2013 Midlands Literary Festival: KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal’s premier book festival, the 2013 Midlands Literary Festival, is just around the corner. And it promises to be a bumper weekend for Howick and the greater Midlands because over the weekend of the 23-25 August, Howick will host the literary festival at Yellowwood, the Mandela Marathon on the Sunday 25 August as well as the Highland Games on 24 August at Michaelhouse.

They have a bumper line up for book lovers, says festival organiser Darryl Earl David. Leading the charge is Ronnie Kasrils, 2011 Paton Prize Winner who will be heading to Howick to launch the 4th edition of his autobiography Armed & Dangerous.

Two times Paton Prize finalist Judge Chris Nicholson, who wowed crowds with his talk on Indian golfer Papwa last year will be speaking on his debut novel One Hand Washes the Other. Duncan Brown, a familiar name in Pietermaritzburg, is sure to enthral the crowds with his hot off the press book Are Trout South African? Grant Leversha will be there with his great golfing book that is palming international award after award, Within an African Eden.

There is also plenty of local flavour. Celebrity chef Jackie Cameron will have you salivating with her new book Jackie Cameron Cooks at Home. Paul Ross will talk on his magnificent book on the Drakensberg, with photographs by Roger de la Harpe; there will be a talk on Ardmore Ceramics biography We are because of others, retired Professor of English Elwyn Jenkins will be talking on famous artists Gerard Sekoto’s only children’s book Shorty and Billy Boy; Jane Harley will speak about the long and winding road to self-publishing; Darryl David continues his love affair with God’s architecture in his book A Platteland Pilgrimage; and a South African legend, Dr Ian Player, will talk about his just released biography Into the River of Life.

Chris Ballantine, professor of music at UKZN will talk about the triumphs of jazz during the apartheid era in his Marabi Nights; Cape Town poet Shabbir Banoobhai will show us through words why he is one of the more respected wordsmiths; Jeff Guy will talk on Theophilus Shepstone; Carol Campbell pulls at the heartstrings with her unput-downable novel My Children Have Faces; Ashwin Desai, one of the sharpest minds and most riveting speakers will speak on his new book on Gandhi (if they can get him to stick to the script; Barbara Erasmus will speak on the devastation of Alzheimers chronicled in her novel Below Luck Level and Scott Couper, biographer of Albert Luthuli, says he will be talking about the F-word (Darryl David was too afraid to ask what that may entail).

But it is the opening day, Friday 23rd that has got me all excited, gushes Darryl. That is when, in association with the Centre for African Literary Studies and the Alan Paton Centre at UKZN, Darryl will conduct a literary tour of Pietermaritzburg. The literary tour will include the following writers:

  1. Alan Paton
  2. Bessie Head
  3. Ronnie Kasrils
  4. Kobus Moolman
  5. Antjie Krog
  6. Dana Snyman
  7. Tom Sharpe

Please reserve your place on this tour by e-mailing Darryl David on davidd@ukzn.ac.za or calling 081 391 8689.

Here is the programme line-up:

9.00 – 9.30 DUNCAN BROWN - Are Trout South African
9.30 – 10.00 DARRYL DAVID - A Platteland Pilgrimage
10.00 – 10.30 JEFF GUY - Theophilus Shepstone
10.30 - 11.00 TEA
11.00 – 11.30 BARBARA ERASMUS - Below Luck Level
11.30 – 12.00 SHABBIR  BANOOBHAI
12.00 – 12.30 SCOTT COUPER - The F Word
12.30 - 2.00 LUNCH
2.00 – 2.30 RONNIE KASRILS - Armed and Dangerous
2.30 – 3.00 ASHWIN DESAI – Chatsworth
3.00 – 3.30 CAROL CAMPBELL - My Children have Faces
3.30 – 4ish JACKIE CAMERON - Cooks at home
9.00 – 9.30  JANE HARLEY – Self publishing
9.30 – 10.00  FEE HALSTEAD – Ardmore Ceramics
10.00 – 10.30 PAUL ROSS - Drakensberg
10.30 - 11.00 TEA
11.00 – 11.30 GRANT LEVERSHA – Within an African Eden
11.30 – 12.00 FAITH KA MANZI - The Faith Diaries
12.00 – 12.30 ELWYN JENKINS - Shorty and Billy Boy (Gerard Sekoto’s children’s book)
12.30 - 2.00 LUNCH
2.00 – 2.30 CHRIS BALLANTINE - Marabi Nights
2.30 – 3.00 CHRIS NICHOLSON - One Hand Washes the Other
3.00 – 3.30 IAN PLAYER - Into the River of Life