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ON May 27 and May 28, Richmond (in the Karoo), the small town between Colesberg and Beaufort West which University of KwaZulu-Natal lecturer Darryl David has turned into Booktown Richmond will host a J. M. Coetzee Literary Festival. Not that the reclusive Nobel prizewinner will be there, but there will be plenty of other writers to celebrate his work.
David explains that, ever since Booktown Richmond was launched in 2007, he has wanted to honour South Africa’s two Nobel Literature laureates, Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer, in the area that he considers to be South Africa’s literary heartland.
Mike Marais and Gareth Cornwell, both professors at Rhodes University, will discuss Coetzee’s novel, Disgrace, and there will be a talk on the author’s boyhood as well. Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli and South Africa’s other Nobel laureates will also come under the spotlight. Among the authors attending will be Mike Nicol, Michiel Heyns and Lauren Beukes, South Africa’s latest literary prizewinner who has just been awarded the Arthur C. Clarke science-fiction award. David is also hopeful that Ronald Suresh Roberts, who wrote an unauthorised biography of Gordimer, will attend.
In October, the fifth annual BoekBedonnerd Festival will also take place in Richmond. Inquiries: Darryl David at 078 598 2312 (cow firstname.lastname@example.org) or Peter Baker at 082 941 1572 (pcbaker@mweb. co.za — Books Editor.