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Posts Tagged ‘Books’

David Beresford, longtime Johannesburg correspondent for The Guardian, unpacks RW Johnson’s (remember him?) research methods in his (Johnson not Beresford’s) new book, “South Africa’s Brave New World: The Beloved Country Since the End of Apartheid,” published last year.

Johnson writes libelous things about the dead because they can’t sue, according to Beresford. And then there’s this method of research:

[Johnson] writes: “not only was (Robert) Mugabe one of the few people given a fore-warning of the events of 9/11, but he had actually allowed al-Qaeda militants to fly into Zimbabwe in the week following 9/11 to get fitted out with false Zimbabwean passports”, thus suggesting that Mugabe was an accomplice before and after the fact in the destruction of the twin towers. Turning to the relevant footnote for the source of this mind-boggling claim, I read: “See RW Johnson.”

The Guardian

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‘… “There are a lot of novels out there that make you think America is England, you know? …”That book is sort of—it’s dark green, and there’s a very sort of sensuous but depressing-looking cover: a photograph, there’s like a blurry thing in the distance. It’s a beach maybe, and the title describes a relationship between a mother and a daughter, or a mother and a father, or a father and a daughter. And the typography is all done in the same typeface as money, and the interior is all about small lives lived in a small way. I’ve often felt like those books don’t have much to do with the way life is actually lived in America.” …’

novelist James Hannaham

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Excerpt from former New York Times Johannesburg correspondent Suzanne Daley’s review of Mark Gevisser’s book of the former South African President, “A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream”:

[Here is] the description of the funeral of Mbeki’s father in 2001. Govan Mbeki, who had been more activist than parent, insisted that he be buried in a dilapidated, litter-strewn local cemetery near Port Elizabeth. This produced, as Govan must clearly have understood it would, a painful tableau for his son, the president who had not succeeded in lifting most of his countrymen out of poverty. “There was something festive and celebratory in the air — not just that Govan Mbeki truly was a local hero in these neglected quarters, but that the carnival of power had come to town — and most onlookers cheered for the dignitaries they recognized,” Gevisser writes. “Some, however, made no bones about their feelings. ‘Look at your fancy cars!’ one woman yelled to a prominent black businessman as he alighted from his BMW.”

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The Winter 2009 issue of The Literature Review is themed “Africa Calling” and is guest edited by Jeffery Renard Allen, features work by African writers writing in English. Contributions by Siphiwo Mahala, Parul Sehgal, Victor Ehikhamenor, Jackee Batanda, Chika Unigwe, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Esi Edugyan, Stanley Gazemba, Zed Houndete, Oghenerukevwe Jennifer Agbatutu, Brian Chikwava, Mildred Kiconco Barya, Andiah Kisia, Christopher Mlalazi, David Mills, Caitlin Meissner, Neema Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Shailja Patel, Kitso-yame Kgaboesele, Kim Coleman Foote, Tracy Nneka Nnanwubar and Paula Delgado-Kling

Download selected content here.

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Novelist Damon Galgut interviewed in The Boston Globe:

Q. You grew up in apartheid South Africa and live in post-apartheid South Africa. How does that influence your writing?

A. It’s hard to say. Any radical change or trauma always makes for interesting subject matter, but then all stories deal, to some extent, with the disjuncture between past and present. I feel much more at home, in a creative sense, in the new South Africa. Things have become far more ambiguous, far more morally nuanced. I like the irony and contradiction I see around me. It’s a bit of a mess, historically speaking, but viewed through a writer’s amoral lens, it’s certainly not dull.

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New book edited by a friend of mine.

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More viral marketing for the latest edition of Cape Town-based lit magazine, Chimurenga. These 2 webverts are for Chimurenga 14, “Everyone Has Their Indian” which explores the Third World project and links, real and imagined, between Africa and South Asia. Designed by Stacy Hardy, Tahier Variawa & Francois Naude.

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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