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Please note that this programme is subject to change without prior notice.

1
19 May, 2023

Join News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson in discussion with Ferial Haffajee, Prince Mashele and Richard Calland to discuss the state of South Africa’s coalition politics and infrastructure collapse. Who will rule the country after 2024? Will South Africa be more stable without the ANC? And what can we learn from the collapse of opposition coalitions in the cities? Join us to unpack these and other pressing questions about current affairs.

The ticket price of R450 includes a delicious Reuben’s buffet breakfast.

1b
19 May, 2023

Join bestselling publisher and author Melinda Ferguson for a 2-hour live-writing memoir workshop. Get tips on how to improve your personal writing as well as invaluable insights into the publishing scene in South Africa. Bring a notebook and pen. Space is limited.

Tickets at R250

2
19 May, 2023

Art journalist and longtime friend Diane de Beer talks to Nataniël about storytelling, longevity, inspiration and the rare art of understanding cover design. A lighthearted  and insightful conversation, which will likely end in tears.

Sponsored by Ninety One SA

3
19 May, 2023

Can you confront and process trauma by reading – or writing – fiction about terrible crimes? John Maytham peers behind the corkboard with the South African authors of three dark new thrillers – Margie Orford (The Eye of the Beholder), Lester Walbrugh (Elton Baatjies) and Tracey Hawthorne (Flipped).

4
19 May, 2023

Hlonipha Mokoena untangles the knot of apology with co-editor Melanie Judge and fellow contributor Nurina Ally to Unsettling Apologies: Critical Writing on Apology from South Africa. Also on the panel is Marina Cantacuzino, author of Forgiveness: An Exploration.

5
19 May, 2023

Joanne Jowell, author of I Am Ella, will be in conversation with the subject of her book: the astoundingly resilient Auschwitz survivor Ella Blumenthal, who lives in Sea Point and turns 103 in July this year. They will be joined by Jordy Sank, maker of a documentary about Ella which celebrates her remarkable life.

6
19 May, 2023

Sarah Bullen talks to Françoise Malby-Anthony about her book The Elephants of Thula Thula, an astonishing account of her life’s work caring for hundreds of troubled pachyderms at the rehabilitation reserve she established with her late husband, Lawrence Anthony.

7
19 May, 2023

Gail Schimmel explores the social roles and personal motivations of creating fiction with a trio of acclaimed storytellers: Rachel Joyce, Margie Orford and Sue Nyathi.

Sponsored by Ninety One SA

8
19 May, 2023

Dennis Davis tracks the descent of ANC leadership with Richard Calland and Mabel Sithole (via Zoom), co-authors of The Presidents: From Mandela to Ramaphosa, Leadership in the Age of Crisis.

9
19 May, 2023

Melody Pick-Cornelius, in conversation with Marina Cantacuzino, author of Forgiveness: An Exploration, and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. The forgiveness of self and others creates a restorative narrative with the power to transform lives – but how does one actually deeply forgive?

 

10
19 May, 2023

Dominique Botha talks with Heather Clark (via Zoom) about her biography of a genius who has been reduced to the image of her suicide in contemporary culture. Red Comet – The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath corrects the picture magisterially.

11
19 May, 2023

Koketso Sachane discusses the art of self-narrative to two maestros of bittersweet memoir: Melinda Ferguson (Bamboozled) and Herman Lategan (Hoerkind, soon to be published in English). What does it feel like to reveal everything to the world?

12
19 May, 2023

Malika Ndlovu in conversation with poets Khadija Tracey Heeger (Thicker Than Sorrow) – who is also an actor, playwright and activist – and Grant Jefthas (Afvlerkmens), a well-known son of Franschhoek. Their new collections investigate a rich palette of themes, from reviving family history and collective memory to resilience in the face of personal crisis.

13
19 May, 2023

C.A. Davids in conversation with Vernon R.L Head, author of the acclaimed bestseller The Search For the Rarest Bird in the World. His new novel, On The Wave of Gulls, animates the overlapping lives of a troubled Cape Town architect, a homeless wanderer and a seagull in search of a mate.

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

14
19 May, 2023

Learn the basics on how to plot a novel, develop strong characters and drive story, with writing coach and agent Sarah Bullen. We will unpack the key genre conventions of thrillers, crime, New Adult, Young Adult and romance fiction that writers need to construct a strong story.

Tickets at R250

 

15
19 May, 2023

Winnie & Nelson is a shattering, revelatory account of a relationship that shaped South Africa’s journey to freedom. Jonny Steinberg speaks to Hlonipha Mokoena about Winnie and Nelson’s unique marriage – its longings, its obsessions, its deceits – in this page-turning political biography.

Sponsored by Ninety One SA

16
19 May, 2023

Tony Leon is in conversation with BBC correspondent Andrew Harding and historian Irina Filatova about the Russia-Ukraine war. Harding’s book A Small, Stubborn Town – Life, Death and Defiance in Ukraine is a gripping portrait of the people of Voznesensk and the heroic stand they took against Putin’s invaders in March 2022.

17
19 May, 2023

Joy Watson welcomes two fearless memoirists who have written their way out of crisis and substance abuse: Sara-Jayne Makwala King (Mad Bad Love: And How the Things We Love Can Nearly Kill Us) and Pamela Power (My Year of Getting Shit-Faced: How I Tried and Failed to Give Up Alcohol and Learned the Joys of Moderation).

18
19 May, 2023

South Africa’s unstoppable endurance cyclist Grant Lottering (Riding Life) tells inspirational stories of resilience and determination — not least his return from the brink of death after a crash in the Alps that stopped his heart — but not his life passion.

19
19 May, 2023

Danielle Weakley explores the magic of reanimating female histories with Joanne Joseph (Children of Sugarcane, SA Book Awards winner 2022) and Laila Manack, whose debut novel, Sisters of the Circus, is the rip-roaring tale of Indian sisters who become trapeze artists, after being kidnapped and sold to the circus at age four.

20
19 May, 2023

Michele Magwood in discussion with former MP and diplomat Melanie Verwoerd about her compelling memoir Never Waste a Good Hysterectomy – a raw, frank and hopeful account of her operation and its surprising emotional aftermath.

21
19 May, 2023

Melinda Ferguson gets airborne with Robert Gentle. His inspiring memoir The Scholarship Kids recounts his and his twin brother’s boyhood dream of studying aviation, back in the days when it was a whites-only dream – and how their flair for French made it come true, opening up a world beyond apartheid South Africa.

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

22
19 May, 2023

A life-affirming and truly inspiring documentary about the remarkable life of Holocaust survivor, Ella Blumenthal. Her recollections, depicted through dynamic 2D animation, include tales of three concentration camps, and of narrowly escaping death in a gas chamber. The animation is juxtaposed with present day footage of Ella’s life in Sea Point.

23
19 May, 2023

Kabous Meiring talks with Sean Davison (via Zoom) about his revelatory memoir The Price of Mercy and the struggle to decriminalise assisted suicide in South Africa, and Willem Landman of right-to-die activist group, DignitySA.

Sponsored by Ninety One SA

24
19 May, 2023

Janet Smith explores the legacy of Chris Hani, 30 years after his murder, with Beauregard Tromp (Hani: A Life Too Short) and Justice Malala (The Plot to Save South Africa – Chris Hani’s Murder and the Week Nelson Mandela Averted Civil War). Justice Malala will join via Zoom.

25
19 May, 2023

Beide Rudie van Rensburg en Irma Venter is gesoute misdaadskrywers wie nie skroom om eksentrieke en dikwels onwaarskynlike hoofkarakters op hulle lesers los te laat nie. Ontgin saam met Jonathan Amid gunsteling karakters soss Kassie Kasselman, Carl Nester en Ami Prinsloo.

26
19 May, 2023

Pippa Hudson meets crime fiction sensation Ann Cleeves (via Zoom), winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger in 2017. Her acclaimed novels have given us three compelling TV sleuths: Vera Stanhope (Vera), Jimmy Perez (Shetland) and Matthew Venn (The Long Call). Why are her thrillers so perfectly suited to the screen?

27
19 May, 2023

Michiel Heyns talks with Etienne van Heerden about his audacious novel A Library to Flee (translated by Henrietta Rose-Innes), a sprawling exploration of campus culture wars, state surveillance and the dystopian power of the internet.

28
19 May, 2023

Gail Schimmel talks to James Hendry – safari guide, wildlife TV presenter, photographer and author – about his latest novel Return to the Wild, set in the Kruger Park, and the true events that inspire his bush-life bestsellers.

29b
19 May, 2023

A feel good documentary about four refugees who conquered the odds to become South Africa’s top sommeliers after escaping starvation and tyranny in their homeland of Zimbabwe. Driven by relentless optimism, a passion for their craft and a sense of national pride, they form Zimbabwe’s first national wine tasting team and set their sights on the coveted title of ‘World Wine Tasting Champions.’

29
19 May, 2023

Koketso Sachane in discussion with lawyer and land restitution expert Bulelwa Mabasa of Werksmans Attorneys. Her passionate memoir My Land Obsession connects her childhood and her Soweto family’s history of dispossession with the current impasse over land inequality, and the way forward to justice.

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

30
19 May, 2023

Singer, songwriter and storyteller Nataniël in concert with Steinway pianist Charl du Plessis (23 years together on stage!).

Stories mostly in Afrikaans, songs always in English, original and evergreen ballads, soul, blues and swing. Fantasy, humour, beauty, nostalgia, wisdom and truth!

Wardrobe by Floris Louw.

’n Moet vir die fynproewer!

No children under 15. No shorts or sandals (we suffer enough!), no cellphones.

Tickets at R300

Venue sponsored by Ninety One SA

 

31
19 May, 2023

Join us for a fun musical evening at Hey Joe Brewery to help raise funds for our Franschhoek Reading programme in disadvantaged schools in the valley. Franschhoek’s very own Uncorked will play immortal hits from ABBA to Coldplay. Food and drinks will be charged extra. Tickets at R250

 

Programme goes live 10 March 2023

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