Where the words and writers will be

2011-02-25 09:55

This year’s Time of the Writer Festival in Durban takes place from March 14 to 19 and the line-up consists of 21 writers from home and abroad.

The festival, which has been going on for 14 years, has an impressive alumni including Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka, Somalia’s Nuruddin Farah, Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dangarembga, Unity Dow from Botswana, Tom Holland and Barbara Trapido from England.

The local contingent comprise Fred Khumalo, Kopano Matlwa, Zakes Mda, Pamela Jooste, Nadine Gordimer, Deon Meyer, Eric Miyeni, John van de Ruit and Lewis Nkosi.

The list goes on and on through the years, which is heartening as it reflects that writing is a growth industry.

Delivering this year’s keynote speech is Albie Sachs, two-time winner of the Alan Paton Award.

The former Consitutional Court judge’s address is entitled Free ­Spirits and ­Ravaged Souls – Tensions at the Heart of Freedom of Expression.

It introduces this year’s theme which is freedom of expression, a topical issue as ­ordinary people around the Arab world have their say.

The line-up for this year’s Time of the Writer is yet again a mix of new and ­established writers, all with something to add to the debate about what people write about, how they write it and above all the future of the book and the written word in our ever-evolving ­technological world.

Among the authors attending are Chris van Wyk, Azad Essa, Sarah Nuttall, Achille Mbembe, Njabulo Ndebele, Biyi Bandele and Raj Patel.

For a full programme of events, visit website www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

» Every year the French-flavoured Western Cape grape town of Franschhoek hosts a literary festival that draws authors, publishers and booksellers from around the world and the country. This year’s festival takes place from May 13 to 15, so there is still time for you to book your spot.

Though it has only been going on for four years, the festival has created quite a buzz in that short period and it probably helps that the setting is so
picturesque and there is wine within easy reach all the time.

Though the line-up isn’t yet complete, among this year’s visitors are Colin Cotterill, the creator of Laos-based coroner Dr Siri Paiboun, as well as the author of Other People’s Money, Justin Cartwright.

Authors such as Anna Trapido and Tim Couzens will be on hand to talk about writing about Nelson Mandela for Writing Madiba chaired by Max du Preez. Visit website www.flf.co.za

» On March 4 Mpumalanga, Our ­Beautiful Province by Sabelo Mahlalela will be launched at Mhloti Nature Reserve Chimp Eden.

The book is a pictorial ­journey through the province that is home to the Kruger National Park.

The event begins at 6.30pm. 011 339 1000.

» The bestselling author of the self-help book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is coming to South Africa on Wednesday to present his seminar, Lead Without a Title.

Robin Sharma will host the seminar at the Sandton Sun Hotel and promises that his talk will illuminate all sorts of parts of your life.

Tickets are R1 800 through Computicket. To find out more, visit website www.robinsharmasa.co.za

» Hein Marais’ book South Africa Pushed to the Limit: The Political Economy of Change is going on a nationwide roadshow with the author giving talks at four of the country’s major universities.

The tour kicks off at the University of Witwatersrand on Tuesday at 6pm at Senate House.

It then travels to Durban’s Howard College on Wednesday and Thursday, and on to Rhodes University in Grahamstown on Friday and finally to the University of Cape Town on March 7.

For more information: 021 674 0361.

– Compiled by Gayle Edmunds and
Gail Smith

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