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by Cary Darling - McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

25 Aug 2011


We sure have come a long way since Out of Africa and The Flame Trees of Thika.

In the second decade of the 21st century, some of the most compelling contemporary crime-fiction novels are either set in or coming from Africa. Much as Scandinavia became associated with the genre a few years back—thanks in large part to Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy—Africa may become a new capital of literary crime.

Cape Town’s Roger Smith, who writes with the brutal beauty of an Elmore Leonard in a very bad mood, is at the forefront. His 2009 debut, Mixed Blood, has been optioned for a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger). His second book, Wake Up Dead, is also going Hollywood, with director Mark Tonderai (Hush) attached.

by Kerrie Mills

9 Jun 2011


From the TV show, Ann of Green Gables (1985)

I’m on a course of children’s literature lately, and have just finished Kate Douglas Wiggin’s celebrated Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Also New Chronicles of Rebecca, which tells additional stories within the timeframe of the original.

There I am, reading along, enjoying the new insights that emerge when you reread a childhood favourite… when it hits me: this all sounds familiar. Very familiar. To wit:

by Kate Dries

28 Apr 2011


“I think we all have a girl in us,” Eve Ensler told the crowd at the University of Chicago’s International House recently, while speaking about her new book I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. The evening fluctuated from book reading to performance to rally to consciousness raising session, until it was unclear where one experience began and the other ended. And herein lies the basic issue I have with Ensler’s work; she invariably tries to create a voice for an audience that have their own voices.

by Kerrie Mills

10 Mar 2011


I’ve been reading Michael Palin’s Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years by way of preparation for Volume 2, due this month. In sincere tribute to this most gentle of men, I must say that I enjoyed it quite a lot.

My experience with the Monty Python troupe has been largely in connection with their later solo projects. You’d think this unfamiliarity would make an intimate look at The Python Years heavy going, but oddly – or perhaps, given the source, reasonably – enough, it turns out to be just the opposite. Because over years of careful, almost Beatle-level media scrutiny, the storylines have remained remarkably consistent, and as recorded by The Nice One, they aren’t liable to change much even if there was new info. to add.

by Peta Jinnath Andersen

8 Feb 2011


Image from the cover of Diana Peterfreund's Rampant

Note: This is the second installment of this topic.  See also Scott Westerfeld Talks with PopMatters About Bitch Media’s Top 100 Feminist YA List Debacle

Young adult author Diana Peterfreund was the first author to call out Bitch Media on their removal of Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red, and the first to ask for her book to be removed.

Last week, Peterfreund elaborated on her issues with Bitch’s actions. Her novel, Rampant is 71 on the list (it’s in alphabetical order).

//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Rachael Yamagata

// Sound Affects

"After a four year break since her last album, Rachael Yamagata reveals a love of spreadsheets, a love for Streisand, and why it's totally OK to suck at playing guitar.

READ the article