Tribute to Can Themba: Book Discussion with the author Siphiwo Mahala (3rd September)

Tribute to Can Themba: Book Discussion with the author Siphiwo Mahala (3rd September)

Paying our tribute to Can Themba with a Book Discussion on his autobiography with the author Siphiwo Mahala on 3rd September (Saturday).

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About the Author:
Siphiwo Mahala is an academic, short story writer, novelist and playwright. He is a graduate of the University of Fort Hare, holds a Masters degree in African Literature from Wits University, and a PhD. in English Literature from the University of South Africa. His debut novel, When a Man Cries, was published in 2007. He is the author of two critically acclaimed plays, The House of Truth (2016) and Bloke and His American Bantu (2021), two short story collections, African Delights (2011) and Red Apple Dreams and Other Stories (2019), and a biography, Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi (2022). He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
About the Book:
Mahala's biography gives insight into the life and writing of Can Themba (1924–1967), an iconic figure of the South African literary world and Drum journalist who died in exile
This rich and absorbing biography of Can Themba, iconic Drum-era journalist and writer, is the definitive history of a larger-than-life man who died too young. Siphiwo Mahala's intensive and often fresh research features unprecedented archival access and interviews with Themba's surviving colleagues and family.
Mahala’s biography takes a critical historical approach to Themba’s life and writing, giving a picture of the whole man, from his early beginnings in Marabastad to his sombre end in exile in Swaziland. The better-known elements of his life – his political views, passion for teaching and mentoring, family life and his drinking – are woven together with an examination of his literary influences and the impact of his own writing (especially his famous short story 'The Suit') on modern African writers in turn. Mahala, a master storyteller, deftly follows the threads of Themba's dynamic life, showcasing his intellectual acumen, scholarly aptitude and wit, along with his flaws, contradictions and heartbreaks, against a backdrop of the sparkle and pathos of Sophiatown of the 1950s.
Can Themba’s successes and failures as well as his triumphs and tribulations reverberate on the pages of this long-awaited biography. The result is an authoritative and entertaining account of an often misunderstood figure in South Africa's literary canon.
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