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Magwood on Books

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

The Magwood on Books Podcast: Phil Collins on his autobiography, Not Dead Yet

Not Dead YetPhil Collins looks back on an astounding career in his autobiography Not Dead Yet, from a dull suburban upbringing to the rare heights of superstardom.

He’s a surprisingly humble man:

I’m a musician. I got a chance to play with a few great people and that’s all I wanted to do. To play. Whether I was a pop star or not was irrelevant.

Listen to the podcast here:

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The Magwood on Books Podcast: Marianne Thamm discusses her new memoir, Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and me

I constantly and publicly thank Bob Marley and marijuana for helping me escape a brutal, dull and claustrophobic world.

- Marianne Thamm

Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela And MeI chatted to Marianne Thamm about her new book Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela And Me: A Memoir of Sorts, growing up in Pretoria and her difficult relationship with her Nazi father.

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The Magwood on Books Podcast: Sam Cowen talks about her new book From Whiskey to Water

From Whiskey to WaterSam Cowen has written a wry, clear-eyed account of her alcoholism and recovery called From Whiskey to Water.

Here she talks about the night it all came crashing down.

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The Magwood On Books Podcast: Carnie Matisonn discusses his book Degas’ Dust

Degas' DustYears ago a Johannesburg man set out to recover the art stolen from his family by the Nazis.

Degas’ Dust: Joburg Maverick’s Quest to Regain Nazi War Booty is the story of Carnie Matisson’s quest: a vivid tale that veers wildly from his rough childhood to the glamour of 1970s Hillbrow and the worlds of art and classical music, a story peopled with strippers and art dealers, sanctions-busting pilots and Mossad agents.

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The Magwood on Books Podcast: Don Pinnock discusses his book Gang Town

Gang TownVeteran journalist and criminologist Don Pinnock has written a landmark new book about the gangs of Cape Town, titled Gang Town.

The manuscript for the book won the prestigious City Press Non-fiction Award in 2013, and was published this year.

Here Pinnock talks about the making of a gangster, and sets out the steps to be taken to turn the problem around.

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Five Book Show Podcasts: My Chats with Tim Couzens, GG Alcock, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, Carol Campbell and Chris Karsten

Over the past few weeks five very different authors have joined me in the studio to discuss their latest books on the TM LIVE Book Show, which airs every Thursday at 2 PM.

Scroll down to listen to Tim Couzens discuss The Great Silence: From Mushroom Valley to Delville Wood, South African Forces in World War One, the first book by the new Sunday Times publishing imprint; GG Alcock chat about Third World Child: Born white, Zulu bred, in which he details his years growing up in a mud hut in Msinga; and finally Darrel Bristow-Bovey riffs on his recently launched memoir, One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo.

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First up, I chat to Chris Karsten and Carol Campbell:

Face-OffEsther's HouseBest-selling Afrikaans writer Chris Karsten has found a devoted new following since his books have been translated into English. The final instalment of his gripping Abel Lotz series has just been published, titled Face Off. Here he talks about creating his disturbing serial killer. Carol Campbell’s second novel Esther’s House is set in the sprawling shacklands of Oudtshoorn. It’s a moving story about the fight for housing in a corrupt system, and a community’s dignity and hope. She spoke to me about her deep love for the Karoo and its people.

 

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The Great SilenceA hundred years ago the world went to war, and South Africa was not spared its devastation. Professor Tim Couzens, one of the country’s foremost historians, has written a definitive account of South African involvement in the war, titled The Great Silence. Here he relives battles like Delville Wood and introduces some of the unforgettable characters of the conflict, such as the baboon who was a decorated soldier.

 

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Third World ChildGG Alcock is the original Zulu Blanc, a man raised in the remote, violent areas of KwaZulu-Natal. His book Third World Child chronicles his tough upbringing in a mud hut with no water or electricity. He speaks about his extraordinary parents and the insights his background has given him into the country today.

 

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One Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoThe celebrated columnist Darrel Bristow-Bovey is in top form as he wrestles with the manopause in One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo. Listen to him sounding off about Tim Noakes, Facebook and aphrodisiacs.

 

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  • The Great Silence: From Mushroom Valley to Delville Wood, South African Forces in World War One by Tim Couzens
    EAN: 9781920380359
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Podcast: My Chat with Vernon RL Head About His New Book The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World

The Search for the Rarest Bird in the WorldBird expert Vernon RL Head has written an enchanting book called The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World, which chronicles an expedition to Ethiopia to find the elusive Nechisar Nightjar.

I chatted to him on my TM LIVE Book Show (broadcast every Thursday at 2 PM) about how he taught himself to write, and our need for wilderness.

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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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