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Monday, August 8, 2022

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Festival where books are not for the birds

Getting into all things avian are Anna Jensen, author, Sarita Mathur, author and poet, S'bo Vilikazi, author and poet, Dr Phindile Dlamini from the UKZN Press, and Prof Nolene Turner, African language expert and author, at the Umgeni Bird Park. Turner has written two books on the Zulu names of birds. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency (ANA)

Getting into all things avian are Anna Jensen, author, Sarita Mathur, author and poet, S'bo Vilikazi, author and poet, Dr Phindile Dlamini from the UKZN Press, and Prof Nolene Turner, African language expert and author, at the Umgeni Bird Park. Turner has written two books on the Zulu names of birds. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 30, 2022

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The week-long fair features more than 100 authors pays tribute to the many local storytellers keeping the written word alive, and has a special focus on women and indigenous languages.

Durban - The Durban International Book Fair celebrates all things literary in a bumper edition this week featuring a range of local and international authors covering a vast array of different topics.

The week-long fair features more than 100 authors and follows the theme “Unlocked and Unleashed”. It pays tribute to the many local storytellers keeping the written word alive, and has a special focus on women and indigenous languages. More than 25 new books will be released.

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One of the highlights will be a talk by Prof Noleen Turner, an avid bird watcher and retired professor of African Languages at UKZN. She will speak on her two books on the Zulu names of birds ‒ Amagana Ezinyoni ‒ the Zulu names of birds and The Birds of KwaZulu-Natal and Their Zulu Names. The second book is more of a field guide.

Turner is currently involved with BirdLife SA on a project which extends her research on the birds of KZN to other provinces. She has written extensively in local and overseas journals on all aspects of the Zulu language and culture. Catch her talk on August 5 at 3pm.

Anna Jensen’s first book was published in the UK in May 2019. The Outskirts of His Glory is a combination of Christian devotional writing, travel diary and poetry. Her latest is her first novel, a historical fiction telling the true story of a village in the north of England impacted by the plague of1665-6.

Local poets and authors Sarita Mathur and S’bo Vilikazi will be chairing a number of the panels of authors. Vilikazi, the chairman of the Valley Trust in Hillcrest, published his debut novel Who Shall Stand?, a mix of poetry and prose in 2020.

Among the topics covered are Cheryl Roberts’ two books examining women in sport, and Daily News reporter Zainul Aberdeen’s Phoenix Buses which examines the history of privately owned buses in the suburb.

The fair also launches Chasing Freedom, co-edited by Zukiswa Mqolomba and Suntosh Pillay, which covers the diverse histories of student movements since the historic 1976 uprisings.

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On a lighter note, artist Goodman Ndlovu and Professor McQuoid-Mason have teamed up to produce the wildlife book, I am an Aardvark, I am a Zebra: A young person’s A-Z of Wild Animal Lives, while Dr Sanil Singh launches Paws for Thought ‒ a collection of precious memories of precocious pets. This book is published in memory of Ginger aka The Gladiator.

Prof Salma Patel talks with the author of Children of Sugarcane, Joanne Joseph, whose book was internationally released in May. In Black and White, a Memoir, by Anant Singh tells the story of South Africa’s pre-eminent film producer, while Nigerian teacher and author Adebowale Ajibulu launches My Brother from Another Mother and The Hammer of Racism and Xenophobia.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) will host a session on Mental Health on August 3 at 2pm featuring authors Alicia Sewdass (Orphaned by Suicide) and Glynis Horning (Waterboy: Making Sense of my Son’s Suicide) in conversation with Dr Hemant Nowbath.

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Performance pieces also play a part, with Tashmeer Chetty, a 16-year-old aspiring actor and writer performing the late Ronnie Govender’s At The Edge and Other Cato Manor Stories on August 5 at noon.

The Durban International Book Fair runs from August 1 to 5 at the Sibaya Casino, and August 6-7 at the Pick and Pay Hypermarket. Entrance is free. For the full programme see www.durbanbookfair.co.za or www.madeindurban.co.za.

The Independent on Saturday

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