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Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Verraad, selfverwyt en spioenasie in dié uittreksel uit Zirk van den Berg se Halfpad een ding

Halfpad een dingHalf of One ThingZirk van den Berg stel in sy jongste roman Halfpad een ding ondersoek in na die onbesonnenheid en teenstrydighede van trou en liefde in ‘n unieke benadering tot die narratief rondom die Suid-Afrikaanse oorlog. Gideon Lancaster, ‘n Nieu-Seelander, infiltreer die Boerekommando waar sy lojaliteite verstrengel raak wanneer hy vriendskapsbande met die boere smee en verlief raak op ‘n boerenooi.

LitNet het ‘n uittreksel uit hierdie spannende oorlogroman gedeel waarin Lancaster, die hoofkarakter, sy besluite in oënskou neem en met selfverwyt nadink oor sy plek in die oorlog: “Gideon Lancaster het met een en dieselfde daad albei kante in die Boereoorlog verraai, en hy voel self verraai. Vandat hy ses weke tevore in die hospitaal in Bloemfontein bygekom het, wil hy oor niks anders dink as net oor wat met hom gebeur het nie. Noudat hy uiteindelik op die trein is, op pad huis toe, is daar niks anders wat sy aandag vereis nie.”

1902

18 Januarie 1902

Gideon Lancaster het met een en dieselfde daad albei kante in die Boereoorlog verraai, en hy voel self verraai.

Vandat hy ses weke tevore in die hospitaal in Bloemfontein bygekom het, wil hy oor niks anders dink as net oor wat met hom gebeur het nie. Noudat hy uiteindelik op die trein is, op pad huis toe, is daar niks anders wat sy aandag vereis nie. Hy kan versonke raak in gedagtes, in die hoop om uit te vind hoe en hoekom sy lewe hierdie verloop geneem het.

Het dit begin op die dag toe hy die Boervrou Esther die eerste keer gesien het, of toe Majoor Bryce hom gevra het om onder die Boere te spioeneer? Natuurlik kon hierdie dinge net gebeur omdat hy in die eerste plek in Afrika was, as soldaat. Die eintlike begin was dus toe Nieu-Seeland oorlog verklaar het teen die Boererepublieke en hy daarby ingeval het; toe hy geantwoord het op die roepstem van sy koningin, sy land en sy eie rustelose aard. Maar dit sou hy beswaarlik gedoen het as dit nie was vir daardie keer toe hy die peloton Rooibaadjies in Queen Street afgemarsjeer sien kom het nie, met hul bajonette gerig teen die hemele wat op hulle neerreën.

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Potgooi: Tinus Horn gesels oor sy nuwe roman, Bomskok (Plus: Uittreksel)

BomskokTinus Horn het onlangs op RSG se Skrywers en Boeke-program met Ilze Salzwedel gesels oor sy nuwe roman, Bomskok. Die eertydse Vrye Weekblad speel ‘n groot rol in hierdie satiriese roman met gegewens uit Horn se herinneringe sy tyd as sportredakteur by dié koerant. “Wat die storie betref sou ek sê dis sowat 70 na 80% fiksie,” sê Horn en verduidelik dat dit vir lesers moeilik sal wees om karakters aan regte mense te koppel omdat hy eienskappe van verskillende persone aanmekaar geflans het vir die boek se doeleindes.

Luister na die gesprek, wat rondom 42 minute begin, om meer uit te vind oor Horn se joernalistieke agtergrond, sy skryfmetodes en toekomsplanne:

Lees hierdie heerlike uittreksel uit Bomskok, gedeel op Penguin se webtuiste:

Met haar groot swart oë en ’n lyfie wat lyk of hy in twee sal breek as mens te hard daaraan vat, benewel Miet Zeekoe almal in ’n oog¬wink. Hulle wil haar in hulle arms toevou en tot die oordeelsdag teen die bose wêreld beskerm. Eers DAN sal hulle haar naai dat die rook trek.

Miet is 22 en lyk enigiets tussen 14 en 18. Sy word soms vir ’n seuntjie aangesien, veral deur tannies wie se kinders al uit die huis is en wat nog nie kleinkinders het nie, en veral wanneer sy die verkeerde soort bra dra. Juis daaroor het sy twee lang rokke op Greenmarket Square gevat, sonder die vrou by die stalletjie se toestemming. Sy weet sy hoef nie om vergifnis te bid nie, want die Here weet mos sy gaan die geld bring sodra sy eendag kan en hy’s nie haastig nie. ’n Duisend jaar is vir Hom soos ’n dag en ’n dag soos ’n duisend jaar.

Miet begin vandag haar eerste grootmenswerk, as intern by Vryheid op Vrydag, ’n koerant met ’n oplaag van 15 000 (wanneer Tom Kemp, die redakteur, in Frankryk, Holland of Swede gaan geld bedel) of 7 000 (wanneer die getalle van die verspreiders terugkom).

Vryheid op Vrydag se kantore is in ’n ou bankgebou in New-town, naby die middelpunt van ’n nuwe soort Suid-Afrika, met ’n omtrek van hoogstens ’n kilometer of twee, wat selfs vyf jaar gelede ondenkbaar was. Hier is liefde oor die kleurgrens heen byvoorbeeld soos enige ander soort liefde: alledaags, morsig en vervlietend.

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Thrilling Excerpt from The Chicken Thief by Fiona Leonard

The Chicken ThiefPenguin Books South Africa have shared an excerpt from Fiona Leonard’s exciting new novel, The Chicken Thief.

The book, which will be released this month, tells the story of Alois, the eponymous chicken thief, who struggles to find a niche for himself in a country scarred by political and economic instability.

In the extract, the basics of chicken thieving are outlined – “never carry a full bag of birds over a fence” – but the night ends badly for Alois, as he witnesses a robbery in progress and runs, only to fall off a wall. When he looks up, he sees a “man crouching beside him pointing a gun at his head”.

He was falling before he had time to register he had screwed up. He had jumped wide and missed the wall completely. Instinctively he tucked his shoulder and rolled, trying to break his fall.

It wasn’t the worst fall he’d ever had. Every breath of air was knocked outside his body but a tentative inspection revealed no broken bones. He probably hadn’t hit his head either, because the swear words rocketing around his skull seemed well enough formed. And his brain must still be working, for he could clearly make out the face of the man crouching beside him pointing a gun at his head.

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Tinus Horn oor Bomskok: “Ek probeer nie regstreeks kommentaar lewer op dit of dat nie”

BomskokTinus Horn het onlangs met Naomi Meyer gesels oor Bomskok, sy gewaagde roman wat in 1989 in die kantore van ‘n fiktiewe dagblad afspeel. Horn sê hy “probeer nie regstreeks kommentaar lewer op dit of dat nie,” en noem dat hy die lesers wou “prikkel en vermaak en aanmoedig om om te blaai. As hulle boonop oor iets nadink, is ek bly”.

Horn gesels ook oor die storie as mikrokosmos, karakters in sy roman en sy toekomsplanne: “Ek skryf aan ’n nuwe roman met die naam Boas Mei is Verward, ook vir Penguin. Iets heeltemal anders as Bomskok. Hy begin so: ‘Boas Mei is verward – en dis amptelik.’n Verpleegstertjie het so pas ’n etiket om sy linkerpols kom sit, en daarop staan dit duidelik in ’n ronde, kinderlike handskrif geskrywe: ‘confused’.’”

Hallo Tinus, dankie dat jy tyd maak vir gesels. Wie is Tinus Horn?

Dis ’n moeilike vraag, maar ek sal my bes probeer. Ek skilder en skryf en maak kort animasieflieks met karaktertjies wat ek uit hout kerf . Ek lag maklik en huil seker nie genoeg nie. Ek hou nie baie van partytjies nie en my hond se geselskap is gewoonlik vir my genoeg.

Is Bomskok ‘n storie oor die laat tagtigerjare of ‘n storie oor ‘n joernalis, of nie een van bogenoemde nie?

Ek sou dit anders stel: dis ’n storie wat in die laat tagtigerjare afspeel en die meeste van die hoofkarakters is joernaliste. Vir my gaan dit meer oor die menslike intriges; pyn en lyding, pret en plesier, liefde en verlies. Maar die karakters bevind hulle in die middel van ’n bloedige politieke omwenteling wat alles versnel en verskerp.

Bomskok. ‘n Boek oor nagevolge. Indien wel, van wat alles?

Nee, flippit, dis ’n lang lys daai. Kom ons sê maar die nagevolge van die besluit om die baarmoeder vir die wye wêreld te verlaat. Ek het dit in die mond van een van die karakters in Bomskok gelê, so ek mag dit seker weer leen.

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A Thief, a War Hero and a President: Fiona Leonard Presents The Chicken Thief

The Chicken ThiefPenguin Books South Africa presents Fiona Leonard’s novel, The Chicken Thief:

Alois is The Chicken Thief, a bright young man struggling to find his way in a southern African country wracked by political unrest and a crumbling economy.

Through a chance encounter, Alois is set to make some fast money. But the enterprise goes horribly wrong, and he finds himself in a complicated and perilous struggle to rescue a war hero and transform the political landscape. Though an unlikely hero, Alois discovers, in this charming and fast-paced adventure, that both dreams and justice are within his grasp.

Leonard’s funny, poignant and thrilling debut novel will be released in April.

About the Author

Fiona Leonard has a gypsy soul that has carried her across twenty countries on four continents. She has worked as a diplomat, foreign and trade policy consultant, freelance writer, theatre producer, blogger, home schooler and author, and sometimes several of these at once. She lives in Ghana, for now.

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Zirk van den Berg Chats About His “Boer Spy Novel” Half of One Thing

 Half of One ThingHalfpad een dingZirk van den Berg, author of Half of One Thing, says his literary influences range from Philip K Dick to Vladimir Nabokov.

Van den Berg was born in Namibia, grew up in South Africa and now lives in New Zealand. His latest book deals with forbidden love against the backdrop of the Boer War.

In an interview with Times Live, Van den Berg reveals that Half of One Thing was 12 years in the making, and talks a bit about the writers who inspire him.

Who are your literary heroes?

Philip K Dick because he wrote serious books in a trashy genre. Nabokov and Chandler for style. Charles Willeford and Jim Thompson for courage. Alan Furst for atmosphere. KC Constantine for dialogue. Romain Gary for his versatility and world view. Just about anyone who followed their own muse, actually.

How long did it take to write Half of One Thing?

On my computer there’s a file named ‘Boer spy novel’ dated 2002, so it’s been a few years. But I did other things in between as well.

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Lauren Liebenberg on Her Writing Process: “Heroin Addiction is its Next of Kin”

Cry BabyLauren Liebenberg talks about her writing process, which she describes as “chaotic, painful, feverish”.

Liebenberg, whose third novel, Cry Baby, was released recently, says there are roughly six stages to writing a first draft, and outlines them eloquently in irreverent biblical and psychological terms.

During the third stage, “Temptation, Fantasising and Denial”, Liebenberg hilariously describes her overblown sense of confidence in her own writing abilities: “I should write this story. It will be important. And a best-seller. They’ll probably make it into a movie and I will be invited to the premier. No one will recognise me on the red carpet, until the director points me out in my ravishing gown – the creator of this shocking X-ray of the human psyche that has stunned audiences and critics alike.”

To hear more about her latest book – a story about boyhood and motherhood, about what binds families, the past to the present, about suffocation and deliverance – join Liebenberg for a coffee morning at Novel Books in Bryanston on Monday, 17 March.

I am often asked about my writing process; from what inspires my novels, to what extent I map out my plots in advance, to my daily routine and average word count, the editing process and so forth. I pretend to consider these questions, and give answers that I hope sound coherent, by retrospectively imposing order on what is, in truth, chaotic, painful, feverish. If I told you that heroin addiction is its next of kin, you’d think I was lying. Read on.

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Join Lauren Liebenberg for a Coffee Morning at Novel Books

Cry BabyPenguin Books and Novel Books take pleasure in inviting you to a coffee morning with Lauren Liebenberg, author of Cry Baby.

The event will take place at Novel Books in Bryanston on 17 March, at 10 AM. Please RSVP before 13 March.

Don’t miss this chance to chat to the author and discuss the novel!
 
Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 17 March 2014
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Venue: Novel Books
    Shop F8a
    Hobart Grove Shopping Centre
    Cnr Grosvenor & Hobart Rd
    Bryanston
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Refreshments: Coffee morning
  • RSVP: novelbooks@vodamail.co.za, 011 463 9320, by Thursday, 13 March

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John van de Ruit to Appear at the Knysna Literary Festival

SpudSpud: The Madness ContinuesJohn van de Ruit will be taking part in the Knysna Literary Festival on Friday 21 March. The festival runs from the 18th to the 23rd this month.

Van de Ruit will be discussing his bestselling Spud series and film adaptations. The event starts at 9 AM at Simola Hotel & Spa. Visit the Knysna Festival Website and booking details.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

Press release

John van de Ruit – South Africa’s bestselling author of all time with over 500 000 books sold – to present “The Making of Spud” as part of the Knysna Literary Festival.

Author John van de Ruit will be appearing at the Knysna Literary Festival to chat about his globally successful Spud series on Friday 21 March from 09h00 – 10h30 at the Simola Hotel & Spa.

His debut novel, Spud remains a publishing phenomenon in South Africa, smashing all local fiction records. Following Spud’s release in September 2005, the sequel Spud – The Madness Continues… (2007) received rave reviews and both books have since been published around the globe. The penultimate book in the side-splitting series, Spud – Learning to Fly, was released in 2009. The fourth and final book in the series, Spud – Exit, Pursued by a Bear was released in 2012.

In total, the Spud series has sold over half a million copies in South Africa alone, and in December 2010 a feature film was released in Southern Africa starring John Cleese and Troye Sivan. The film debuted at number one at the South African box office. A second film, of Spud – the Madness Continues… was also released in South African cinemas just last year.

Witty, charming, and consistently hilarious, Spud combines the prep-school humour of The Catcher in the Rye with the rebellious teen antics of Dead Poet’s Society. Though John van de Ruit’s 13-year-old protagonist Spud (real name: John Milton) may hail from Durban, South Africa, his adventures, insecurities, and humour are universal.

Over the course of the four novels, Spud’s growth as a character was a process with which many identified. Van de Ruit elaborates: “Spud’s gone from a naive boy who didn’t quite realise the joke. But by book four there’s an irony to how he describes his fellow guys. There’s a surety in Spud – he doesn’t fear. He was scared in book one, yet here’s a boy who has grown into his skin.” He continues, “The series gained an extra dimension in film, with actor John Cleese adding his particular brand of humour to the milieu.”

John van de Ruit is an actor, playwright and author who was educated at Michaelhouse and received a Masters degree in Drama and Performance studies from the University of KwaZulu – Natal.

Tickets are priced at R50 per person and can be purchased via EFT.

Presented by Pam Golding Properties, the 5th annual Knysna Literary Festival takes place 18-23 March 2014 with 12 events and 18 top authors taking part. For more information, visit www.KnysnaLiteraryFestival.co.za or phone 044 382 5574.

Follow us on Twitter: @KnysnaLitFest
Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KnysnaLiteraryFestival

The Knysna Literary Festival proudly supports local charities, e’Pap Children’s Feed Project and the TSiBA Eden Campus Library.

Ends

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Lauren Liebenberg’s Advice on How to Get from First Draft to Published Book

Cry BabyLauren Liebenberg – whose third novel, Cry Baby, is out now – offers some advice on getting your book to print, in the following interview with Get Your Book Published.

Liebenberg’s debut novel, The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam, was shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize.

She explains her writing and editing process, and admits that the extensive research she undertakes can often put the pacing of the book out of kilter. Liebenberg also shares her one simple tip for overcoming writer’s block: “Read a good book.”

What advice can you give aspirant writers?

There is no room in publishing for coy apologists nor, ironically, for ego. You have to believe in what you’ve written and be prepared to convert sceptical others. At the same time, you need to take a great deal of rejection and criticism – not all of which should be deflected. The good news is that the ego-bruising ordeal of getting into print will stand you in excellent stead for bad reviews, (which are like eavesdropping on a conversation about yourself in the smoke-room, in which everyone agrees that you suck)!

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