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Walking a writing life: Early One Sunday Morning by Luke Alfred launched at Kalk Bay Books

Luke AlfredEarly One Sunday MorningKalk Bay Books hosted the launch of Luke Alfred’s new book Early One Sunday Morning recently.

The Tafelberg Author was in conversation with Darrel Bristow-Bovey, and the two discussed Alfred’s latest book, his future projects and his illustrious career as a sports journalist.

The launch began with a refreshing walk from Kalk Bay Books to St James, and the guests enjoyed the crisp ocean breeze and drank in the scenery.

Alfred described his book as a “love story about South Africa”. The colourful journalist fondly recalled walking with his dad, the author Mike Alfred, as a young boy, saying, “I have always loved walking.” Commenting on the inspiration behind his book, Alfred said he feld he needed a change from sport, and also felt that he “didn’t want to get trapped in the addictive pessimism of the times”.

Making reference to iconic authors such as Dickens and Wordsworth, Alfred joked that he “didn’t compose odes or sonnets”, but emphasised the relationship between walking and writing, outlining how the two offer one “an ideal rhythm to meander and play with things [words]”. He added that both “enhance your eye for detail” making one notice more and giving one a more authoritative voice. Alfred went on to say that he has found this particularly striking because “South African journalists are not good enough noticers”.

“The walks were not arbitrarily chosen,” he said, adding that he “looked for the beloved back story … scaffolding to attach the chapter to”. Detailing his experience of walking in South Africa, he noted that he felt “simultaneously exposed and invisible” and it gave him a “slight appreciation of the horrors of walking life” for the poor and marginalised in society.

Luke Alfred and Darrel Bristow-Bovey

After a few sports jokes and some ribbing of the South African print media, Bristow-Bovey concluded the session by asking Alfred about his future projects. “I am completely useless at life” the author responded. “I feel very happy writing, it is something I do well. I have always been interested in the Boer War and books about it sell …” Alfred said he would also like to write about South African trees.

Summing up the book and the entire experience of writing it, Alfred said that the “pessimism comes and goes; writing and walking provided a lifting of spirits”.

Kasuba Stuurman (@kasuba_sun) tweeted live from the event:

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