Basements & Balconies (29th October)

Basements & Balconies (29th October)

Johannesburg is filled with secrets, hidden rooms behind the walls.

On 29 October, we're opening doors in the Literary District to reveal the balconies and basements that we walk past every day -- but rarely have a chance to enter.

With a dynamic collection of Joburg authors, and new insights into South African literature from students at Wits, we've put together a day of readings and discussions across two blocks of the city centre.

We're reading in the basement of the Rand Club, at Bridge Books and James Findlay Collectibles. Across the street, enjoy the sweeping views from the luxury African Penthouse and the Joburg Culinary School. Around the corner, go to "church" in the underground pews of the artistically restored Bank of Natal building that houses Ornico brand intelligence.


Bridge Books : Reading 'Notes on Falling' by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen

Thalia, adrift in a small university town in South Africa in the nineties, heads to New York to study photography and to pick up the faint trail left for her by someone she has never known. The city helps her to find her way as an artist, but it never quite provides the answers she is seeking. Only years later in Johannesburg is she able to make sense of who she is and what her work might mean.



James Findlay Collectibles: Herbert Dhlomo performance

Celebrate a classic South African writer surrounded by the classic books at James Findlay Collectibles. Herbert Dhlomo wrote poems and plays chronicling South Africa's rich past. Most of his work is long out of print. University of Pretoria students spent two years working with Bridge Books on a new edition of The Girl Who Killed to Save and Valley of a Thousand Hills, updated with contemporary line drawings by Mongezi Ncombo with an introduction by Fred Khumalo.


James Findlay Collectibles: Thenjiwe Mswane reads from 'All Gomorrahs are the Same'

Thenjiwe reads from one of the three characters who animate a complex inter-generational conversation, in the basement of the Rand Club.


 3rd Floor Collab Space, Ornico: Slam Poetry by Bright Maluleka

Graphic Slam Poetry that portrays and expresses the experience of things, life and language by a human being in his absolute, pure, unconfined, and uncensored state.


Johannesburg Culinary School: Laila Manack reads from 'Sisters of the Circus'

Trapeze-artist twins Kahina and Noor are one of a kind. Kidnapped from their home in India, they were sold to a travelling circus in Europe at four years old. Now it’s the Roaring Twenties, the girls are twenty-one, and they want to escape their circus trailer and abusive ringmaster and make their way to India to find their birth parents.


African Penthouse: Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu Q & A from 'The Quality of Mercy'

Glass of bubbly at a penthouse with sweeping views of the city, for a reading and Q&A from the acclaimed Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu.


African Penthouse: Sue Nyathi reads from 'The Gold Diggers'

Wind out into sunset with Sue Nyathi as she reads from her highly anticipated historical fiction set in 70s Rhodesia-- 'An Angel's Demise'.

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