Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Literary Crossroads Goethe-Institut Windhoek

On the Monday after Easter I am off to Windhoek Namibia to be part of the Goethe-Institut's Literary Crossroads. The programme sets out to connect writers around Africa for interesting discussions around those places where their writing crosses paths. The main event will be a panel discussion between me (discussing my most recent historical fiction writing) and Namibian author and publisher Jane Katjavivi. I read Jane's wonderful memoir, Undisciplined Heart (Modjaji Books) when it came out in 2010. Below is her bio:

  Undisciplined Heart: When Jane Katjavivi becomes involved in London in support of change in Southern Africa, she meets and marries a Namibian activist in exile. Moving with him to Namibia at the time of Independence in 1990, she faces a new life in a starkly beautiful country.
She starts to publish Namibian writing and opens a bookshop. In Windhoek she develops friendships with a group of strong, independent women, who have also come from other countries, and are engaged in different ways to overcome the divisions of the past. Over coffee, drinks and food, they support each other through times of happiness and sadness, through juggling careers and family, and through illness and death.
When her husband is made Ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Union, and later Berlin, Jane has to build a new identity as the wife of an ambassador, and come to terms with her own ill-health without her friends around her to support her. 

I'll be in Windhoek for the entire week and will be doing a few other things as well. Below find my schedule if you will be in Windhoek and would like to attend or listen (for the radio interviews). 

TUESDAY 18 April
 10:00 radio interview on NBC Radio- German station with Ralf Boll

15:45 radio  interview at 1 FM

 19:00 Panel discussion Literary Crossroads with author and publisher Jane Katjavivi, moderated by Namibian writer, Sylvia Schlettwien
Venue: Library Goethe Institute Windhoek

Getting your Manuscript Ready: Looking Over Lauri Kubuitsile’s shoulder as she writes a Novel
Venue: Library Goethe Institut Windhoek

14:00 - 16:30
The Ins and Outs of Getting Your Work Published and Other Information no-one will Ever Give you
Venue: Library Goethe Institut Windhoek


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

University of Botswana to discuss The Scattering!!

 University of Botswana English lecturer Mr Wazha Lopang will present his academic paper titled "Displacement and sexuality in Lauri Kubuitsile's The Scattering".

Date: Friday 7th April
Time: 9-10 am
Venue: Block 239/ room   003
Everyone is welcome!

I'm so honoured by this! I hope people will manage to attend.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Night of the Earthquake in Botswana!

Last night at about 7:40 pm,  we had a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Botswana. Luckily it occurred in a remote area in the Kgalagadi Desert, nearly due west from Mahalapye about 178 km, near to the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve. The depth of the earthquake is different from varying reports from 22 km down to 11 km. So far it appears that there are no reports of damage or injuries. Someone told me that since the earthquake was quite deep, the damage on the surface is less even though it was quite a strong earthquake.

I have never been in an earthquake before. Many years ago, perhaps about 15 or 16, in Mahalapye we had a very slight earth tremor that at the time I thought was the train passing. What happened last night was completely different.

I was at home alone and the house started shaking. At first I was confused about what was happening. There was a rumbling sound, as if a very big truck was passing. Then I fell to the floor and crawled to the door. I couldn't find the keys to the burglar gate. All of this time the house was shaking, the windows rattling. I found the keys and got outside and still the shaking continued. I have no idea how long it lasted. I've read varying reports from 50 seconds to 6 minutes. It seemed like forever.

People were outside of their houses talking loudly, but there didn't seem to be any damage at all. This morning I walked around my house checking more carefully and there is no damage. It was scary last night, especially when they said that we should expect aftershocks, though in the end I didn't feel any. I think we were all very lucky though, we could be telling a very sad story this morning otherwise.