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Archive for the ‘Penguin’ Category

The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy goes beyond being a narrative of forbidden love, writes Fred Khumalo

‘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.
 
 

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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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Chris Schoeman explores the rich history of the Overberg in this gorgeous collector’s item

The Historical Overberg
Situated between the Hottentots Holland Mountains and the Breede River, the Overberg is an important agricultural region and a popular holiday destination for tourists and nature lovers who delight in the beauty of its mountainous landscape, abundant plant species and long sandy beaches.

But this area also has a rich history going back thousands of years, when the indigenous Khoi people originally thrived there, before the first European settlers arrived to leave their own indelible imprint on the culture, architecture and character of the region. This book provides a detailed account of this past by pointing out the many places, buildings, events and personalities that have made the Overberg the diverse and unique place that it is today.

The Overberg has been a home or point of interest for explorers, innovators, artists and writers, for figures as varied as Bartholomew Diaz, Olof Bergh, Hendrik Verwoerd, Gregoire Boonzaier, Audrey Blignault and Breyten Breytenbach. Some of South Africa’s oldest towns, houses and missionary stations can be found here, and its treacherous coastline has been the cause of hundreds of shipwrecks for centuries.

Enlivened by historical and current photographs and informative side panels, this book is a collector’s item.

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Jay Naidoo suggests a variety of options for ending poverty and global warming in his new book Change

Change

Unless there is significant change, the world is heading for an explosion. The growing gap between rich and poor is dangerous and unsustainable. The plundering of resources is damaging our planet. Something has to be done.

In this book, Jay Naidoo harnesses his experience as a labour union organiser, government minister, social entrepreneur and global thought leader, and explores ways of solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Drawing from his experiences in South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh and other countries, he presents a variety of options for ending poverty and global warming, with a focus on organising in our communities and building change from below and beyond borders.

Naidoo’s message is unequivocal: significant action must be taken immediately if we want future generations to live in a world that we take for granted today.

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Marita van der Vyver se dertiende roman tref die rakke

Misverstand

Willem Prins bewandel die strate van Parys. Eens was hy op koers om ’n gerekende skrywer in Suid–Afrika te word, maar na jare se probeer wink die koue water van die Seine – miskien sal sy verdrinking sy boekverkope bietjie opstoot, dink ’n swartgallige Willem.

Tot sy skaamte is dit die erotika wat hy onder ’n skuilnaam skryf wat hom na Frankryk gebring het. Terug na die stad waar een van sy drie eksvroue saam met sy oudste seun woon, ’n jong man wat sy pa skaars ken.

Vir Willem is Parys nie juis die stad van liefde nie, maar dit is hier waar hy vir Jackie ontmoet, ’n jong Suid-Afrikaner wat as au pair werk. Dit is ook sy wat saam met hom is dié Vrydagaand die dertiende toe terreur in Parys losbars.

Misverstand is die dertiende roman van een van Suid-Afrika se gewildste skrywers. ’n Roman oor die ontnugtering van die middeljare, die lewe se onweerswolke wat dikwels dreig, en oor bande tussen mense wat beskut.

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Book launch: Delilah Now Trending by Pamela Power!

Penguin Random House and Love Books invite you to join us for the launch of Delilah Now Trending. Pamela will be in conversation with Amy Heydenrych.

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Delilah Now Trending

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Book launch: Change – Organising Tomorrow, Today by Jay Naidoo in conversation with Louisa Zondo

Penguin Random House and Love Books invite you to the launch of Change by Jay Naidoo. He will be in conversation with Louisa Zondo.

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Change

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Revealed! The Joey Hi-Fi cover for A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg: A City Novel by Harry Kalmer (Plus: Excerpt)

Revealed! The Joey Hi-Fi cover for A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg by Harry Kalmer

 
Penguin Books South Africa has revealed the cover for A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg – Harry Kalmer’s new novel – designed by the legendary Joey Hi-Fi.

A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is the English translation of the critically acclaimed ‘n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg, which was shortlisted for seven Afrikaans literary awards.

A Thousand Tales of JohannesburgThe book tells the story of a city, its architecture, its history and its diverse communities, from the pre-Johannesburg Highveld of the 1880s to the xenophobia of 2008.

Scroll down for an excerpt!

Kalmer has written 23 plays and six works of fiction, but A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is his first book in English.
 
 
The author says:

A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg: A City Novel is my first book in English. I wanted it to look special so I asked publisher Fourie Botha to approach Joey Hi-Fi.

The book is set against the backdrop of the xenophobic violence of 2008. However architecture and specifically modernist architecture is central to the book. The postcard-like photo of Commissioner Street in the 1970s features two modernist buildings on the left and on the right, the deco New Library hotel against a Kodachrome blue Highveld sky.

There are so many things I love about this cover. The letters of the title mixing the old and the new. The torn photograph that allows old street maps, pictures and post cards to peak through as if to tell, like the book, the layered, tattered story of a constantly morphing city. Its history from mining camp to European Modernist skyline to the African megapolis it is today.

I chose Joey hoping he would do something as stark, modern and bold as some of his other work. Instead he created a cover that tells its own story before the reading even starts. An additional tale added to the many stories already inside the book.

Joey Hi-Fi describes the design process:

A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is a moving and intricately interwoven tale about the inhabitants of Johannesburg. It spans more than a hundred years. From the late 1800s all the way through to 2008. The challenge here was to visually capture those stories and the passing of time in an authentic fashion. Something that was true to the characters therein as well as the tone and mood of the novel.

My concept for the cover was sparked by the many references to photographs in the novel. And since photographs are a record of the passing of time, I wondered: What if all the decades spanned in A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg collided in one photograph? And what if that photograph had been torn and worn away to reveal past events? Much like an archaeological excavation, where the deeper you dig the further into the past you go. In a way it is a metaphor for the city itself. The new built upon the old. Scratch beneath the surface and you will unearth some clue to the past.

So I decided to combine typography, illustration and photography in an intricately assembled collage. One photo that incorporated all the decades covered in the novel. I wanted the cover to have a measure of authenticity. To look as much as possible like a photograph of a Johannesburg street scene that has been crumpled, torn and weathered by the passing of time. To do this I redrew old maps of Johannesburg, illustrated and collaged together Johannesburg street scenes (from various decades) and recreated Boer prisoner of war letters. The cover typography is inspired by the lettering found on old maps from the early 1900s. Each element on the cover reflects some event or character in the novel.

Designing this cover was a fascinating deep dive into the rich history of Johannesburg and its people. A history which Harry Kalmer has beautifully captured in A Thousand Tales Of Johannesburg.

About the book

A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is Harry Kalmer’s spellbinding ode to Johannesburg and its people.

This is the story of Sara, who poses stiffly for a photo with her four children at Turffontein concentration camp in 1901, and of Abraham, who paints the street names on Johannesburg’s kerbs. It is the tale of their grandson Zweig, a young architect who has to leave Johannesburg when he falls in love with the wrong person, and of Marceline, a Congolese mother who flees to the city only to be caught up in a wave of xenophobic violence.

Spanning more than a hundred years, A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is a novel that documents and probes the lives of the inhabitants of this incomparable African city – the exiled, those returning from exile, and those who never left.

About the author

Harry Kalmer is an award-winning playwright and novelist who has authored six works of fiction and 32 plays. His novel En die lekkerste deel van dood wees was the runner-up in the 2007 Sanlam/Insig Groot Roman competition. Briewe aan ‘n rooi dak, based on the letters of Magdalena Otto, received the Anglo-Gold Aardklop award for best new drama in 2001, and was adapted for television and broadcast. In 2014, his drama The Bram Fischer Waltz won the Adelaide Tambo Award for Human Rights in the Arts. He lives in Johannesburg.

Excerpt from A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg

‘What is it like to be back in Johannesburg?’ Meredith’s voice sounded thin over the phone from Seattle.

‘Odd. It’s very different from when I left.’

‘It’s more than forty years, Dad. Places change, time moves on.’

‘I know but it is totally different. It is like an African city.’

‘It is an African city.’

Zweig did not respond. To speak about the emotions he had felt since his arrival in Johannesburg three
hours earlier would have been too difficult. Instead he asked her about work.

He remained seated on the bed with the phone in his hand after the conversation ended and realised how little he and Serenita had told their daughters about Johannesburg. To them it was merely the place where their parents lived before they moved to London.

Zweig felt like some Bach, but his iPod wasn’t charged. He craved a cigarette for the first time in fifteen years. The white telephone on the white bedside table rang. Cherie asked if he wanted white or red wine with his dinner.

Zweig put on clean clothes. A few minutes later Cherie was at the door with a plate of food, a glass and a carafe of white wine. She placed it on a coffee table. Arabic music was playing somewhere in the hotel. Zweig sat down in one of the chairs and poured a glass of wine. The chicken was tasty. It was the first meat he had eaten in a long time.

When he had finished his meal, he once again picked up the copy of Moby Dick but still found it difficult to read.

He undressed and took a photo of Serenita in a standing frame from his shoulder bag.

‘You won’t believe it, Serenita.’ He smiled at the photo. ‘I’m back in Johannesburg. An old man in his vest and his underpants sitting at the edge of a bed.’

He unfolded the back support strut of the frame and placed it on the table.
Then he climbed in under the duvet and turned off the bedside light.

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Tim Noakes joins Penguin Random House South Africa authors to make Banting more affordable

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Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) is proud to announce that Professor Tim Noakes will co-write his next Banting book with PRHSA authors Bernadine Douglas and Bridgette Allan.

The Banting Pocket Guide will be published in partnership with The Noakes Foundation (TNF) early in 2017.

Noakes, who started the Banting revolution in South Africa, and TNF are passionate about making the Banting lifestyle affordable and accessible to all South Africans. Douglas and Allan share this objective and have already made the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet more inclusive with their books The Banting Solution and Die Banting-oplossing, published early in 2016.

The Banting SolutionDie Banting-oplossing

 
The Banting Pocket Guide will be user-friendly and provide all the tips and advice readers will need to start, successfully conclude and maintain their Banting diet. It will also offer more affordable solutions and include products that are more accessible to people of all walks of life. The author trio and TNF are also planning further Banting titles in this line with PRHSA.

On his decision to join PRHSA and The Banting Solution authors Douglas and Allan, Noakes says:

The focus of TNF’s Eat Better South Africa! campaign is to take the Banting Revolution to all South Africans. I am very appreciative of the chance to partner with Bernadine and Bridgette to advance our common goal – to help all South Africans understand that what we eat each day is a key determinant of our long-term health. This book provides practical information of how we can eat high-quality, healthy foods, even on a restricted food budget.

PRHSA is thrilled to have TNF on board. The foundation is a non-profit corporation founded for public benefit. Its aims are to advance medical science’s understanding of the benefits of a LCHF diet by providing evidence-based information on optimum nutrition that is free from commercial agenda. Jayne Bullen, manager of TNF says: “We are excited about this new partnership to support dietary changes needed in all populations with a clear message of Ubuntu behind it. Noakes’s proceeds from this book will go towards the TNF’s Eat Better South Africa!”

Douglas and Allan feel very privileged to have Noakes and his foundation involved in their next book. Allan said: “With the involvement of Tim and his fantastic team I am tremendously excited at the potential that The Banting Pocket Guide has to improve health across South Africa.” Douglas added: “It’s an absolute honour to have Prof. Noakes and The Noakes Foundation on board to take a healthy lifestyle to the next level.”

PRHSA is also looking forward to publishing the follow-up to Noakes’s Challenging Beliefs in 2017. The new book will include more on the LCHF diet and the highly controversial HPCSA trial.

Book details

  • Die Banting-oplossing: Jou laekoolhidraat-gids vir permanente gewigsverlies by Bernadine Douglas, Bridgette Allan
    EAN: 9781776090365
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Wen een van vyf eksemplare van Christelle van Rooyen-Wessels se debuutroman, Adder

AdderAdder deur Christelle van Rooyen-Wessels is nou beskikbaar by Penguin:

Klara Francke het ’n donker geheim. Sy is vasgekeer in ’n giftige huwelik met die sadistiese Johan. Sy leef in konstante vrees vir haar eie lewe en dié van haar tienerjarige seun. Wanneer Johan die nuwe ingenieur wat by die sonkragaanleg buite die dorp begin werk het vir ’n braai nooi, is daar onmiddellik ’n wedersydse aangetrokkenheid tussen Klara en haar man se kollega.

Terwyl Klara worstel met haar onverklaarbare – en ontoelaatbare – gevoelens, spook speurder Basie Snyman en sy kollega om die moorde op twee jong meisies op te los. Hulle weet hulle werk teen tyd wanneer ’n derde meisie verdwyn. Kort voor lank ontdek die speurders ’n skakel tussen die drie slagoffers: Klara Francke …

Oor die outeur

Christelle van Rooyen-Wessels is op De Aar gebore en is tans die redakteur van een van die oudste gemeenskapskoerante in die land – die Stellalander. Sy woon in Vryburg in Noordwes. In 2004 ontvang sy die Sanlam Gemeenskapsperstoekenning vir Joernalis van die Jaar: Menslike Nuus. Adder is haar debuut.
 


 
Vyf gelukkige lesers kan elkeen ‘n kopie van Adder wen. Om in aanmerking te kom vir die prys, besoek Penguin Random House SA se webtuiste en voltooi die kompetisievorm voor Woensdag, 30 November.

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