The Open Book Festival 2017 kicked off today in Cape Town, South Africa. The festival will run from September 6-10, 2017.
The Open Book Festival is an annual literary festival held in Cape Town, South Africa with a focus on South African literature in an international context. The event, first held in 2011, includes over 150 literary events, featuring over dozens of authors over 5 days.
This year the festival a production of the Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre, will also be hosted by the A4 Arts Foundation, District Six Homecoming Centre, Central Library, Elsies River Library, Kuyasa Library, and PH Centre. The Festival presents a world-class selection of panel discussions, workshops, readings, performances and more, designed to inspire, stimulate and entertain audiences, featuring more than one hundred local and international authors.
The guest list is quick large with some of the most well-known people in the literary space in South Africa, across the continent and beyond. South Africa is represented by Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola writer and soon to be dean of research at the University of Fort Hall, Fred Khumalo whose newest work is Dancing the Death Drill but whose book Bitches Brew continues to haunt some of us. Then there is Koleka Putuma who has been wowing audiences this year with her magnum opus Collective Amnesia which is changing how we sell poetry on the continent. Then there is Yewande Omotoso who has been lauded for her work the most recent being The Woman Next Door.
Further afield, there is Fiston Mwanza Mujila who won the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015 for his work Tram 83, Grace Musila who wrote A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder, Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty for his book The Sellout, and Yemisi Aribisala who wrote Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds. There is also Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. Her debut novel Stay With Me is one of the most highly regarded at the moment. Also in that list is the Caine Prize winner Bushra al-Fadil is a Sudanese writer living in Saudi Arabia. His most recent collection Above a City’s Sky was published in 2012, the same year he won the al-Tayeb Salih Short Story Award.
It promises to be a packed few days in Cape Town in the next days.