Bio's and images of Open Book Festival's authors

Download some of the bio's and images of authors that will be attending Open Book Festival this year.


Teju Cole

Teju Cole was born in America and raised in Nigeria, before returning to the States at the age of 17. In addition to writing, he is an art historian and street photographer. He published the award-winning novel, Open City in 2011. His earlier novel, Every Day is for the Thief  (2007), will be reissued in 2014. He is currently working on a non-fiction narrative of contemporary Lagos. He is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.


NoViolet Bulawayo

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, NoViolet Bulawayo is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She was the winner of the 2011 Caine Prize for  ‘Hitting Budapest’. We Need New Names, her first full length novel was published earlier in 2013 and has been longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.



Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is an award-winning novelist whose work has been translated into 22 languages. He is best known for his Inspector Rebus novels, but he has also published short stories, a graphic novel and non-fiction. His most recent novel, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, is the 18th Inspector Rebus novel. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a contributor to BBC2’s ‘Newsnight Review’ and presented a 3 part documentary, ‘Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts’.



Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes, achieved international success when her novel, Zoo City, won the Arthur C Clarke Award. The Shining Girls, her latest novel, has just hit the shelves. Her other titles include Moxyland and the non fiction work, Maverick: Extraordinary Women from South Africa’s Past. She has also contributed to several comics.




Born Jonathan Shapiro, Zapiro has been editorial cartoonist for the Mail & Guardian since 1994, the Sunday Times since 1998 and The Times since May 2009. Previously he was editorial cartoonist for The Sowetan (1994 – 2005), The Cape Argus (1996 -1997), The Cape Times, The Star, The Mercury and Pretoria News (2005 – 2008). He has published 17 cartoon collections, a large-format hardcover, The Mandela Files, and he will shortly be publishing a book of cartoons on sport. He has received numerous international and SA awards and two honorary doctorates.



Margie Orford

Margie Orford is an award winning journalist, is on the SA PEN executive and has a number of books under her belt, from children’s books through to text books. Her thrillers featuring Dr Clare Hart have enjoyed both local and international success. Orford followed the success of Like Clockwork with Blood RoseDaddy’s Girl and Gallows Hill. Her latest novel, Water Music, is due later this year.



Mike Nicol

Mike Nicol is a journalist and writer. He is a founding editor of the crime fiction blog, Crime Beat. He has published a crime trilogy that started with Payback, continued with Killer Country and concluded with Black Heart. Monkey Business: The murder of Anni Dewani: the facts, the fiction, the spin was launched at Open Book 2011 and his new novel will be avilable later in 2013 in both English, Of Cops and Robbers, and Afrikaans, Dieners & donners.



Anton Kannemeyer

Anton Kannemeyer (aka Joe Dog) is best known as the co-founder of Bitterkomix. Born in Cape Town, he graduated with an MA in fine arts from Stellenbosch University and subsequently lectured in fine art and illustration for a number of years before devoting himself full-time to his work, which includes comics and fine art. His publications include 16 editions of Bitterkomix, The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook and several other Bitterkomix compilations (all with Conrad Botes) as well as two 2010 solo books, Pappa in Afrika and Alphabet of Democracy. He has exhibited widely in South Africa and internationally. His work has been published in numerous publications and catalogues around the world, and is held in many permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2010 he exhibited in the USA, DRC, Austria, Finland, France, the Netherlands and South Africa. His 2nd solo exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York was in October 2011.


Deon Meyer

Internationally acclaimed writer, Deon Meyer, got his start as a journalist at Die Volksblad, and published his first novel (in Afrikaans) in 1994. His novels have since been translated into over 25 languages and he has won two prizes in France: Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policiére 2003 for Feniks, the Prix Mystère de la Critique 2004 for Orion. Proteus appeared on the IMPAC literary award’s long list and he receive the 2006 Deutsche Krimi Preis in the international category.

Internasionaal-bekroonde skrywer Deon Meyer het  begin as ‘n joernalis vir Die Volksblad en publiseer sy eerste roman in Afrikaans in 1994. Sedertdien is sy fiksie in meer as 25 tale vertaal. Hy verwerf die Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere-prys in Frankryk in 2003 vir Feniks en die Prix Mystere de la Critique in 2004 vir Orion. Proteus verskyn op die IMPAC literêre prys se langlys en Deon verwerf ook die 2006 Deutsche Krimi Preis in die internasionale kategorie.



Patrick de Witt

Patrick deWitt is the author of two novels, Ablutions (2009) and The Sisters Brothers (2011). The latter was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the 2011 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the 2011 Governor General’s Award for English language fiction. It also won the 2012 Stephen Leacock Award. His writing has appeared in several US magazines and anthologies.


Adam Habib

Adam Habib is Vice-chancellor and Principal of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has held academic appointments at the University of Durban-Westville, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (where he was founding director of the Centre for Civil Society), the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council. Habib is widely recognised as one of the more authoritative commentators on South Africa’s democracy
and its prospects for inclusive development.


Mongane Wally Serote

Mongane Wally Serote was born in Sophia Town, Johannesburg in 1944. He was drawn to poetry and writing towards the end of his high-school career following his connection to the ‘Township’ or ‘Soweto Poets’, a literary group involved in the development of Black Consciousness and who produced creative works which centred around themes of political activism, and featured images or revolt and resistance. He was arrested by the apartheid government in 1969 under the Terrorism Act, following which he spent 9 months within solitary confinement. He was later released without charge, and went on to obtain a fine arts degree in New York at Columbia University in 1979. For a time he was unable to return to South Africa due to exile, and so he began living in Botswana and London, where he became involved with the Medu Arts Ensemble. He is the recipient of the 1993 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, and was also given the Pablo Neruda Award from the Chilean government in 2004.


Andre Brink

André P. Brink, een van Suid-Afrika se mees gevierde skrwyers. skryf in beide Engels en Afrikaans. Hy is die outeur van meer as 20 romans, en ontvanger van menige toekenings, beide in Suid-Afrika en die buiteland. Kennis van die aand was die eerste Afrikaanse boek om deur die Apartheids-regering verban te word. Brink se memoir, ‘n Vurk in die pad, is in 2009 vrygestel.

One of South Africa’s most celebrated writers, André  Brink, writes in both English and Afrikaans. He has published more than 20 novels and received a host of awards, both in South Africa and abroad.  Kennis van die Aand was the first Afrikaans book to be banned by the apartheid government. Brink’s latest novel, Philida, was been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012.


Sindiwe Magona

Born in the Transkei, Magona finished high school by correspondence. She later completed a BA through the University of South Africa and went on to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York. She is a prolific writer and has published poetry, novels, children’s books as well as two autobiographical works. Her more recent work includes Beauty’s Gift (a novel), Please Take Photographs (poetry) and From Robben Island to Bishopscourt (biography of Archbiship Njongonkulu Ndungane).
Amongst her numerous awards, President Jacob Zuma conferred her with the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze on 27 April 2011 in recognition of her literary and humanitarian contribution.


Pumla Gqoza

Pumla Dineo Gqola is the author of What is Slavery to Me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in Post-apartheid South Africa (2010) and editor of Regarding Winnie: Feminism, race and nation in global representations of Winnie Madikizela Mandela (forthcoming with Cassava Republic Press). She has written non-fiction and opinion pieces for Pambazuka, Mail & Guardian, The Weekender and City Press as well as the British publications BBC Focus on Africa, SABLE and Drum (UK) and short stories in literary journals and books published in South Africa, USA and UK. A Renegade Called Simphiwe, her latest book, is due in June 2013.


Polly Dunbar

Polly Dunbar is an award winning children’s book author and illustrator who studied illustration at Brighton Art School. Penguin, Dog Blue and Flyaway Katie are just some of the great books she has published. She also illustrated My Dad’s a Birdman and The Boy who Climbed into the Moon.



Niq Mhlongo

Niq Mhlongo was born in 1973 in Soweto. His first novel, Dog Eat Dog, was published by Kwela in 2004 and was translated into Spanish under the title Perro Come Perro in 2006. This Spanish edition was awarded the Mar des Lettras prize. Besides writing novels and short stories, Niq has written a screenplay for the animated children’s TV series Magic Cellar and scripts for a comic magazine called Mshana, the first issue of which appeared in February 2007.Way Back Home, his third novel, has recently hit the shelves.

About Open Book Festival

Open Book Cape Town is an annual literary festival, the first of which happened in 2011. Dates for Open Book 2013 are 7 – 11 September. The hubs will once again be the Fugard Theatre and much-loved indie bookshop, The Book Lounge.

When Mervyn Sloman and Ben Williams started talking about creating a festival, they had in mind around 60 literary events over 5 days featuring about 15 top international as well as some of the best South Africans writing today. Due to the incredible support Open Book received, that quickly grew into a festival that now includes over 100 events, featuring over 100 authors.