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Hamnet blogHamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

TimesLive, Kate Sidley

Historical fiction is a departure for O'Farrell but she gives us what we've come to expect from her novels - characters and relationships, often families, that are psychologically nuanced and complex, that feel real and touch the heart, in a story that is immersive and finely wrought.

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A Long Petal of the SeaA Long Petal of the Sea

Lanky Victor is in many ways the opposite of his brother, Guillem, a handsome militiaman. When his parents take in one of his father’s best piano students, Roser Bruguera, it’s Guillem that she falls in love with. Yet by the time the war is over, Roser is heavily pregnant and alone, and it will be a slower, infinitely more pragmatic – and more interesting – love that the novel ultimately celebrates.

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Mr NobodyMr. Nobody

The Washington Post, Carol Memmott

Mr. Nobody” is equally fit for the big screen. The novel’s cinematic opening begins with a half-frozen man floundering on an English beach in winter, his memory gone. The story line draws from a real-life event: In 2005, a man dressed in sopping wet formal wear was found wandering on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, England, claiming that he had no idea who he was.

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American DirtAmerican Dirt

Winfrey also posted a video of her endorsement to the Oprah’s Book Club Twitter account, saying, “I was opened, I was shook up, it woke me up, and I feel that everybody who reads this book is actually going to be immersed in the experience of what it means to be a migrant on the run for freedom.

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The Deep StateThe Deep State

More axes are sure to fall. A senior Pentagon official appears in danger of losing her nomination to a top Defense Department post after questioning the president’s suspension of aid to Ukraine. Likewise, a prosecutor involved in Mr. Stone’s case has lost a nomination to a senior Treasury Department position.

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Your House Will PayYour House Will Pay

Herald Scotland, Alastair Mabbott

A Korean-American crime writer from Los Angeles, Steph Cha is well-placed to examine the racial tensions of her home city, and she’s surpassed expectations with Your House Will Pay. Basing her story on a fictionalised version of the shooting of a 15-year-old African-American girl by a Korean convenience store owner in 1991, she probes its long-term effects on the families of victim and perpetrator.

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Blessed by BosasaWatson’s BMW among Bosasa assets to be auctioned off

The Citizen, Daniel Friedman

The auction, including properties, vehicles and equipment, is the final nail in the coffin of a company believed to have received roughly R12 billion from government tenders. Park Village Auctions will be auctioning off the assets of African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, on December 4 and 5. An advertisement has been circulating for the auction, which will see items including late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson’s metallic blue BMW X5 offered up.

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Siya KolisiAn interview with Jeremy Daniel

LitNet, Naomi Meyer

I think he is a figure of reconciliation already. What he's achieved, where he came from, how he lives his life is all part of his story. He's not a flashy player, so many people underestimate his impact on the field. He's doing the hard work at the bottom of the ruck, putting in the grind while others get credit. I think any sport that showcases us as a winning nation can contribute to nation-building.

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Blessed by BosasaInside Gavin Watson’s state capture cult

TimesLive, Adriaan Basson

It’s easy to imagine that state capture began with Jacob Zuma and the Guptas. But you’d be wrong. Born out of the ANC Women’s League 20 years ago, Bosasa has come to be described as the ANC’s “Heart of Darkness”. At its helm, until his untimely death on August 26 this year, was Gavin Watson, a struggle-rugby-player-turned-tenderpreneur.

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A House Divided 1A House Divided

media24, Book Extract

It was April 2017, and 150 DA councillors were crammed into a com­mittee room on the spacious mayoral floor of the civic centre. There was a temporary pause in the acrimonious shouting, and the DA's councillors looked shocked, unsure whether to believe this was happening. Usually, disagreements in the caucus were resolved through debate and consensus; sometimes, decisions went to a vote.

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Robey LeibbrandtRobey Leibbrandt

Maroela Media

In die vroeë 1940’s is die Suid-Afrikaanse publiek aangegryp deur die uitdagende optrede van die Olimpiese bokser en swaargewigkampioen Robey Leibbrandt. Hy was dodelik gekant teen Suid-Afrika se deelname aan die oorlog. Sy ekstremisme, opvlieënd-heid en onverdraagsaamheid was tipies van ’n politieke fanatikus.

Lees meer hier.

Black Tax 1Black Tax – Burden or Ubuntu

fin24, Ferial Haffajee

There's a credit that we don't often enough pat ourselves on the back for as South Africans. Every single month, come a downgrade, come yawning budget deficit or widening trade balance, we pay 18 million social grants in a form of solidarity to compatriots. I say 'we' because it's solidarity from all to all – after all, it's paid from personal, corporate and VAT collections. It is huge; almost certainly the largest form of social solidarity on the continent and it is up there among the better systems in the developing world.

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My African ConquestMy African Conquest by Julia Albu

City Press, Julia Albu

The next morning I rushed to see if Tracy was still with us, and there she was, waiting. “Hurry!” I said to Zambi, as I was dying to get going – I was becoming addicted to the rhythm of Tracy on the open road and I was enjoying my beautifully upholstered two-seater sofa. And I was also starting to feel the spirit of adventure …

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Americanah‘Americanah’ adaptation lands at HBO Max

Hypable, Lelanie Seyffer

Americanah will be adapted as a series at HBO Max, with Lupita Nyong’o as the lead and Danai Gurira as showrunner. The novel, written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has long been on the radar for both Nyong’o and Gurira. Lupita Nyong’o has described Americanah as “a passion project from me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013.”

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The girl who lived twiceThe Girl Who Lived Twice

The Washington Post, Richard Lipez

Salander is less physically present this time — and that’s too bad, because she’s fascinating. A superhacker, Salander learns online that her family is genetically predisposed to both high intelligence and psychopathy. Abused by both her father and later by a sadistic child psychiatrist, Salander devotes her life to revenge against powerful cruel people, most of them men.

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The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena

The moving true life story of an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances. Houseworker and resilient Afrikaans-speaking isiXhosa mother, Poppie Nongena, desperately tries to keep her family together by navigating the day-to-day struggle against inhumane government pass laws in 1970's South Africa.

Based on the celebrated novel by Elsa Joubert.
#PoppieNongenaFilm in cinemas 31 January 2020.

CoconutCoconut Kelz's Guide

Polity

When she was last spotted on the crossroads of Swart and Gevaar Roads, Coconut Kelz was drinking Woolies water and spreading her ‘truth bombs’ about the state of the nation, why corruption is okay when white people do it and why black people don’t win in life…

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One DayLISTEN: Insights into One Day in Bethlehem

Radio 702, Zanele Zama

South African author and scholar Jonny Steinberg has published his latest book titled One Day in Bethlehem. The book centres around what actually happened at 4.10pm on 2 April 1992, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, the time and the location of the crime for which Fusi Mofokeng and Tshokolo Mokoena were sentenced to life in prison.

Listen here.

American DirtPreview American Dirt

EW, David Canfield

One of 2020’s most anticipated titles, Jeanine Cummins’ sweeping novel is set to arrive with big expectations: It’s already generated raves from the likes of Don Winslow (“a Grapes of Wrath for our times”) and Stephen King (“an extraordinary piece of work”). And back in 2018, it sparked a nine-house, seven-figure auction, ultimately won by Flatiron Books.

Read more here.