Books

Books to read when not studying

NTOMBI MKANDHLA

Exceptionally written books can open up your mind to a colourful world free from stress and panic. Whether to fill up a study break or for some holiday reading after exams, Perdeby has compiled a list of compelling books to unwind.

 

Love Story, Erich Segal

Erich Segal’s 1970 novel is a timeless (and very short) romance novel. It is a tale of two American university students from different worlds who fall in love. Jenny and Ollie get married soon after graduation but have a tumultuous relationship due to financial problems. Later on, after struggling to conceive, Ollie discovers that Jenny has leukaemia. Following the advice of a doctor, Ollie does not tell Jenny of her sickness.

Love Story has had great influence on film, particularly Bollywood cinema. Popular Hindi films such Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se and Sanam Teri Kasam were based on it.

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The state of the South African literature industry

TAIGA RIVE

Those of us who are in touch with South African literature still largely do not know what the industry looks like from the inside. We have seen the creation of a host of fantastic stories but we have little knowledge of what the processes, restrictions and benefits of being a writer in this country are like. By speaking to prominent figures in South African literature, a more personal encounter of the industry is exposed. This sheds light on where our industry stands at this point, along with some hopeful expectations of where it might go.
As with many other aspects of South Africa, we see that we have begun our journey on the back-foot due to the injustices of South Africa’s past. South Africa is in a constant battle which makes things that seem to come easily for our western counterparts more challenging for us. Emma Paulet, UP student and author of the short story, “Warm”, in Queer Africa 2: New Stories, explains that the mark South African literature has made on a global level is a start, but there is so much more that we can offer. The problem is generally not a lack of quality work, but rather a disinterest from certain international parties echoing a historical trend of a one-way flow of knowledge from the West to Africa.

Read more: The state of the South African literature industry

Book Review: Queer Africa 2: New Stories - GALA

TSHILISANANI NDOU

Queer Africa 2: New Stories is the sequel to Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction which was published in 2013. The first book won a prestigious award a year after being published, the first in Africa to win the 26th Lambda Literary Award in the fiction anthology category. The book is now being included in the syllabus of some well-known universities across South Africa. The book has also been translated into Spanish and it is currently in the process of being translated into Arabic.

Read more: Book Review: Queer Africa 2: New Stories - GALA

Reliving histories: African novels

SHAUN SPROULE

Books can have a powerful influence on their readers. They can take readers on an immense journey of imagination, inspire life-long dreams and change closely held opinions. This power can be used for good or bad, and can be an important tool in helping people understand the lived experience of others.

The story of an African Farm, Olive Schreiner

The novel follows the stories of three friends – Waldo, Em and Lyndall – from childhood to adulthood. It takes place in 19th Century South Africa ahead of The First Anglo Boer War, challenging the rigid social conventions of the time. The unorthodox views on religion, marriage and societal repression were controversial over a century ago, and still hold some influence now.

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Battling gender-based violence through literature

LORINDA MARRIAN

Perdeby sat down with the founder of the award winning NGO Girls and Football SA, Jos Dirkx, to discuss their newly released practical and conceptual guide book Tackled, which focuses on working with boys and young men to decrease gender-based violence. The book includes voices from leading sports men and women such as Springbok Siya Kolisi and Director of the Football Magic Foundation, Fran Hilton-Smith.

 

What motivated you to write a book based on battling gender-based violence?

I had founded an award winning NGO called “Girls and Footbal SA”.We focus on the development of girls and young women through sport, media and education, and we worked solely in girls only spaces. That means we worked really hard to provide girls with health information, with a place to play sports and we did that [with an all female team] because, often times girls don’t actually have access to that safe space. What we realised though as we were doing the work, is that there is a need to work with boys and young men as well. We often talk about how empowered girls are or rather, we often talk about how girls need empowering but at the same time we have to find a way to also provide the opportunity for empowerment for boys. That’s why we wrote Tackled, which really looks at providing boys with a similar safe space to talk about sexuality, bullying and gangsterism. That is really what motivated me. So the book was inspired by work that I was already doing and finding ways to improve that work.

Read more: Battling gender-based violence through literature

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