By Alex Jansen | On December 10, 2023 | Comments (0)
South African author Dalene Matthee (1938 – 2005) was best known for her four “Forest novels” presenting stories of the Cape Knysna Forest and its inhabitants. In 2023, I had the good fortune of interviewing Hilary Matthee, one of Dalene Matthee’s three daughters, for an issue of the Afrikaans magazine Taalgenoot.
Matthee’s writings have been translated into multiple languages, including French, German, Icelandic, and English. Matthee would usually translate the first versions of her work into English, believing that it was important to make sure the emotion came across in a “reserved” language.
In 1970, Matthee published her debut children’s novel The Twelve o’ Clock Stick. She published a collection of short stories next, The Judas Goat, in 1982. Several of her works have been adapted to film, including Circles in a Forest (1989), Fiela’s Child (1988 and 2019), and Dreamforest. Read More→
By Alex J. Coyne | On December 3, 2023 | Updated December 10, 2023 | Comments (0)
A lifelong advocate for environmental rights, South African author Dalene Matthee is renowned for her “Forest novels” series. These four books, originally written in Afrikaans, present narratives set in the country’s Knysna Forests.
Dalene Matthee’s (1938 – 2005) books have achieved international acclaim. They have been translated into multiple languages, including English, Icelandic, French, and German. More than a million copies of her works have sold. Read More→
By Taylor Jasmine | On November 28, 2023 | Comments (0)
By Elodie Barnes | On November 22, 2023 | Comments (0)
Elspeth Barker (November 16, 1940 – April 21, 2022) was a Scottish novelist and journalist. Her only novel, O Caledonia, published in 1991 and reissued in 2021, has been hailed as a classic of modern Scottish literature.
Darkly humorous, skillful, lyrical, and somewhat autobiographical, it tells the story of the life and death of a young girl named Janet. It won several awards on its first publication and remained Elspeth Barker’s only published work of fiction. Read More→
By Taylor Jasmine | On November 16, 2023 | Comments (0)
Elinor Glyn (October 17, 1864 – September 23, 1943) was best known as the author of the scandalous 1907 novel Three Weeks and for coining the expression “It Girl.” The following is adapted from a review of Elinor Glyn, a biography by Anthony Glyn (her grandson).
Elinor Glyn: A Portrait of the Woman Who Gave IT a new meaning — and of the fabulous world in which she lived originally appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, July 17, 1955:
Elinor Glyn is the writer who made the word IT synonymous with sex appeal. That was Sam Goldwyn’s idea, though Mrs. Glyn had a much more involved definition. Read More→
By Melanie P. Kumar | On November 13, 2023 | Updated November 15, 2023 | Comments (0)
Gita Mehta (1943 – 2023) started her career in journalism, writing articles for Indian, European and American publications. She also filmed documentaries for British and American television before publishing her work in book form. This review presents Snakes and Ladders, a compilation of essays released to celebrate fifty years of Indian Independence.
Reading Snakes and Ladders: Glimpses of Modern India (1997) with the country having recently completed seventy-five years of Independence offers great insights.
It could almost be termed a “Ready Reckoner” for what India was twenty-five years ago and quite often, while reading it, I found myself wondering about what has changed. Read More→
By Alex J. Coyne | On November 3, 2023 | Comments (0)
Nadine Gordimer (1923 – 2013) was a South African activist and Nobel Prize-winning author. Presented here is an overview of the banning of Nadine Gordimer’s anti-apartheid novels and other writings, and her legacy as one of the most prominent and outspoken authors of the anti-apartheid movement.
Gordimer was born in Springs, South Africa to Jewish immigrant parents. Her early experiences informed the rest of her life, including witnessing a raid on her family home where a servant’s letters and diaries were confiscated.
Her first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953 when apartheid-era censorship by the South African government was at its height. Read More→
By Elodie Barnes | On October 24, 2023 | Comments (0)
Enid Blyton (August 11, 1897 – November 28, 1968) was a prolific British writer of children’s stories. Her most famous books include The Famous Five and Secret Seven series, The Faraway Tree, and the Noddy books.
She is believed to have written around seven hundred books altogether, along with hundreds of short stories, magazine articles, and poems.
Her work is controversial for its often dated and sometimes offensive views, yet decades after her death she remains one of the most popular children’s authors in the world. Read More→