Franschhoek Literary Festival is just around the corner. The programme has something for everyone, unless you’re Ace Magashule. Here’s a preview from The Reading List.
The annual Franschhoek Literary Festival has made its baker’s dozen: the thirteenth edition takes place from 17 to 19 May.
What, you haven’t bought tickets yet?
Look, do it now, if for no other reason than, nestled as it is in the picturesque Cape Winelands, Franschhoek’s crisp mountain air and bright winter sunshine make the perfect companions for bookish discussion.
Don’t forget your Fitbit: the festival takes place across just a couple of streets in the tiny town, so you’re able to meander from event to event on foot.
As usual, the programme has something for everyone, from crime fiction to fantasy, from political exposés to biography, as well as discussions on how to get published, how to juggle writing and a full-time job, and how to go about marketing your books.
We recommend setting aside half an hour to check out the programme in full here. But for those pressed for time (i.e., all of us), here are six not-to-be-missed events.
No. 2. Author and activist Greg Mills and former finance minister of Zimbabwe Tendai Biti discuss their new book, Democracy Works: Rewiring Politics to Africa’s Advantage, tackling how democracy can better serve the cause of lessening inequality. Jacques Rousseau chairs.
No. 9. A masterclass on historical research and writing history with none other than Simon Sebag Montefiore? Erm, yes, please. (Also: read his book The Romanovs like, today.)
No. 31. Harris Dousemetzis, the author of the revelatory work on Dimitri Tsafendas, The Man Who Killed Apartheid, sits with Wandile Ngcaweni (We Are No Longer at Ease) and the Daily Maverick’s own Zapiro (WTF to face Tom Eaton’s prod on comfort zones and taking risks.
No. 50. Across Africa, elephants are being poached at an average rate of one every 15 minutes. Colin Bell and Don Pinnock join Dan Wylie to talk with John Maytham about their extraordinary new book, The Last Elephants.
No. 72. The DM’s own Pieter-Louis Myburgh, whose Gangster State has been causing a stir, to put it mildly, will be in conversation with Cape Talk journalist Lester Kiewit. (Can’t make it? Try event 102, where P-L will be talking to political analyst Ralph Mathekga.)
No. 104. Hear about the ups and downs of travel writing with Lerato Mogoathle, author of Vagabond, a hilarious and honest account of five years of living as a drifter in Africa, Erns Grundling, whose book Walk It Off documents his participation in the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain, and Sihle Khumalo, whose Rainbow Nation My Zulu Arse recounts his explorations of the bizarre and hidden in South Africa. Columnist Darrel Bristow-Bovey is in the chair.
We also like the look of events 6, 7, 14, 18, 24, 27, 29, 31, 46, 48, 59, 63, 73, 86, 89 and 96. Look ’em up.
PS – There are book discussions, and then there are the other main highlights of the festival: food and drink. Try the filet mignon at The French Connection, and, of course, at least one evening at the Elephant & Barrel is mandatory, where you can make some bad choices involving liquid refreshment. ML
Visit The Reading List at readinglist.click for South African book news daily.
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It’s the only thing that grew under Moyane’s tenure… the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You – the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them… gone.
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So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders…. you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.