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M&G Literary Festival 2012: Full programme

Nadine Gordimer, Breyten Breytenbach, Patrick Chamoiseau, Mongane Wally Serote, Zapiro, Diane Victor, Imraan Coovadia, Lauretta Ngcobo and Ronnie Kasrils are among the novelists, poets, artists, activists, academics and struggle icons who will take part in the third Mail & Guardian Literary Festival.

Presented by the Mail & Guardian and the Market Theatre, the festival brings together authors and audiences for almost a week of debate at the theatre, from August 28 to September 2.

  • Go to the online booking form to book your place at the festival.

From its opening session, No Time like the Present: Gordimer and Serote in Conversation, to its final panel discussion, Stories of Exile, the festival aims to survey what is being written in and about South Africa, its society and people.

Running alongside that, the programme offers wide-ranging discourses on topics of universal literary interest such as the rise of the e-book, how children learn to love reading and the limits of freedom of expression.

Film screening: Tuesday 28 August, 7 pm, Market Theatre
(Moved from Saturday 1 September, 7.30 pm, Market Theatre)

Aliker (kreol productions, 2010; 108 mins)

Directed by Guy Deslauriers
Screenplay by Patrick Chamoiseau

Patrick Chamoiseau will speak before the screening.

Aliker tells the story of Andre Aliker, a journalist in Martinique in the 1930s who battles against the island’s French colonial overlords.

ENTRANCE FREE, courtesy of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013

Session 2: Wednesday 29 August, 7 pm, Market Theatre
The Youngsters
Anele Mdoda, Khaya Dlanga and Gill Breslin in discussion with Verashni Pillay

*Session 3: Thursday 30 August, 7 pm, Market Theatre
Poetry night with Breyten, Rustum and Oswald
Breyten Breytenbach, Rustum Kozain and Oswald Mtshali perform their work, and talk poetry with Georges Lory and Corina van der Spoel

(Breyten Breytenbach appears courtesy of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013)

Session 4: Friday 31 August, 7 to 7.45 pm, Market Theatre
Preparing for Dorfman’s Delirium
Pre-theatre discussion with Greg Homann, the director, and the cast of Ariel Dorfman’s Delirium (playing at the Barney Simon Theatre at the Market)

Session 5: Saturday 1 September, 9.30 to 11 am, Market Theatre
Satire and the limits of freedom of expression
Chair: Sandile Memela
Panel: Glenda Daniels, Diane Victor, Chris Wadman and Zapiro

Parallel sessions 6 and 7, Saturday 1 September, 11.30 am to 1pm:

Session 6: Saturday 1 September, 11.30 am to 1pm, Market Theatre
Joburg: City of extremes
Chair: Marie Huchzermeyer
Panel: Thiresh Govender and Jonathan Noble

Session 7: Saturday 1 September, 11.30 am to 1pm, Laager Theatre
One country, many literatures: looking at South African writing
Chair: Michael Titlestad
Panel: Craig MacKenzie and Margaret Lenta

Lunch: 1 to 2.30 pm. Festival half-price lunch special at Gramadoelas (R100)

Parallel sessions 8 and 9, Saturday 1 September, 2.30 to 4 pm:

Session 8: Saturday 1 September, 2.30 to 4 pm, Market Theatre
How I stopped worrying and learned to love the tablet: the changing landscape of print
Chair: Nic Dawes
Panel: Terry Morris, Verashni Pillay and Ben Williams

Session 9, Saturday 1 September, 2.30 to 4 pm, Laager Theatre
Joburg in fiction
Chair: Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon
Panel: Siphiwo Mahala, Eric Miyeni, Craig Higginson, André Kruger and Jane Rosenthal

Parallel sessions 10 and 11, Saturday 1 September, 4.30 to 6 pm:

*Session 10, Saturday 1 September, 4.30 to 6 pm, Laager Theatre
Speaking in tongues: talking, writing, translating
Patrick Chamoiseau and Breyten Breytenbach debate writing and translating with Georges Lory

(Breyten Breytenbach and Patrick Chamoiseau appear courtesy of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013)

Session 11, Saturday 1 September, 4.30 to 6 pm, Market Theatre
Learning to love reading: children and books
Chair: Penny Hochfeld
Panel: Shaeleen Tobin, Gill Murdoch and Melanie Burgin

Session 1: Saturday 1 September, 7.30 pm, Market Theatre
(Moved from Tuesday 28 August, 7 pm, Market Theatre)
No time like the present: Gordimer and Serote in conversation
Nadine Gordimer and Mongane Wally Serote, hosted by Craig MacKenzie
Cocktails and snacks to follow.

Session 12, Sunday 2 September, 10 to 11.30 am, Market Theatre
War, peace and transformation in new South African fiction
Chair: David Medalie
Panel: Imraan Coovadia, Karen Jayes, Steven Boykey Sidley and James Whyle

Session 13, Sunday 2 September, 12 to 1.30 pm, Market Theatre
Stories of exile
Chair: Ronnie Kasrils
Panel: Lauretta Ngcobo, Liepollo Lebohang Pheko and Barry Gilder

For ticket bookings go to

Note: Festival half-price dinner special at Gramadoelas (R100) available from Wednesday evening to Saturday evening.

*Sessions 3 & 10 and the Film screening

Breyten Breytenbach and Patrick Chamoiseau appear courtesy of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013


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Mg Correspondent
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