Aisha Abdool Karim: Attention all Potterheads! Dust of your robes and grab your wands because it’s time to go back to Hogwarts. That’s right witches, wizards, muggles and everything in between. After 2 years with no new developments in the wizarding world, J.K. Rowling has announced a new film series inspired by Harry Potter.
Appalled and mystified in equal degrees at the valid line of enquiry, I asked him what he meant by the “great South African novel”? He fired off a series of answers whose sum total escapes the memory of a mind that was blind with excitement at the prospect of three days immersed in South Africa’s finest literary offerings.
The great novel, as Dickens, or perhaps Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, was to the British? There was sense of this in my acquaintance’s response. Nigerian-born literary scholar, Aghogho Akpome, in a panel discussion chaired by South African Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer about Chinua Achebe’s Man of the People, made a remark along these lines.
Ashleigh Erasmus: Many know the novel, and now many also know of it as a theatre production, and I am sure that no one in Thursday’s audience would object to the book being scrapped and the theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time being moved forward. And we have talented Rhodents to thank for that.
The play revolves around the life an adolescent boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, and the hardships that befall him and his family. Directed by Simona Mazza, the play lasts just under one hour and leaves the audience feeling nothing but sadness and awe as the show draws to a close.
David Mann: A story of greed, corruption, status and depravity, a story of a substance worth more than gold or heroin, this is Julien Rademeyer’s Killing for Profit.
As part of a ThinkFest series called ‘Authors in Conversation’, South African journalist and recent author of Killing For Profit, Julien Rademeyer spoke to an audience about his new book and how he came to know all about the pressing issue of rhino poaching.
Rhea MacDonald: With widespread readership of her personal diary – The Diary of a Young Girl, and theatre and film productions around the world representing her struggle, Anne Frank’s story is known by many.
The production did more than simply retell the story – evoking tangible emotions of what it must have felt like to be in the shoes of a young Jewish girl forced into hiding during World War II.
Chelsea Haith: Promoting his book A Bantu in my Bathroom Eusebius McKaiser spoke to an audience at Rhodes University on 3 May about the topics he tackles, the idea of living the authentic life and his fears surrounding Rhodes students’ lack of critical engagement with political and social issues.
An old Rhodian himself, McKaiser explained that he has thus far chosen not to promote his book in Grahamstown, his hometown, reasoning that he perceives critical disengagement and apathy as being particularly prevalent amongst Rhodes students for the issues he address in his book.
Mfuneko Toyana: Liesel Jobson writes with an intense, explicit sense of self-awareness that almost overpowers the reader who picks up her book – if not the author herself.
She admitted as much to the audience in a reading of her latest collection of short stories, Ride the Tortise, at the Wartenweiler Library’s Writing Center on Wednesday evening.
Asked why she had not yet ventured into the longer novel form, the author, musician, and photographer thought carefully before explaining the mental process of her writing:
Ray Mahlaka: ACADEMICS and students gathered on Friday at Wits University to remember the life and times of the late Nigerian writer Professor Chinua Achebe. Achebe known for his popular and successful novel Things Fall Apart died last month at the age of 82. Achebe also wrote poems, essays, short stories and novels.