The seventh edition of the Open Book Festival promises to be yet another bigger and exciting experience for book lovers in South Africa. The festival will take place from 6 to 10 September in Cape Town with attendees spoiled with more than 140 exciting events to choose from.
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 seventh Open Book Festival will take place from 6 to 10 September at The Fugard Theatre, District Six Homecoming Centre, A4 Arts Foundation, PH Centre, Central Library Cape Town, Elsie’s River Library, Kuyasa Library and The Book Lounge from 10:00 to 21:00 each day.
“We are proud to be announcing our biggest Festival yet, and we thank everyone who supported our Thundafund campaign, which has, in part, enabled us to compile this year’s extensive programme,” says Festival Director Mervyn Sloman.
He added: “We have once again worked hard to bring you a phenomenal line up of South African and international authors across a range of genres talking about topics that are engaging, relevant and thought-provoking.”
The festival has been recognised internationally, having been shortlisted twice for the London Book Fair Excellence Awards in the category of Literary Festivals. In 2016, Open Book hosted nearly 10 000 visitors at the 125 events with 251 local and international authors.
It is well known for its strong political content and bringing the most successful and high achieving authors. Paul Beatty, the current Man Booker winner will be a highlight for many this year and a strong selection of writers from the continent include the likes of Chibundu Onuzo, Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Ayobami Adebayo.
Several books are set to be launched at the festival, including Bonang Matheba’s From A to B, Pumla Gqola’s,Reflecting Rogue, Glynnis Breytenbach’s Rule of Law, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh’s Democracy and Delusions, Mark Shaw’sHitmen for Hire and Prince Mashele’s Fall of the ANC Continues.
Following the huge success of #cocreatePOETICA last year, this year’s line-up includes Dutch poets Akwasi, Dean Bowen and Sjaan Flikweert, headline names such as Koleka Putuma, Toni Stuart, Gabeba Baderoon and Jolyn Phillips. InZync returns to the Open Book stage as does the Open Book Poetry Slam. Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement is also joining the line-up.
“The nature of the open discussions and debates between authors and audiences and the conversations that continue beyond the event, are what make the Festival unique,” says Sloman.
Young readers have not been left out with a wide range of events for children on Saturday the 9thSeptember. ‘Storytime in the Gardens’ on Friday the 8th September, an initiative between Central Library and Open Book which will feature a host of local storytellers. Alex Wheatle, winner of the 2016 Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, will be at the festival doing events at schools, public libraries as well as on the main festival programme.
Comics Fest takes place on 9 and 10 September with an array of activities, workshops, discussions and demonstrations for illustrators, designers and comic book lovers. This year seasoned illustrator Andy Mason will be hosting the Monster Battle Draw Off throughout the weekend.
“Our partners Leopard’s Leap Wines will again host their fantastic #WordsforWine. Bring a pre-loved or new book to exchange for a glass of Leopard’s Leap wine.Books will be donated the Open Book Library Project and other charities. Check the programme for times. They will also be announcing the winner of their innovative Flash Fiction competition,” says Sloman.