Shop Menu

Franschhoek Literary Festival 2015: Friday 15 May Events

Here is a list of all the amazing events you can look forward to at the Franschhoek Literary Festival this year! Because there are so many wonderful events we have decided to split them into 3 blogs (one for each day of the festival).


[1] Wielding Words (New School Hall)
Darrel Bristow-Bovey (Superzero) discusses words and swords with John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped
) and Chris Bradford (Bodyguard & Young Samurai series).

[2] Beware: Social Media Ahead (Old School Hall)
Rebecca Davis (Best White and Other Anxious Delusions) finds out from lawyer Emma Sadleir (Don’t
Film Yourself Having Sex
) why being too open on social media platforms is a dangerous thing.

[3] Who Likes what Teens Read? (Church Hall)
Samantha Page asks YA writers Edyth Bulbring (The Mark), Mamle Kabu (The Kaya Girl – written under the name Mamle Wolo), Zimkhitha Mlanzeni (Blood Ties) and SA Partridge (Sharp Edges) who they write for, who is reading their books, and how they tailor their stories for their audience.

[4] Trade Secrets (Congregational Church)
John Maytham peers into the toolboxes of the crime writers’ trade. Telling him how they do it are
Andrew Brown (Solace), and French writers Franck Thilliez (Syndrome E) and Olivier Truc (Forty Days Without Shadow).

[5] Just do it… (Council Chamber)
What does it take to write a book? asks Palesa Morudu of Máire Fisher (Birdseye), Rosamund Haden
(Love Tastes Like Strawberries) and Nkosinathi Sithole (Hunger Eats a Man).

[6] The Joy & Job of Literature (Hospice Hall)
Karin Schimke asks Ekow Duker (Dying in New York), Futhi Ntshingila (Do Not Go Gentle) and Elaine
Proctor (The Savage Hour) when the joy of writing becomes the job of writing. Or does it?

[7] ‘A Hundred Books by the Age of Five’ (Protea Hotel 1)
Arthur Attwell (Book Dash), Noshipo Mabaso (Zonnebloem Primary School Shine Centre),
Smangele Mathebula (Nal’ibali) and Nic Spaull (education policy researcher) explore why it’s important
for all children to own and share books at home, and how we can make that happen.

[8] Poetry: Reading to Remember (Protea Hotel 2)
Alexander Matthews (Aerodrome) explores why learning poetry by heart at school is important, and finds out about the Poetry for Life initiative from its coordinator, Celia van Druten, and academics Georgie Horrell, Morag Styles and Denise Newfield.

[9] Miners Shot Down (1) (Screening Room) – (Tickets R100, 2 hours)
Terry Bell (The Human Rights Media Trust) and Zivia Desai Keiper (Uhuru Productions) host the award winning documentary screenings of the story behind the Marikana killings. A discussion will follow each

[10] A Story to Tell (New School Hall)
Redi Tlhabi asks three women to share the stories of their lives, each extraordinary in its own way. With
Ruth Carneson (Girl on the Edge), Pamela Nomvete (Dancing to the Beat of the Drum) and Maria
Phalime (Postmortem: The doctor who walked away).

[11] Reporting Murder (Old School Hall)
Recent high profile murder trials have thrown the spotlight on how crime is reported in the media. Taking a closer look, under the interrogation of John Webb, are journalist Jane Flanagan (UK Daily Mail Online),
forensic scientist David Klatzow, and social media lawyer Emma Sadleir.

[12] Poetry for Life Competition Finals (Church Hall) – special event, ending by 2pm
Finuala Dowling (host) and judges Jackie Kay, John Maytham, Morag Styles, Nathan Trantraal and
Celia van Druten (accuracy), oversee the finals in this high school competition to encourage the learning
of poetry by heart.

[13] The Gangs of South Africa (Congregational Church)
From 18th century goldfields to 21st century Cape prisons: Charles van Onselen (Showdown at the Red
, The Fox & The Flies) and Jonny Steinberg (The Number) talk about the compelling histories and stories of South Africa’s gangsters.

[14] R100 on the Road to Hope (Council Chamber)
Marianne Thamm (Here I Am) follows the quest for understanding and hope undertaken by Sonja Kruse
(The uBuntu Girl) when she hit the roads of South Africa with a backpack, R100, her thumb, and a deep
belief in the goodness of people.

[15] The Alchemy of Life and Literature (Hospice Hall)
From the real to the imagined: book editor and publishing consultant Alison Lowry speaks to Christopher Hope (Jimfish) and Rehana Rossouw (What Will People Say?) about the challenges of writing true-to-life stories.

[16] My Mother, Myself (Protea Hotel 1)
Safm broadcaster Nancy Richards speaks to award-winning literary biographer Lyndall Gordon (Divided
) about her memoir of life with her mother, and about her other works.

[17] Load-sharing (Protea Hotel 2)
Diane Awerbuck (Home Remedies) in conversation with writing partnership Michael Cope & Ken Barris
(Sunderland) about the challenges and rewards of writing a book together.


[18] Miners Shot Down (2) (Screening Room) – (Tickets R100, 2 hours) – repeat
Terry Bell (The Human Rights Media Trust) and Zivia Desai Keiper (Uhuru Productions) host the award winning documentary screenings of the story behind the Marikana killings. A discussion will follow each


[19] We Won’t Get No Education (New School Hall)
Government’s controversial proposal to limit textbooks to one per subject has raised alarms across
disciplines. Francis Wilson asks Arthur Attwell (Book Dash), Jonathan Jansen (How to Fix South
African Schools
) and MEC for Education in the Western Cape, Debbie Schäfer, what the implications are.

[20] Fear and Loathing in SA (Old School Hall)
What is a police state, and is South Africa becoming one? Ray Hartley (Ragged Glory) asks Jane Duncan (The Rise of the Securocrats), political risk consultant and author Fiona Forde (Still An Inconvenient Youth) and Moeletsi Mbeki (Advocates for Change).

[21] A History of Guilt (Congregational Church)
Esteemed Irish writer John Boyne has at last written a book set in that country. He tells Michele
Magwood why he homes straight in on the dark side of the Catholic Church in his novel, A History of

[22] Going With the Flow (Council Chamber)
Books editor Elmari Rautenbach in conversation with author Marita van der Vyver (A Fountain in
), about her magical life abroad.

[23] Writers’ Libraries (Hospice Hall)
Justin Fox (The Impossible Five) searches the shelves of Belinda Bauer (The Facts of Life and Death), Imraan Coovadia (Tales of the Metric System) and Ivan Vladislavić (101 Detectives), seeking the books that have accompanied them through their lives, and asks what influence this reading has had on their writing.

[24] Flavours of the Month (Protea Hotel 1)
Whether it’s sustainable food choices, flourishing food markets, or French cooking classes, Donald
Paul speaks to food aficionados Daisy Jones (Star Fish), Dianne Stewart (Market Foods) and Marlene
van der Westhuizen (Secrets of a French Cooking Class) about these trends, and what’s coming next.

[25] You Write a Woman, You Write a Rock (Protea Hotel 2)
Sue Grant-Marshall speaks to Carol Campbell (Esther’s House), Mamle Kabu, and Futhi Ntshingila
about writing powerful women characters: their inspiration, their characterisation, and whether you have to be a woman to create ‘real’ women.


[26] Crime Watch (New School Hall)
Jenny Crwys-Williams grills Andrew Brown (Solace), Deon Meyer (Cobra) and SAPS Major-General
Jeremy Vearey about real policing vs fictional policing, whether writers have a responsibility to get it right, and what each side can learn from the other.

[27] War Triggers (Old School Hall)
Because of a bullet a battle was caused. Or was it? Professor of modern military history Mark Connelly
explores the circumstances that led to the Boer War and World War 1, with Martin Bossenbroek (The
Boer War
), Tim Butcher (The Trigger), and fiction writer Nigel Fox (A Bullet in the Back).

[28] The Politics of Bling (Church Hall)
Songezo Zibi (Raising the Bar) asks Anthea Jeffery (BEE: Helping or hurting?), journalist and author
Bongani Madondo (I’m Not Your Weekend Special) and Herman Mashaba (Black Like You) about the
impact of ‘new money’ on the people who have earned it, those who have been given it, or those who have been left behind without it.

[29] Here We Are (Congregational Church)
Journalist/author Marianne Thamm and music icon PJ Powers discuss the experience of writing a book
together, PJ’s personal story – Here I Am.

[30] Coetzee by the Book (Council Chamber)
Hedley Twidle considers the work of JM Coetzee with two Coetzee experts, David Attwell (Face to Face
with Time: JM Coetzee and the life of writing
) and Hermann Wittenberg (JM Coetzee – Two Screenplays).

[31] Words to Spare (Hospice Hall)
A book is only as good as the words a writer chooses to use — or to leave out. Alison Lowry speaks to
three writers whose words sing, paint, and speak their stories in extraordinary ways: Nthikeng Mohlele
(Rusty Bell), SJ Naudé (The Alphabet of Birds) and Marguerite Poland (The Keeper).

[32] Prizing African Writing (Protea Hotel 1)
Books editor Ben Williams asks prize-winning authors Diane Awerbuck (Cabin Fever, Home Remedies),
Helon Habila (Oil on Water, Granta Book of the African Short Story 2013 – editor) and Henrietta Rose-Innes (Green Lion) what literary prizes mean for African writers both on this continent and internationally.

[33] Poetry: New Work (Protea Hotel 2)
Alexander Matthews asks Louis Esterhuizen (Die afwesigheid van berge), Kerry Hammerton (The
Weather Report
), Danie Marais (Solank verlange die sweep swaai), and Charl-Pierre Naudé (Al die
lieflike dade
), to discuss and read from their new collections.


[34] Life-writing Masterclass (Franschhoek Library) – (Tickets R120; 2 hours)
Intrigued by the possibilities and challenges of life writing? This masterclass, presented by literary
biographer and memoirist Lyndall Gordon, will deliberate on the choice of subject, research and
technique, and the different approaches to the subject. Space is limited.


[35] Miners Shot Down (3) (Screening Room) – (Tickets R100, 2 hours) – Repeat
Terry Bell (The Human Rights Media Trust) and Zivia Desai Keiper (Uhuru Productions) host the award winning documentary screenings of the story behind the Marikana killings. A discussion will follow each


[36] What Makes One an African? (New School Hall)
Is being an African a question of race, culture or attitude? Richard Poplak (Just Julius) thrashes out the
knotty questions with GG Alcock (Third World Child), Jonathan Jansen (Racism and Intimacy) and
Moeletsi Mbeki (Advocates for Change).

[37] Is the SA healthcare Service Running a Fever? (Old School Hall)
Alarming reports indicate that our hospitals and clinics need intensive care. Mike Wills discusses what
needs to be done, with Mark Heywood (SECTION27), Maria Phalime (Postmortem: The doctor who
walked away
) and Jonny Steinberg (Three-Letter Plague).

[38] Animals’ Lives Matter (Church Hall)
Don Pinnock leads a discussion with Justin Fox (The Impossible Five), John Hanks (Operation Lock and the War on Rhino Poaching) and Gareth Patterson (My Lion’s Heart) about why animals’ rights can’t be separated from human rights.

[39] Building Character (Congregational Church)
Victor Dlamini asks French writer Romain Puértolas (The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who got
Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe
), Jaco van Schalkwyk (The Alibi Club) and British author Sarah Waters
(The Paying Guests), about the process each follows in creating and developing their characters.

[40] A Family Matter (Council Chamber)
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers in conversation with Scottish writer Jackie Kay about the search for her birth
parents, and Red Dust Road, her remarkable memoir recounting this quest.

[41] When Poets Write Prose (Hospice Hall)
Finuala Dowling (The Fetch) and Beverly Rycroft (A Slim Green Silence) discuss how choice of genre
affects everything, from the moment of inspiration to the way a book is received by its readers.

[42] Roads Less Travelled (Protea Hotel 1)
Africa Melane explores the paths followed by the characters in the latest books by Mandla Langa (The
Texture of Shadows
), Israeli writer Eshkol Nevo (Neuland), and Nkosinathi Sithole (Hunger Eats a Man).

[43] Poetry: Poets and Their Day Jobs (Protea Hotel 2)
Literary agent Isobel Dixon chats with Louis Esterhuizen (Protea Boekwinkel manager), book reviewer
and blogger Karin Schimke, and Dan Wylie (English professor), about the impact their day jobs have on
their poetry.

Friday evening events


[44] Here I Am (Church Hall) (Tickets: R120)
PJ Powers brings her story, Here I Am, to life though anecdotes and songs sung in her inimitable way. The show will inspire you, make you laugh, and perhaps make you cry.


[45] Chris van Wyk … in His Own Words (Congregational Church) (Tickets: R120)
Actor Kurt Egelhof will read a selection of poems and passages from the memoirs of Chris van Wyk, the
much-loved author of Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, in celebration of his life and work.


Poetry at Essence (free entry)
Poets appearing on the FLF poetry programme, as well as other featured voices, read from their work, at Essence Restaurant. Bar and dining menu available.


An Autumn Music Weekend in Franschhoek (1)
Evening Recital for Violin and Piano (NG Church) R100, pay at the door
International concert violinist Joanna Frankel plays a celebratory programme of music by Elgar, Gershwin, and Ravel, in an evening recital with Christopher Duigan (piano). (70 minutes)


Sunday Times Readers’ Dinner at Allora
The Sunday Times hosts a literary evening with headline authors John Boyne, Sarah Waters, and special guests Hugh Masekela, PJ Powers and Shado Twala. Enjoy a four-course meal, with a welcome glass of Porcupine Ridge wine. For price and bookings, email

, , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Franschhoek Literary Festival 2015: Friday 15 May Events

  1. Eric April 10th, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    Where is this place if i may ask and are all the sessions/book talks charging?


    • Cerys April 10th, 2015 at 8:35 am #

      Hi Eric

      Franschhoek is located in the Western Cape. Most of the events are free, the ones that are charging are indicated in the blog posts.

Leave a Reply