The sewing machine that broke the camel’s back

WHAT DO YOU do when your moaning pal slips in a “and might I borrow your revolver for the night?” kind of a question? If you’re Alexei Alexeyevich (Johann Nel), you lend him, instead, your ear. This is the nub of another delicious bit of Chekhov, magicked into […]

Sisters, in love and malice

MORE THAN AN exercise of escapism into the flaws and faux pas of privileged fictional characters, Craig Higginson’s most recent novel, The Book of Gifts, is a yarn about values and the fragility of young sensibilities. It’s a quick read because it is well crafted and the words […]

Portrait of granny, with crows

“YOU ARE THE cause of all the problems in this society, and we are going to kill you.” This is the gist of the kind of letters to which Maia Lekow and Christopher King’s compelling Kenyan documentary The Letter refers. Featured on this year’s Durban International Film Festival, […]

Writing clear

my mother, my madness: A book review by Gillian Rennie. SEVERAL THEMES SURFACE in Colleen Higgs’s chronicle of her mother’s last years. There are those any daughter might recognise (the bond of loyalty, the bondedness of reality) and there are those anyone who has witnessed a decline towards […]