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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Pan Macmillan to publish the sequel to Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence’s The Elephant Whisperer

A chic Parisienne, Françoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But when she fell in love with renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony her life took an unexpected turn.

Lawrence died in 2012 and Françoise was left to face the tough reality of running Thula Thula without him, even though she knew very little about conservation.

She was short on money, poachers were threatening their rhinos, and one of their elephants was charging Land Rovers on game drives and terrifying guests. There was no time to mourn when Thula Thula’s human and animal family were depending on her.

How Françoise survived and Thula Thula thrived is beautifully described in this charming, funny and poignant book. Their elephant herd, rescued by Lawrence, shared Françoise’s grief at his passing but over time forged a new relationship with her.

Meanwhile Françoise fulfilled her dream of building a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos and other wildlife.
 
 
In Françoise’s words: “As I celebrate thirty years in South Africa, I have learned never to give up, to hold on to my dreams, always to search for a silver lining, and that by looking forward, the difficulties of the past eventually fade out of sight.”

This book is funny and insightful, full of wonderful characters, both human and animal. It is co-authored by Katja Willemsen who has written several fiction titles previously. This is her first work of non-fiction.

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Pan Macmillan is seeking manuscript submissions!

Have you always dreamed of being a published author? Here’s your chance! Pan Macmillan is accepting manuscript submissions from 4 – 8 June 2018!

Click here for the submission guidelines.


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Sue Nyathi’s heart-breaking novel about six Zimbabwean immigrants’ treacherous expedition to Johannesburg is told with both brave honesty and bold description

We all know our final destination but we have no idea what will cross our path as we journey there.


 
It’s 2008 and the height of Zimbabwe’s economic demise. A group of passengers is huddled in a Toyota Quantum about to embark on a treacherous expedition to the City of Gold.

Amongst them is Gugulethu, who is hoping to be reconciled with her mother; Dumisani, an ambitious young man who believes he will strike it rich, Chamunorwa and Chenai, twins running from their troubled past; and Portia and Nkosi, a mother and son desperate to be reunited with a husband and father they see once a year.

They have paid a high price for the dangerous passage to what they believe is a better life; an escape from the vicious vagaries of their present life in Bulawayo.

In their minds, the streets of Johannesburg are paved with gold but they will have to dig deep to get close to any gold, dirtying themselves in the process.

Told with brave honesty and bold description, the stories of the individual immigrants are simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming.
 
 
SUE NYATHI was born and raised in Bulawayo and resides in Johannesburg. An investment analyst by day and a storyteller to her son at night, she writes to escape the reality of financial markets and economic shop talk. She made her screenwriting debut on the award-winning e.tv series Matatiele. Her first novel, The Polygamist, was published in 2012 and readers can look forward to its film adaptation in 2019.

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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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Marcus Low’s Asylum shortlisted for the 2018 9mobile Prize for Literature


 
The 9mobile Prize for Literature recently announced their 2018 shortlist and local author Marcus Low’s remarkable debut novel, Asylum made the cut!

Previously known as the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the 9mobile Prize is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books.

The prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa.
 

About Asylum:

 
Barry James is detained in a quarantine facility in the blistering heat of the Great Karoo.

Here he exists in two worlds: the discordant and unforgiving reality of his incarceration and the lyrical, snowy landscapes of his dreams.

He has cut all ties with his previous life, his health is failing, and he has given up all hope. All he has to cling to are the meanderings of his restless mind, the daily round of pills and the journals he reluctantly keeps as testimony to a life once lived.

And then there’s an opportunity to escape. But to escape what? And where to? Can there be a life to go back to? Is there still a world out there in the barren wasteland beyond the fence?

I was sitting in the train looking out at the falling snow. I knew then that I was not going home … I was going to an unknown place on a train full of unknown people.

And even though I knew I would not be coming back, that the factories that whooshed by were instantly hundreds of kilometres behind us, that the train would not deliver us anywhere where we’d want to be, I still felt grateful for the snow, the impossible snow.

For it seems to me that even in the most bleak of worlds we’ll find something to hold on to … even if that is something as impossible as snow in this god-forsaken wasteland.

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“It’s a sexy, sexy book!” – Eusebius McKaiser and Angela Makholwa discuss The Blessed Girl

When you are accustomed to the finer things in life – designer shoes, champagne, VIP lounges, exotic holidays abroad, a luxury penthouse, expensive wheels – what independent young woman in her right mind would want to let them go? Certainly not the beautiful, ambitious and super-streetsmart Bontle Tau, the girl who has used her good looks and winning charm all her life to get exactly what she wants. The lifestyle doesn’t come cheap, though, nor does maintaining the body that allows it (just ask Dr Heinz at the beauty clinic).

Luckily, Bontle has a degree in MENcology, and there is no shortage of blessers at her penthouse door, eager to give her all the love and (financial) support she needs.

Papa Jeff might be overweight and getting on a bit, and receiving some unwanted attention from the Hawks; and Teddy might not have fully come through for her on that messed-up tender business; but Mr Emmanuel, the Nigerian businessman with deep pockets and the possibility of conferring second wife status … could that be love? Keeping all her boyfriends happy and living a fabulous life is not without its challenges.

With so many people clamouring for Bontle’s attention – from her shebeen queen mother Gladys in Mamelodi, who is taking strain bringing up her teenaged brother, Golokile, on her own; to her girlfriends, Iris and Tsholo; not to mention her soon-to-be ex-husband, the ever-patient, ever-loving Ntokozo, Bontle barely has time to post on Instagram these days.

Sooner or later something’s got to give …

Angela recently was a guest on Eusebius McKaiser’s 702 Literature Corner show. Listen to the juicy conversation:

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David France wins the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction for How to Survive a Plague

David France has been awarded the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction! The announcement was made on the evening of 16 November.

As per the press release, composed by Picador publisher Ravi Mirchandani:

I am delighted to share the news, to those of you who don’t yet know, that last night our author David France won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (formerly the Samuel Johnson Prize).

The prize is the UK’s leading award for non-fiction, but it is open to books published in the UK by writers from all over the world, including in translation.

David’s book tells the story of AIDS from the first cases in the US in the late 70s to the emergence of the combination drug therapies that mean that an HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence in the 90s. It is in part his own story, as a gay man in New York at the time and as a journalist who covered AIDS, at a time when the mainstream press very largely did not, but it is also a significant work of history.

Thanks to the fact that the virus very disproportionately targeted members of stigmatised groups – gay men, heroin addicts and Haitian immigrants – the American establishment, from President Reagan to the pharmaceutical industry, the medical authorities, the churches and the media, for years turned a blind eye to the increasing number of deaths, usually terrible, drawn-out and agonizingly painful deaths, and to the health crisis that was emerging in plain sight.

Thanks to this willful neglect, 40 million people around the world have died. Many of them need not have.

But the book is also the story of how groups of HIV-positive people across America and the world, many of them literally fighting for their lives, fought one of the most effective protest campaigns in history. And how they eventually won.

Thanks to these activists and to a crucial group of scientists and drug developers, many millions have not died and are ‘living with HIV’, thanks to the combination therapies.Their achievement has changed not only HIV, but also the ways in which medical research is done and made a major contribution to the emergence of the ‘patients’ rights’ movement.

For all these reasons the book is an important one; it is also hugely readable, not only at times almost unbearably moving, but also gripping and inspiring, a story of heroism and victory as well as of sadness and bereavement.

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Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime awarded Thurber Prize for American Humour

Born A CrimeTrevor Noah was announced as the winner of the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humour for his memoir Born a Crime on the 2nd of October at a ceremony at Carolines on Broadway in New York City.

The Thurber Prize is the only award which gives recognition to the art of humour writing in America. Noah received $5 000, a commemorative plaque, and is invited to Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio as a featured guest at a special event.

The runner-ups were novelists Ken Pisani’s (author of Amp’d, and Aaron Their – nominated for Mr. Eternity).

Trevor Noah’s path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show in New York began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of his relationship with his fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic and deeply affecting. Whether being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping or simply trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty.

‘As much as Born a Crime is about Trevor, you can’t help but see yourself in the stories he tells. In many ways, he is all of us. When Trevor writes about his mother, I felt like he was writing about mine. He was born in the tragedy and comedy that was apartheid South Africa and he recounts his experiences with compassion and humour. He validates my view: although we all seem ordinary, we all have extraordinary stories to tell – and to live.’
– KHAYA DLANGA

Born a Crime strikes a perfect balance of humour and seriousness. It is wild and calming; it makes you want to sit and reflect silently, and also pick up the phone to question loved ones. It is both Xhosa and Swiss – the two forces that created this crime. Bravo Trevor! This book gave me all the answers about you to questions I never knew I had.’
– ANELE MDODA

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University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English 2016 winners announced

 

The University of Johannesburg is pleased to announce the winners of its annual literary award:

The main prize of R75 000 is awarded to Nthikeng Mohlele for Pleasure (Picador Africa).

The debut prize of R35 000 is awarded to Mohale Mashigo for The Yearning (Picador Africa).

A formal prize-giving ceremony will be held later in the year.

Publishers who wish to submit entries for the UJ prize for works published in 2017 should contact Prof Ronit Frenkel (ronitf@uj.ac.za).

Background information

The prizes are not linked to a specific genre. This may make the evaluation more challenging in the sense that, for example, a volume of poetry, a novel and a biographical work must be measured against one another, but the idea is to open the prize to as many forms of creative writing as possible.

Approximately 60 works were submitted this year, from which the following books were selected for the shortlist:

Main Prize:
Pleasure by Nthikeng Mohlele
The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Sigh the Beloved Country by Bongani Madondo

Debut Prize:
The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo
Loud and Yellow Laughter by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese
Tjieng-Tjang and Other Stories by Jolyn Philips
The Keeper of the Kumm by Sylvia Vollenhoven

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Achmat Dangor “Perversely” Thanks the Apartheid Government for His SALA Lifetime Achievement Award

Strange PilgrimagesThis month, the 2015 South African Literary Awards will present Achmat Dangor with a Lifetime Achievement Literary Award.

The legendary activist, whose most recent book is Strange Pilgrimages, spoke to Morning Live presenter Samm Marshall about his literary life and what being nominated for the SALAs means to him.

Reflecting on where it all started, Dangor said the apartheid banning order that prohibited him from publishing any books or preparing any manuscripts for publication gave him the time to focus on writing.

“In many ways, perversely almost, I need to thank the South African government, the old apartheid government,” he says. “In 1973, I was part of the Black Consciousness Movement, the student movement, and I was banned for five years.

“But my spare time I devoted to my writing because I had nothing else to do.

“Every time I wrote a manuscript, in those days yes it was pen to paper, I’d even hide it. I had manuscripts in my ceiling, in friends’ ceilings, in the garden.”

Dangor was also part of a literary group called Black Thoughts that went around to schools reading banned literature to students.

Watch the video:

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The SALA ceremony will be held at the Tshwane Events Centre on 7 November, 2015:

 

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