Mohale Mashigo
Mohale Mashigo

The 7th Open Book Festival programme has been announced and once again presents a world-class selection of panel discussions, workshops and readings designed to inspire and stimulate. This showcase, from 6 to 10 September, features more than 100 local and international authors, and there are over 140 events to choose from.

Jolyn Phillips Open Book Festival
Jolyn Phillips

A phenomenal line up

Presented by the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre, venues also include the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre, Central Library, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library, and PH Centre.

“We are proud to be announcing our biggest Festival yet, and we thank everyone who supported our Thundafund campaign, which has, in part, enabled us to compile this year’s extensive programme,” says Festival Director Mervyn Sloman.

“We have once again worked hard to bring you a phenomenal line up of South African and international authors across a range of genres talking about topics that are engaging, relevant and thought-provoking,” Sloman adds. “The nature of the open discussions and debates between authors and audiences and the conversations that continue beyond the event, are what make the festival unique.”

Bongani Madondo
Bongani Madondo

Engage with your favourite writers

Key to the success of the event has been collaborations with partners. There is a series of four events focusing on access to land curated by PLAAS and audiences can look forward to a similar segment of programming themed around cities, curated by the African Centre for Cities. In addition to the strong political content there are multiple opportunities to engage with your favourite local writers, as well as some exciting voices from around the world.

Paul Beatty, the current Man Booker winner will be a highlight for many. A strong selection of writers from other parts of the continent will also be featured – names to look out for include Chibundu Onuzo, Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Ayobami Adebayo.

Several books will be launched

There are several books that will be launched at the festival, including Bonang Matheba’s From A to B, Pumla Gqola’s, Reflecting Rogue, Glynnis Breytenbach’s Rule of Law, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh’s Democracy and Delusions, Mark Shaw’s Hitmen for Hire and Prince Mashele’s Fall of the ANC Continues.

Jostein Gaarder
Jostein Gaarder

Following the huge success of #cocreatePOETICA last year, this year’s line-up includes Dutch poets Akwasi, Dean Bowen and Sjaan Flikweert, headline names such as Koleka Putuma, Toni Stuart, Gabeba Baderoon and Jolyn Phillips. InZync returns to the Open Book stage as does the Open Book Poetry Slam. Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement is also joining the line-up.

There’s also plenty of entertainment for younger visitors – Central Library will be home to a range of events for children on Saturday 9 September. Don’t miss Storytime in the Gardens on Friday 8 September, an initiative between Central Library and Open Book. Alex Wheatle, winner of the 2016 Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, will be at the festival doing events at schools, public libraries as well as on the main festival programme.

Monster Battle Draw Off

Comics Fest takes place on 9 and 10 September with an array of workshops, discussions and demos for illustrators, designers and comic book lovers. This year illustrator Andy Mason will host the Monster Battle Draw Off.

“Our partners Leopard’s Leap Wines will again host their fantastic #WordsforWine. Bring a pre-loved or new book to exchange for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine. Books will be donated the Open Book Library Project and other charities. Check the programme for times. They will also be announcing the winner of their innovative Flash Fiction competition,” adds Sloman.

What: Open Book Festival
When: 6 to 10 September, 2017
Where: The Fugard Theatre, District Six  Homecoming Centre, A4 Arts Foundation, PH Centre, Central Library Cape Town, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library, Book Lounge from 10am – 9pm each day
Tickets: R45 to R100. Day Passes (1 access ticket to 6 events per day) R150. Festival Passes (5 Day Passes with 1 ticket access to 6 events per day) R600. There are also free events but tickets must still be booked for these