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A younger generation of South Africans are developing important and innovative ways of understanding South Africa’s past, challenging narratives that have, over the last decades, been informed by notions of forgiveness and reconciliation. Carli Coetzee uses the image of history-rich blood to explore these approaches to intergenerational memory. In this book, she revisits older archives and analyses contemporary South African cultural and literary forms.
The emphasis on blood challenges the privileged status skin has had as an explanatory category in thinking about identity. Instead, Coetzee emphasises intergenerational transfer and continuity. She argues that a younger generation is contesting the terms through which to understand contemporary South Africa and interpreting the legacies of the past that remain under the visible layer of skin.
The chapters each concern blood: Mandela’s prison cell as laboratory for producing bloodless freedom, the kinship relations created and resisted in accounts of Eugene de Kock in prison, Ruth First’s concern with information leaks in her accounts of her time in prison, the first human-to-human heart transplant and its relation to racialised attempts to salvage white identity, the #Fallist moment, the Abantu Book Festival, and activist scholarship and creative art works that use blood as a trope for thinking about change and continuity.
When opportunity strikes, television producer Deon Maas joins the boatloads of migrants heading for Germany. Faced with the choice of taking all his possessions along or selling everything, he opts for the latter. With a duffel bag and his four dogs, he departs for the First World.
Decadent Berlin blows his mind but also leaves him at a loss for words. As he criss-crosses the city, scratching at its pulsating underbelly, he marvels at German idiosyncrasies, and is roped into this new world by an array of vegan anarchists, eclectic musicians, football hooligans and graffiti artists.
As he tries to settle in, he has to deal with everything from obnoxious bureaucrats to nosy neighbours. In the process, Maas debunks a few myths about the First World: it’s not a perfect place where everything works, and German efficiency is definitely overrated.
By confronting the loss of his support network and adapting to a different political and social context, he learns exactly how deep his African roots go and what it takes to find your place in Europe as a white African.
"Don’t come!" Kate is told by her only child. Jess is keeping her mother at a distance on the day that her own children, conjoined twins, are to be separated during high-risk surgery in London. Kate wakes on her farm in the Eastern Cape, torn between respecting Jess’s wishes and a longing to rush to her estranged daughter’s side.
A former geneticist disillusioned by the pressing ethical questions posed by her job, Kate is now an award-winning maker of organic cheese. She relies on the farm’s routine and the people and animals in her life to hold steady as her day teeters on a knife’s edge. Meanwhile, her employee Nosisi’s son is undergoing initiation. Forbidden to have contact with him during this traditional passage into the world of manhood, his mother anxiously awaits his return.
Breaking Milk, Dawn Garisch’s seventh novel, is an evocative exploration of the divisions and connections between humans, animals and the environment.
Africa, 1906: A young Australian adventurer is condemned to death.
Sydney, the present: journalist Nick Eatwell has just lost his job, but his day is brightened when a fellow reporter, South African Susan Vidler, comes into his life looking for his help with a story.
Susan is chasing information about Nick's great-great uncle, Cyril Blake, who fought in the Anglo-Boer War and later joined the struggle for independence across the border in the German colony of South West Africa, now Namibia. A long-lost manuscript proves Nick's forebear was a somewhat reluctant hero. Soldier, deserter, cattle rustler and freedom fighter, Blake was helping the lost cause before the Kaiser's forces ordered his assassination.
In Germany, historian Anja Berghoff is researching the origins of the famed desert horses of Namibia. She's also interested in Blake and an Irish-German firebrand and spy, Claire Martin, with whom Blake had an affair. Nick and Anja head to Africa on the trail of a legend, but someone else is delving into the past, looking for clues to the secret location of a missing horde of gold that's worth killing for.
Spanning two centuries, Ghosts of the Past is based on a true story.
Born on the cusp of democracy, the crew of young friends in Born Freeloaders navigates a life of drinking, wild parties and other recklessness. The siblings at the centre of the novel, Nthabiseng and Xolani, have been raised in an upper middle-class family with connections to the political elite. Nthabiseng is lauded by her peers as she whimsically goes through life, unable to form her own identity in a world that expects her to pick a side in the fractured classifications of race.
Xolani, not having known his late father, longs for acceptance from an uncle who sees him and his generation as the bitter fruit borne of a freedom he and countless others fought for. As the story moves across multiple spaces in the nation’s capital over a weekend, Born Freeloaders captures a political and cultural moment in the city’s and South Africa’s history. Interwoven is an analogous tale of the country’s colonisation and the consequences that follow.
And alongside the friends’ uneasy awareness of their privilege is a heightened sense of discomfort at their inability to change the world they were born into.
In the Eastern Cape, Stephen (Malusi) Mzamane, a young Anglican priest, must journey to his mother’s rural home to inform her of his elder brother’s death.
First educated at the Native College in Grahamstown, Stephen was sent to England in 1869 for training at the Missionary College in Canterbury. But on his return to South Africa, relegated to a dilapidated mission near Fort Beaufort, he had to confront not only the prejudices of a colonial society but the discrimination within the Church itself.
Conflicted between his loyalties to the amaNgqika people, for whom his brother fought, and the colonial cause he as Reverend Mzamane is expected to uphold, Stephen’s journey to his mother’s home proves decisive in resolving the contradictions that tear at his heart.
Son is a stunning achievement in post-apartheid writing. The debut novel by South African writer, Neil Sonnekus, Son brims with brio, verve and swagger. Though laugh-out-loud funny at times, it is also achingly poignant and deeply moving.
Sonnekus brilliantly captures the so-called Noughties with his tragi-comic creation Len Bezuidenhout, a recent divorcee whose quest for sex is as funny as his attempts to tease a hungover narrative from his father, a puritanical old curmudgeon. The two couldn’t be more different – or similar. They are both storytellers, but when the tale Len starts extracting from his old man is slowly revealed, it is everything but funny. Through scalding humour, caustic wit and brutally frank interrogation into the country’s ‘post Rainbow Nation’ pathology, this stylistically imposing work is one of hilarity, bitter warmth and eventual grace.
Son is at times uproarious and unremittingly frank as it exposes politics as a tragic farce. It is both self-deprecating and sensual as it traverses the dark arts of sexual conquest and desire while it simultaneously unearths brutal anxieties around crime, alienation and aging. Central to Son is the brutal mirror of what it means to be a white man in South Africa, confronting a rapid loss of power while struggling to come to terms with stark socio-political change and the possibilities of living an unfulfilled and alienated life.
While it hums and whirs with sound, movement and humour, Son seamlessly takes the reader on a profound journey of compassion and self-understanding. In a dark and disturbing turn, it argues that the dominant colour of the rainbow has become not white nor black, but red. Blood red.
“Hillbrow, 1967. The New York of Africa. Someone wrote that the place would soon have more people per square kilometre than Tokyo. Everyone quoted that article to everyone. Some even cut it out and kept it folded in their wallets.”
While other boys daydream about racing cars and football, eleven-year-old stutterer Phen sits reading to his father. In number four Duchess Court, Phen’s dad looks like a Spitfire pilot behind his oxygen mask. But real life is different from the daring adventures in the books Phen reads and he is forced to grow up faster than other boys his age. This is until Heb Thirteen Two shows up: in his pinstriped suit pants and tie-dyed psychedelic top, the stranger could be any old bum, or a boy’s special angel come to live among men.
Poignant, witty and wise, John Hunt's "The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head" is a meditation on being alive and shows us the power of books when we need them the most.
A group of women at a specific period in the history of Southern Africa find their family life under the pressures of capitalist modernity and apartheid.
These ordinary, 'private' stories are anchored to the more powerful public stories of Penelope of ancient Greek mythology, who waited eighteen years while her husband Odysseus was away, and Winnie Mandela who waited for twenty-seven years.
The life story of Winnie Mandela remains one of the great unfolding dramas of our times; a tale of triumphs and tragedies that is only just beginning to be examined.
From the moment 26-year-old Tristan Hansen steps out of the shower and onto the roof garden of his Maboneng loft, Toyboy pulsates with eroticism. The air is hot and humid, and there’s a Joburg thunderstorm brewing on the horizon. The first flashes of lightning illuminates Tristan’s spectacular flat and the riches it contains: gifts of thanks from his many clients, tokens of their appreciation. Because Tristan is an angel of pleasure, an exclusive escort to Johannesburg’s rich and powerful women. And he is one of a kind.
At how the enigmatic Tristan were trained in the art of lovemaking his clients can only guess. He seldom speaks of those who helped him shake off the strictures of his conservative mother who had to raise him on her own when his father committed suicide. Christina, his first love, and their story set far off in a small Italian village, he also keeps to himself.
But how did Tristan end up here? Who were those women who taught him all he knows? And who is the mystery caller who keeps on phoning and whose calls are filled with menacing silence?
Twenty years ago, Leon van Nierop published his Afrikaans bestseller Plesierengel. Toyboy, published in Afrikaans and English, is its prequel.
An evocative and finely detailed novel of ordinary life under apartheid that follows the lives of a family, particularly the women of various generations, who are named Dikeledi, who together form the backbone of the story.
Dikeledi captures, carefully and movingly, the essence of the turbulent days in which it is set. The focus on family drama within an incredibly difficult social situation, the small daily struggles rather than the huge challenges that conventionally make for ‘good’ archival footage, are what sets the novel apart from other literature that deals with the period.
Toe Pamina Vermaak by die werk uitfreak, sit sy skielik sonder inkomste. Boonop verloor sy haar kêrel, haar woonstel in Tamboerskloof, asook die laaste flenters toekomsideale wat sy naarstig aan ’t vasklou was – alles in een dag. Sy is gedwing om druipstert terug te keer na haar ouerhuis op die klein Weskusdorp Witwaterbaai. ’n Plek wat sy gesweer het haar nooit weer sal sien nie.
Intussen basuin die voorblaaie van poniekoerante dit uit dat rockster Wolf de Jager se verlowing met aktrise Daniella du Toit verbreek is en krioel dit op sosiale media van steelfoto’s waar sy hom verneuk. Hy moet weg uit die Kaap en ’n lukrake seleksie op Google Maps bring hom tot op Witwaterbaai, waar sy swart leerbaadjie harder as sy Fender Stratocaster skreeu teen die gehekelde doilies in Ant Leentjie se gastehuis.
Sal Pamina en Wolf op hierdie slakkepas-dorp van bokkoms droog en stoepsit hul probleme kan ontduik? Of lê daar net nog meer komplikasies voor?
In the spring of 1970, a Pretoria schoolboy falls in love with Muhammad Ali. He begins to collect cuttings about his hero from the newspapers, an obsession that grows into a ragged archive of scrapbooks. Forty years later, when Joe has become a writer, these scrapbooks both insist on and obscure a book about his boyhood. He turns to his brother Branko, a sound editor, for help with recovering their shared past. But can a story ever belong equally to two people? Is this a brotherly collaboration or a battle for supremacy?
This is an intricate puzzle of a book by a writer of lyrical power and formal inventiveness. Against a spectacular backdrop, the heyday of the greatest showman of them all, Vladislavić unfolds a small, fragmentary story of family life and the limits of language. Meaning comes into view in the spaces between then and now, growing up and growing old, speaking out and keeping silent.
One city. Five people. A bloody trail of revenge.
THE VICTIM AND HIS SISTER
THE DRUG DEALER
Why did Ben die? Who killed him? And what is the price of justice? Defying the conventions of the crime novel, Talion captures the dark and brutal consequences of grief, anger and revenge.
Een stad. Vyf mense. Wraak se bloedspoor.
DIE SLAGOFFER EN SY SUSTER
Hoekom is Ben dood? Wie het hom vermoor? En wat is vergelding se prys? Wrok breek die misdaadroman se reëls en werp lig op die morsige gevolge van verdriet, woede en wraak.
Tannie Maria might be the Karoo’s favourite agony aunt, but when it comes to matters of her own heart, she doesn’t have all the answers.
Why is she having trouble telling her beau – the dashing Detective Henk Kannemeyer with the chestnut moustache – that she loves him? There are other, more pressing problems too. A tall, dark stranger zoomed in on her Ducati motorbike: she is Zabanguni Kani, a journalist renowned for her political exposés, who, after receiving threats, must move in with Tannie Maria for safety. Who could tell that a trip to the country’s northern borders was on the cards?
The journey will plunge Maria and her friends into pools of danger, amid water maidens, murders, and Harley Davidsons. Ladismith’s famous crime fighter is back – with a tin of buttermilk rusks in hand – to restore eace from the Klein Karoo to the great Limpopo River.
The Woman in the Blue Cloak is a brilliant novella which will thrill and entertain fans of Deon Meyer's much-loved detective Benny Griessel. Benny Griessel is a cop on a mission: he plans to ask Alexa Bernard to marry him.
That means he needs to buy an engagement ring - and that means he needs a loan. So Benny has a lot on his mind when he is called to a top-priority murder case.
A woman's body is discovered, naked and washed in bleach, draped on a wall beside a picturesque road above Cape Town.
The identity of the victim is a mystery, as is the reason for her killing. Gradually, Benny and his colleague Vaughn Cupido begin to work out the roots of the story, which reach as far away as England and Holland... and as far back as the seventeenth century.
There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter.
In tomorrow’s world, Kate is haunted by a brutal past. Struggling to navigate a life that seems like an experiment in virtual reality, her paranoia threatens to consume her. But when someone tries to kidnap Mally, she realises she was absolutely right to be afraid.
With only hours to go before the cult's prophecy is to be fulfilled, Kate and Seth face more danger than they’ve ever imagined, desperate to keep him safe. However, the charismatic leader of the cult has other ideas, which puts Kate in an impossible position. Who will she choose to live, and who will she have to sacrifice?
Een familie, deels van Britse en deels van Boere-afkoms, ontdek dat hul lewens onlosmaaklik verstrengel raak deur die onverbiddelike gang van die geskiedenis.
Die Transvaalse politiek en die Britte se arrogante imperialisme sleur hulle mee in die Anglo-Boereoorlog van 1899-1902. Liefdes- en vriendskapsbande wat in die Trandvaalse bosveld en die sitkamers van Victoriaanse Engeland gesmee is, word op die slagvelde van Suid-Afrika getoets. Wanneer die formele fase van die oorlog oorgaan in die gruwelike beleid van die verskroeide aarde en ’n guerrillastryd, moet die familielede riskante keuses maak. Wintersrust is ’n bruisende verhaal vol hartstog en avontuur oor die individu se worsteling met magte buite sy beheer.
Sommige, wat deur wanhoop oorweldig word, oorleef nie. Ander moet ten slotte by ’n plek van vrede en vergiffenis uitkom.
(Hierdie is die Afrikaanse vertaling van The Runaway Horses)
No one appreciates the irony of her situation more than Raven Kane: she’s a burnt-out witch. Raven is a hip, hexing-and-texting sorceress – or at least, she used to be. Now her ancient timber house is falling down around her, and the bank wants to repossess it. Nothing would make her cantankerous neighbour happier than seeing Raven and her messy menagerie out on the street.
To add to her stress, the reckless Wicked Witches are causing mischief and it’s her job to reign them in. Worst of all is that her magic seems to be fading. Just as everything seems to be too much to handle, there’s a knock on the (splintering) door. A not-unattractive man appears in her life: not to save her, as a fairytale would have you believe, but to arrest her for the murder of one of her clients.
It wouldn’t be that bad for Raven, except that she knows she's guilty.
The Ecstasy of Brush Strokes is a sexy, intelligent and sometimes shockingly candid story, loaded with desire and obsession. It promises to be South Africa’s most erotic novel ever.
Alex feels like a bad girl. Alex can’t sit still. She’s on the run from the men in her life. Especially her sexual soulmate, Nicholas. But mostly she’s trying to escape herself. Set in the Karoo during a relentlessly hot and steamy summer, Alex needs to get away from her claustrophobic marriage to dependable Mark and her ongoing obsession with her first love, Nicholas. She is a woman brooding on her sexual desires, both drawn to and repelled by her hunger. She tells herself she is on a quest to reawaken her urge to paint. But is she really?
Once in the huge horizonless silence of the Karoo, Alex finds no inspiration in the rolling tumbleweed and dirty grey browns of her soulless landscapes. She longs to paint what she’s always ached for – passion and desire. She desperately needs to focus, forget the last time she saw Nicholas in that hotel – the way he took control of her body and her mind. Alone with just her fantasies and paintings, Alex is forced to self-reflect and come up with new plans. When the sultry Jessica arrives in the small town to join Pete, the swarthy-set builder, as her live nude models, things take on a whole new turn.
The smell of desire mixed with thick oil paints creates a palette of sensuality in the studio in the Karoo. Erotic boundaries are pushed as a ménage of erotic encounters unfold. But as the web of sensuality and intrigue intensifies, Alex finds she is unable to forget Nicholas. No matter where she runs, he’s always under her skin. But can he give up his life in Canada and take a chance on Alex?
Back in South Africa after working with the FBI, Creed is haunted by his past mistakes, including the death of his fiancée. When a young woman is murdered and dismembered in her Johannesburg apartment, Creed’s long-time friend and head of the SAPS’ Investigative Psychological Unit, Major Eli Grey, enlists his help in investigating the murder – an attempt to save the self-destructing Creed from himself. But not all the Unit’s members welcome his involvement, and there are those intent on exposing his secrets while the murder is being solved.
The young woman’s community are convinced she was the victim of a witch called Nomtakhati, but Creed’s hunch points to an angry ex-boyfriend. Who, or what, is really behind the murder? Could it be Nomtakhati, who believes Nick Creed is uSatane?
In the Midst of Wolves is a dark psychological thriller about metaphorical demons from the past and the living monsters who target the innocent.
First there is the killing of the minister of energy. Then the cop investigating the murder commits suicide. Fearing a conspiracy, the minister’s lover hires pi Fish Pescado to find the killer.
Then she goes missing. And Fish is being stonewalled by the cops because in the dark shadows of Cape Town there’s another game being played out. A complex one involving Iranian agents, the theft of highly enriched uranium, the kidnapping of a top scientist, and ex-spy Vicki Kahn being bribed by her former handler to track the terrorists.
The hunt is deadly and nothing is what it seems. A sleeper has been awoken. ISIS is involved. So is the CIA. And chatter leads to talk of a dirty bomb...
Leon van Nierop se blitsverkoper Plesierengel verskyn twintig jaar gelede en dit is in hierdie boek waar duisende lesers vir Tristan Hansen ontmoet, ’n engel van plesier, ’n manlike prostituut waarvoor Johannesburg se rykste vroue duisende rande betaal.
Dit is egter nie die volle verhaal nie: hoe het die enigmatiese Tristan tot hier gekom? In Katelknaap kry die leser ’n blik op die vroue wat hom gevorm het en van genot geleer het. Veral saam met een vrou, ver weg in Positano, ’n dorpie in Italië, kon hy hom loswikkel van die beklemming van sy konserwatiewe ma wat hom ná sy pa se selfmoord alleen grootmaak.
Maar dit was ook nie die laaste beklemming nie. Op die vooraand van Tristan se 27ste verjaardag vind ons hom in sy luukse dakwoonstel in Maboneng, onrustig ná ’n vreemde foonoproep vol dreigende stilte. Terwyl hy kan voel hoe hy deur ’n verkyker dopgehou word en dat die afloerder met iets anders as begeerte na hom kyk, reik sy herinneringe terug na gelukkiger dae in Positano, en na sy opleiding in die kuns van liefdemaak.
In die paar dae voor Kersfees neem Hendrik en Amalia se lewe ’n onverwagse wending, iets waarvoor hulle nooit voorsiening gemaak het nie. Maar wat vir hulle ’n nuwe era in hulle verhouding sou kon wees, word verdonker deur ’n verskriklike voorval waarvoor Hendrik in hegtenis geneem word. Nog Amalia, ’n staatsaanklaer op Witteberg, nog Hendrik se knap prokureur kan verhoed dat hy opgesluit word – deels vir sy eie veiligheid, deels omdat ’n lafhartige speurder sy mag misbruik. Wat voorbereiding vir ’n heugelike gebeurtenis en Kersfees moes word, word dae waarin Hendrik intiem met die binnekant van ’n sel en die se bewoners kennis maak. Daar word van moord gepraat op die taxibaas se seun wat deur ’n dwaalkoeel getref word en dis die taxibaas se woord teen Hendrik s’n. Boonop leef die grensoorlog steeds in Hendrik se gedagtes; die nagmerrie toe hy ’n makker wat deur die Kubane gevange geneem is, gaan red het. Dekades later buk ’n Kubaanse dokter oor hom in ’n hospitaal. En as Hendrik gemeen het dat Amalia veilig is, het hy ’n fout gemaak …
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