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Franschhoek Literary Festival | The unbelievable heroism of Bill Browder and Jeffrey Archer’s writing secret | News24


Event: The Franschhoek Literary Festival 2022


Bill Browder does not belief South Africa to not hand him over to Vladimir Putin, and Jeffrey Archer does not know tips on how to kind as a result of he writes all his books by hand.

Those had been simply a few of the jaw-dropping information that got here to gentle on the second day of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF).

Although the air was a bit nippy, you solely needed to transfer to a sunny spot or sip on some espresso to heat up forward of the second spherical of e book discussions.

At the 2 venues hosted by News24 this yr, conversations ranged from humorous to very critical, and from native to worldwide as one creator after one other took to the stage to debate their work.

First up was Angelo Agrizzi, who joined Dennis Davis by way of Zoom to speak about his newest explosive tell-all, Surviving the Beast. Agrizzi, who had an oxygen tube in his nostril, stated he may solely discuss for quarter-hour and later ended the dialog as a result of his nurse indicated that “his stats are going down”.

During the dialog, he claimed that South African businessman Gavin Watson didn’t die by suicide. When requested by Davis what he assume occurred, Agrizzi did not wish to say. He later mysteriously added; “he died closer to home”.

Over on the Church Hall, a full of life dialogue with Shaun de Waal, Mark Gevisser and Robert Hamblin was going down on the LGBTQ+ rights revolution. The panel of authors checked out sexuality, id and race, and the way far we have come, but in addition how a lot nonetheless must be finished to offer all voices a platform.

Beloved South African creator Zakes Mda, who after many years as a profitable playwright launched his profession as a novelist with Ways of Dying in 1995, spoke about his newest novel Wayfarers’ Hymns.

Mda says he thought he had created the concept of an expert mourner via Toloki in Ways of Dying solely to find there are numerous cultures on the planet who’ve skilled mourners. Toloki additionally options in Cion and Wayfarers’ Hymns.

When requested to speak in regards to the courageous and robust girls characters in his books, Mda says he doesn’t deliberately create robust girls: “I just create women. These were real women I grew up with in Lesotho. It was just who they were.”

These days Mda largely lives within the United States however he says he “carries my South Africa with me. South Africa lives in me.”

Zakes Mda. (Photo: Gallo Images / Tammy Booyzen)

One of the highlights of the day was undoubtedly the dialogue between Bill Browder, creator of Freezing Order, and former DA chief Tony Leon. Browder has, for lengthy, been a sworn enemy of Putin as he has fought exhausting and risked all to reveal the Russian chief’s unlawful and lethal underground dealings. Browder’s bravery in taking over Putin and his oligarchs has been applauded throughout the globe.

During the discuss, Browder recalled the incident on the 2018 Helsinki summit, the place former American president Donald Trump and Putin appeared subsequent to one another. The subject was the 12 Russian spies who hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and meddled with the 2016 election.

At a media convention, Putin was requested if he’d think about extraditing the 12 people to the US? He hinted that he’d think about it if the US was prepared to reciprocate and quit Browder. An eager-to-please Trump stated: “I think that’s an incredible offer.”

According to Browder, he was within the States on the time and was busy writing his present e book when the summit befell. He was blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding till he turned his telephone on and was met with a sea of messages and alerts.

“I was terrified,” Browder admits, saying that he was ready for 4 vans to drag up and take him away to Russia, the place he would absolutely die.

Browder stated that, if Trump had been to be re-elected once more, he’d be as scared to journey to the United States as he presently was of travelling to South Africa.

Although he owns a home in Cape Town, he’s unable to set foot within the nation due to the South African authorities’s “warm” relationship with Russia. Browder stated that, contemplating South Africa’s darkish previous, he discovered the nation’s present stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine deeply disappointing, saying: “We won’t forget”.

An in depth buddy of Browder and fellow creator, Jeffrey Archer, serendipitously was the subsequent headliner on the NG Church. According to Archer, he has immense respect for Browder and even acquired to learn Freezing Order earlier than its launch.

Archer’s session, in distinction, was lots lighter and humorous as he mentioned his newest e book, Over My Dead Body, with John Maytham. Although Archer acquired sidetracked each time cricket was talked about, John managed to rein him again in.

Probably essentially the most shocking admission by Archer was that he does not know tips on how to kind. He dislikes expertise and, to this present day, nonetheless writes all his books by hand, with pen to paper. South African creator Damon Galgut on Friday revealed that he, too, prefers this manner of writing because it provides him time to consider what his subsequent phrases can be. Archer agreed.

The 82-year-old creator, who has revealed 27 novels thus far, writes at the least 14 drafts of every e book earlier than handing something over to his writer. “I have to be able to read it without feeling like I need to change a word, before I hand it over,” he says about his course of, which additionally consists of writing at the least eight hours every day.

Archer acknowledges that, together with his success, he admittedly does not have to jot down anymore, however he needs to.

“I love it. What would I be doing if I wasn’t writing? The day I no longer enjoy it or don’t have any stories left in me is when I’ll give it up.”

To full his present collection, Archer should write till he’s at the least 85 years outdated to wrap up the Detective William Warwick storyline.

Also at this yr’s FLF was South African creator Deon Meyer, who took to the stage to debate his Benny Griessel thriller collection.

Meyer instructed Andrew Brown that his best concern is to jot down the identical e book many times. To keep away from that, he retains Benny transferring via completely different life phases.

Asked if he would ever think about killing of Benny, Meyer answered: “I’ll probably pass away before him.”

South African journalist Ferial Haffajee, Tony Leon, and political analyst Ralph Mathekga ended the day by peering via their crystal balls at South Africa after the 2024 elections. 

ALSO READ: Franschhoek Literary Festival: Ramaphosa’s future, SA’s failed nuclear deal, and Galgut’s bank balance discussed 

(With contributions by Adriaan Basson, Carol Paton, and Shaun de Waal)



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