‘If anyone is going to write a novel based on the South African security services during apartheid and since the first democratic elections in 1994, Barry Gilder is a very good candidate.’
One of the more intriguing aspects of Barry Gilder’s gripping spy novel comes in the Author’s Note. In Songs & Secrets, his non-fiction account of his life in exile, from where he returned to senior positions in government, he was ‘invariably asked: Why are there not more secrets’ in the book. The ‘Songs’ reflect another part of Gilder’s identity as an accomplished musician.
There’s something in this book for a range of folks: political reporters; commentators and analysts; academics working in various areas of contemporary South African politics; and the general reader keen to beef up their understanding of some of the dynamics in our body politic especially as we head to a general election in 2019.
Oh, what a pleasure! Light animal anecdotes, told originally by Alice Kirk about the very mixed family on her farm in the KZN Midlands, recalled and retold by her granddaughter.
Marcus Low’s book is timely and important as it presents a human story behind untreatable infectious disease. Low places incarcerated people who have the dimmest hopes for the future and little consolation at the story’s center. Low movingly describes the mental state of Barry James in a way that seems entirely authentic. A compelling read!
When We Speak of Nothing tells the story of friends Karl and Abu, both 17, who live near Kings Cross. Its 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is grappling with gender identity, and becomes the target of the local ‘wannabe’ thugs just for being different.
‘What is the acceptable amount of blood for good literature?’ Arundhati Roy’s new novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness reviewed
In the latest issue of the newly launched Johannesburg Review of Books, Panashe Chigumadzi reviews Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
Trevor Noah’s career continues to grow from strength to strength, with the news that Bill Gates has reviewed his memoir Born a Crime for Time magazine.
The complicated life of podcaster in the spotlight in Steven Boykey Sidley’s new novel Free Association
Bruce Dennill has written a review of Steven Boykey Sidley’s new book Free Association for The Times.
Karina M Szczurek has written a glowing review of Asylum, a new post-apocalyptic thriller by Marcus Low, for the Cape Times.
Rosa Lyster reviews George Saunders’s debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo for Books LIVE.
This is a review of Dan Wylie’s recent post-apocalyptic speculative fiction novella. It was featured on Aerodrome on 25 April 2017.
Mamphela Ramphele’s latest book is called Dreams, Betrayal and Hope. If the order of the “hope” and “betrayal” were swapped, it might be an apt description of the journey of many Agang voters.
Gareth Langdon lauds Sean Christie’s excellent account of stowaways living on the margins of a quickly gentrifying Cape Town.