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.
ELMARIE KRUGER: 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.
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: 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.
ELMARIE KRUGER: For nearly 20 years, Zelda La Grange dedicated her life to former president Nelson Mandela as his personal assistant. In her personal memoir Good Morning, Mr Mandela, La Grange recounts both her life before working for Mandela as well as the years she spent by his side. The book is well-organised in a chronological sense, beginning with La Grange’s childhood.
In the first section of the book La Grange speaks of her formative years, which were spent in a conservative Afrikaans household in the midst of the apartheid regime. Here she admits that at the tender age of 13 she had already been conditioned to think like a racist without ever questioning the reason for the apartheid government’s existence or its actions.
ELMARIE KRUGER: It is a well-known fact that the number of people who still take the time to sit down and read a book is, sadly, on the decline. Fortunately, there are several readers who regularly bury their noses in books and keep literature alive. And as many of these devoted bookworms know, there are many books which do not receive as much attention as they deserve, and yet have the potential to be enjoyed by many. Some of these underrated books include:
LISA KAHIMBAARA: John Green was already established in the world of young adult literature before his latest offering A Fault in Our Stars blasted onto the scene. Looking for Alaska was Green’s first foray into the world of teenage fiction and a triumph over a clichéd genre.
As a result of the overwhelming success of A Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska has been reprinted and redistributed throughout the country. The book tells the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter, a 16-year-old boy from Florida who moves to Culver Creek Preparatory High School in Alabama. Pudge attempts to run away from his predictable and uninspired life. Throughout the novel, Pudge goes in search of a “Great Perhaps” – the last words of French Renaissance writer François Rabelais. The quote permeates throughout the book and is Pudge’s reasoning behind moving to a boarding school in junior year.
At Culver Creek Preparatory School, Pudge is launched into the rebellious world of boarding school where he befriends his roommate Chip “Colonel” Martin, who introduces him to the charming, enigmatic, unpredictable and reckless Alaska Young. The story centres on Pudge’s affection towards Alaska and their growing relationship.
NOLUVUYO MJOLI: Two years ago, as a Structural Adjustment Programme for all those from impoverished schools was developed, I was put through a programme meant to boost 'struggling' students to a course called DOH1004F: Languages in Humanities. That's how I met Sonwabiso Ngcowa. He was my desk-mate, my partner in crime. We stuck together and eventually became good friends. Looking at his successes today, it’s hard to believe this is the same guy who got 57% in our first year.
His recently launched book, In Search of Happiness, is attracting media attention here in Cape Town and around the country. It has also been published and translated into German. The book explores the life of Nanase (Nana), a teenage girl who moves to the big city of Cape Town from the village of Mpozisa. Arriving in the Motherland, ekapa lodumo, Nana realises that life is really raw outside, that the city is not at all like the television depicts it.
The Paperight Team: Thank you very much for profiling the #textbookrevolution campaign in an opinion piece on the 3rd of April 2014. We’d like to take this opportunity to correct some inaccuracies in the piece.
Paperight is a small, Shuttleworth funded publishing startup with the ambitious goal of putting books within walking distance of every home – starting with educational material. Turning copyshops into print on demand bookshops allows customers to buy books quickly, cheaply and legally. This method of distribution cuts the costs of textbooks by up to 40%. And the business model works with publishers to broaden their reach while still ensuring they make the same profit margins, so everyone wins.