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The Love Song Of Andre P. Brink is the first biography of this major South African novelist who, during his lifetime, was published in over 30 languages and ranked with the likes of Gabriel García Márquez, Peter Carey and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Leon de Kock’s eagerly awaited account of Brink’s life is richly informed by a previously unavailable literary treasure: the dissident Afrikaner’s hoard of journal-writing, a veritable chronicle that was 54 years in the making. In this massive new biographical source – running to a million words – Brink does not spare himself, or anyone else for that matter, as he narrates the ups and downs of his five marriages and his compulsive affairs with a great number of women. These are precisely the topics that the rebel in both politics and sex skated over in his memoir, A Fork in the Road.
De Kock’s biographical study of the author who came close to winning the Nobel Prize for Literature not only synthesises the journals but also subjects them to searching critical analysis. In addition, the biographer measures the journals against additional sources, both scholarly and otherwise, among them the testimony of Brink’s friends, family, wives and lovers.
The Love Song Of Andre P. Brink subjects Brink’s literary legacy to a bracing scholarly re-evaluation, making this major new biography a crucial addition to scholarship on Brink
This rich and absorbing biography of Can Themba, iconic Drum-era journalist and writer, is the definitive history of a larger-than-life man who died too young. Siphiwo Mahala’s intensive and often fresh research features unprecedented archival access and interviews with Themba’s surviving colleagues and family.
Mahala’s biography takes a critical historical approach to Themba’s life and writing, giving a picture of the whole man, from his early beginnings in Marabastad to his sombre end in exile in Swaziland. The better-known elements of his life – his political views, passion for teaching and mentoring, and family life – are woven together with an examination of his literary influences and the impact of his own writing (especially his famous short story ‘The Suit’) on modern African writers in turn. Mahala, a master storyteller, deftly follows the threads of Themba’s dynamic life, showcasing his intellectual acumen, scholarly aptitude and wit, along with his flaws, contradictions and heartbreaks, against a backdrop of the sparkle and pathos of Sophiatown of the 1950s.
Can Themba’s successes and failures as well as his triumphs and tribulations reverberate on the pages of this long-awaited biography. The result is an authoritative and entertaining account of an often misunderstood figure in South Africa’s literary canon.
In 1957 emigreer die negejarige Henk van Woerden vanaf Nederland met sy gesin na Kaapstad – leertas in die hand, mussie oor die ore, serp om die nek, glasoog in die oogkas. Eers veertig jaar later ontdek hy wat die rede was vir hierdie vertrek na Suid-Afrika: Sy pa was ’n kollaborateur in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die emigrasie is die begin van ’n lewe as buitestaander en vorm later die goue draad in sy skilderye en literêre werk.
Koning Eenoog is ’n boeiende biografie van die ewig soekende emigrant Henk van Woerden (1947–2005), ’n skrywer wat nie net ’n bekroonde oeuvre agtergelaat het nie (Een mond vol glas – Alan Paton Award en die Frans Kellendonk-prys, Ultramarijn – Gouden Uil en Inktaap) maar ook die Nederlandse literatuur oor Suid-Afrika verander het.
Award winning novelist Karin Cronje has established herself as a fearless writer unafraid to expose issues usually considered off limits. There Goes English Teacher, which spans three years of adventures and misadventures as an English teacher in a small Korean village and later at a university, continues her pursuit of truth. This unusually honest memoir reflects amongst others, the nature of identity and the loss of it; sexuality; belief; ageing; displacement; belonging; and nationhood. Karin Cronje has a real talent for tongue-in-cheek observations of herself and her world. Her accounts of her own confusion and incomprehension as she navigates the collision of two cultures worlds apart are told with a mix of irony, pathos and humor. Yet underneath the lighthearted narration this intimate account shows how a disruption of the familiar can lead to fundamental change.
What further sets this memoir apart is that it is as close to first-hand as a reader may possibly ever get. Karin Cronje seldom allows us out of her head; she doesn’t give us anything like a travel writer’s perspective, a dispassionate description of landscape or exterior view. We inhabit this foreign place exactly as she did. Whilst in Korea, she completed a novel, which won the Jan Rabie/Rapport prize. She takes us with her through the various stages of writing it and we experience her internal processes that lead to an end she was unable to predict. Her return to South Africa poses unforeseen troubles. We are right there with her as she makes one disastrous and scandalous decision after another.
There Goes English Teacher is ultimately a celebration of the gifts the world has to offer while it entertains with a sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes acerbic and ironic, but always humane voice. There are few South African memoirs that dig as deeply into what it means to be fully human. It is a compelling, moving story, unusually told and one that will not only linger long after finishing the book but will demand a second slower read to savour the writing.
Although Olga Kirsch’s is the only Jewish voice in Afrikaans poetry, it is scarcely known among members of the South African Jewish community. Olga Kirsch was, after Elisabeth Eybers, only the second woman to publish a collection of poetry in Afrikaans.
The aims of this biography are to reverse this slide into obscurity and to show why her work is important not only in South Africa but also in Israel.
It does not only investigate Kirsch’s role as Afrikaans Jewish poet but also examines her as an example of a cross-cultural, multi-lingual immigrant poet. As such some of her English and Hebrew poetry are included in this work.
The first ever memoirs from the Number One global bestselling adventure author.
Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction. From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction.
Always candid, sometimes hilarious, and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are compellingly unputdownable.
Ingrid Jonker, begaafde jong digter, loop op 19 Julie 1965 die see in by Drieankerbaai en verdrink. Sy laat haar familie en vriende agter met meer vrae as antwoorde. Gedurende die afgelope 50 jaar het sy ’n ikoon van die Afrikaanse en Suid- Afrikaanse letterkunde geword. In so ’n mate, dat haar lewe en veral haar dood soms haar werk en die belangrike bydrae wat sy tot die literêre beweging van die Sestigers gemaak het, oorskadu.
Haar politieke sieninge, soos uitgedruk in haar poësie en haar passie en die droefheid van haar onstuimige liefdesverhoudings met onder andere Jack Cope en André P. Brink het al tot baie besprekings gelei. Sy het weer onder die publieke oog gekom toe oudpresident Nelson Mandela in sy inhuldigingsrede in 1994 in die Parlement een van haar gedigte aangehaal het. Hy het haar gedig: “Die Kind” voorgelees en gesê: “Sy was beide ’n digter en ’n Suid-Afrikaner.”
Sedert haar dood is daar vele bespiegelings oor haar lewe en tragiese einde. Van dié vrae word beantwoord in hierdie eerste omvattende biografie. Petrovna Metelerkamp doen al jare navorsing oor Jonker. Sy neem die leser saam deur Ingrid se grootwordjare, digterslewe, liefdesverhoudings en die laaste paar jaar van haar lewe.
Metelerkamp bring nuwe inligting aan die lig wat sy neem uit onbekende nuwe briewe en dagboekinskrywings, o.m. uit die dagboeke van Jack Cope. Talle nuwe onderhoude met mense wat Jonker geken het, word in die biografie opgeneem. Sy weerlê ook die beeld van Jonker as ’n ongebalanseerde kunstenaar wat haar houvas op die werklikheid verloor het in hierdie toeganklike biografie oor een van Suid-Afrika se aangrypendste kunstenaars.
Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi is one of South Africa’s most famous novels.
First published in 1930, it is the first full-length novel by a black South African writer, and is widely read and studied in South African schools, colleges and universities. It has been translated into a number of different languages. Written over 30 years before Chinua Achebe’s famous Things Fall Apart, Mhudi is a pioneering African novel too, anticipating many of the themes with which Achebe and other writers from the African continent were concerned.
Mhudi has had a complicated history. Critics have been divided in their views, and there was a delay of ten years between the time Plaatje wrote the book and when it was published. A century on from when it was written, the time is now right to both celebrate its composition and to assess its meanings and legacy.
In this book, a distinguished cast of contributors explore the circumstances in which Mhudi was both written and published, what the critics have made of it, why it remains so relevant today. Chapters look at the eponymous feminist heroine of the novel and what she symbolizes, the role of history and oral tradition, the contentious question of language, the linguistic and stylistic choices that Plaatje made. In keeping with Mhudi’s capacity to inspire, this book also includes a poem and short story, specially written in order to pay tribute to both the book and its author.
Ter viering van Dolf van Niekerk se negentigste verjaarsdag verskyn hier ’n versameling filosofiese, bepeinsende en besinnende essays uit die pen van een van Afrikaans se meesterskrywers.
Vanaf sy vroegste gewaarwordinge tot sy kennismaking met groot filosowe soos Nietzsche, Kant en Hegel op universiteit en in sy daaglikse handel en wandel daarna: altyd maar bly die bewustheid van ’n onsigbare “iets” by hierdie aristokratiese gees – en ’n soeke na ’n beter verstaan van dít wat “die sterretyd en die menstyd aan mekaar verbind”.
In 48 essays wat die biografiese tydperk tussen ongeveer sy vyfde en twintigste lewensjaar dek, skryf ’n deurleefde, wyse Van Niekerk oor sy vroegste herinnerings aan sy geboortedorp, sy gesin en sy helderste herinnerings aan die plekke en mense wat hom gevorm het tot die mens wat hy geword het. Want, soos wat hy in die verhaal “Die skinkbord” skryf: Jy kan net wees wie jy is, en jy is wat jy word.
Fingers crossed that Marian has a new novel out soon but until then why not laugh your socks off with this hilarious collection of tales, observations and flights of fancy from the funniest woman in print.
Welcome to the magnificent Making It Up As I Go Along - aka the World According to Marian Keyes(TM) - A bold and brilliant collection of Marian's hilarious and often heartfelt observations on modern life, love and everything in between. From a guide to breaking up with your hairdresser to entering the fifties-zone, the joys of her nail varnish museum to singing her way through insomnia, Marian will have you laughing with delight and gasping with recognition throughout - because at the end of the day, each and every one of us is clearly making it up as we go along.
Includes a new introduction from Sophie Hannah, bestselling author of THE MONOGRAM MURDERS.
Agatha Christie was not only the biggest selling writer of detective stories the world has ever known, she was also a mystery in herself, giving only the rarest interviews, declining absolutely to become any sort of public figure, and a mystery too in the manner in which she achieved her astonishing success.
H R F Keating, a crime novelist and respected reviewer of crime fiction, brought together a dozen distinguished writers from both sides of the Atlantic to throw light on this double mystery. Some analyse the art itself; some explain the reasons for her success, not just the books, but also in film and theatre. The approaches are penetrating, affectionate, enthusiastic, analytical, funny - even critical.
Together, they give an almost unique insight into the life and work of the First Lady of Crime.
Jonathan Ball, the founder of Jonathan Ball Publishers, died on 3 April 2021 after a short illness. This collection of essays, commissioned in tribute to him, is edited by Michele Magwood.
Jonathan Ball left a deep impression on many different people in different ways. The forty or so essays reflect the many facets of Jonathan. The chapter headings would read husband, father, businessman, friend, brother, colleague. But it is in the subheads that we begin to understand the shape of him: publisher extraordinaire, history expert, gourmand, liberal thinker, suitor, philosemite and so on.
It cannot be exaggerated how deep an imprint Jonathan has left on the political and cultural life of South Africa, too. The shelves of Jonathan Ball Publishers are weighted with serious history and biographies of eminent figures, with books that other publishers didn’t have the boldness, the sheer guts, to take on. But there are many smaller, more finespun stories that tell us too who we are as a people and as a nation.
The official autobiography of James Patterson, where he tells the story of his life and his journey to becoming a world-renowned author who continues to captivate readers across the globe.
How did a boy from small-town New York become one of the world's most successful writers?
These are the stories of James Patterson's life: the most anticipated memoir of 2022.
* AN OBSERVER AND DAILY MAIL "BOOKS OF 2022" PICK * Melvyn Bragg's first ever memoir - an elegiac, intimate account of growing up in post-war Cumbria, which lyrically evokes a vanished world. In this captivating memoir, Melvyn Bragg recalls growing up in the Cumbrian market town of Wigton, from his early childhood during the war to the moment he had to decide between staying on or spreading his wings. This is the tale of a boy who lived in a pub and expected to leave school at fifteen yet won a scholarship to Oxford. Derailed by a severe breakdown when he was thirteen, he developed a passion for reading and study - though that didn't stop him playing in a skiffle band or falling in love. It is equally the tale of the people and place that formed him. Bragg indelibly portrays his parents and local characters from pub regulars to vicars, teachers and hardmen, and vividly captures the community-spirited northern town - steeped in the old ways but on the cusp of post-war change. A poignant elegy to a vanished era as well as the glories of the Lake District, it illuminates what made him the writer, broadcaster and champion of the arts he is today.
'Entirely original and thrilling . . . this is Gatsby made real' JULIET NICOLSON In the 1920s a new generation stepped forward to invigorate the Bloomsbury Group - creative young people who tantalised the original 'Bloomsberries' with their captivating looks and provocative ideas. Young Bloomsbury introduces us to an extraordinarily colourful cast of characters, including novelist and music critic Eddy Sackville-West, 'who wore elaborate make-up and dressed in satin and black velvet'; sculptor Stephen Tomlin; and writer Julia Strachey. Talented and productive, these larger-than-life figures had high-achieving professional lives and extremely complicated emotional lives. Bloomsbury had always celebrated sexual equality and freedom in private, feeling that every person had the right to live and love in the way they chose. But as transgressive self-expression became more public, this younger generation gave Old Bloomsbury a new voice. Revealing an aspect of Bloomsbury history not yet explored, Young Bloomsbury celebrates an open way of living that would not be embraced for another hundred years.
In Kambrokind deel F.A. Venter sy jeugherinneringe vanaf sy voorskoolse jare tot op universiteit.
Op boeiende wyse vertel Venter hoe hy die Karoo se sagte én harde kant leer ken. Hy kon homself wees in die veld en sy gedagtes vrye teuels gee, maar hy het ook die wreedheid van droogtes en siektes en die lang trekpad met skaap na beter weiding ervaar.
Op skool het sekere onderwysers hom ontvanklik gemaak vir die wêreld van boeke en oordenking en het dit hom gedryf om hard te werk sodat hy met ’n studielening en twee pakke klere kon gaan studeer aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch.
Poet, artist, visionary and author of the unofficial English national anthem 'Jerusalem', William Blake is an archetypal misunderstood genius. In this radical new biography, we return to a world of riots, revolutions and radicals, discuss movements from the Levellers of the sixteenth century to the psychedelic counterculture of the 1960s, and explore the latest discoveries in neurobiology, quantum physics and comparative religion to look afresh at Blake's life and work - and, crucially, his mind. Taking the reader on wild detours into unfamiliar territory, John Higgs places the bewildering eccentricities of a most singular artist into context and shows us how Blake can help us better understand ourselves.
'These journals are a revelation, a road map and a gift to us all' TAYARI JONES, author of An American Marriage From the acclaimed author Alice Walker - winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize - comes an unprecedented compilation of four decades' worth of journals that draw an intimate portrait of her development as an artist, intellectual and human rights activist. In Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, Walker offers a passionate, intimate record of her intellectual, artistic and political development. She also intimately explores - in real time - her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world. In an unvarnished and singular voice, she writes about an astonishing array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the civil rights movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., or 'the King' as she called him; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, partly to defy laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; the birth of her daughter; writing her first novel; the trials and triumphs of the women's movement; erotic encounters and enduring relationships; the 'ancestral visits' that led her to write The Color Purple; winning the Pulitzer Prize; being admired and maligned, in sometimes equal measure, for her work and her activism; burying her mother; and her estrangement from her own daughter. The personal and the political are layered and intertwined in the revealing narrative that emerges from Walker's journals.
Die eerste uitgawe van Die keer toe ek my naam vergeet het verskyn in 1995, vyf jaar nadat die skrywer F.A. Venter ’n beroerte gekry het. In hierdie outobiografiese vertelling dokumenteer hy die pynlike en stadige proses van herstel: hy moet weer leer loop, leer praat, leer skryf. Dit is verder ’n verhaal oor die verhouding tussen Venter en sy geliefde vrou, Stella. In Die Afrikaanse literatuur 1652–2004 beskryf J.C. Kannemeyer Die keer toe ek my naam vergeet het as een van Venter se “belangrikste bydraes tot die Afrikaanse prosa”: “Die aangrypende verhaal van ouderdom en lyding, maar ook van ’n mooi huwelik en toegewyde liefde, is terselfdertyd ’n getuienis van die onblusbare gees van die skeppende mens wat, ten spyte van alle teenspoed, kan voortgaan met die werk waarvoor hy hier op aarde geplaas is.” Op ’n eerlike en roerende wyse, en met ’n tikkie humor, raak Venter die universele, tydlose temas van siekte, oudword en die dood aan. Uiteindelik is dit ’n verhaal van aanvaarding: “Ek het baie verloor – die kosbaarste. Maar ek het ook geleer om te verduur. Te aanvaar. Tevrede te wees. Anders sou dit ondraaglik wees.”
Uncovering the hidden love triangle between novelist Elizabeth Bowen and the author's grandparents - the critically acclaimed biography with never-before-seen letters detailing the affair. For readers who were swept up in Laura Cumming's On Chapel Sands, Daniel Mendelsohn's An Odyssey and Francesca Wade's Square Haunting. A death in the family delivers Julia Parry a box of letters. Dusty with age, they reveal a secret love affair between the celebrated novelist Elizabeth Bowen and the academic Humphry House - Julia's grandfather. So begins a life-changing quest to understand the affair, which had profound repercussions for Julia's family, not least her grandmother, Madeline. Julia traces these three very different characters through 1930s Oxford and Ireland, Texas, Calcutta in the last days of Empire, and on into World War II. With a supporting cast that includes Isaiah Berlin and Virginia Woolf, The Shadowy Third opens up a world with complex attitudes to love and sex, duty and ambition, and to writing itself.
'Like all good diarists Paling's musings are funny, tender and uncensored' Sunday Times 6 April 2007 Writing income for the year so far: minus GBP300 'I feel that this might just be the year in which something happens. Then again it might not. But hope drives all writers on.' It's unlikely that you'll know Chris Paling's face or have heard his name. This is his diary of trying to make a living as a writer, through the typical career trajectory of what is deemed a 'mid-list novelist'. Publishing rule 6: there is no such thing as a 'low-list' novelist. In renumeration terms, writing is a career that often ends in disappointment and despair, and occasionally disgrace. Paling artfully explores what compels him and so many others to write - the battling joys and agonies of when that compulsion beds itself in one's psyche, and a day without writing is a day wasted. A fascinating insight into the writing process, he tracks the need to write something new, or something old in a new way, something relevant, something that needs to be written when very little actually does, in search of that ever-elusive goal of being 'in print'. By turns moving, wry and brutally honest, A Very Nice Rejection Letter unveils the rewarding yet soul-baring life of a novelist. At its heart is a love letter to the art of writing but this delightful book is also a profound reflection on the forces that drive us all.
Slot van die dag: Gedagtes is die skrywer se mymeringe oor ouderdom en die einde van die lewe, saam met verspreide herinnerings van ’n algemene aard, om ’n ryk geskakeerde beeld te verskaf van ’n skrywerslewe van byna tagtig jaar. Die reeks outobiografiese boeke wat met ’n Duitser aan die Kaap, Merksteen en Die laaste Afrikaanse boek begin het, word hiermee afgesluit. Dit is 'n baie persoonlike boek oor ouderdom, die skryfproses en selfbeskikking met kommentaar op oud word en wees, met inbegrip van praktiese wenke, en heelwat inligting oor die moontlike en waarskynlike einde van die lewe. Die element van afskeid en gelatenheid is deurlopend. Die ouderdom is teenswoordig die vernaamste onderwerp van sy oorpeinsing, en die vernaamste element in sy daagliks ervarings. Die verwysings en aanhalings is treffend en spreek van iemand wat sy leeswereld ook sy leefwereld maak. Ten slotte verduidelik die skrywer sy bevrydende besluit oor selfdood.
When Otto Frank unwrapped his daughter's diary with trembling hands and began to read the first pages, he discovered a side to Anne that was as much a revelation to him as it would be to the rest of the world. Little did Otto know he was about to create an icon recognised the world over for her bravery, sometimes brutal teenage honesty and determination to see beauty even where its light was most hidden. Nor did he realise that publication would spark a bitter battle that would embroil him in years of legal contest and eventually drive him to a nervous breakdown and a new life in Switzerland. Today, more than seventy-five years after Anne's death, the diary is at the centre of a multi-million-pound industry, with competing foundations, cultural critics and former friends and relatives fighting for the right to control it. In this insightful and wide-ranging account, Karen Bartlett tells the full story of The Diary of Anne Frank, the highly controversial part it played in twentieth-century history, and its fundamental role in shaping our understanding of the Holocaust. At the same time, she sheds new light on the life and character of Otto Frank, the complex, driven and deeply human figure who lived in the shadows of the terrible events that robbed him of his family, while he painstakingly crafted and controlled his daughter's story.
John Donne led myriad lives. He was a lawyer, a sea adventurer, a preacher, an MP, and a poet. Along the way he converted from Catholicism to Protestantism. He was also imprisoned for marrying a 16-year old girl without her father's consent; struggled to feed a family of twelve children; and was often ill and in pain. He was a man who suffered from black surges of misery yet expressed in his verse many breathtaking impressions of electric joy and love. In a biography that marks the arrival of a huge non-fiction talent, Katherine Rundell uses a witty and spirited entry point, an 'act of evangelism' to unveil the man behind the words. Donne preached sermons that drew vast crowds; this was a man with a rhetorical power to which in response people would push forward as if at a football match: at one reading, two people were nearly crushed to death. He knew how to harness language into something new. Fleet-footed in style and deep-rooted in scholarly insight, Superinifinite is the portrait of John Donne that we need; a vivid excavation into his extraordinary life, his obsessions, his times, his work; and what his unique life can tell us about our lives now.
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