8 must-sees at the Jozi Book Fair

2017-08-27 06:47

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Book fair season is upon us, with Cape Town’s Open Book kicking off on September 6 at The Fugard theatre, and the South African Book Fair getting going on September 8 at Museum Africa in Joburg.

But first up is the very wonderful, if at times slightly shambolic, Jozi Book Fair, now in its ninth year. The 150-odd events are themed around Women and Literature this year and the fair is happening from August 31 to September 3 at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg. Entrance is mahala.

This event focuses on children, schools and students as much as it does on the adult reading public and is all about boosting literacy and the love of books. Its patrons include Zakes Mda, James Matthews, Keorapetse Kgositsile and Diana Ferrus.

The public programme is focused on Saturday and Sunday. There are workshops, talks, films, exhibitions, live music, panel discussions and book launches – too much to choose from! But we gave it a bash anyway.

Saturday September 2

11am – A conversation on the status of women and girls in South Africa with Kopano Matlwa, author of the seminal Coconut and of Period Pain and Spilt Milk; and Pali Lehohla, the Statistician-General for Stats SA

2pm – A conversation between two standout new female authors Mohale Mashigo, the writer of The Yearning – recipient of this year’s University of Johannesburg prize for debut fiction; and Malebo Sephodi, author of Miss Behave, which is fast developing a fervent following.

3pm – Radio host and media figure Penny Lebyane interviews the inimitable entertainer Marah Louw about her brilliant, spicy autobiography, It’s me Marah

Sunday September 3

9.30am – Send the kids to this brilliant workshop that presents philosophy for teens. It’s led by Theresa Giorgza

11am – Several books are being launched, most notably one on the #FeesMustFall movement. With activists Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Oliver Meth and Crispin Chungo

1pm – The anthology Queer in Africa is in the spotlight with a panel that includes Khosi Xaba, Jayne Bauling and others

2pm – From Literature to Film is something special. There will be a screening of Zola Maseko’s The Whale Caller followed by a discussion between him and the author of the novel the film is based on, Zakes Mda

3pm – A conversation and reading on women poets that include Shailja Patel, the Kenyan poet, playwright, theatre artist, political activist and author of the bestseller Migritude; and Koleka Putuma, who has set the literary scene ablaze with her debut book of poems, Collective Amnesia.

Check out the programme yourself at jozibookfair.org.za

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  culture  |  literature

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