Issue 39 ~ October 27, 2020


  • Reader Newsletter
  • BookBedonnerd Programme
  • Richmond Filums
  • Madibaland Programme

Dear Karoosters, All …

Finally, wonderful to be back in the Great Karoo under a blue sky and the hope for some rain in this dry dorsland. There is a bit of a buzz in the dorp and  lots of … “is BoekBedonnerd happening?” You are darned tootin’ fig newton!

As just about the only literary festival on the 2020 calendar, under the shadow of a national lock down, a downward spiralling economy, political uncertainty and ineptitude, a complete lack of government support or sponsorship,  we are very encouraged by the staying power of the Booktown Richmond community both in the dorp and countrywide. That we are going to continue to stage what is a unique event in the Karoo with the support of our die hard supporters is a testament to the power of the written word; we must never forget that one of the Booktown Richmond precepts is, “Building a Nation with Words”.

We are encouraged by the return of many of our loyal supporters from years past as well as new comers to the Karoo. I believe that we are in for a super end of week festival.

Please find following the programme which will be plastered to walls rather that printed as in the past…..the Northern Cape Government put us in the Poubelle (Tr. garbage/dustbin) of their priorities in the way of tourism, sport, art and culture! Sad state of affairs.

Aluta Continua….viva BookBedonnerd viva

Karoo sundowners



Don’t Frack with Our Karoo™


Booktown Richmond’s 14th Anniversary


BookBedonnerd XIII  
October 29-31, 2020

A Richmond Community Development Foundation Project


There will be a book binding course in the Japanese style to be held at MAP from 09:00am on
Friday. A team of local craftsmen and women will be hosting the programme. See here << LINK |

MAP have also been as busy as the same rat only up a different pipe. Please  have a glance at their offerings and during a break have a look at the action down the road.

You can access it online through thee following links: click here << LINK | or as pdf download, click here << LINK |

For more information please contact Abrie WhatsApp +27827754272

Richmond Filums present:

  • How to Steal a Country
  • The King’s Speech
  • Dominee Tienie

Our wine Sponsors are:

  • Hawksmoor
  • Strandveld
  • Springfield

George Orwell



Booktown Richmond & BookBedonnerd
(in partnership with the University of the Western Cape)




Madibaland World Literary Festival 2020
November 20 – 30th


Part 2



On November 16, 1860, the first Indentured Indians arrived on the shores of Durban. Many perished, many were thrown overboard. For decades many were enslaved. Yet they rose like the proverbial Phoenix in SA. This year marks 160 years (if not more by some accounts) of Indian settlement in SA. And this festival will be used to commemorate the men and women who toiled so that people like myself could enjoy the sweet taste of freedom

India has always enjoyed a special place in the hearts of South Africans. Our cricketers re-entered the international stage against India. Nelson Mandela’s government had close ties with India. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi looms large in the political landscape of SA. And so, it is such a pleasure to be able to host a group of Indian writers from the motherland.

Highly respected writer SHANTANU GUHA RAY opens the innings with his magnificent biography of one of the greatest cricket captains India has ever produced – Mahindra Singh Dhoni, the much feared ‘master blaster’ of Indian cricket. Who will ever forget that brilliant knock in the World Cup Cricket Final when Dhoni rescued India from the jaws of defeat? In a cricket mad country like India, it is only fitting to give Shantanu a second session. This time to speak on match-fixing in cricket. Given South African cricket’s Hansiegate saga, this is a talk not to be missed.

What Mandela is to SA, Gandhi is to India. And therefore, it should come as no surprise that books on Gandhi will dominate the literary landscape of India. I am pleased to announce a most unique book for our festival: Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience by SUMATHI RAMASWAMY. And then we have Going Native: Gandhi’s Relationship with Western Women by Thomas Weber. To round off our offering on art, we have Masterpieces of Indian Art by ALKA PANDE.

India is undoubtedly one of the great culture capitals of the world and is also home to some of the world’s finest cuisine. As a connoisseur of curry, I should know.  To this end I can’t wait to hear the interview with SALMA HUSAIN, author of the beautiful book Mughal Feast. And who has not heard the term BOLLYWOOD? Undoubtedly one of the more popular books at the Madibaland World Literary Festival is going to be 100 Iconic Bollywood Costumes by SUJATA ASSOMULL.

Like SA, India also has a long history of inequality. Most people who know a bit about India will have heard about the caste-system. And of the term, the ‘untouchables’. It is with great pride therefore that we welcome one of the youngest authors from India, SHILPA RAJ, to the festival. Shilpa will speak on her book The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter, a memoir about her childhood growing up in a South Indian village, and the prejudice she faces as a girl child, and as a ‘Dalit’.

On the South African front, the programme is packed with Indians. Darryl Earl David, founder of the Madibaland World Literary Festival, will speak on Churches of SA. One of South Africa’s most under-rated authors, Ashwin Desai, will speak on his ground breaking book about Black Rugby in the Eastern Cape. The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, represented by Shan Balton, will speak on the life of Ahmed Kathrada and the work of the foundation in his honour. Goolam Vahed will speak about the one man Nelson Mandela would always visit in Pietermaritzburg – Chota Motala. There are so many more. Rajie Tudge; Deena Padayachee; Adiela Akoo; Betty Govinden; Shantini Naidoo, with her just released book on Women in Solitary Confinement during Apartheid; Sylvia Garib, Rajendra Chetty, Juwaireyah Khan, biographies on the most famous Indian golfer in SA history, Papwa Sewgolum.

Remind me to insert, right at the top of my glossary, the term CHAROUS for our international audiences. Because, to quote Trevor Noah out of context, we’re not Indians, we’re charous!!!!

Part 1 (extract from previous newsletter if you missed it)

I had said this would be the largest online book festival in the world. I did not know it would turn out to be the greatest book festival in the history of SA book festivals. In the last few days some big names have thrown their weight behind the festival. First up was Sophy Roberts, author of The Lost Pianos of Siberia. Below a bit of background to the book.

From acclaimed journalist Sophy Roberts, a journey through one of the harshest landscapes on earth—where music reveals the deep humanity and the rich history of Siberia

Siberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell.

Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos—grand instruments created during the boom years of the nineteenth century, as well as humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the westernizing influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood.

How these pianos travelled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles. Siberian pianos have accomplished extraordinary feats, from the instrument that Maria Volkonsky, wife of an exiled Decembrist revolutionary, used to spread music east of the Urals, to those that brought reprieve to the Soviet Gulag. That these instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle.

The Lost Pianos of Siberia is largely a story of music in this fascinating place, fol-lowing Roberts on a three-year adventure as she tracks a number of different instruments to find one whose history is definitively Siberian. Her journey reveals a desolate land inhabited by wild tigers and deeply shaped by its dark history, yet one that is also profoundly beautiful—and peppered with pianos.

Ever heard of the book SHUGGIE BAIN? This Booker Prize shortlisted novel by Douglas Stuart is undoubtedly one of the books of 2020, even though it was beaten to the line by the first Dutch novel to win the Booker Prize. It is large enough to act as a doorstop for the windiest of days in Simon’s Town, but it is a book that will blow you away. The relationship between Agnes and her son Shuggie will go down in history as one of the most heart breaking, yet unforgettable mother-son relationships in English fiction.

And then there is the award winning book by Charalamos Dousemetzis: Dimitri Tsafendas: The Man Who Killed Apartheid. This is a book that is going to turn on its head every lie we were fed about Dimitri Tsafendas, the man who stabbed Verwoerd. It is a great honour for the Madibaland World Literary Festival to have a book of this calibre on our programme.

On the local front the book – THE LIE OF 1652 by Patric Tariq Mellet sold out in shops across the country within ten days and bookshops have all been scurrying to get more orders met to meet the demands. The Exclusive Books webinar book-launch sign up exceeded 500 but within three hours the podcast had 116 000 viewings. The media attention this book received has been phenomenal. This is a book that is going to shake the foundational narratives of SA good and proper. One not to be missed.

Another author who has just joined the Madibaland World Literary Festival is Greg Arde, author of the highly praised book War Party. A brief synopsis:

Cadre deployment means that the ANC and the state are inextricably intertwined. In KwaZulu-Natal, which has long been the powder keg of South Africa, it’s a monster that means people of competing patronage networks are killing each other for a place at the trough –  for jobs and tenders –  and the taxi industry provides the hitmen, guns and the transport. Travel with journalist Greg Ardé across KwaZulu-Natal into the dark heart of South Africa and the ANC’s ‘culture of blood’.

But the first international author who committed to Madibaland is someone South African book lovers are going to warm to. I met John Connell, author of the international bestseller The Cow Book in Scotland’s Book Town Wigtown in 2018. And even before it gained international acclaim, I knew this man had greatness in him and invited him to SA.

This Irish memoir became a best-seller last year in its native country under the original title The Cow Book: A Story of Life on a Family Farm. In the United States, the book’s title changed to The Farmer’s Son: Calving Season on a Family Farm.  Connell didn’t intend to write a memoir about his farming, and he famously remarked to his agent: Who would be interested in a book about a beef farm in Longford?

Apparently close to 4 million readers! That is who!!! Who knows, we might yet entice the farmers in Richmond and the greater Karoo to start taking an interest in matters literary!!!

Please read below for most up-to-date list of speakers including detailed biographies:

Our line up: (click on the live profiles to find out more)

1. Shilpa Raj: The Elephant Chasers Daughter
2. John Connell: The Cow Book.
3. John Connell: The Running Book
4. Greg Marinovich: Shots from the Edge: A Photojournalist’s Encounters with Conflict and Resilience.
5. Jacob Dlamini: Askari : A Story of Collaboration and Betrayal in the Anti-apartheid Struggle.
6. Jacob Dlamini: The Terrorist Album: Apartheid’s Insurgents, Collaborators and the Security Police
7. Gabeba Baderoon: The History of Intimacy.
8. Christopher Merrill: Poetry.
9. Christopher Merrill: Walt Whitman
10. Michael Greene:  For the Sake of Silence.
11. Christopher Nicholson: Winter.
12. Christopher Nicholson: Among the Summer Snows
13. Angie Butler: Explorers of the Heroic Age
14. Emma Neale: Billy Bird
15. Emma Neale: Poetry.
16. Karen Karbo: The Stuff of Life
17. Karen Karbo: The Gospel According to Coco-Chanel.
18. Kiki Petrosino: Witch Wife
19. Kiki Petrosino: White Blood - A Lyric of Virginia.
20. Sumayya Lee: The Story of Maya
21. Chris Abani: The Secret History of Las Vegas
22. Etienne van Heerden: Die biblioteek aan die einde van die wereld (The library at the end of the world)
23. Fred Khumalo: The Longest March.
24. Hugh Bland: Trappist Mission Stations of KZN
25. Hedi Lampert: The Trouble with my Aunt
26. Ashwin Desai: Indian Indenture
27. Elana Bregin: The Antbear Cabin
28. Dominique Malherbe: Sarah Goldblatt Biography.
29. Chris Nicholson (SA judge): t.b.c
30. Erica Platter: Durban Curry.
31. Vernon Head: A Tree for the Birds
32. Athol Williams: Poetry.
33. Fikile Hlatshwayo: Blacks do Caravan.
34. Carol Campbell: The Tortoise Cried It’s Only Tear
35. Zoe Wicomb: Still Life
36. Joanne Hichens: Death And The After Parties
37. Rumena Buzarovska: My Husband.
38. Amanda Michalopoulou: God’s Wife.
39. Nikola Madzirov: Remnants of Another Age
40. Dana Snyman: On the Back Roads. / Soekmekaar
41. Antony Osler: Mzansi Zen.
42. Mike Lowry/ Steve Wimberley/ Phillip Kretzman: Inspirational Animal Stories
43. Tracy Going: Brutal Legacy
44. Vladimir Martinovski: Poetry.
45. Riana Scheepers: A Writers House t.b.c
46. Diana Ferrus: Poetry
47. Jan van Tonder: Die verevrou.
48. Ronnie Kasrils: Catching Tadpoles
49. Raashida Khan: Fragrance of Forgiveness
50. Ronnie Govender in conversation with Rajendra Chetty (t.b.c)
51. ZP Dala / Sylvia Garib: Durban in words t.b.c
52. Philippe Menache & Darryl David: Churches of South Africa – A Platteland Pilgrimage
53. Hattie Edmonds: The Spectacular Vision of Oskar Dunkelblick.
54. Sophy Roberts: The Lost Piano's of Siberia
55. Shanthini Naidoo: Women in Solitary
56. Jerzy Koch: Pleks van plaas
57. Elleke Boehmer: Southern Imaginings – To the Volcano
58. Nico Moolman: Russia in the Anglo-Boer War
59. Mongane Wally Serote: Sikhahlel’ u-OR – praise poem to Oliver Tambo (t.b.c)
60. Mandla Langa: Dare not linger (t.b.c)
62. Ahmed Kathrada Foundation:
63. Paul Weinberg: A 30 Year Journey with the San
64. Lizzie Collingham: Hungry Empire : How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped The Modern World
65. Lizzie Collingham: Curry : A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors.
66. Kirsten Miller: All that is left.
67. Andrew Miller: Dub Steps.
68. Don Pinnock: The Last Elephants.
69. Patricia Schonstein: The Inn at Helsvlakte
70. Petro Hansen: Vervleg
71. Andries Bezuidenhout: Onplaats
72. Barry Cohen: Let me play: the story of the greatest Indian golfer SA has never seen
73. Marguerite Poland: Sins of Omission
74. Natalie Conyer: Sisters in Crime – Three Sydney Crime Writers
75. AM Kamaal: Nigeria/ Nome Patrick Emeka - Nigerian poets t.b.c
76. Carmen Miller: Canada's Little War: Fighting for the British Empire in the Anglo-Boer War
77. James Daschuk: Clearing the Plains
78. Pieter Louis Myburgh: Gangster State t.b.c
79. Chris Marais & Julienne du Toit: Karoo Roads
80. Bronwyn Davids: Lansdowne Dearest : My Family’s Story of Forced Removals
81. Zirk van den Bergh: Ek wens, ek wens
82. Erns Grundlingh – Sushi en Shosholoza: Rugbyreise en pelgrimstogte in Japan
83. Antjie Krog: Poetry
84. Petrovna Metelerkamp: Ingrid Jonker: A Biography.
85. Lynne Joffe: The Gospel According to Wanda B. Lazarus.
86. Mike Nicol: Espionage Fiction.
87. Obie Oberholzer: Photography
88. Christy Lefteri: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
89. Zanele Dlamini: Wounds of Ignorance
90. Landa Mabenge: Becoming Him : A Trans-Memoir.
91. Audrey Schulman: The Theory of Bastards.
92. Cherry Lewis: The Enlightened Mr Parkinson.
93. Chris Mann: Troubadour
94. Irene Fisher: I am still here
95. Clinton du Plessis: Poetry
96. Cameron McNeish: Scotland’s 100 Best Walks / There’s Always the Hills
97. John T. Edge: The Potlikka Papers : A Food History of the Modern South
98. Kobus Moolman: The Mountain Behind the House
99. Gerbrand Bakker: Boven is het stil (The Twin) & De omweg (The Detour)
100. Sjon: The Whispering Muse from Iceland. Author/ Academy Award nominated singer
101. Debbie Rodriguez: The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.
102. Amy McDaid NZ: Fake Baby.
103. John Matisonn: Cyril’s Choices.
104. Sharon Gosling: The House of Hidden Wonders – in conversation with Hugh David
105. Chigozie Obioma: The Fishermen / An Orchestra of Minorities
106. Gaireyah Fredericks, Jadrick Pedro and Duane Miller: Kaaps oppie Richterskaal
107. Johan Jack Smith: Zola
108. Colleen Higgs: My Mother, My Madness
109. Ria Winters: Reise met Schoeman
110. Thomas Mollett: The Anni Dewani Murder
111. Christine Barkhuizen le Roux: My naam is Prins
112. Anel Heydenrych: Die Afloerder
113. Carla van der Spuy: Plaasmoorde t.b.c
114. In Memoriam: session dedicated to all writers who lay down their pen in 2020
115. Anton Harber: So, for the record
116. Andisiwe Kawa: Kwanele: Enough is Enough
117. John Costello: The Wild Coast
118. Raks Seakhoa:  Halala Madiba - Poetry
119. Daniel Hugo: Die verdriet van Belgie / Oorlog en terpentyn
120. Lize Albertyn du Toit: Die Kinders van Spookwerwe
121. Paul Weinberg: On Common Ground: An exhibition of Peter Magubane and David Goldblatt
122. Bridget Krone: Small Mercies
123. Marita van der Vyver: Borderline / Grensgeval
124. Hector Kunene: Poetry
125. Sindiswa Seakhoa: Songs for Madiba – Music
126. Irna van Zyl: Bloedsteen/Blood Stone
127. Barbara Boswell: Black South African Women's Novels as Feminism
128. Deena Padayachee: Poetry/short story
129. Rajie Tudge: Teaching the Canna Bush
130. Lebohang Masango: Mpumi's Magic Beads
131. Shantanu Guha Ray: Mahendra Singh Dhoni biography / Match fixing in cricket
132: Raphael Malangin: Pondicherry
133. Sumathi Ramaswamy: Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of DisobedienceAlka 21-23 November
134. Cosmo Brockway & Harriet Compston& Karam Puri: Glorious Hotels of India
135. Salma Husain: Mughal Feast
136. Alka Pande: Masterpieces of Indian Art
137. Thomas Weber: Going Native: Gandhi's Relationship with Western Women
138. Jackie Kalley: KwaZulu Natal. The Garden Province
139. Elana Bregin: The Audacity of Hope
140. Jackie Kalley: Mlamulankunzi: The Story of Dick King
141. Charalamos Dousemetzis: Dimitri Tsafendas: The Man Who Killed Apartheid



(still to be announced)

For further queries, please contact Darryl Earl David on or on Whatsapp 0664558822. Website

God Bless South Africa
Forever BookBedonnerd

Peter Baker & Darryl David (co-directors)
Website: Booktown Richmond
Richmond Community Development Foundation
P.O. Box 1608, Parklands, 2121, Johannesbug, South Africa
33 Loop Street, Richmond, Northern Cape, South Africa
Registration number: 2008/00/1433/08

Copyright © 2020 Booktown Richmond, All rights reserved.

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