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Modjaji Books

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Till next year in Franschoek

Arja SalafrancaKhosi XabaYewande OmotosoFor someone who spends most of her time, quietly working away at her desk and laptop at her home office, the Franschoek Literary Festival is strong medicine. Those of you who have been will know what I mean. For three days it is all about books, writers, publishers, wine, booksellers, critics, wine, prizes, books, discussions about books, wine, beer, strong drink, books, arguments, wine, poetry, poems, writers. Laughter, hugging and kissing. Did I mention the wine?

Here’s what I especially loved this year’s Franschoek festival.

Dave Ferguson, played at the launch of Carapace 100, a tribute to his dad, Gus Ferguson, the generous, snail-loving, cyclist, poet, publisher, pharmacist.

Dave Ferguson, played at the launch of Carapace 100, a tribute to his dad, Gus Ferguson, the generous, snail-loving, cyclist, poet, publisher, pharmacist.

Franschoek highlights

The free Lindt balls.
Dave Ferguson playing at the 100 issues of Carapace gig – celebrating Gus Ferguson and all his amazing work. Did I mention Dave Ferguson?
Meeting people I’d only met online before.
The glorious Autumn days.
Seeing how Yewande Omotoso has become a literary celebrity.
Seeing writers from Joburg from Joburg, Mossel Bay and Amsterdam. And lots of other places too.
Lunch with the Bookslive bloggers from the early days.
Prominent piles and shelves of Modjaji titles at the Town Hall EB pop up bookstore.
An almost EXCLUSIVEly South African BOOKStore.
Lunch at La Quartier Francais.
Bumping into lots of writers, writer friends, being introduced to people’s friends and families as “this is my publisher”.
Finding out how old Sophy Kohler is. (Your secret is safe with me).
Sharing a Rugga Basket at The Elephant and Barrel pub.
All the huggings and kissings.
I’m not going to mention names of who I saw, as I will be sure to leave people out. But it was lovely to see all of you who were there. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I loved the session with Chris Nicholson (No Sacred Cows), Edwin Cameron, Richard Calland, and Andrew Brown – Literary Lawmen. For a bunch of white men, they were pretty impressive. They blushed, they made jokes, they were earnest and thoughtful and sensitive, they were funny (different from making jokes), they deferred to each other with humour. They were amazingly bright eyed and witty for the Sunday 10am session.

They were serious and dealt with some difficult questions and topics, like the Zuma rape trial judgement (Chris Nicholson), should sitting judges write about the law, their own personal lives and positions on different issues (Edwin Cameron and Chris Nicholson).

The friends and writers who weren’t there.
Missing a session I’d booked to attend. (poor time-keeping, wine, lunch, food, laughter, oh dear).
Feeling sad that none of my authors were shortlisted for the Sunday Times awards this year. But feeling sadder for them, than for me.
The piles of Modjaji books that were still on the Exclusive Books pop-up store shelves on Sunday at lunchtime.
Not having a camera, dropped my phone so often and broke the camera lens … so none of my own photos.

Thank you Jenny Hobbs for the festival and the robustness of it, and to Ann Donald, Finuala Dowling and all the others who work so hard behind the scenes to make it happen.

And personally, thank you to Megadigital for managing to do a very fast reprint of some titles to meet the orders for the festival.

Till next year in Franschoek.

No Sacred Cows

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Kathryn</a>
    May 22nd, 2014 @08:21 #

    So sorry to have missed this year ....


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