Category: Books

Still life with aloes and a phoenix in the Karoo

THE ABILITY TO cast a beautiful yarn in plain language is a very special skill. It’s about cutting the fat that words can spew if they’re not restrained, as it is about the luxury of being able to form characters with your pen and insights, impeccably. Like writers […]

Something to make Jane blush. With pride.

IF CHRONOLOGY AND history magically got turned on its ear, who would British novelist Jane Austen be in the tweens of the 21st century? And how would she craft and position her characters? While seasoned English academic and magnificently skilled writer Helen Moffett doesn’t quite contemplate this idea […]

No place like home

IT IS NOT every day that a story has the potency to leap off the page and into the rhythms of your heartbeat, regardless of how it has been written or presented. Estelle Neethling has experience as a writer of profiles, not books. But when Adolphine Misekabu crossed […]

Of fishing and marketing

CONJURING UP A whole bunch of clichés regarding fishes and sustainability, Like Water is for Fish promises an insight into storytelling and the magic it tosses into our midst, yet it feels in so many respects like a tick-box exercise on a bucket list. Garth Japhet, the co-founder […]

The universe in an airport

IT TAKES A tremendous amount of skill and wisdom – as well as, of course, courage – to be able to tear and resew the traditional fabric of a novel and turn it inside out, tossing convention to the ether. Will, the passenger delaying flight …, may well […]

Grab Wanda by the ear

THE FIRST TIME you read this book, instinctively, you know you must be very careful. To cite Julian Schnabel’s film Basquiat: you might be looking at Van Gogh’s ear. This is the kind of metaphor that Lynn Joffe’s debut novel, The Gospel According to Wanda B. Lazarus presents. […]

Unbearable whiteness of being

NON-BINARY SOUTH AFRICAN performance artist Dean Hutton has stood on the outside looking in, for most of their life. While this may be a horribly lonely position for a child, it is one of supreme potency for an artist at the summit of their personal, political and artistic […]