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South African Book Fair

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Touch: Stories of Contact Launched at the Cape Town Book Fair

Zackie Achmat, Karina Magdalena Szczurek, Ivan Vladislavic, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Andre Brink and Stephen JohnsonThe Treatment Action Campagin‘s Zackie Achmat set the tone for the long-awaited launch of Touch, the new colleciton of 22 short stories edited by Karina Magdalena Szczurek.

All royalties from the book go to the TAC and hence the fight against AIDS in SA. Achmat began his remarks by paying tribute to Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, who is included in the collection (and who organised a similar project in suppport of the TAC some years ago).

Achmat then compared current-day SA to Weimar Germany: both countries experienced periods of great promise and hope after dark episodes in their histories – and both boasted the most progressive constitutions of their day – but both faced a threat to their freedoms from the complacency of their citizens. Weimar failed, ultimately, but South Africa can convert its promise into sustainable progress – as long as people stay engaged.

The large audience certainly stayed engaged at the launch, as Henrietta Rose-Innes, Andre Brink and Ivan Vladislavic read from their stories. Magdalena Szczurek concluded the formal part of the event by thanking the many people who had contributed to her extraordinary collection.

See the videos from the event below.

Quote of the hour: “South Africa has peaked its epidemic at the level of Everest.”
-Zackie Achmat

Video: Zackie Achmat speaks at the launch of Touch
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Video: Henrietta Rose-Innes reads from “Promenade”

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Video: Andre Brink reads from “Surprise Visit”

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Video: Ivan Vladislavic reads from “Lullaby”

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Video: Karina Magdalena Szczurek speaks at the launch of Touch

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Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 14th, 2009 @09:41 #
     
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    The videos of the authors reading from their stories have been added to this post.

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    June 14th, 2009 @21:28 #
     
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    I really wish I had arrived in time to hear Zackie speak and Henrietta read, but it was a privilege to be present for Andre and Ivan, and the hospitality afterwards was princely.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    June 14th, 2009 @23:26 #
     
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    Ditto ditto ditto. One of the big logistical problems with the CTBF is when they launch several books you worked on/your friends worked on/your favourite writers contributed to all at the same time. Not even teleporting helps.

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