South African writers head for Edinburgh book fest

5 August 2014

South Africa’s best-known authors have been invited to participate in this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, “the world’s largest public celebration of the written word”, taking place in the Scottish capital from 9 to 25 August.

Damon Galgut, Zakes Mda and Mpho Tutu feature as part of the “Voices from South Africa” programme. Lauren Beukes, Niq Mhlongo, Margie Orford and Mark Gevisser also form part of the South African contingent represented at the festival.

Author CA Davids has been nominated for the festival’s First Book Award for her novel, The Blacks of Cape Town. The award is chosen by the public, and voting closes on 17 October.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is one of the most important events on the world’s publishing calendar, with an estimated 220 000 visitors expected to attend this year’s event.

The “Voices from South Africa” theme focuses on novelists and writers from South Africa whose works are “making waves internationally”. The programme reads:

Twenty years since the end of apartheid, South Africa is still struggling to make sense of itself as a democracy. Yet despite its political troubles (or perhaps because of them?) the country is building a powerful community of novelists and writers whose work is now making waves internationally. Alongside Mpho Tutu, literary heavyweights Damon Galgut and Zakes Mda join us in 2014, along with the brilliant crime writer Margie Orford, stunning debuts from CA Davids and Rosie Rowell, bestselling thriller writer Lauren Beukes and one of the fastest rising new stars of the South African scene, Niq Mhlongo.

If you happen to be in Edinburgh this month, look out for Mpho Tutu in conversation with Ruth Wishart on 21 August, when they talk about the pain of reconciliation and The Book of Forgiving, co-written with her father, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Galgut’s reading workshop, which will take a close look at EM Forster’s classic A Passage to India, is on 19 August.

Check the Edinburgh Book Festival site for booking and more details: www.edbookfest.co.uk.

SAinfo reporter