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Archive for April, 2018

Launch – Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored by Mandy Wiener (8 May)

As a follow up to the bestselling Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2010), the new book from Mandy Wiener, Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored, examines how organised crime, gangsters and powerful political figures have been able to capture the law enforcement authorities and agencies. These various organisations have been eviscerated, hollowed out and left ineffective. They have been infiltrated and compromised and, as a result, prominent underworld figures have been able to flourish in South Africa, setting up elaborate networks of crime with the assistance of many cops. The criminal justice system has been left exposed and it is crucial that the South African public knows about the capture that has occurred on different levels.

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Launch: Michael K by Nthikeng Mohlele (19 April)

‘Those in the know claim Michael K disembarked from a diesel-smoke-spewing truck one overcast morning, looked around, and without missing a beat, chose a spot where he set down a small bucket (red, burnt and disfigured) that contained an assortment of seedlings, some fisherman’s twine and a rudimentary gardening tool – probably self-made.’

How is it that a character from literary fiction can so alter the landscapes he touches, even as he – in his self-imposed isolation – seeks to avoid them? How is it that Michael K, bewildered and bewildering, can remain so fragile yet so present, so imposing without attempting to be so?

In this response to JM Coetzee’s classic masterpiece, Life & Times of Michael K, Nthikeng Mohlele dabbles in the artistic and speculative in a unique attempt to unpack the dazed and disconnected world of the title character, his solitary ways, his inventiveness, but also to show how astutely Michael K holds up a mirror to those whose paths he inadvertently crosses. Michael K explores the weight of history and of conscience, thus wrestling the character from the confines of literary creation to the frontiers of artistic timelessness.

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Watch: Phumlani Pikoli discusses The Fatuous State of Severity on Afternoon Express

‘Hauntingly engaging’ – Thandiwe Ntshinga, The South African

 

‘Crisp, experimental and beautifully weird’ – Phumlani S. Langa, City Press

 
The Fatuous State of Severity is a fresh collection of short stories and illustrations that explores themes surrounding the experiences of a generation of young, urban South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language insecurities and relationships of various kinds.

Intense and provocative, this new edition of the book, which was first self-published in 2016, features six additional stories as well as an introductory essay on Pikoli’s publishing journey.

Phumlani Pikoli is a multi-media journalist and multi-skilled artist. He was born in Zimbabwe in 1988.

This is his first time being published by an actual publishing house and he intends to write and publish many more books without restriction to form.
 
 
 

Phumlani recently discussed his singular book on Afternoon Express. Watch!

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Launch: Winging It by Joanne Jowell (17 April)

Jonathan Kaplan, celebrated international rugby referee and former world record-holder for most Test caps, had his fair share of challenging moments on the field.

He was known for his commitment to fair play, ability to defuse tense situations, and courage in making difficult, and sometimes controversial, decisions. All this would stand JK in good stead and come back into play when, at the age of 47, he made two life-changing decisions.

The first was to blow his whistle for the last time and end his career as a professional rugby ref. The second was to become a parent – and a solo parent at that. This is the story of JK’s decision to have a baby by surrogate, the two-year fertility process that followed, and the subsequent birth of his son Kaleb.

Winging It draws on the insights of key role-players in JK’s journey, including the extraordinary experience of the surrogate mother herself. Exchanging rucks for reflux, mauls for milk bottles, scrums for storks (and other stories about Kaleb’s conception), this account of how JK navigates the choppy waters of parenthood is disarmingly frank and scrupulously honest.

At times poignant and tender, and at others downright funny, this is a thoroughly contemporary take on what constitutes a family and how we dare to build one.

Joanne Jowell is the author of the bestselling biographies On the Other Side of Shame: An Extraordinary Account of Adoption and Reunion (2009), Finding Sarah: A True Story of Living with Bulimia (2011) and The Crazy Life of Larry Joe: A Journey on the Streets and Stage (2014). She lives in Cape Town with her husband and three children.
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A woman’s quest to save wildlife turns lethal in Tony Park’s Captive

A very eager – and rather naive – Australian lawyer, Kerry Maxwell, flies into South Africa to volunteer at a wildlife orphanage run by notorious vet Graham Baird.

Graham is as jaded and reckless as Kerry is law-abiding and optimistic. When Kerry arrives at the animal sanctuary it’s to the news that Graham is imprisoned in Mozambique following a shootout with elephant poachers. In the gunfight he killed the brother of corrupt politician and poaching kingpin Fidel Costa.

Kerry’s earnest sense of justice takes her to Massingir to help Graham with his case, and into a world of danger. Kidnapped, chased, attacked and betrayed, Kerry learns the bitter truth about the complexities and deadly nature of the war on poaching.

Even the motivations of well-meaning charities, wealthy donors and private zoos are not all they appear. Kerry’s perilous entanglement may be what Graham needs to shake off his drunken cynicism and rejoin the fight for Africa’s animals, but is it enough, and in time, to stop Costa’s quest for revenge . . .
 
Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, a press secretary, a PR consultant and a freelance writer. He also served 34 years in the Australian Army Reserve, including six months as a public affairs officer in Afghanistan in 2002. He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time equally between Australia and southern Africa. He is the author of fourteen other African novels.

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Winging It is the poignant, tender and at times downright funny story of Jonathan Kaplan’s decision to have a baby by surrogate

Jonathan Kaplan, celebrated international rugby referee and former world record-holder for most Test caps, had his fair share of challenging moments on the field.

He was known for his commitment to fair play, ability to defuse tense situations, and courage in making difficult, and sometimes controversial, decisions. All this would stand JK in good stead and come back into play when, at the age of 47, he made two life-changing decisions.

The first was to blow his whistle for the last time and end his career as a professional rugby ref. The second was to become a parent – and a solo parent at that. This is the story of JK’s decision to have a baby by surrogate, the two-year fertility process that followed, and the subsequent birth of his son Kaleb.

Winging It draws on the insights of key role-players in JK’s journey, including the extraordinary experience of the surrogate mother herself. Exchanging rucks for reflux, mauls for milk bottles, scrums for storks (and other stories about Kaleb’s conception), this account of how JK navigates the choppy waters of parenthood is disarmingly frank and scrupulously honest.

At times poignant and tender, and at others downright funny, this is a thoroughly contemporary take on what constitutes a family and how we dare to build one.

Joanne Jowell is the author of the bestselling biographies On the Other Side of Shame: An Extraordinary Account of Adoption and Reunion (2009), Finding Sarah: A True Story of Living with Bulimia (2011) and The Crazy Life of Larry Joe: A Journey on the Streets and Stage (2014). She lives in Cape Town with her husband and three children.

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Silent auction at Phumlani Pikoli’s Cape Town launch

A few ruined paintings to create the perfect example of creation through destruction.

Cape Town-based artist, Skubalisto, has created a painting which he describes as “the effect Phumlani Pikoli’s writing has on [his] creative process”.

The painting will be auctioned tomorrow at The Fatuous State of Severity launch in Cape Town. Join us at The Book Lounge, 5:30 for 6PM.

The Fatuous State of Severity is a fresh collection of short stories and illustrations that explores themes surrounding the experiences of a generation of young, urban South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language insecurities and relationships of various kinds.

Intense and provocative, this new edition of the book, which was first self-published in 2016, features six additional stories as well as an introductory essay on Phumlani Pikoli’s publishing journey.

Phumlani Pikoli is a multi-media journalist and multi-skilled artist. He was born in Zimbabwe in 1988. This is his first time being published by an actual publishing house and he intends to write and publish many more books without restriction to form.

Book details


» read article

Listen: Nthikeng Mohlele discusses Michael K on SAfm Literature

‘Those in the know claim Michael K disembarked from a diesel-smoke-spewing truck one overcast morning, looked around, and without missing a beat, chose a spot where he set down a small bucket (red, burnt and disfigured) that contained an assortment of seedlings, some fisherman’s twine and a rudimentary gardening tool – probably self-made.’

How is it that a character from literary fiction can so alter the landscapes he touches, even as he – in his self-imposed isolation – seeks to avoid them? How is it that Michael K, bewildered and bewildering, can remain so fragile yet so present, so imposing without attempting to be so?

In this response to JM Coetzee’s classic masterpiece, Life & Times of Michael K, Nthikeng Mohlele dabbles in the artistic and speculative in a unique attempt to unpack the dazed and disconnected world of the title character, his solitary ways, his inventiveness, but also to show how astutely Michael K holds up a mirror to those whose paths he inadvertently crosses. Michael K explores the weight of history and of conscience, thus wrestling the character from the confines of literary creation to the frontiers of artistic timelessness.

Mohlele was a recent guest on Nancy Richards’s SAfm Literature Show. Listen to their conversation here:


 

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