2019 SA Book Fair caters for all generations and genres

All the fun of the fair for the whole family with books, authors and illustrators on show

25 August 2019 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Books
From budding bibliophiles to seasoned readers - the SA Book Fair caters for all generations and genres.
From budding bibliophiles to seasoned readers - the SA Book Fair caters for all generations and genres.
Image: Supplied

Published in the Sunday Times: 25/08/2019

We Joburgers like to say there's not much to do on weekends besides staying at home braaiing, watching sport and visiting the many malls, and casinos dressed up like somewhere sometime in Italy. Not at all bad choices, but there's something to be said about stepping out of our isolated lives, leaving our bubbles and venturing out to the city.

Now is the chance to do something different and this year's South African Book Fair is the place to do that.

Not only is it taking place at the venerable Constitution Hill (which has plenty of on-site parking, by the way, so there's no excuse not to come), it is also concentrating on all things words for the whole family.

Taking place from September 6 to 8, the fair is one of SA's most inclusive and diverse literary events.

There are so many panel discussions to go to with 100 authors across 40 sessions. So choose wisely.

The line-up of writers includes Jonny Steinberg, whose new book One Day in Bethlehem has just been released, Fred Khumalo, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Pieter-Louis Myburgh and Michelle le Roux.

International stars include Sarah Ladipo Manyika and d'bi young. Nigerian-British Manyika is professor of literature at San Francisco University and is here for the re-release of her iconic work In Dependence. Jamaican-Canadian poet young launches her new collection of poetry at the fair.

Among the session highlights is Life Reclaimed. Letshego Zulu, widow of racing driver Gugu Zulu, who lost his life scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, shares her tragic and uplifting story, which she writes about in I Choose to Live.

Constitution Hill is a deeply moving living monument for our country and the South Africa Book Fair is honouring the space in a fresh way. The fair this year sees the addition of an Illustrator's Exhibition within the Women's Jail Atrium, featuring the work of five book illustrators.

And for those who feel they have a book in them and are looking for advice, there is an Author's Corner, dedicated to skills transfer as part of the fair's focus on transformation of the book industry. Authors and others can book face-to-face interactions with industry specialists and attend workshops.

There are plenty of other events, so go to southafricanbookfair.co.za to see what else is on offer. Tickets can be purchased via Webtickets or at the door. Entry tickets are R10 and session tickets are R40.