The rise of a literary giant

13 OCTOBER 2014

September marks the celebration of words, starting with International Literacy Day and ending with Cape Town’s biggest literary festival. From 17 – 21 September, internationally recognised fantasy authors and political journalists all added to over 8400 literature lovers who made their way to South Africa’s biggest literary festival, the fourth Open Book.

Internationally recognised author, Raymond E. Feist said, “The Open Book Festival in Cape Town is absolutely one of the most enjoyable festivals I’ve attended anywhere. The enthusiasm of readers, variety of authors, and the warm, welcoming ambience is not to be missed. Should the opportunity arise, go!”

Added to this, having attended an event hosted by Zelda la Grange and Marianne Thamm, Karina Szczurek from LitNet, said that their conversation was undoubtedly a highlight of the festival.Other festival highlights include sold out events for Raymond E. Feist and more, an honest discussion of the state of the media and the second Poetica poetry slam.

Hein Koegelenberg, CEO of Leopard’s Leap says, “Being a part of the Open Book Festival speaks to our passion for reading. We are delighted that Cape Town is making literature a lifestyle and we are privileged to be a part of a project that works towards empowering our nation.”

Open Book Festival would like to thank all those involved: authors, Leopard’s Leap, Townhouse Hotel, City of Cape Town, publishers, Book Lounge and many, many more.

" Open Book 2014 felt like a gigantic party in which writers and readers came together to celebrate the texts and the stories and the media they love. Across five days of brilliant programming, I immersed myself in writers I'd never come across, genres outside my comfort zone and conversations on a hundred topics with strangers who quickly became friends. It was a show well worth coming six thousand miles for." Mike Carey
"Thank you so much for including me in the fabulocity that is Open Book, I don't know how you did it, but it was spectacularly ambitious and diverse and eclectic and genuinely inclusive of different literary genres and also, certainly for its scale, the most friendly and intimate and relaxed literature festival I've ever appeared at. You made me feel really welcomed and valued and I think you were like that with everyone, a miraculous gift of warmth and charm and smarts. It was a pleasure and a privilege, I am a life-long fan and will be telling anyone who will listen to get themselves to Cape Town in September for a visit." Francesca Beard
"Thank you for a wonderful week in Cape Town. It was fun, stimulating, impeccably organised – and I’m SO glad I was part of it." Raymond E Feist
"Thanks so much for all the hard work and careful thought that obviously went in to Open Book 2014. It is such an unique and important space that you create each year in Cape Town. Also, the fact that it attracted such diverse audiences, in a city that rarely manages to achieve this, made it rare and very special. Congratulations." C. A. Davids
"It was a pleasure to be involved in the Open Book Festival and to have the opportunity to share the excitement and enthusiasm for books displayed by all the children I met during my events. It is clear how the love of reading is a passion that can be shared by all, both young and old, and the Open Book Festival is doing so much to make this joy available to all. Congratulations to everyone involved, and I wish the festival ever greater success in the years to come." Adam Stower
"Thank you for having me at the Open Book Festival this year. It was my first time of attending a literary festival and I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and friendliness everywhere I went. It was a thrill to be on the same panel as authors whose work I've read and enjoyed, like Jonny Steinberg, Andrew Brown and Zakes Mda. The experience led me to ponder my own writing and made me appreciate this gift of words even more." Ekow Duker
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.