Simon’s Town to host new literary festival, Books on the Bay

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Jacques Pauw Foto: Adrian de Kock
Jacques Pauw Foto: Adrian de Kock

EVENT: Books on the Bay - 10 to 12 March


A new literary festival, Books on the Bay, has been announced.

It will take place in Simon’s Town, on the shores of False Bay in the Western Cape. The festival will run from 10 to 12 March. There will be an official launch on 10 February, featuring readings by Nobel winner JM Coetzee, poet Antjie Krog and Angolan novelist José Agualusa. 

At the festival itself, participating authors will include the bestselling author of 2022, Jacques Pauw, plus Booker winner Damon Galgut, Futhi Ntshingila, Andre Odendaal, Max du Preez, Chase Rhys, Sonwabiso Ngcowa, Finuala Dowling, Gabeba Baderoon, Jan Glazewski, Sunday Times Literary Award winner Mignonne Breier, Elleke Boehmer, Herman Lategan, Mark Gevisser, Barbara Mutch, Denis Hirson and others.

"Simon’s Town’s historical richness and natural beauty make it the ideal venue for a literary festival," the organisers say. "A true tavern of the seas, around every corner there is a story to tell. The setting for bestselling fiction, Simon’s Town and the far south is home to a number of South Africa’s most renowned authors."

“We have an extraordinary, world-class and diverse line-up of writers who will read from and discuss their work,” said co-organiser David Attwell. 

"Books on the Bay takes an open-ended approach to curating the festival," the website says. "With an emphasis on creativity, we avoid prescribing topics for discussion by our authors."

The festival "will be run on a non-profit basis, as an annual event".

Antjie Krog
Antjie Krog. (Photo: Brenda Veldtman)

The organisers are:

David Attwell, University of York professor emeritus and extraordinary professor at the University of the Western Cape. His works include JM Coetzee and the Life of Writing, which was a finalist in the Sunday Times Literary Awards, and Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History. He co-edited, Chabani Manganyi, the collected letters of Es’kia Mphahlele.

Karin Cronje, an author whose novels and memoir There Goes English Teacher have earned her critical acclaim. She has also worked as a journalist, in publishing, as as a lecturer at Stellenbosch University.

Darryl David, lecturer in education at the University of the Western Cape, founder of SA’s only "book town" in Richmond and the Madibaland World Literary Festival, Boekbedonnerd, the South African Children’s Literature Festival, the Midlands Literary Festival, the Adam Small Literary Festival, and others.

The festival will interact with and support local schools and libraries in Simon’s Town, Ocean View, and Masiphumelele.

Tickets will be available from WebTickets and Pick n Pay. 

The programme is available online.


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