The 10 best ... of the Cape Town Open Book Festival

2013-09-01 10:00

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This year’s festival brings together more than 120 writers and artists from SA and the rest of the world over four jam-packed days. Charles Cilliers suggests getting to these 10 events.

1Fifty Shades of Feminism

The recently published Fifty Shades of Feminism, which features essays from a range of high-achieving women, is such a hot topic that there will be two sessions devoted to this book.

The first features Rachel Holmes (co-editor), Gillian Slovo (contributor), Booker Prize long-listed Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo (pictured) and Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie. Both sessions are chaired by local crime writer Margie Orford.

The second session sees the discussion continuing with Pumla Gqola, Reneilwe Malatji, Fiona Snyckers and Khosi Xaba. Presented by PEN.

When: September 7, Session 1 at 12pm and Session 2 at 2pm

Where: At The Fugard Theatre

Damage: R40 per session

2MSF presents Damien Brown

Damien Brown (pictured) will be in discussion with Dawn Garisch about his memoir, Band-Aid for a Broken Leg, which recounts his experiences of working in Angola, Mozambique and South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders.

His book is among the finest of its kind, using warm and engaging humour, between many telling observations of his experience and the world’s profound imbalances, to explain why a CapeTown-born man who moved to Australia in his teens would opt to donate his expertise and such long stretches of time to helping the easily forgotten and overlooked in Africa.

When: September 7, at 4pm

Where: Fugard Annexe 1

Damage: R30

3Comics Fest Bitterkomix WTF

One of the two madcap geniuses behind Bitterkomix, Anton Kannemeyer, faces questions from fellow cartoonist Andy Mason.

Bitterkomix is now into its 16th edition, along with a handbook and several compilations.

Comics are a strong part of the festival and there will be a marketplace with more than 40 tables curated by Moray Rhoda.

A work in progress will be on exhibition.

Kannemeyer and his Bitterkomix co-founder, Conrad Botes, will sign books at the marketplace immediately after this event.

When: September 7 at 6pm

Where: Homecoming Centre Workshop

Damage: Free

4Fugard at The Fugard

Celebrated playwright, novelist, actor and director Athol Fugard (pictured), who is 81, will reflect on his writing career at this bilingual event with iconic producer, director and lighting designer Mannie Manim.

This will be the launch of Die Laaste Karretjiegraf, Fugard’s first Afrikaans play.

He co-wrote the script with Riana Steyn, an anthropological expert on the Karoo’s Karretjie People.

When: September 7 at 8pm

Where: The Fugard Theatre

Damage: R40

5Writer Sports

There will be two “writer sports” events. The first will feature Lauren Beukes, Imraan Coovadia, Gareth Crocker, Sarah Lotz, Niq Mhlongo, Fiona Snyckers and Will Storr writing live on stage.

The audience will suggest style and genre.

The second event is a challenge to write a speech for Premier Helen Zille (pictured), who will be there to determine the subject.

Diane Awerbuck, Imraan Coovadia, Tom Eaton, Sarah Lotz and Michiel Heyns will go head-to-head.

Event 1

When: September 7 at 8pm

Where: Fugard Studio

Damage: R30

Event 2

When: September 8 6pm

Where: The Fugard Theatre

Damage: R40

6All in the Family

Mamphela Ramphele (pictured) and her son with slain anti-apartheid black consciousness leader Steve Biko, Hlumelo Biko, will discuss their respective books and the state of the nation.

Conversations With My Sons and Daughters is the most recent book by Ramphele and The Great African Society was a bestseller by Biko, who is also an investment banker.

Exclusive Books’ Mervyn Sloman will chair the discussion.

When: September 8 at 10am

Where: The Fugard Theatre

Damage: R40

7Comics Fest: Giant Slayers

Political cartoonists Jeremy Nell, Rico and Zapiro (pictured) will discuss how they go about creating their cutting political satire.

Zapiro has been editorial cartoonist at the Mail & Guardian since 1994, branching out to other titles since and has now published 17 collections, with more on the way.

Rico is the co-creator (and the artist half) of Madam & Eve and Nell has been published in a range of mainstream South African magazines.

When: September 8 at 4pm

Where: Homecoming Centre Workshop

Damage: Free

8Crime Writers

Angela Makholwa, Henning Mankell, Mukoma wa Ngugi (pictured) and Ian Rankin will discuss their latest novels with Ann Donald.

Local writer Makholwa’s second crime novel, The Black Widow Society, has recently been released. Mankell is the author of the prize-winning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander series, along with being a dramatist.

Rankin is best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. Kenyan-raised Wa Ngugi’s novel, Killing Sahara, has also recently been released.

When: September 9 at 12pm

Where: The Fugard Theatre

Damage: R40

»?At 5pm, Mankell will also discuss his new novel with local author Andrew Brown at the same venue. Damage: R40

9Caine Prize 2013

When US-based author Tope Folarin (pictured) won this year’s Caine Prize for African Literature for his short story, Miracle, set in Nigeria, he generated heated debate over whether someone based in the US should be allowed to win this coveted prize.

He will discuss his story and his win with academic Chris Ouma.

There will hopefully also be a discussion on the perception that the Caine Prize has rewarded work that deals too narrowly with stereotypically African themes.

When: September 10 at 8pm

Where: Fugard Studio

Damage: R30

10Helene S Paige walks into a bar

Adults only?.?.?.?step into the erotic adventure created by Sarah Lotz, Helen Moffett and Paige Nick.

The trio has together created the first “choose your own sex adventure” novel, where readers get to decide which of the men in a bar they want to get to know more intimately, often with quirky, addictive and very steamy results.

The session will include a sneak preview of next year’s sequel, Girl Walks into a Wedding.

When: September 11 at 6pm

Where: Fugard Studio

Damage: R30

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