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Magwood on Books

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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

The Magwood on Books podcast with Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins, author of the best-selling The Girl on the Train, discusses her new novel, Into the Water, the significance of water, family relationships, and writing relatable characters.

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The Girl on the Train

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Into the Water


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The Magwood on Books podcast with Paul Auster

American novelist Paul Auster on his latest epic novel, 4 3 2 1, the unexpected, human possibility, autobiographical references in books, and the adventure of the unknown when writing fiction.

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4 3 2 1

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The Magwood on Books podcast with John Boyne

John Boyne’s new novel The Heart’s Invisible Furies chronicles the life of a gay man in Dublin. Here he talks about the hypocrisy of the Catholic church, his determination to write strong female characters and how his deadpan humour serves the story.

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

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The Magwood On Books Podcast with Finuala Dowling

The Fetch“Good writing has an engine inside it – the engine of strong emotion”Finuala Dowling

Dowling is one of South Africa’s best-loved writers, an award-winning poet and novelist, and a sought-after teacher.

Here she talks about her new novel The Fetch and the elements of good – and bad – writing.

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Podcast: My Chat with Mzilikazi wa Afrika About His Biography Nothing Left to Steal

Nothing Left to StealIt’s not often you see ace Sunday Times reporter Mzilikazi wa Afrika around the building. He’s either off chasing a story or locked in his high-security office. I managed to lure him in to the TM LIVE Book Show studio to talk about his book Nothing Left To Steal.

He talked about his biggest scoops, the constant death threats he receives and his difficult childhood in Bushbuckridge.

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Podcast: My Chat with John Cleese about His New Memoir, So, Anyway …

So, Anyway...I recently spoke to comedy legend John Cleese on the TM LIVE Book Show about his memoir, So, Anyway …

Cleese said he first thought about writing his memoir one Christmas while he was having lunch with Michael Caine in Barbados. As one does.

“Michael Caine had been writing his autobiography and saying what an interesting experience it was. He said you recapture all the bits of your life that you’d actually forgotten about,” the Monty Python legend said.

“I was very lucky. Whenever something bad happened something immediately something good happened.”

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Podcast Round-up: The Best of Michele Magwood’s TM LIVE Book Show

Every week, in our shiny new TM LIVE studio, I spend some time talking books. This year I’ve interviewed some intriguing personalities, covering topics as diverse as the legacies of Steve Biko and Brenda Fassie, 9/11 in America, the South African Border War, and stuff South African white people like.

The TM LIVE Book Show airs every Thursday at 2 PM, and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be chatting to comedy legend John Cleese, as well as controversial journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika, whose tell-all memoir Nothing Left to Steal is taking the country by storm.

Scroll down for highlights from the year so far:

The New RadicalsGlenn Moss relives the intense student politics at Wits in the 70s in his absorbing book The New Radicals: A generational memoir of the 1970s, and speaks here about Steve Biko, the bitter Nusas trial and how the ideals of that generation have become frayed.

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EAN: 9781431409716
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The Alibi ClubJaco van Schalkwyk is one of the most interesting new authors on the SA book scene, an acclaimed visual artist who has turned his hand to writing. He tells how his debut novel The Alibi Club is based on a real dive bar in New York, and rails at the aftermath of 9/11, which he witnessed firsthand.

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EAN: 9781415207178
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Here I AmPJ Powers is one of South Africa’s most beloved performers, but her new autobiography Here I Am chronicles a dark, desperate period in her life. Here she speaks candidly about her alcoholism, the wreckage of her life and how she has emerged from it stronger than ever.

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EAN: 9780143539049
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Stuff South African White People LikeThe witty Hagen Engler lets rip in Stuff South African White People Like, sending up our predeliction for Tasha’s paninis, craft beers – and two-tone shirts. Here he points out that Johnny Clegg’s Zulu accent is “a bit off”.

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EAN: 9781868426126
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One ShotAmanda Coetzee is making a name for herself with her pacy thrillers, and her fourth, One Shot, has just been published. Here she talks about her intriguing detective, the enigmatic, gypsy-blooded Badger, and how she once worked at Holloway Women’s Prison.

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EAN: 9781770103757
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I'm Not Your Weekend SpecialThe irrepressible Bongani Madondo has edited a collection of essays on Brenda Fassie called I’m Not Your Weekend Special and here he remembers with affection the maddening, brilliant Ma Brr.

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EAN: 9781770103665
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Broken MonstersSouth Africa’s new literary supernova Lauren Beukes talks about Detroit, the derelict setting of her new book Broken Monsters, and how thwarted creativity can turn malevolent.

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EAN: 9781415202005
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Will You Remember Me?The effervescent British author Amanda Prowse was in South Africa to launch her novel Will You Remember Me? and talks about going from self-publishing to a place on the bestseller lists.

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EAN: 9781781856512
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It's a Black/White ThingAmerican journalist Donna Bryson talks about her thoughtful, revealing book It’s A Black/White Thing, about racism in post-Independence South Africa.

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EAN: 9780624065180
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A Sportful MaliceMichiel Heyns is one of South Africa’s most acclaimed novelists and translators. His latest novel A Sportful Malice is a slyly funny tale of love and revenge. Here he talks about Tuscany, “transnational” literature and the scourge of social media.

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EAN: 9781868426201
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Arctic SummerDamon Galgut’s subtle new novel Arctic Summer charts the travels of the great author EM Forster in the years before he wrote his masterpiece A Passage to India. Here he talks about his extensive research into this quiet, repressed author, and the liberation Forster felt in Egypt and India.

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EAN: 9781415206898
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Voices of Liberation: Steve BikoHSRC Press published a series of short studies on struggle heroes earlier this year called Voices of Liberation. One of the stand-out books was a study of Steve Biko by Professor Derek Hook. He spoke about Black Consciousness and Biko’s lasting legacy.

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EAN: 9780796924315
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Back to AngolaPaul Morris served in the South African forces in the 80s when he was just 19 years old. Now he’s written a book about an epic bicycle journey he has made across that country in an effort to make peace with the ghosts of his past. He speaks here about the writing of Back to Angola: A Journey From War to Peace.

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EAN: 9781770225510
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Watch Your BackKaren Rose is one of America’s favourite thriller writers. On a visit to South Africa she discussed her new novel Watch Your Back and how she creates strong women characters.

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EAN: 9780451414106
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Lost and Found in JohannesburgMark Gevisser’s brilliant Lost & Found in Johannesburg is part memoir, part social and historical investigation, and is one of the best books published this year. He explains how his childhood obsession with maps was the starting point for the work.

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EAN: 9781868425884
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Podcast: My Chat with Tanya Zack and Bronwyn Law-Viljoen of Fourthwall Books

S’kopnullArt publishers Fourthwall Books have launched a gritty new series called Wake up, this is Joburg. Michele Magwood spoke to publisher Bronwyn Law-Viljoen and author Tanya Zack about exploring the city’s margins.

Law-Viljoen said the series is not the usual “doom and gloom” approach to city life, but about fairly ordinary people living in the inner city doing extraordinary jobs.

Zack spoke about S’kop, the first of 10 books in the series, with photography by Mark Lewis. She said one theme that stands out in the book is transcendence.

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Podcast: My Chat with Justin Fox on his New Novel, Whoever Fears the Sea

Whoever Fears the SeaAce travel writer Justin Fox turns his hand to fiction in his new book Whoever Fears The Sea, a fast, romantic adventure set on the East African coast.

I spoke to him about the splendour of dhows, the threat of piracy and the legacy of his father, the renowned architect Revel Fox.

Whoever Fears The Sea is published by Umuzi.

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