Category Archives: Events

Blown Away by Books

Dear Readers,

I will be chairing a session at Blown Away by Books, taking place at the Fish Hoek Library between 15 and 17 September. On Friday, I will be speaking with Sara-Jayne Makwala King, Erika Bornman and Cathy Park Kelly about their remarkable, brave memoirs.

Please see the full programme of the festival here: Blown Away by Books

Love,

Karina

Open Book Festival 2022

Vanya Gastrow, Pie-Pacifique Kabalira-Uwase and Fred Khumalo speak to Karina Szczurek about the ongoing vulnerability of foreign nationals in South Africa.

A topic close to my heart. I can’t wait to talk to these remarkable people/authors about their lives and work.

Book your ticket here: Webtickets

Rosebank Writers Cape Town: Our first event

The Rosebank Writers are a group of writers living and working in Rosebank, Cape Town. We meet once a week on Saturday at 11am at the Alma Café in Alma Road, Rosebank, and talk about our current projects, struggles, achievements and writing and publishing in general. From the onset, we have wanted to not only support one another, but also South African writers in general and to open the space we have created to other writers and readers interested in what we do. Discussions, launches, readings open to the public were always part of the plan for the group, and it gives me great pleasure to invite you to our first event on Saturday, 20 August, at 11am – at the Alma Café, of course. We wanted to celebrate Women’s Month with a discussion about mothers. The authors participating are both longlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Awards this year and have written two remarkable books about mothers. We look forward to seeing you there.

Second Life Book Club: A conversation with Karina M. Szczurek

This should be fun! 15 June 2022, 9PM (South African time): Second Life Book Club with Draxtor

Here are some shots from my first visit to the Second Life Book Club, when I had my tutorial on how it all works.

My avatar’s ears wiggle :) She is a real Szczurek.

LitNet: The yumness of the Kingsmead Book Fair 2022

KBF

Even for Capetonians, it is doable in a day, and the access could not be more perfect: you take an early flight to Joburg, get on the Gautrain, arrive at the Rosebank station, and Kingsmead College is right opposite its exit. The college is the venue of the Kingsmead Book Fair (KBF). It is a one-day affair, so in the evening you can go straight home. This year was the first time I decided to attend, and I loved every second of it, despite the journey and the freezing cold and rain that accompanied the event.

LitNet

LitNet: Real Fiction – The revival of the Franschhoek Literary Festival

I wrote about the FLF for LitNet:

“Other people do not walk around with fictional characters and stories occupying the majority of their headspace. Writers do. Tuned into alternative realities, often the most intimate relationships they have are with their Muses. As readers, we are fascinated by them and the beauty, perception, solace and entertainment they can offer through their stories. We attend literary festivals to rub shoulders with these strange creatures and to discover what inspires them, what makes them tick.”

LitNet

FLF

FLF

Kalk Bay Books: Stranger than Fiction

Kalk Bay Books in the new space

Remember how we all fell in love with the new space that Kalk Bay Books had moved into recently? The moment I walked in, I imagined how I would sit there by the fire in winter and browse the beautiful book selection that Audrey Rademeyer, the bookshop’s owner, has always ready for her readers.

Audrey Rademeyer at the launch of Breaking Milk by dawn GarischYesterday, Audrey sent out a moving letter to the readers of Kalk Bay Books: “Stranger than Fiction”. The message was simple: we love books, cannot imagine our lives without them, none of us knows what the future will bring, but end-of-the-month bills are ruthless, especially for booksellers during a pandemic and nationwide lockdown, please help.

“If you can afford a contribution, no matter how small, I would be very, very grateful,” Audrey wrote. Here are the details:

KALK BAY BOOKS, ABSA account no.: 4066190136, branch code: 421109.

The plea came with a promise: “We’ll open the shop for sales as soon as we’re allowed to.” Winter is nearly upon us and that gentle fire in the fireplace will be waiting for us in Kalk Bay Books. Until then, let the memories of this wonderful independent bookshop keep us warm.

Kalk Bay Books

Kalk Bay Books was one of the venues at which we launched Dawn Garisch’s Breaking Milk. Dawn, a writer and a medical doctor, is a resident of Kalk Bay.

From top left clockwise: John Maytham performing Finuala Dowling’s script “Being Human”. One of the best interviews I have ever heard at Kalk Bay Books: Leonie Joubert speaking to Helen Moffett about the water crisis and beyond. I interviewed Suzan Hackney at the launch of her memoir; one of the most difficult, but deeply moving, interviews for me (I had the honour quite a few times at Kalk Bay Books – thank you!). Ann Donald interviewing me at the launch of The Fifth Mrs Brink. This is just a handful of hundreds of heart-warming literary memories…

For the launch of The Fifth Mrs Brink at Kalk Bay Books, Verushka Louw baked a cake for me.

You Are Loved by Verushka Louw

By donating to Kalk Bay Books, I wish to convey the exact same message back to the bookshop we all love and hope to see reopen as soon as safely possible.

That day, when the bookshops can safely reopen again, will be a day readers across of South Africa will celebrate. Let’s make sure that all the bookshops survive beyond the pandemic…

‘Living a life of words’ at Blown Away by Books, Fish Hoek Library, 12 March 2020

Blown Away by Books_Helen and I

Living a life of words

Drs Helen Moffett (Charlotte) and Karina M. Szczurek (The Fifth Mrs Brink; You Make Me Possible) chat to each about where their lives of words have taken them. From novel writing to editing, writing reviews to writing poetry, from starting a small publishing press to being published, being an environmental warrior to writing life story and memoir the stories are endless!

Books will be on sale at a pop-up book stall. R15.00 for tea and filter coffee.

Fish Hoek Library, Thursday, 12 March 2020, 19:00-20:30

Jewish Literary Festival 2020

12 March 2020: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

JLF 2020

This is the third edition of the bi-annual Jewish Literary Festival, a one-day event for lovers of literature and Jewish life. It takes place at Cape Town’s Gardens Community Centre, home to the iconic Jacob Gitlin Library, SA Jewish Museum and Cape Town Holocaust Centre. Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, 15 March 2020, readers can engage with more than 70 wordsmiths, poets, journalists, filmmakers and educators over more than 40 sessions. The presenters all have some Jewish connection, are engaged with subjects of Jewish interest or have a way with words and, with multiple sessions running simultaneously throughout the day, the organisers offer genres that cover fiction, sport, food, memoir, politics, journalism, the arts and more – a wide choice to suit all tastes. It is a literary feast of note. Don’t miss it! Tickets sell out quickly, so do not hesitate to book yours here: Quicket.

I wrote about the first JLF for LitNet. During the second JLF, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favourite authors, Lyndall Gordon. Both times, I loved the atmosphere of the event so much that I am delighted I can be part of the third edition of the festival.

I am chairing two sessions:

10:00AM, ISRAEL ABRAHAMS 2

Writing Jewish characters — when you’re not Jewish: Where angels fear to tread…
Helen Moffett, Qarnita Loxton and Dawn Garisch talk to Karina Szczurek.

12:10PM, OLD SHUL

“Feverish: A memoir”: Author Gigi Fenster had an unusual proposal for a PhD — she would induce a fever in herself in an effort to experience fevered dreams. The result inspired her second book, Feverish, which she discusses with fellow author Karina Szczurek.

This memoir is a fascinating discovery and I am infinitely grateful to the JLF organisers for asking me to interview Gigi Fenster at the festival. I can’t wait to meet her in person and to talk to her about memoir writing, creativity, migration and all other feverish endeavours that drive and inspire us.

For the rest, I will be attending other events throughout the day. One is spoiled for choice at the JLF. The programme is a basket of literary treats. Get your ticket and enjoy! See you there…

JLF_programme_2020