Memoirs

Goodbye 2020 1

Goodbye 2020

Goodbye 2020: it is certainly one year I’m not sorry to see the end of. Although it is probably going to be a year with a long reach into the new year and beyond. What will be interesting is to see the books – novels and memoirs – that this year will produce. From what …

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Imagine 2

Imagine

Imagine. Remember John Lennon’s brilliant song? He said people called him a dreamer because he could imagine a world without hunger or greed. And he said making this imaginative leap was easy if you tried. Fair enough. But as any novelist will tell you, sometimes the imagination needs a little push and a shove. We’ve …

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Writing as therapy 3

Writing as therapy

All my life I have never thought of writing as therapy. I’ve always thought of writing as a job. Something you sat down to during the day and worked at for as many hours as you could afford. It was a seven days a week job and it had nothing to do with my emotional …

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Writing a memoir 5

Writing a memoir

Writing a memoir, especially when it involves the famous, friends, family or foes, can be tricky. Do you get legal advice before you start? Do you write it all down and worry about the consequences afterwards? How are publishers going to react to a manuscript that could bring with it suits of defamation? I recently …

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When celebrities are fair game 6

When celebrities are fair game

Last week there was a brief spat in the media about the reissue of an updated biography of the Springbok rugby captain, Siya Kolisi. In an Instagram post, Rachel Kolisi (his wife) claimed that publication was a case of ‘white men benefiting off the back of a black man’. She asked for publication to be …

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Writing courses and Drum magazine 7

Writing courses and Drum magazine

One wild and wet Saturday morning back in June, I chatted to Jenny Crwys-Williams on Kaya FM about my writing courses, about success-stories such as Qarnita Loxton, Jenny Friedman and up-and-coming A’Eysha Kassiem. We also talked about the Drum writers of the 1950s. And this was when Kwanele Kunene won her place on a fiction …

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