The best fiction writers will speak at the Franschhoek Literary Festival


Zakes Mda. (Photo: Gallo Images / Tammy Booyzen)

EVENT: Franschhoek Literary Festival.

Booking is open for the 2022 season Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF), which takes place there from May 13 to 15.

There are many events focusing on fiction writers and their work. Participants include leading authors such as Mandla Langa, Zakes Mda, Sindiwe Magona, Lionel Shriver and Damon Galgut. There are also workshops designed to focus on particular areas of writing that could inspire any aspiring or practicing writer looking for a contribution.

On Friday, May 13, all at 10:00 a.m. but in different locations (so you’ll have to make some tough choices), Shriver talks to author and editors Karina M Szczurek about her new book, Should we stay or should we go; Fred Khumalo, author of the recent Two tons of funis aimed at eminent writers of fiction Sindiwe Magona and Mandla Langa on their common theme of children looking for parents; fellow bestselling authors Jackie Phamotse and Deon Meyer discuss his new thriller, The dark flood; and Máire Fisher talks about what makes a feel-good novel work with Daily Jones and Lucinda Hooley, authors of I love you madly.

Later that day, theater manager Marthinus Basson talks to Booker’s winner Damon Galgut on “fiction as an act of resistance – against aging, complacency or depression”. This is surely one of the hottest tickets of the festival. Meanwhile, multi-award winning Finuala Dowling (who will talk about her new novel, The man who loved crocodile tamerswith John Maytham on Saturdays) discusses the art of creating morally complex characters with Karen Jennings, whose novel The Island was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Joanne Joseph, whose Sugar cane children has been acclaimed since its publication a few months ago.

That afternoon, Joseph (who will also be interviewed on Sunday) speaks with Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Lost Trees, on “Turkey, Cyprus and fiction as resistance to political and cultural rupture; two recently published thriller writers, Andrew Brown (The men of the robbery) and Mike Nicol (hammerer) tell Fred Khumalo how to reimagine “the chaos of real-world policing in South Africa”; and novelist Michiel Heyns talk to SJ Naude, author of the collection of stories crazy honeyon “the courage to imagine distant lives”.


Tsitsi Dangarembga.

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Galgut reappears to talk to Mark Gevisser in a live interview later today, and Yewande Omotoso talks about his new novel, An unusual grief, with essayist Dr Wamuwi Mbao. Omotoso will also host a panel on Saturday, talking about women’s voices and generational fiction with Tsitsi Dangarembga (This mourning body) and Magona.

Zakes Mdaone of South Africa’s most beloved authors, talks about his novel Traveller’s anthems, in Refilwe Moloto that day too; Brown and Meyer have a conversation about villains in thrillers; and Fred Khumalo talks about his own work (and being funny) with fellow novelist Sue Nyathi.

Mbao talks to Mandla Langa about his novel The lost language of the soul, on Saturday afternoon, and Maytham has a virtual engagement with best-selling author Jeffrey Archer, while Sara-Jayne Makwala King talks about “going it alone”, with self-published bestsellers Jackie Phmatosis and Dudu Busani -Dube. The latter participates in another panel, on Sunday, with Sue Nyathi (A family matter), Sally Cranswick (Women out of water) and Qarnita Loxton (Being Diana).

There is also a Sunday workshop on novel writing, led by Sarah Bullen.

Click here for the full FLF program.


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