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Book launch – As By Fire by Jonathan Jansen

What are the real roots of the student protests of 2015 and 2016? Is it actually about fees?

Why did so many protests turn violent?

Where is the government while the buildings burn, and do the students know how to end the protests?

Former Free State University Vice-Chancellor Jonathan Jansen delves into the unprecedented disruption of universities that caught South Africa by surprise. In frank interviews with eleven of the VCs most affected, he examines the forces at work, why the protests escalate into chaos, and what is driving – and exasperating – our youth.

This urgent and necessary book gives us an insider view of the crisis, tells us why the conflict will not go away and what it means for the future of our universities.

‘A view from the inside of the cauldron… Warning: he doesn’t mince his words.’ Ferial Haffajee
 
 
Prof Jonathan Jansen is a leading South African educationist, commentator and the author of several books including the best-selling Letters to My Children. He is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, where he earned a reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation. He is married with two children.
 

Event Details

Watch the book trailer for Wynand Louw’s award-winning fantasy adventure novels


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mr Humperdinck’s Wonderful Whatsit

Pete Smith does not believe in magic or fairies, but things change when someone is murdered and he suddenly has to rely on talking mice, a VID (Very Important Dwarf) and garbage heaps that fly around in revved-up dustbins to save him from an evil sorcerer and hordes of boy-eating rats.

A new edition of the 2005 winner of the M.E.R. prize for youth literature by the author described as SA’s own J.K. Rowling (Cape Argus, 08/07/2005).

Mr Humperdinck’s Mysterious Manuscript

Pete once again finds himself standing between the fairy kingdom and he forces of evil. A mysterious manuscript has been stolen from Mr Humperdinck’s documents and with a monstrous black shadow on his heels, Pete sets off on a crazy journey to find it.

Elizabeth Wasserman describes this novel as “full of suspense … Pete has to confront his own values … With a flying skateboard thrown into the deal, will Pete buckle under temptation or will he stick to his friends and save the day?”

Watch the trailer here:

Book details

Hallo, Hekel is net die ding as hekel jou passie is

Hekel is die nuutste handwerkgier wat wêreldwyd op die loopplanke te sien is en nou deur oud en jonk beoefen word.

In Hallo, Hekel word ’n enkele patroon geneem en op vier verskillende maniere vertolk na gelang van jou styl – hetsy boheems, kunstig, kontemporêr of romanties.

Patrone, wat wissel in moeilikheidsgraad, sluit mooi goed vir jouself, jou huis, babas en kinders, en selfs geskenke in.

Daar is ietsie vir almal: ’n warm poncho vir die winter, ’n mooi teemussie vir die huis, ’n serp wat jy as geskenk vir jou vriendin kan gee, ’n dienlike baadjie vir ’n nuwe baba. Daar is ook voorstelle om dieselfde patroon vir meer as een projek te gebruik.

Hallo, Hekel is net die ding as hekel jou passie is. Deur bekendes in handwerk- en hekelkringe.

Toe Anisa vyf jaar oud was het haar ouma Wally haar leer brei. Haar ma, Trudi, het haar ongeveer tien jaar gelede leer hekel. Sy is by die advertensiewese en die akademie betrokke, mal oor haar kat en twee worshonde, en omring haar met goed wat stories vertel. Sy het altyd wol en ’n hekelpen in haar handsak.

As kind het Cornel meer daarin belanggestel om popklere te maak as om met haar poppe te speel. Op twintigjarige ouderdom het sy haar eie wol gespin en gekleur. Sy is ‘n gekwalifiseerde binnenshuise ontwerper met ‘n passie vir permakultuur. In haar vrye tyd hekel of brei sy, neem foto’s en maak slim planne.

Elsbeth is dalk met ‘n verfkwas in haar hand gebore, want krabbel was kleintyd haar gunstelingtydverdryf. Sy het ‘n konstante obsessie om goed te maak, wat haar na die sprankelende pad van hekel gelei het waar elke bol betowerende moontlikhede inhou! Sy bly in Pretoria saam met haar man, mooie saluki-hond en lieftallige Siamese kat.

Boekbesonderhede

“The story is about seizing the day and celebrating your differences” – Ros Haden and Tony Pinchuck discuss their phantasmagorical All Africa Wildlife Express

When Elephant receives an invitation to a party he fires up his steam engine for an all African adventure. More animals join him at each jungle station. It’s a rollicking trans-continental journey! Along the way they bicker, tell tales and play until they reach the magnificent gates of the Hotel Splendide where the monkeys are waiting with a huge surprise . . . Told in quirky rhyme with glorious, glowing illustrations this book will enchant children with Africa’s phantasmagorical wildlife.

Writer-illustrator duo Rosamund Haden and Tony Pinchuck chatted to us about this singular children’s book.

Rosamund is the acclaimed author of The Tin Church, the tween-novel Time Twisters, and the young adult novels Broken Promises and Sugar Daddy, among others.

Here she discusses the difference between writing a picture book and a novel, why they decided on using less-familiar African animals to join the monkeys’ party, and how we can encourage children to read:
 
 
 
You’ve written short stories, teen novels, children’s books and TV scripts, yet this is your first picture book. What made you decide on writing a picture book?

I have experimented with picture books before but most of them ended up in a bottom drawer. This one happened quite incidentally and ‘upside down’. It didn’t start as a story, it started as a series of Tony’s beautiful prints of animals. One day I was looking at a row of them on his living room wall: a zebra, lion and an elephant and said ‘What if you put them all on a train.’ It was a natural next step once they were on a train, to take them on a journey. The journey got longer and longer and so did the train as more and more animals climbed on board: ‘Caracal, leopards and lions and cheetah, crocodiles, porcupine, gnus and anteaters’ (and that was in just two of the carriages!)

Did you find writing a picture book to be more challenging than a novel or a short story?

For me it was light relief from writing novels that are a solitary, intense and often very lengthy process. This was light and fun, and because it was driven by the illustrations, and elephant of course, and it was a shared creation. It took the pressure off and I could just go to town. I loved writing in rhyming couplets as it forced me to express the story in its essence with the fewest but most carefully chosen words.

The rhyme scheme in The All Africa Wildlife Express is reminiscent of Dr Seuss’ classic children’s books. Was he in any way an influence on this book?

Yes, I think so. I read Dr Seuss as a child and to my son at bedtime and I really loved his quirky style that lets your imagination fly but has an underlying wisdom and truth.

How did the idea for a picture book about monkeys inviting a bunch of Southern African mammals to a jol at their all-pink Hotel Splendide come to you?

Once the animals were on the train and we had elephant as the driver the next obvious question was where were they going and why? I liked the idea of a postcard blowing in ‘on the tropical breeze and landing at elephant’s large wrinkly knees’. The postcard was sent from the monkeys ‘inviting all animals tall, short and wide to a wild monkey party with mad monkey rides’. Monkeys are mischievous animals and were the perfect culprits to have a ‘jol’. What’s more the monkeys, in their flamboyant style, provided the transport in the form of a steam train to take the animals to the party. It’s the mad kind of over-the-top thing that monkeys might do.

We chose animals that weren’t just the Big Five but were a bit unusual, shyer and less often spotted, like caracal and tree frogs and the bat-eared fox, as a way of showing children other interesting Southern African animals that often are overlooked, but have their own special characters.

The Hotel Splendide has been described as quite ‘Wes Anderson’ like the ‘Great Budapest Hotel’. I liked the idea of it being extravagant and the monkeys and animals taking over a hotel, in its faded grandeur, that was from another era and making it their party playground. The story is all about seizing the day, celebrating your differences and putting your fears aside to go on the adventure of a lifetime! Along the way, as on any long journey with children, the animals, play I-Spy, squabble, tell stories and sleep… “Warthogs tap-danced to the hyenas’ howls, big cats told fierce hunting stories in growls. But the best thing by far was playing I spy under the endless blue African Sky…”

Writing aside, you’re also the co-founder and publisher at Cover2Cover Books and the content developer for the FunDza Literacy Trust. What do you think are the best/most successful methods to develop a reading culture among young South Africans?

I think providing young South Africans with stories that are exciting, accessible, reflect their lives and provoke their imaginations.

***


Tony is a Cape Town-based designer and illustrator who left his hometown of Joburg for London where he studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He also illustrated Michael Rosen’s You’re Thinking about Doughnuts, When Did You Last Wash Your Feet? and Did I Hear You Write?

His love of drawing was mainly influenced by found images and Mad Mag, and has landed him in hot water (from being reprimanded by Mrs Hofmeyr in grade four, to being called into the vice-chancellors office at Rhodes University). Intrigued? Read on…
 

Your illustrations for The All Africa Wildlife Express differ vastly from your documentary comic books (Medicine for Beginners, Introducing Mandela) and your collaborations with Michael Rosen. Was it your decision to illustrate this book in the same style as your own fabric, furniture and wall art?

It’s a very good question, but I actually don’t think the chasm between this and my earlier work is as vast as it looks. It’s more like the latest stop on a long journey that began when I was living in London in the 1980s and was exposed to the work of a lot of artists who were using found images, such as the assemblages of Robert Rauschenberg, the political photomontages of Peter Kennard and earlier anti-Nazi photomontages of John Heartfield. The collages of Max Ernst where he combined Victorian engravings of birds and people struck a particular chord. I incorporated collage in the illustration work I did for the comic books and my punk-influenced collaborations with Michael Rosen. I see the All Africa Wildlife Express as the culmination of this journey: the illustrations consist almost entirely of hundreds of found images painstakingly stitched together and manipulated to make the whole.

What did you enjoy drawing most and why?

I enjoyed creating immersive landscapes such as the jungle scene, the river scene, the hotel, etc. I would start living in them while I was compiling them.

Your attention to detail is evident in the exquisite drawings of African mammals (including elephants, bat-eared foxes and giraffes), celestial cartography, and the dilapidated yet colourful Hotel Splendide. Do you attribute your years of studying architecture in London to this aptitude?

I think the architectural training gave me a sense of design, composition and space.

When did you realise that you’d like to pursue a career in illustration and design? Were you influenced by comics you read as a child? Any specific artworks or artists?

As a child I loved comics. My parents thought it would be better for me and my brothers to read British comics rather than American ones, so every week we would get our copies of Lion, Tiger and Valiant. I think they saw it as a kind of inoculation – a small dose of something mildly toxic to protect us from something far worse. But, in fact, they were the gateway drug that led me to read Mad Magazine, underground comics such as the Furry Freak Brothers and ultimately the brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning graphic autobiography Maus.

I drew incessantly from the time I could first hold a pencil. At school I drew comics as an antidote to what felt like the prison of the classroom – something that repeatedly got me into hot water, starting in grade four with a picture of Mrs Hofmeyr on her sheep farm (she was portrayed as one of the sheep). At high school I drew a comic strip of the outlandishly large-eared science teacher as a jumbo jet which led to a visit to the headmaster. At Rhodes University I was called in to the vice chancellor’s office for my cartoon strip mocking him for his ban on bare feet on campus; and at the 1979 Nusas congress I earned outrage in the pages of Rapport for my cartoon superhero Godman (which they thought was blasphemous). These encounters with the unwelcome consequences of drawing (and advice from my mother who was an art teacher not to try to earn a living from art) steered me away from a career in visual art for a while. But it’s a powerful drug.

Can we expect a picture book both illustrated AND written by you some time in the near future?

I don’t think any time soon. Ros is a very gifted writer – across a whole gamut of genres – and we work brilliantly together. And she’s prolific – there are several stories she’s written waiting to be illustrated. So I don’t think I’m going to have time to write. Or as my father used to say: why keep a dog and bark yourself?

All Africa Wildlife Express

Book details

Schalk Schoombie se Rooi Haring ’n vlymskerp, skreeusnaakse speurverhaal

“Ek is die sondebok. Ek het dit gedoen.” Só begin Schalk Schoombie se Rooi Haring, ‘n skreeusnaakse speurverhaal wat afspeel in die plaaslike restaurantbedryf.

Die vooraanstaande celebrity-sjef Hartman Swiegers word vermoor tydens die openingsaand van Tydloos, sy nuwe, eksklusiewe restaurant in Pretoria. Wat volg is ‘n dolle vaart op soek na die moordenaar.

Is die sondebok dalk Darius Swiegers, Hartman se skugter, jaloerse broer? Of een van die uitsoek-gaste? Of dalk een van die restaurantpersoneel, een van die staatmakers in die kombuis wat jaar ná jaar sorg vir Hartman se suksesse?

Greta Burger – ‘n selfaangestelde speurder wat haar laat lei deur haar intuïsie, oftewel “gevoelentes” – stel ondersoek in. Verskeie ompaaie lei uitendelik tot ‘n groot, klimaktiese onthulling.

‘n Vlymskerp roman met verskeie kinkels deur ‘n bekroonde dramaturg.

Schoombie se debuutroman, Boomkastele (Human & Rousseau, 2015), was genomineer vir die ATKV-prosaprys en die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys.
 
 
Schalk Schoombie is gebore in Pretoria. Ná sy dramastudies was hy kunsresensent, vryskutjoernalis en redakteur van De Kat. Hy is bekroon met ‘n Mondi (1994), ‘n ATKV-Mediaveertjie (2009), ‘n AngloGold Ashanti-Smeltkroesprys (2012), en ‘n FAK-toekenning vir besondere kultuurprestasie. Hy het reeds nege dramas geskryf. Hy woon in Alberton.

Boekbesonderhede

Narsiste, psigopate, stalkers en sadiste vra “wie is hierdie ongure, gevaarlike mense?”

Jy het vandag niksvermoedend by minstens een psigopaat verbygeloop.

En by die huis wag ‘n narsis op jou en ‘n sluiper by jou venster. Wie is hierdie ongure, gevaarlike mense?

Uitgebreide navorsing en gevallestudies – van Daisy de Melker tot Oscar Pistorius – maak hierdie mense werklik en herkenbaar. Sodat jy hulle kan vermy…

André le Roux is ‘n gesoute joernalis, wat by onder andere Beeld, Huisgenoot en Die Burger gewerk het. Hy was jare lank eindredakteur by Sarie en is ‘n gewilde rubriekskrywer. Sy boeke sluit talle topverkopers in, soos Op die man af, Nou ja toe en Op die vrou af.

Boekbesonderhede

Twee verruklike deegdisse uit Theresa de Vries se Deeg

Deeg is die enigste boek oor deeg wat jy ooit nodig sal kry!

Alle soorte deeg om terte of pasteie te maak word bespreek – broskors, blaarkors, skilferkors, warmwaterkors, fillo en strudeldeeg, ook die gewilde Marokkaanse ouarkadeeg.

’n Besonderse boek wat al die kunsies van deeg fynkam: bestanddele, toerusting, basiese beginsels en puik resepte.

Deeg dek ook algemene foute wat by deeg kan voorkom en die oorsake daarvan. En om die terte of pasteie te laat pronk gee Theresa wonderlike aanwysings oor hoe om dit alles te versier.

Word ’n bobaas bakker met hierdie boek wat selfs intimiderende deegresepte maklik maak.

Hier is twee verruklike deegdisse – een vir die vleisliefhebbers én die met ‘n soettand!
 

Springbok Wellington

 

Lewer 4 porsies

DEEG
1/2. x resep Blaarkorsdeeg (sien bl. 76)
1 eiergeel vir bo-oor verf

VULSEL
500 g sampioene, skoongemaak en in skyfies gesny
90 ml olyfolie
200 g spinasie, stingels verwyder
1 stuk Springbok-rugfilet (sowat
25 cm lank) of beesfilet sout en peper na smaak
25 ml aangemaakte mosterd
Hanepoot-jagtersous
1 ui, fyngekap
250 g sampioene, skoongevee en fyngekap
25 ml olyfolie
125 ml hanepoot-soetwyn
250 ml vleisaftreksel
125 ml room
50 ml fyngekapte pietersielie sout en peper na smaak

1. Vulsel: Braai sampioene in 40 ml olie tot gaar. Skep sampioene uit pan. Laat afkoel.

2. Dompel die spinasie in ’n kastrol met kokende water net tot dit verwelk. Skep spinasie met gaatjieslepel uit water en plaas oop op kombuispapier om te dreineer. Laat afkoel.

3. Plaas sampioene in ’n voedselverwerker en verwerk tot ’n pasta. Hou eenkant.

4. Geur die vleis met sout en peper. Smeer die vleis reg rondom met mosterd. Plaas in ’n vlak pan en braai in die 50 ml olie tot verse.l aan alle kante. Skep vleis uit die pan. Draai vleis styf toe met kleefplastiek en plaas vleisrol in yskas om heeltemal af te koel.

5. Voorverhit die oond tot 200 ÅãC. Smeer of spuit ’n bakplaat.

6. Deeg: Rol deeg uit in ’n vierkant van 30 cm – en 5 mm dik – op ’n meelbestrooide oppervlak.

7. Smeer die sampioenpasta in die middel van die deegvierkant – so breed soos die vleisrol is.

8. Versprei die spinasie eweredig oor die sampioenlaag.

9. Haal vleisrol uit yskas en verwyder kleefplastiek. Plaas die vleisrol op die spinasielaag. Rol die deeg styf op, soos vir ’n rolkoek. Plaas die deegrol op die bakplaat, met die naatkant na onder.

10. Rol orige deeg uit. Sny blaartjies of versierings uit en plaas op die deegrol. Verf deeg met eiergeel.

11. Bak deegrol vir 30-40 minute of tot goudbruin.

12. Sous: Braai die ui en sampioene in die olie tot sag en deurskynend. Voeg die wyn by en kook vir 2 minute tot die alkohol weggekook het.

13. Voeg die aftreksel en room by. Kook tot sous effens verdik.

14. Roer die pietersielie by. Geur met sout en peper en kook die sous deur.

15. Haal die deegrol uit die oond en sny in porsies. Sit voor met die sous.

 

Suurlemoen-en-grenadellablommetjies

 

 
Lewer 12 groot tertjies

Deeg
1 x resep Warmwaterkorsdeeg
(sien bl. 138)
eierwit vir bo-oor verf

Vulsel
250 ml water
200 g suiker
120 ml mielieblom
6 groot eiergele, geklits
125 ml vars suurlemoensap
1 blikkie (115 g) grenadellapulp
5 ml gerasperde suurlemoenskil
100 ml suurroom
30 ml botter, in blokkies gesny

Meringue
4 eierwitte
2,5 ml kremetart
80 ml witsuiker
45 ml versiersuiker

1. Voorverhit die oond tot 180°C. Smeer of spuit 12 holtes van ’n groot muffinpan.

2. Deeg: Rol louwarm deeg uit tot 3 mm dik op ’n meelbestrooide oppervlak. Druk 12 groot blompatrone met ’n koekiedrukker uit die deeg. Voer holtes van die muffi npan met deegpatrone uit. Sny die kante netjies en prik die deeg met ’n vurk. Bak blind vir 15 minute (sien metode, bl. 13).

3. Haal uit oond, verwyder waspapier en verf eierwit oor die boom van die deeg. Plaas vir nog 5 minute in die oond.

4. Vulsel: Plaas die water, suiker en mielieblom in ’n kastrol.

5. Voeg die eiergele en suurlemoensap by en verhit oor lae hitte. Roer en bring tot kookpunt. Laat kook tot verdik.

6. Voeg die grenadellapulp en suurlemoenskil by die suikermengsel.

7. Roer die botter en suurroom by. Verwyder van hitte. Plaas ’n vel kleefplastiek direk bo-op die vulsel. Laat afkoel.

8. Meringue: Klits die eierwitte en kremetart tot skuimerig en wit.

9. Klits die suiker en versiersuiker stadig by en klits aanhoudend tot dik.

10. Verwyder kleefplastiek en verdeel die vulsel tussen die voorbereide korse.

11. Skep meringue in die spuitsak en spuit klein rosies op die vulsel. Sprinkel die klapper oor.

12. Bak tertjies vir 20 minute of tot die meringue verkleur.

Wenk
Klein blommetjies: Die tertjies kan ook in 2 klein muffinpanne gemaak word om 24 klein tertjies te lewer. Druk 24 kleiner blompatrone met ’n koekiedrukker uit die uitgerolde deeg, voer die 24 muffinholtes daarmee uit en bak en berei soos beskryf.

Deeg

Boekbesonderhede

“Die Anglo-Boereoorlog was almal se oorlog” – Fransjohan Pretorius bespreek die heruitgawe van Verskroeide Aarde

Die Britse beleid van “verskroeide aarde” en konsentrasiekampe tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog het bitter herinneringe en trauma veroorsaak wat dekades ná die oorlog steeds by Suid-Afrikaners spook.

In dié nuut opgedateerde uitgawe van ’n topverkoper gee vooraanstaande historici ’n vars en sober blik op hierdie hoogs omstrede aspek van die oorlog. Dié vokleurboek verken die perspektiewe wat ná meer as 100 jaar moontlik is, en bring nuwe insigte oor een van die mees omstrede aspekte van die oorlog. Die inleding as ook die slothoofstuk is ook heeltemal nuut.

Hier bespreek die redakteur van die heruitgawe en skrywer van die eerste uitgawe van Verskroeide Aarde, Fransjohan Pretorius, die inhoud van die boek en nalatenskap van die oorlog.

Wat het jou aangespoor om ’n ‘nuwe’ weergawe van Verskroeide Aarde te skryf?

Belangstelling in die Anglo-Boereoorlog het sedert die 100-jarige herdenking daarvan en die verskyning van die eerste uitgawe van Verskroeide Aarde in 2001 nie afgeneem nie, maar inderdaad toegeneem! Jy sien dit in die publikasie van talle historiese romans (waarvan PG du Plessis se Fees van die Ongenooides sekerlik die hoogtepunt is) en geskiedenisboeke oor die konsentrasiekampe (soos Die oorlog kom huis toe van Grundlingh en Nasson) en oor persoonlikhede (soos Elsabé Brits se boek oor Emily Hobhouse, Geliefde Verraaier). Verder het ek sedert die eerste uitgawe van Verskroeide Aarde blitsvinnig uitverkoop is, oor die jare talle navrae van die publiek gekry oor waar hulle die boek in die hande kan kry. En natuurlik is daar nuwe temas wat aandag moes kry.

Boere in die Magersfontein-loopgrawe op die westerse front. Na aanloop van hierdie bekende stryd is die loopgrawe dieper gegrawe. Die skadutent het verligting gebied teen die somerhitte van 1899-1902.

 
 
Hoe het die navorsingsproses verskil met dié van die ‘oorspronklike’ Verskroeide Aarde?

Maryna Lamprecht, Tafelberg se redakteur van die boek, en ek het dankbaar van Etna Labuschagne van die Oorlogsmuseum van die Boererepublieke in Bloemfontein se hulp gebruik gemaak, en twee dae daar deurgebring om goeie en nuwe foto’s uit te kies. Daar is meer as 260 foto’s en illustrasies in die boek, waarvan bykans 160 nuut is of nie in die 2001-uitgawe was nie. Daarbenewens is daar oor die vyftig kleurfoto’s by, en saam met die pragtige uitleg en goeie gehalte papier, het ons hier ’n absolute wenner.

Ek het my as redakteur veroorloof om nuwe aspekte in kassies by te voeg, soos oor die kinders se doen en late in die konsentrasiekampe, ’n besinning oor Britse en Europese propaganda oor die kampe, soos die Lizzie van Zyl-geval, sterftegetalle van sowel wit mense as swart mense, en so meer.

Britese troepe onder beheer van Maj.- Gen. R.A.P. Clements marsjeer in Colesberg in op 28 Februarie 1900, na drie-en-’n-half maande van Boerebewind.

 

Die herbesinning van die sogenaamde Anglo-Boereoorlog speel deesdae ’n groot rol in ons verstaan van die oorlog en land se geskiedenis. Kan jy bietjie uitbrei oor die ‘hedendaagse’ kennis wat ons oor die oorlog het? (Onder meer die rol wat swart Suid-Afrikaners in die oorlog gespeel het.)

Dit wat in akademiese werke oor die Anglo-Boereoorlog verskyn, neem ’n tydjie om by die publiek inslag te vind. Wat vir een leser nuut is, is vir ’n ander leser reeds bekende geskiedenis. Omdat skoolsillabusse deesdae die struggle geskiedenis voorop stel, het jong lesers nie dieselfde verwysingsraamwerk oor die Anglo-Boereoorlog as hul ouers of grootouers nie. Hierdie boek kan daardie leemte hopelik help vul.

Historici skryf al meer as veertig jaar oor swart betrokkenheid in die Anglo-Boereoorlog, en nogtans is swart mense se rol in die oorlog by baie lesers nie bekend nie. In die eerste plek was dit ’n oorlog tussen Brittanje en die Boererepublieke, maar swart mense is net soveel soos wit mense (Afrikaners) deur die oorlog geraak, en was gewapende swart mans in die Britse leër en swart groepe wat in die guerrillafase op die plase rondgeswerf en geplunder het, ’n groot bedreiging vir die Boerekommando’s en die Boerevroue en hul kinders wat in die veld weggekruip het. Ons moet egter daarteen waak dat ons die pendulum nie volkome na die ander kant laat swaai en dit voorstel asof swart mense die enigstes wat by die oorlog betrokke was en as gevolg van die oorlog gely het nie.

Brittanje se besluit met die vredesvoorwaardes om nie die beperkte stemreg vir swart mans van die Kaapkolonie na die verslane republieke uit te brei nie, moet egter begryp word, want dit het ’n wesenlike invloed op die swart struggle geskiedenis van die 20ste eeu gehad.

’n Boer-woonhuis wat sopas opgeblaas en afgebrand is. Wat gaan deur die Britse soldaat se gedagtes soos hy sy perd van die toneel weglei?

 
 
Verwag jy dat die boek kritiek van ‘stoere Anglo-Boereoorlog-voorstanders’ gaan ontlok, of ’n bydrae gaan lewer tot die gesprek wat tans oor die werklike aard en die betrokke partye van die oorlog gevoer word?

Geen geskiedenisboek kan kritiek vryspring nie. As jy met ‘stoere Anglo-Boereoorlog-voorstanders’ bedoel mense wat slegs belangstel in wat met die Boere gebeur het, sal daar sekerlik kritiek wees. Maar ook vir sulke denkrigtings is daar hopelik genoeg waarmee hulle hul kan vereenselwig. Benewens die Boer-Brit-stryd wat aandag moet kry, moet ons egter besef die Anglo-Boereoorlog was almal in Suid-Afrika se oorlog, wat almal op een of ander manier geraak het. Ons het drie hoofstukke oor swart konsentrasiekampe en betrokkenheid en ervarings in die oorlog – neem jy dit weg, verskraal jy die geskiedenis van die oorlog.

Uiteraard vertrou ek dat die boek ’n bydrae tot die gesprek oor die werklike aard en die betrokke partye van die oorlog sal lewer. Moet net nie die Britte en die Boere uit die oorlog haal nie.

Dooie Britse soldate in die vlak loopgrafte wat haastig gegrawe is naby die kruin van Spioenkop net voor die stryd op die oggend van 24 Januarie 1900. Die lyke is daarna met wit klippe bedek wat vandag nog sigbaar is.

 
Hoort ons nog steeds na die oorlog as die ‘Anglo-Boereoorlog’ te verwys? Dink jy die ‘Suid-Afrikaanse oorlog’ sal ooit in ons woordeskat begin verskyn? (Hetsy deur middel van kinders wat dit op skool geleer word, of ’n groter gebruik daarvan in algemene diskoers/gesprekke?)

Shakespeare het gevra wat is in ’n naam, maar hy is nie heeltemal reg nie. Rondom die name Anglo-Boereoorlog, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, Boereoorlog, Engelse Oorlog en Suid-Afrikaanse Oorlog, is daar baie emosie. Geen benaming is werklik bevredigend nie. Persoonlik gebruik ek meestal Anglo-Boereoorlog, want die stryd was amptelik tussen Brittanje en die Boererepublieke. Die probleem daarmee is egter dit dui slegs op ’n stryd tussen die Engelse en die Boere, terwyl daar Skotte, Iere, Walliesers, Australiërs, Nieu-Seelanders, Kanadese en swart mense aan Britse kant betrokke was. Boonop is swart burgerlikes deur die oorlog geraak. Die benaming Suid-Afrikaanse Oorlog gee ’n aanduiding dat almal in Suid-Afrika betrokke was of daardeur geraak is, maar dit verwys nie na Brittanje nie – en feitlik alle historici stem saam dat Brittanje die grootste aandeel aan die oorsake van die oorlog gehad het (en in elk geval dat hulle hier geveg het!). Die Viëtnamese praat nie van die Viëtnamese Oorlog nie, waarom dan die Suid-Afrikaanse Oorlog? Maar, op skool is dit Suid-Afrikaanse Oorlog, en wie weet, oor ’n geslag of twee is die benaming Anglo-Boereoorlog dalk vergete. Dit hang af of die ouer garde hul boodskap by die jongeres gaan tuisbring. En dis waarvoor Verskroeide Aarde nuttig gaan wees.

Een van die mees roerende beelde van die oorlog. Die lyk van die drie-jarige Japie Berg van die Bloemfonteinkamp buite die tent waar hy dood is.

 
 
Verskroeide Aarde

Boekbesonderhede

Hedley Twidle’s Firepool gets under the skin of South Africa in fresh and unexpected ways

Firepool is a chronicle of South Africa in the ‘second transition’ – one in which the foundations of the post-apartheid settlement are being shaken and questioned in all kinds of ways.

From the complex legacy of artists like Moses Taiwa Molelekwa and JM Coetzee to the #FeesMustFall protests, from the N2 highway to the gnawing uncertainty of our nuclear future, Hedley Twidle treats serious subjects with a sense of playfulness, mischief and imagination.

Deeply personal, and spanning culture, elemental landscape and ideas, Twidle gets under the skin of South Africa in fresh and unexpected ways.

Hedley Twidle is an essayist of rare brilliance. His reach is remarkable. Whatever subject he touches, his writing is always luminous, astute and often darkly funny. – Rob Nixon

Hedley Twidle’s work is exquisitely crafted, clever, self-deprecating, and, above all, deeply thoughtful. We are lucky to have a writer of his calibre working on contemporary South African material. – Johnny Steinberg

Hedley Twidle is a writer, teacher and scholar based at UCT. He was born in Johannesburg and studied in KwaZulu-Natal, Oxford and York. Much of his current work concerns life-writing, non-fiction narrative and the essay in the 21st century. He writes regularly for publications like The New Statesman, Financial Times and Mail & Guardian.

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Tales of the Karoo platteland and a recipe for all-day venison: take a sneak peek into Tony Jackman’s foodSTUFF

foodSTUFF

The cookbook as memoir, or memoir as cookbook? With foodSTUFF, maverick food writer Tony Jackman presents us with a refreshingly original take on life and food.

He relates every heartache, every joy, and does not shy away from imparting the pain of loss of a family member or his troubled relationship with his father.

The stories of his journey towards adulthood are counterbalanced by rich tales from his life. foodSTUFF has many meaty recipes, spicy poultry dishes, some of Jackman’s eccentric signature dishes, and desserts he likes to spoil his friends with.

Jackman, known in particular for his article “Sliced & Diced” in the Weekend Argus, invites you into his world, from humble beginnings in an English working-class family to an illustrious career as an unapologetically eccentric South African foodie, playwright and author.

foodSTUFF tosses together tales from a rich, nomadic life with masses of meaty recipes (Obies oxtail potjie, beef fillet with melted French Brie, parsley-crusted rack of lamb); spicy poultry dishes (tamarind duck curry, chicken coconut curry); a handful of signature dishes (spanspek soup, bacon-and-beer braai bread); and the desserts with which Jackman likes to spoil his friends (the chocolatiest chocolate tart ever, lemon syrup cake, pears in Chardonnay Pinot Noir with a Parmesan wafer).

Get a taste for Tony’s book with this excerpt and recipe…

The T-shirt was black and bore an image of tall buildings, the Empire State at the centre. The legend: ‘I lost my heart to NYC.’ This tiny main-street fashion store was an odd place to find this wayward item of clothing, for we were not in Manhattan but in Calvinia, Northern Cape, South Africa.

As if to illustrate the irony, a blowsy woman pointed to the T-shirt my wife was eyeing and declared, ‘NYC? What’s NYC?’

Yep, you’re in the country now, and not everyone who lives here has ventured much beyond Nieuwoudtville, the world’s flower capital, 70 kilometres away. If you think this is a swipe at local habits, the truth is that the more you travel, the more you find that there are people everywhere, NYC included, who choose to keep it local and aren’t overly interested in anything beyond the highway that leads out of town.

When we lived in West Sussex we knew a woman who had never been to London, barely 100 kilometres away. We met a horse-and-cart driver in Kilkenny, Ireland, who had never been to Dublin or Galway. Nor did he want to. Many Yorkshire folk, members of my family included, either never go to London or, like my cousin Molly, went once and vowed never to go back. And local is, as we like to say, lekker, whether local means Brooklyn, Midhurst, Bradford or Calvinia.

So when in New York City, Rome, wherever, I like to do things the local way, and when in a place like Calvinia I seek out the local meat. There’s an annual meat festival here to celebrate the top-class lamb from this sheep-farming region of the Hantam Karoo. This is the western reach of the vast plains that sweep much of the interior of South Africa, and in March it’s hot and still, with a Karoo breeze picking up late afternoon to cool your evening around the braai.

On that morning, we left the local fashion boutique and wandered into the butchery next door where beautifully prepared cuts of meat were set out in a bank of fridges. The pork and beef are brought in, I was told, but the lamb was all local.

There were legs, shanks, slabs of rib, and lambs’ necks.

The last time I’d cooked lamb’s neck whole, I’d underestimated the cooking time or, more truthfully, run out of time. And there’s no point in cooking lamb’s neck at all if it isn’t allowed to become fall-off-the-bone tender. It’s impossible to gouge the meat out of the knobby bones if it’ even remotely tough. But when it is super soft – as it should be – you can pick up the bone and suck out the juicy contents. A bib would not be out of place.

Next door to the butchery was an old-fashioned bottle store with a wooden counter where an old feller, looking the worse for wear, packaged up the bottle of Tassenberg red I’d selected. Around the corner there was another bottle store where I bought a bottle of red fortified wine labelled Travino Matador, which the shop assistant said was a red muscadel. According to the label it was wooded, which immediately intrigued me.

At the Hantam Huis, which for years had surely been the best country store in the land, we bought a jar of tomato konfyt. They made the best breakfasts anywhere, complete with top-end boerewors and skilpaadjie (caul-wrapped lamb’sliver) and wonderful stoneground porridge served with fynbos honey.

Just outside the kitchen door of the house at which we were staying was a well-established rosemary bush, which I had partially denuded on earlier visits, and some sprigs of this, combined with the Tassies, the wooded fortified red, and some fresh garlic and ginger I had bought, became the makings of a slow-cooked pot-roasted lamb’s neck that I left to simmer away for the rest of the day.

My base was the Boekehuis, a very old Karoo house with creaking floors and the presence of spirits unseen.

You’re alone in the house for a week and when you climb into bed and turn out the light, you pull the bed sheets up over your chin and open your eyes wide like a child who’s been warned about the tokoloshe. There are curious scurryings of what you hope are tiny birds’feet on the corrugated-iron roof. The walls make hushed, mysterious noises.

It’s all strangely welcome, because this is a house to write in and it sharpens you up, a creaky house where I wrote two plays and where my wife wrote her novel. Where David Kramer has spent long days and nights writing, where Helen Walne wrote her searingly honest The Diving about her brother’s suicide and where many great South African works first found their pages.

It’s a house in which you can write of dark and uncomfortable things.

The Boekehuis is part of the life’s work of formidable and elegant Alta Coetzee and it is my favourite house anywhere other than the homes in which I have lived. It’s a house where you welcome the drawing in of the night so that you can light a fire in the old black kitchen range and put a pot on. Where you open a bottle of aged Cabernet Sauvignon and glug-glug-glug it into a glass, where the wine goes to your head as you pore over your research material to absorb what will turn into words the next morning. Where once, after I had finished a draft of my first play, Alta’s one-of-a-kind doctor-wine connoisseur husband Erwin cracked open a bottle of Cristal to toast my work. So here’s a toast to Alta and Erwin Coetzee and their benevolent charity to writers. I might sommer drink the whole bottle.

ALL-DAY VENISON

Whether you’re in the Hantam Karoo, the Klein Karoo or the Moordenaars Karoo, if you don’t hunt game you need a mate who does – someone who lives on a farm or shoots buck in the wild
to sell the fine meat to fancy restaurants.

Once in a while, they will pop by to hand you a bag with something intriguing in it. A haunch of warthog, a loin of takbok (fallow deer), or a quartet of springbok shanks. This is a more-or-less recipe for whatever venison has been bestowed on you.

Cut into small pieces and treat in the way the French and Italians do, which means cooked slowly forever at a bashful temperature.

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until lightly golden. Add the cans of tomato and braai relish, wine, apple jelly, coriander, turmeric, Worcestershire sauce and sherry. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Add the cubed meat and stir to coat. Add the chopped parsley. Bring back to a very gentle simmer, cover, and allow to burble away for several hours. This needs to be very ‘stewy’, with the meat disintegrating so that it almost becomes one with the developing sauce.

About an hour before it’ s likely to be ready, stir the cornflour and milk together until no lumps remain, then add a little at a time to the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cover again and allow to simmer until done.

Serve with buttery mashed potato.

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs olive oil
1 x 410 g can
chopped tomatoes
1 x 410 g can braai relish
(chopped tomatoes and
onions with chilli)
1 large glass dry white wine
1–3 Tbs apple jelly
(or similar)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
dash Worcestershire sauce
splash of sherry (or port)
salt and pepper to taste
800 g lean venison,
cut into small cubes
handful parsley leaves (stems
removed), finely chopped
1 Tbs cornflour
2 Tbs milk

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