ELMARIE KRUGER: Graphic novels are books containing works similar but not equated to comic books. They are popular around the world, yet there are many who have yet to discover their importance and literary value. Many popular movies such as V for Vendetta, 300 and Watchmen are all based on graphic novels, but these books are not limited to superheroes and fictional settings. A number of them speak about real-life matters and there are a few essential graphic novels that avid readers should strive to add to their reading lists.
Many bookworms like to pretend that the growing population of anti-readers in modern society does not exist. Unfortunately, the number of people who prefer watching movies or playing games to reading seems to be growing exponentially in today’s technology-powered world. If you consider yourself an anti-reader, or someone who fears reading books, it might be that maybe, just maybe, you’ve been reading the wrong ones. Luckily, there are many books available nowadays that will captivate even the most ardent non-readers.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
“Don’t panic,” reads the tagline on the covers of several editions of the Guide. Originally a BBC radio series, this five-book “trilogy” became immensely popular in the early 1980s and the books still have a huge influence on popular culture today. Its spot-on humour, short chapters and well-rounded characters make it an undemanding yet thought-provoking read.
LIZL LOMBAARD: Zelda La Grange spent nearly 20 years working for the late Nelson Mandela. Her recent book Good Morninng, Mr Mandela has enjoyed huge international success. Perdeby got the opportunity to speak to La Grange about her work.
How did the relationship between you and Penguin Books, the publisher of Good Morning, Mr Mandela, come about?
I appointed an agent in London, Curtis Brown, to look for a reputable publisher who met all the confidentiality requirements at the time we started talking about the book and because Penguin had an Afrikaans division in South Africa they were the perfect fit.
EMMA PAULET: In 1989 the Inklings gave birth to Inclinations – a quarterly magazine showcasing the creative writing talents of UP students. After some years, Inclinations disappeared, only to be revived by Georg Nöffke in 2010.
Carole Godfrey, current chair of the Inklings society, edited the 2013 volume of Inclinations. Now Emma Paulet, a third-year English studies student, is editing it. With the first volume ofInclinations published earlier this year, work has begun on the second volume, which will be launched at the end of this semester.
LIZL LOMBAARD: The Ballistics, formerly known as the Ballistics Blues, burst onto the local scene last year when they won theRolling StoneRockstarter competition. This month has seen the Cape Town rockers release their debut album Calling for the Crazy. Perdeby spoke to the band about their first offering as well as their future.
How has the response to your debut album Calling for the Crazy been?
The response has been great. We had three successful album launches in Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Durbanville. The feedback we’ve received from our old and new fans has been positive. We’re touring a lot this year to get the album to as many people as possible.
YANGA TYIKWE AND MICHAL-MARÉ LINDEN
It is highly common these days for a movie adaptation of a book to be made. Some of the most successful movies were derived from popular literature. However, sometimes the movie’s success far outweighs the book, so much so that we are completely unaware of the book’s existence. Perdeby had a look at some movies that are based on books that you may not have known about.
This ogre stole our hearts in 2001. Shrek was a box office success which is still enjoyed to this day. Unbeknown to many, the movie was actually inspired by William Steig’s book titled Shrek!, which was published in 1990.
JOHAN SAAYMAN: With 1.6 million book titles having been published up to August in 2014 alone, being discovered as a writer seems impossible. But once again the internet is here to help, this time with ebooks.
Some companies offer a low cost for publishing books and sell them as ebooks for equally low prices. 30° South is a South African company that publishes and sells ebooks, specifically on South African topics.
On the other hand, other sites allow writers and readers to connect for free legally, whether uploading or downloading ebooks. EbooksGo.org is a database of free e-files with 45 categories on their homepage and also contains several South African literature pieces. Obooko.com is an international database with 34 genres of ebooks, ranging from history to erotica.
This year marks the second Perdeby literature supplement, something that I was quite nervous to attempt again after last year’s high standard and response. Nevertheless, I am a fan of fiction so I couldn’t let the opportunity slip by without trying.
This year also marks the passing of one of South Africa’s greatest writers Nadine Gordimer. Anyone that has taken first-year English or is a local literature enthusiast will have encountered Gordimer. For those that haven’t, she can only be described as an icon.
During her lifetime, Gordimer published 15 novels, over 20 short-story collections, a play and several essay collections. Gordimer was also one of the 13 women and two South Africans to ever receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in among several other awards such as the Booker Prize.
LIZL LOMBAARD: Verna Vels, author of Liewe Heksie, died on the evening of 21 August. Vels was 81 years old and suffered from cancer.
Liewe Heksie started out as a radio series for children in 1961, featuring a naïve witch of the same name. The series was later adapted for print and the first book was published in 1965 by Human & Rousseau publishers. It was later developed into a TV series which was first broadcast in 1978. Vels also wrote plays about the little witch for the KKNK and the UP drama department in celebration of their 30thanniversary.