimed hillbilly from Appalachia in rural Kentucky? Or that she performed in Stephen King’s literary rock band, the Rock Bottom Remainders? (Her place in the band was later usurped by Mitch Albom.)

Sunday Times books editor Ben Williams elicited all this and more from the author during their conversation earlier this month at Exclusive Books in Rosebank.


* * *


Jodi Picoult Chats to Michele Magwood About Her New Book at Kingsmead College

Book News Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult visited South Africa!

“I’m going to make you fall in love with elephants.”

These were the opening words of best-selling American author Jodi Picoult at Kingsmead College in Johannesburg on Thursday, 22 January. She was in South Africa to chat about her latest novel, Leaving Time.

Picoult kicked off the first Times Talks event of 2015 with a riveting conversation with Michele Magwood about elephants, ghosts and psychics.



More book news

Follow the links below for a list of my book news and reviews, in chronological order:

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *