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Wordsetc Journal

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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

A Look Inside the New Wordsetc Issue on Soccer and Literature

Visitors to the recent Jozi Book Fair had the chance to page through the new edition of Wordsetc – on soccer and literature. Here’s what they saw:

- Nick Hornby’s reflection on his falling in love with Arsenal FC.
- A personal history by Argentinian star Lionel Messi (as told to Tom Watt).
- A main profile on Danny Jordaan by Lisa Witepski.
- A fascinating account of the history of South African soccer by veteran sports journalist Joe Latakgomo.
- Academic Chris Thurman’s examination of sport versus art.
- Jessica Hilltout takes a journey through Africa taking pictures of how football is played on the continent.
- Writer and journalist Oshebeng Alphie Koonyaditse looks at vital World Cup lessons for South African local soccer administrators.
- Dr Ali Bacher’s pride in witnessing the World Cup taking place in South Africa.
- Novelist Alex Smith visits Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate.
- Writer and literary critic Karina Magdalena Szczurek tells of her visit to China.

Wordsetc is coming to a bookshop near you soon. If you would like to subscribe mail us on It’s R259 for four editions (South African subscribers) and R397 (subscribers outside SA excl shipping costs).

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New Edition of Wordsetc for the Jozi Book Fair

The new edition of Wordsetc – on soccer and literature – is coming out tomorrow. It’s on soccer and literature. It’ll be on sale for the first time at the Jozi Book Fair in Museum Africa, Newtown, this weekend (Aug 7, 8 & 9). If you a subscriber, it’ll hit your mailbox very, very soon.

If you would like to subscribe mail us on

Thanks for your constant support.


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Call for Wordsetc Reviewers

Wordsetc is looking for book reviewers. The next edition will be out at the beginning of April. There’s no pay but you get to keep the book and get your name in this classy journal. If you are interested, please respond to

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Pippa Green on the Art Biography

The Art of Biography Writing – Trevor Manuel opens his heart

By Pippa Green

Wordsetc 2nd Issue Choice not Fate“When I first approached Manuel with the idea of writing a biography on him – back in 2002 – he was not averse to the idea. Neither did he bubble with enthusiasm.”

“I also realise how little we still know about each other and the personal pain so many suffered. The present often suffocates the past.”

English writer Somerset Maugham once said there are three rules about writing biographies – unfortunately nobody knows what they are. That can be nowhere more true than if the subject is a living person still making history. And most of the new spate of biographies in South Africa are about very much alive people because we are stage in our history where we are beginning to reflect on the foundations of our democracy.

Part of that is a reflection on the leaders who helped bring it into being. First we had the books on the first generation – Nelson Mandela, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Oliver Tambo. In the past two years, we have seen the stories of the second generation of political leaders explained. So we have had a substantial biography on Thabo Mbeki by Mark Gevisser (there have been others but for the most part, whether they are hostile or friendly, have been vehicles used to express the authors’ own political opinions), one on Cyril Ramaphosa (a reluctant subject), an authorised (and the most comprehensive) biography of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and a biography/autobiography on Mac Maharaj that elucidates the political battles inside the ANC like few others have done.

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Wordsetc Issue Four Coming Up!

Wordsetc Four

The next edition of Wordsetc looks at – wait for it – Barack Obama. We’re looking at him through the lens of literature.

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Es’kia Mphahlele Tribute Podcast

Eskia Mphahlele

Please listen to this podcast of my conversation with Dave Ball of The Times newspaper on Es’kia Mphahlele, who died this week and was the subject of a major feature in our second edition. (Read an excerpt of Mphahlele’s last major interview: click here.)

After speaking to me, Ball recorded another interview with Mandla Langa, which concludes the podcast:

Podcast: tribute to Es’kia Mphahlele


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Wordsetc: Third Edition Out Now

Vol 1 Issue 3Wordsetc: What third edition is about

Apt for Women’s Month, the third edition is a dedicated to women writers. It’s called “Women & Words”. It looks at the gender issues through the prism of literature. It has some exciting and stimulating content. The lead story is about Olive Schreiner, written by Heather Parker Lewis, who describes herself as a Schreiner groupie. Other contributors are Jo-Anne Richards (My Brother’s Book), who writes about how she composes her characters as well as Anne Landsman (The Rowing Lesson). There’s also an exciting story about the plight of Mumbai bar dance girls, while local women publishers tell us what makes them choose manuscripts – gender or quality.

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