International authors for the Open Book Festival 2019 have been announced, with Chigozie Obioma, Oyinkan Braithwaite (pictured left), and Patrick Flanery in the mix. The Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre will co-host the ninth Open Book Festival 2019 which will take place from 4 to 8 September this year.
The programme will, as always, offer a stimulating and entertaining selection of book launches, panel discussions, workshops, readings, performances, and more.
The Open Book Festival 2019 will also host the popular Comics Fest, #cocreatePoetica and various children’s and outreach programmes. Venues for the event include hosts The Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre as well as the District Six Homecoming Centre and the A4 Arts Foundation. Selected events will also take place outside the city centre including Elsies River Library and Ottery Library.
Open Book Festival 2019 international authors include:
Author: Chigozie Obioma (USA/Nigeria)
Books include: An Orchestra of Minorities, The Fishermen
Why we’re excited: The Fishermen was a finalist for the Man Booker prize 2015, among numerous other awards and nominations. The novel is being translated in 26 languages as well as being adapted into a stage play. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Influential People of 2015. His latest book An Orchestra of Minorities is a heart-breaking and mythic story about a Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything for love. It was named a ‘Most Anticipated Book of 2019’ by Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, Hello Giggles, PureWow, Literary Hub, and Fast Company.
Author: Nicole Dennis-Benn (Jamaica/USA)
Books include: Patsy, Here Comes the Sun
Why we’re excited: A return visitor to Open Book Festival. Dennis-Benn’s debut novel, Here Comes The Sun, received a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a NPR Best Books of 2016, an Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016, a BuzzFeed Best Literary Debuts of 2016, among others. Time Magazine called Patsy, ‘a stunning second novel’. It will be brand new to SA readers and we’re privileged to have her back.
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite (Nigeria)
Books include: My Sister the Serial Killer
Why we’re excited: Her novel is a darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. ‘Pulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan’ – New York Times. A former assistant editor at Kachifo, in 2014 Braithwaite was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam and in 2016, she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Author: Sarah Ladipo Manyika (UK / Nigeria)
Books include: In Dependence, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun
Why we’re excited: Manyika’s second novel Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun was shortlisted for the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize. Republished for its ten year anniversary, ‘In Dependence is a riveting love story across the challenges of race, geography and scars of colonial history’ – Ngũgĩwa Thiong’o.
Author: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (USA)
Books include: Friday Black
Why we’re excited: Friday Black reached The New York Times Bestseller list last year. It is a heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America. The National Book Foundation named Kwame Adjei-Brenyah as one of their ‘5 Under 35 Authors’ for 2018. Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest
Author: Djamila Ibrahim (Canada)
Books include: Things are Good Now
Why we’re excited: Her collection is about remorse and the power of memory, about the hardships of a post-9/11 reality that labels many as suspicious or dangerous because of their names or skin colour alone, but it’s also about hope and friendship and the intricacies of human relationships. ‘Things Are Good Now should be included on every to-be-read list. Each story is powerful and important, and each voice, while fictional, is a perfect representation of hard truths. These voices should be heard’ – This magazine.
Author: Carmen Maria Machado (USA)
Books include: Her Body and Other Parties (Short Stories)
Why we’re excited: Her Body and Other Parties has been a finalist for numerous awards and is a genre-breaking collection of short stories. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of ‘The New Vanguard,’ one of ‘15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.’
Author: Elisabeth Åsbrink (Sweden)
Books include: 1947, Made in Sweden
Why we’re excited: 1947 has been translated into 19 languages and widely praised in the US, France, Italy and Australia, among other countries. Åsbrink was nominated for the August Prize for her first three books and won the August Prize for best non-fiction book 2011 for And in Wienerwald the trees are still standing. Her latest book, Made in Sweden, has recently been translated into English. ‘Made in Sweden will give the world’s understanding of Swedish values a short, sharp corrective shock’ – Philip Gwyn Jones, Publisher-at-Large, Scribe.
Author: Patrick Flanery (USA)
Books include: The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss and Adoption, I Am No One
Why we’re excited: His latest book is a raw and heart-wrenching literary memoir about a queer couple’s attempt to adopt a child. Flanery’s first novel Absolution, won the Spear’s/Laurent Perrier Best First Book Award and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger in France among others. It has been translated into eleven languages.
What: Open Book Festival 2019
When and where: 4 to 8 September 2019 at the hosting venues The Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre, as well as events at the District Six Homecoming Centre and The A4 Arts Foundation, from 10am to 9pm daily