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Franschhoek Literary Festival 2015: Saturday 16 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).


[46] The Sounds of Music (New School Hall)
Marianne Thamm speaks to Bongani Madondo (I’m Not Your Weekend Special), Hugh Masekela (Still
) and PJ Powers (Here I Am), about life in the music world, writing about it, or for it, and the power of words and music to change lives.

[47] This Land is Your Land, This Land is Mine (Old School Hall)
Richard Poplak quizzes two experts, Cherryl Walker (Land Divided, Land Restored) and Anthea Jeffery
(BEE: Helping or hurting?) about the issues that are holding up land reform.

[48] Bad Men (Church Hall)
One renegade operated in the criminal underworld, the other changed history. Bill Nasson (WW1 and the People of South Africa) asks Charles van Onselen (Showdown at the Red Lion) and Tim Butcher (The Trigger) about the worlds occupied by ‘One-armed Jack’ McLoughlin and the elusive Gavrilo Princip.

[49] The Age of Activism (Congregational Church)
Jonathan Jansen engages with Glenn Moss (The New Radicals, about the anti-apartheid movement in
the 1960s and ’70s) and one of today’s most vehement radicals, Malaika wa Azania (Memoirs of a Born
), about the issues that motivate student activism, then and now.

[50] Winging It (Council Chamber)
John Maytham talks to Vernon Head (The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World) and Ian Sinclair
(Birds of Southern Africa), about the birds and the – well, the birds.

[51] Take Their Word for It (Hospice Hall)
Ben Williams talks to Jenny Hobbs (A Quotionary) about her collection of writers’ quotes, now published
by Times Media as an e-book. Sunday Times word fundi, Sue de Groot, will chip in with anecdotes on
writers’ missteps and peculiarities.

[52] Writing on Writers (Protea Hotel 1)
Karina Szczurek (Invisible Others) asks Lyndall Gordon – award-winning biographer of Charlotte Brontë,
Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, and others, and David Attwell (Face to Face with Time: JM Coetzee and the life of writing) about their own writing lives, and the process of researching their subjects.

[53] Poetry: Generation Why? (Protea Hotel 2)
Genna Gardini finds out from Jolyn Philips, Kyle Allan and Thabo Jijana the reasons millennials write
poetry, and what they’re writing about.


[54] Troopship Tragedy: The Story of the SS Mendi (1) (Screening Room) – 75 minutes
Chris Nicklin and Marion Edmunds (Sabido Films) present a documentary about a quest to bring home
the bones of more than 600 South Africans who drowned when their troopship sank during World War 1.


[55] Food-writing Workshop (Franschhoek Library) (Tickets R120, 2 hours)
The rise of TV celebrity chefs and cooking means more people are interested in food and food writing.
Award-winning writer and broadcaster Gwynne Conlyn offers an entrée into the essential ingredients for
writing blogs, cookbooks, and features, as well as getting published and promoting yourself.


[56] Gathering Evidence (New School Hall)
Best-selling crime novelist Deon Meyer (Cobra) interrogates forensic scientist David Klatzow (Justice
) and Judge Dennis Davis about the role forensics play in building a criminal case that sticks.

[57] Is Freedom Just Another Word? (Old School Hall)
Where does freedom start and end for journalists, cartoonists, artists (and novelists), and do they self-censor? Eusebius McKaiser puts these questions, and more, to journalist/novelist Rehana Rossouw (What Will People Say?), Mike van Graan (African Arts Institute), and cartoonist Zapiro (Democrazy).

[58] The Straight Gaze (Church Hall)
A century ago, stringent laws and social mores restricted writers to writing for the ‘straight gaze’, reflecting the lives of gay characters obliquely, or not at all. Rebecca Davis asks John Boyne, Damon Galgut (Arctic Summer) and Sarah Waters what has changed.

[59] When Less is More (Congregational Church)
Four masters of the short story gather to talk about the art and craft of the form. Ivan Vladislavić leads the discussion with Helon Habila, Jackie Kay (Reality, Reality), and SJ Naudé.

[60] Inside out: Writing South Africa (Council Chamber)
Writing South African fiction, whether from inside the country or elsewhere, is fraught with literary and
political sensitivities. Michele Magwood asks Craig Higginson (The Dream House) and Christopher
Hope how carefully they tread without sacrificing story.

[61] In Conversation… (Hospice Hall)
John Maytham talks to Finuala Dowling about her vivid new novel, The Fetch.

[62] Accessing Memories (Protea Hotel 1)
Memoirs require authors to delve into their past in ways that may be difficult, illuminating, or comforting.
Alison Lowry asks Mark Gevisser (Lost and Found in Johannesburg), Thabo Jijana (Nobody’s
), and Zelda la Grange (Good Morning, Mr Mandela) to recall how they went about it.

[63] Poetry: Publishing Poems (Protea Hotel 2)
Alexander Matthews explores where and how poetry is being published in South Africa, with Colleen
Higgs (Modjaji Books), Linda Kaoma (Badalisha X-Change) and Nick Mulgrew (uHlanga/Prufrock).


[64] Troopship Tragedy: The Story of the SS Mendi (2) (Screening Room) – 75 minutes – Repeat
Chris Nicklin and Marion Edmunds (Sabido Films) present a documentary about a quest to bring home
the bones of more than 600 South Africans who drowned when their troopship sank during World War 1.


An Autumn Music Weekend in Franschhoek (2)
For Piano (NG Church) R100, pay at the door
Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan plays a varied recital of solo piano music by FJ Haydn, Frederic Chopin, and ‘water themed’ music by Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.


[65] Economic Imperatives (New School Hall)
What does South Africa need to do to weather the economic storms? Francis Wilson asks Moeletsi
Mbeki (Gridlock), Greg Mills (Why States Recover) and Songezo Zibi.

[66] How Intelligent (or not) Are Racists? (Old School Hall)
Gavin Evans (Black Brain, White Brain) and Jonathan Jansen (Racism and Intimacy) discuss the
intriguing findings of their research into the science and sociology of racism.

[67] Born Free (Church Hall)
Justin Fox enters the wilderness with GG Alcock and Gareth Patterson to find out how growing up ‘wild’
forged their world view.

[68] Wherever You Go, There You Are (Congregational Church)
Victor Dlamini asks Darrel Bristow-Bovey (One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo), Eshkol Nevo and
Marguerite Poland if memoir is more effective than fiction when it comes to making sense of oneself.

[69] Poetry: In Conversation… (Council Chamber)
Antjie Krog tells Alexander Matthews about her new collection, Synapse, and reads poems from it.

[70] Telling Tales or Tub-thumping? (Hospice Hall)
Palesa Morudu from Cover2Cover Books, considers whether social issues have a place in storytelling,
and asks Karin Brynard (Weeping Waters), Carol Campbell and Olivier Truc how they avoid using their
novels as soap boxes.

[71] Hello World, Africa Here (Protea Hotel 1)
How do African writers make their mark on the international market? Harry Garuba discusses the challenges faced by Ekow Duker (Dying in New York), Masande Ntshanga (The Reactive) and Henrietta Rose-Innes (Green Lion).

[72] Poetry: Poems with Power (Protea Hotel 2)
Karin Schimke (Bare & Breaking), Phillippa Yaa de Villiers (The Everyday Wife), Isobel Dixon (The Tempest Prognosticator) and Dan Wylie (Slow Fires) discuss and read the poems by other poets that had a powerful impact on them.

[73] Troopship Tragedy: The Story of the SS Mendi (3) (Screening Room) – 75 minutes – Repeat
Chris Nicklin and Marion Edmunds (Sabido Films) present a documentary about a quest to bring home
the bones of more than 600 South Africans who drowned when their troopship sank during World War 1.
SATURDAY 14h30-15h30

[74] Just Julius (New School Hall)
Dennis Davis asks Fiona Forde, Richard Poplak and Juju’s former political buddy Kenny Kunene (whose book about his experiences in the EFF is imminent, we’ve heard), how we solve an enigma named Malema.

[75] When Twitter Bites (Old School Hall)
Reputations can be ruined by one impulsive tweet. Tom Eaton (An Unauthorised History of South Africa)
asks prolific tweeter Rebecca Davis and law expert Emma Sadleir (Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex) how to avoid ignominy on social media.

[76] Can Reading Compete with Generations? (Church Hall)
Jenny Crwys-Williams asks Arthur Attwell, Eusebius McKaiser and Redi Tlhabi where the next generation of readers is coming from: If young South Africans aren’t reading books, why aren’t they?

[77] The Price We Paid (Congregational Church)
Bill Nasson (WW1 and the People of South Africa) considers how wars in the first quarter of the 20th
century shaped South Africans, with Martin Bossenbroek (The Boer War), Tim Couzens (South African Battles, The Great Silence) and Trevor Emslie (The Great Boer Escape).

[78] Writing in Tongues (Council Chamber)
For bi- or multilingual writers, choosing the language to write and publish in is influenced by many factors, from commercial considerations and political pressure, to emotional resonance. Hedley Twidle discusses the motivations behind the decisions of SJ Naudé, Futhi Ntshingila and Marita van der Vyver.

[79] The Strings to Their Bows (Hospice Hall)
Apart from writing novels, Craig Higginson, Nthikeng Mohlele and Jaco van Schalkwyk are actively engaged in other arts activities. Nancy Richards finds out what they do in their ‘other’ time, and how this influences the books they write.

[80] Living in the Public Eye (Protea Hotel 1)
Staying on track when your life is lived in the limelight is an almost impossible task. Zelda la Grange,
Pamela Nomvete and PJ Powers tell Africa Melane how they have survived the scrutiny.

[81] Poetry: It’s All Relative (Protea Hotel 2)
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, along with Nathan Trantraal (Chokers en survivors), Beverly Rycroft (Missing) and Joan Metelerkamp (Now the World Takes These Breaths) chat about rendering their family in poetry.


[82] Troopship Tragedy: The Story of the SS Mendi (4) (Screening Room) – 75 minutes – Repeat
Chris Nicklin and Marion Edmunds (Sabido Films) present a documentary about a quest to bring home
the bones of more than 600 South Africans who drowned when their troopship sank during World War 1.


[83] Up Close and Personal (New School Hall)
It takes great skill, sensitivity, and insight to get close to the heart of a human subject. Mike Wills speaks to three extraordinary writers, Tim Butcher (The Trigger), Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (A Human Being Died that Night) and Jonny Steinberg (A Man of Good Hope) about how they achieved this for these books.

[84] Bread Baskets or Basket Cases? (Old School Hall)
Ray Hartley asks Jane Duncan, Greg Mills and Songezo Zibi whether the majority of African states can
fairly be dismissed as lost causes. And, if not, what has saved them?

[85] Talking About Writing (Church Hall)
Deon Meyer chews the fat with Imraan Coovadia, Masande Ntshanga and Ivan Vladislavić.

[86] What a Plot I’ve Got! (Congregational Church)
Michele Magwood asks Belinda Bauer, Karin Brynard and Franck Thilliez how they plot and plan the structure of their novels.

[87] In Conversation… (Council Chamber)
Dorothy Driver (From Man to Man, Or Perhaps Only) and Lyndall Gordon (Divided Lives) talk about their past, current and future works.

[88] Colouring in the Lines (Hospice Hall)
Victor Dlamini asks Mamle Kabu, Jackie Kay and Thando Mgqolozana whether, as black writers, it’s
possible to ‘just write’, or if they can’t escape the politics and language of writing for what Toni Morrison
has described as the ‘white gaze’.

[89] What’s in a Title? (Protea Hotel 1)
An entire story can be encapsulated in a title. Sue Grant-Marshall finds out more from John Hunt (The
Space Between the Space Between
), Romain Puértolas (The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe) and Nkosinathi Sithole (Hunger Eats a Man).

[90] Poetry: On Page and On Stage (Protea Hotel 2)
Alexander Matthews explores the contrasts, divisions, and connections between performed and published poetry in South Africa, with Adrian ‘Diff’ van Wyk, Denise Newfield and Genna Gardini.


[91] Troopship Tragedy: The Story of the SS Mendi (5) (Screening Room) – 75 minutes – Repeat
Chris Nicklin and Marion Edmunds (Sabido Films) present a documentary about a quest to bring home
the bones of more than 600 South Africans who drowned when their troopship sank during World War 1.

Saturday Evening Events


[92] A Weekend Special (Church Hall)
Bongani Madondo (I’m Not Your Weekend Special) and Shado Twala tune in to I’m Not Your Weekend
, ‘Portraits on the Life + Style & Politics of Brenda Fassie’, edited by Bongani, with links to her
music to accompany the story of her life.

[93] Crritic! (Congregational Church) (Tickets: R100)
John Maytham presents an evening of literary critical bloopers, spats and miscarriages of justice – the
books that reviewers and judges got hopelessly wrong; sour reviews; internecine fights between authors
and between authors and critics; literary depictions of authors in despair… Collated by Finuala Dowling.


Sunday Times Literary Awards shortlist announcement (Allora Restaurant) (by invitation only)


[94] Chris van Wyk … in His Own Words (Congregational Church) (Tickets: R120) – Repeat
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.

An Autumn Music Weekend in Franschhoek (3)
Grand Soirée (Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine) R450 includes a 3-course meal.
An opera evening with magnificent voices. SA’s top mezzo soprano Violina Anguelov introduces young tenor Lukhanyo Moyake, as they sing celebrated arias, duets and songs from Carmen, Samson and Delilah, La Traviata, Rigoletto, and more, with Christopher Duigan (piano). Bookings: Café Bon Bon 021 876 3936.

19h00 for 19h30

Dinner with talk show host and author Jenny Crwys-Williams (Pierneef à La Motte)
Enjoy an FLF highlight: dinner with some of the cream of Festival authors in one of SA’s top restaurants, with Porcupine Ridge wines. Authors at all tables, party atmosphere, great winelands food. Email or phone Jade Horn on 076 780 6383.

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