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Penguin SA

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Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

Launch: Heist! by Anneliese Burgess (11 June)

‘With meticulous journalism and at a cracking pace, Burgess exposes the inner mechanics of cash heists and the complicity of police officers …’ – Mandy Wiener, author of Ministry of Crime

From the horror of the 2006 Villa Nora heist – in which four security guards were burnt alive in their armoured vehicle after a ferocious fight-back against highly trained mercenaries – to the 2014 robbery of a cash centre in Witbank, where a gang made off with almost R104 million after impersonating police officers, Heist! is an impeccably researched exposé of an endemic crime phenomenon that some analysts warn could bring South Africa to its knees.

Using the information gleaned from thousands of pages of court documents and press reports, as well as interviews with police officers, crime intelligence agents, prosecutors, defence lawyers, researchers, journalists, security guards and the criminals themselves, Heist! provides unprecedented insight into a crime that increased by a staggering 49 per cent in the first eight months of 2017 alone.

As informative and thought-provoking as it is distressing, this is a book by an investigative journalist at the top of her game.

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Cuddle Me, Kill Me is a true account of South Africa’s captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry

Canned lion hunting sprang to the world’s attention with the 2015 launch of the documentary, Blood Lions. This movie blew the cover off a brutal industry that has burgeoned in the last decade or so, operating largely under the radar of public concern.

In Cuddle Me Kill Me, veteran wildlife campaigner Richard Peirce reveals horrifying facts about the industry. He tells

  • The true story of two male lions rescued from breeding farms
  • The exploitation and misery of these apex predators when they are bred in captivity
  • How young cubs are removed from their mothers mere hours after birth
  • How they are first used for petting by an adoring (and paying) public
  • Their subsequent use for ‘walking with lions’ tourism
  • And how, in the final stage of exploitation, they are served up in fenced enclosure for execution by canned hunters – or simply shot by breeders for the value of their carcass, a prized product in the East.

Well researched by Peirce with the help of an undercover agent, and illustrated with photos taken along the way, this is a disturbing and passionate plea to end commercial captive lion breeding and the repurposing of wildlife to cater for human greed.

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Launch: Heist! by Anneliese Burgess (30 May)

‘With meticulous journalism and at a cracking pace, Burgess exposes the inner mechanics of cash heists and the complicity of police officers …’ – Mandy Wiener, author of Ministry of Crime

From the horror of the 2006 Villa Nora heist – in which four security guards were burnt alive in their armoured vehicle after a ferocious fight-back against highly trained mercenaries – to the 2014 robbery of a cash centre in Witbank, where a gang made off with almost R104 million after impersonating police officers, Heist! is an impeccably researched exposé of an endemic crime phenomenon that some analysts warn could bring South Africa to its knees.

Using the information gleaned from thousands of pages of court documents and press reports, as well as interviews with police officers, crime intelligence agents, prosecutors, defence lawyers, researchers, journalists, security guards and the criminals themselves, Heist! provides unprecedented insight into a crime that increased by a staggering 49 per cent in the first eight months of 2017 alone.

As informative and thought-provoking as it is distressing, this is a book by an investigative journalist at the top of her game.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2018
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville, Johannesburg | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Karyn Maughan
  • RSVP: kate@lovebooks.co.za
     

    Book Details


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Launch: The Café de Move-on Blues by Christopher Hope (16 May)

In White Boy Running, Christopher Hope explored what it looked and felt like to grow up in a country gripped by an ‘absurd, racist insanity’. Now comes Cafe de Move-on Blues, Hope’s contemplation of the situation white South Africans find themselves in today, post-Apartheid.

Emigration is accelerating at a rate never seen before, diasporas are spreading from Winnipeg to Wimbledon, and the spectre of neighbouring Zimbabwe looms large as violence spreads. As one by one, the old imperial idols, from Cecil Rhodes to Paul Kruger, are pulled from their pedestals, Hope ponders the question: ‘Who is next?’

In this intimate and powerful portrait of race, politics and people in South Africa today, Hope, yet again, uses his mesmerising prose to get to the heart of the issue, and to reveal what can be done to stem the flow of whites leaving the rainbow nation.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2018
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesurg | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Michele Magwood
  • RSVP: info@lovebooks.co.za
     

    Book Details


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Listen: Haji Mohamed Dawjee discusses Sorry, Not Sorry with Sara-Jayne King

Why don’t white people understand that Converse tekkies are not just cool but a political statement to people of colour? Why is it that South Africans of colour don’t really ‘write what we like’? What’s the deal with people pretending to be ‘woke’? Is Islam really as anti-feminist as is claimed? What does it feel like to be a brown woman in a white media corporation? And what life lessons can we learn from Bollywood movies?

In Sorry, Not Sorry, Haji Mohamed Dawjee explores the often maddening experience of moving through post-Apartheid South Africa as a woman of colour. In characteristically candid style, Dawjee pulls no punches when examining the social landscape: from arguing why she’d rather deal with an open racist than some liberal white people, to drawing on her own experience to convince readers that joining a cult is never a good idea.

In the provocative voice that has made Dawjee one of our country’s most talked-about columnists, she offers observations laced throughout with an acerbic wit. Sorry, Not Sorry will make readers laugh, wince, nod, introspect and argue.

Haji recently discussed Sorry, Not Sorry with Sara-Jayne King on Sara-Jayne’s 702 Book Club programme. Gooi an ear!

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Erich Rautenbach passes away in Canada

Erich Rautenbach pictured in Cape Town. Image: Erich Rautenbach CTHS Scholarship.

 
Erich Rautenbach, author of the South African memoir The Unexploded Boer, died in Vancouver, Canada on April 18th due to an aggressive relapse of leukemia. He was 63 years old.

Erich was born June 16, 1954 in Swakopmund, Namibia and grew up in Cape Town, leaving South Africa as a fugitive at the age of 21 after escaping from police custody. After some months in Europe and the Middle East as an undocumented refugee, he arrived in Canada where he eventually settled, raising four sons with his wife Mary Ann McKenzie, and returning to South Africa and Namibia as much as possible. He was planning a permanent move back to his home country when his cancer returned.

The Unexploded Boer, described as “a wild story of rebellion and retribution”, was published in 2011 by Zebra Press/Random House. It vividly recreated the hippy/glam subculture of 1970s Cape Town and followed Erich as he tried anything to avoid conscription into the South Africa army, leading to incarceration in infamous prisons including John Voster Square and The Fort. It received strong critical acclaim.

In Erich’s honour, the family is planning to create an annual bursary to be given to a Cape Town High School student who shows promise as a writer. Funds are being raised in Canada and South Africa through a Go Fund Me campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/erich-rautenbach-cths-scholarship

The Unexploded Boer

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Launch: The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy by Bhekisisa Mncube (25 April)

‘The book goes beyond being a narrative of forbidden love. It’s a potent alchemy, a swirling together of matters that are the hallmark of serious literature: good and evil, sex, love, friendship, morality, happiness and suffering, heroes and villains… and, of course, the old South African chestnuts – race and identity.’ – Fred Khumalo

The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is by turns erotic, romantic, tragic and comic. Inspired by the real-life drama of a romance between a Zulu boy and an Englishwoman, the book consists of various interrelated short stories on interracial relationships in modern-day South Africa.

As the author reflects on love across the colour line, it triggers memories of failed affairs and bizarre experiences: love spells, toxic masculinity, infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases, a phantom pregnancy, sexless relationships, threesomes and prostitution, to name but a few.

A unique book for the South African market, The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is written with an honesty rarely encountered in autobiographical writing.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2018
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Iman Rappetti
  • RSVP: kate@lovebooks.co.za
     

    Book Details


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Johannesburg launch: Sorry, Not Sorry by Haji Mohamed Dawjee (11 April)

Sorry, Not SorryWhy don’t white people understand that Converse tekkies are not just cool but a political statement to people of colour? Why is it that South Africans of colour don’t really ‘write what we like’? What’s the deal with people pretending to be ‘woke’? Is Islam really as anti-feminist as is claimed? What does it feel like to be a brown woman in a white media corporation? And what life lessons can we learn from Bollywood movies?

In Sorry, Not Sorry, Haji Mohamed Dawjee explores the often maddening experience of moving through post-Apartheid South Africa as a woman of colour. In characteristically candid style, Dawjee pulls no punches when examining the social landscape: from arguing why she’d rather deal with an open racist than some liberal white people, to drawing on her own experience to convince readers that joining a cult is never a good idea.

In the provocative voice that has made Dawjee one of our country’s most talked-about columnists, she offers observations laced throughout with an acerbic wit. Sorry, Not Sorry will make readers laugh, wince, nod, introspect and argue.
 
 
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“Be loyal to your car, but don’t give a sh*t about it.” Haji Mohamed Dawjee celebrates her anti-establishment hero, her grandfather, in this extract from Sorry, Not Sorry

Published in the Sunday Times

Haji Mohamed Dawjee celebrates her anti-establishment hero, her grandfather, in this extract from her new book Sorry, Not Sorry: Experiences of a Brown Woman in a White South Africa.

He was an honest guy, my grandfather. A bit left-field with his thoughts, but always honest. His support of my creativity started when I was really young. I spent a lot of time with him at our old house in Laudium. Before I realised I liked writing, I sketched. All the time. He supplied pencils and paper, and I replicated Secret Seven book covers. SABC News was always on in the background and compliments for the Indian news presenters spilt out of him. They were all Hindu and he never failed to voice his disappointment and, well, disgust for the Muslim community, who he said never did anything with their lives. “Baby-making machines,” he called them. “Will never amount to anything,” he said. He admired women journalists and was frustrated that none of those he saw were Muslim. Subconsciously, I think this played a massive role in my becoming a journalist.

He was a writer too. He wrote poems. Lots and lots of poems. When he wasn’t reading them, he was writing them. They were really short, but he took ages to type them because he wasn’t used to a computer. He punched each letter in with two fingers and sometimes got the upper- and lower-case letters wrong, resulting in an ee cummings aesthetic. I assisted with formatting when asked.

The poems’ themes varied from religion to memories of his mother and his childhood. He was never published. Such opportunities did not exist for his generation, class and race. He bought a DIY manual on self-publishing and read it studiously, but nothing came of it. To satisfy his byline needs he got a printer and compiled the poems in files so that they looked like real books. The poetry anthologies of Cassim Mohamed Dawjee are still lying around somewhere in Pretoria.

Reading, writing and watching the news are just about the only conventional things about my grandfather when considered in the light of cultural and religious norms. With every decision, thought and opinion, he proudly lifted his middle finger to the world he found himself in and carved his own path. He didn’t care what anyone thought. In that way, he is my hero. He made me laugh without knowing he did. But he also made me think.

Once, when Muslim evangelists pitched up at the gate, he asked that the dogs be released from the back yard to scare them off. He went outside with a whip to do the same. I love that story.

What follows are a few things my grandfather did in his life, and the lessons I learnt from them.

Be loyal to your car, but don’t give a shit about it.

My granddad drove an ancient, massive, olive-green Mercedes-Benz. I don’t even know what model it was. It was always falling apart. It was an automatic and it’s the car he used to teach me to drive. He was always doing things to the engine that I am pretty sure didn’t need doing and only contributed to its demise.

At one stage, the window on the driver’s side gave in. It would stay wide open because it just slid right down into the door panel. Instead of having it fixed, Pappie, as we called him, used a butcher’s knife to hold it in place. This. Was. A. Terrible. Idea.

He drove me and my sister to school in that car every day. It was a long drive because we lived in Laudium and our school was out of town in Valhalla. He didn’t drive well because he always handled the steering wheel with one hand and had his other hand out the window, fingers tapping the roof of the car. In the summer when the whole window thing happened, he’d try to roll the window up and down while driving, constantly dissatisfied with the temperature.

Removing and replacing the knife required him to use both hands. The car went everywhere and so did the massive knife. It was quite a spectacle and quite a chore. The knife needed to be properly rammed into the side of the little window slit, which took some force. He endeavoured to keep his eyes on the road while trying his best not to miss his target and stab himself in the leg. He never missed, and I’m glad about that, but I often find myself laughing to stop from crying with fear of just thinking about it.

Lesson one: Sometimes in life, all you need is a huge knife to cut through the bullshit. If you believe in yourself, you can always make it work, no matter the risk. And screw the rest.

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Launch: Sorry, Not Sorry by Haji Mohamed Dawjee (9 April)

Why don’t white people understand that Converse tekkies are not just cool but a political statement to people of colour? Why is it that South Africans of colour don’t really ‘write what we like’? What’s the deal with people pretending to be ‘woke’? Is Islam really as anti-feminist as is claimed? What does it feel like to be a brown woman in a white media corporation? And what life lessons can we learn from Bollywood movies?

In Sorry, Not Sorry, Haji Mohamed Dawjee explores the often maddening experience of moving through post-Apartheid South Africa as a woman of colour. In characteristically candid style, Dawjee pulls no punches when examining the social landscape: from arguing why she’d rather deal with an open racist than some liberal white people, to drawing on her own experience to convince readers that joining a cult is never a good idea.

In the provocative voice that has made Dawjee one of our country’s most talked-about columnists, she offers observations laced throughout with an acerbic wit. Sorry, Not Sorry will make readers laugh, wince, nod, introspect and argue.
 
Event Details


» read article