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KZN Literary Tourism Commemorates World Aids Day 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 December 2016 22:02

Today is World Aids Day. This is a day that provides an “opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died”.

In honour of World Aids Day, KZN Literary Tourism has assembled three extracts from authors of our archive. Pregs Govender is an outspoken activist against HIV who has helped bring the voices of women into the arena of HIV/AIDs discussions. Christa Biyela was a creator, writer and producer of ‘Sihlomulelana Ngolwazi’, an HIV/AIDS weekly show on Ukhozi FM. She has travelled throughout KwaZulu-Natal giving motivational talks on HIV/AIDS issues, primarily focusing on positive living. She has presented approximately 100 talks to private companies, governments departments, schools, correctional centres and rural communities. Her motivational talks are influenced by her life living with HIV for a period of 18 years. Trevor Kleinhans contracted HIV after his life became a downward spiral of addiction, debt and depression. He has since, like Biyela, turned his experiences into ways to motivate and educate other people.



KZN Literary Tourism End of Year Function PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 December 2016 18:35

Yesterday, the KZN Literary Tourism team enjoyed a quiet lunch at Olive and Oil Glenwood as part of our Year End Function. With good food on hand, charming company and an elegant atmosphere present, a reflection on the project’s highlights took place.

Pictured: (From left to right), Nonkululeko Gumede, Lindy Stiebel, Danyela Demir, Rasvanth Chunylall, Liliana Tappeiner


The project began in 2001 and, as such, this year marks the 15th year since its conception. The project has since added over 170 authors linked to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. This year we have included nine notable entries: Pamela Power, Craig Higginson, Tyron Love, ZP Dala, Christa Biyela, Ishara Maharaj, Nick Mulgrew, Nikhil Singh and David Schmahmann.

This has been a stellar year for KZN authors:

  1. Gcina Mhlophe was named one of BBC’s “100 Women of 2016”.
  2. At the 2016 South African Literary Awards (SALAS) Mhlophe was awarded the "Chairperson's Award" for her body of work while Ingrid Winterbach won the "Lifetime Achievement Literary Award" for her body of work.
  3. Dubsteps author, Andrew Miller, was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature.
  4. Poet and author, Dashen Naicker, was appointed editor of poetry magazine New Coin from 2017.
  5. Recent addition to the project, Nick Mulgrew, was shortlisted for the 2016 Morland Writing Scholarship.
  6. Craig Higginson’s work on the The Dream House saw him being shortlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.
  7. Graham Lang won the Griffith Review Novella Competition for his book "A Fulcrum if Infinities". The novella will be published by Griffith Review in October along with the other four winning entries.
  8. Sally-Ann Murray’s short story 'How to Carry On' was selected as one of the 20 Short.Sharp.Stories for the Incredible Journey anthology.
  9. Onion Tears authoress, Shubnum Khan, was selected for the Swatch Art Peace Hotel's Residency in Shanghai.

Review of Things Unseen by Pamela Power PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 November 2016 15:12

Review by Beverley Jane Cornelius

“ ‘Mum always said, even if the bombs are dropping around you, you must make sure that you have your lipstick on… and clean knickers.’ ” That’s the spirit that sustains protagonist, Emma le Roux, as her seemingly perfect life is bombarded with crises in Pamela Power’s novel, Things Unseen.  And it is in this humorous tone that Power tells a deceptively light-hearted tale featuring murder, abuse, and alcoholism.

The novel takes the form of a classic ‘whodunnit’ but with a distinctly South African flavour and a Johannesburg setting.  The central character, Emma le Roux, lives a comfortable and privileged life in an affluent part of the city, but the horrors of a ‘home invasion’ and a murder swiftly dispel the illusion of perfection and provide the context for astute observations about South African society and its attitudes to crime.

In this context the author has effectively captured the underlying sense of the ridiculous that is often present in contemporary South African interactions.  At one point, for example, Captain Tshabalala is sidetracked in the middle of his investigation, as the finger print technician dusts the scene, by a conversation comparing pay scales in security and policing work, and has to be pointedly reminded about the task at hand, while Mr Le Roux is concerned with having the murder weapon, an expensive golf club, returned to him:  “That’s a Callaway Big Bertha Hybrid [he says].  Cost me six grand”.   The novel’s themes—of crime and poverty, money and power, white privilege and the plight of migrant workers, and even the fraught subjects of infertility, abortion, and parenting—are all handled with this sardonic wit, a dark humour that serves to starkly foreground the desensitization of the South African psyche.

In that atmosphere, then, the very flimsy evidence of this particular crime can be quickly pieced together to reach the convenient conclusion that the gardener, a migrant worker, must be guilty.  However, all is not as it seems and, as Emma continues to question the facts and as her placid life becomes increasingly disturbed, the secrets of the past persistently challenge the tranquility of the present.


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