Amabookabooka — Jonathan Ancer
Sound Media Productions | Podcast, ±26 min episodes every 5 days
Amabookabooka is a novel podcast about books and the people who write them. It's easy listening, quirky, informative and a great way for readers to get to know some of their favourite authors.
This is a special edition of Amabookabooka – it’s from a previous podcast series we produced called Extraordinary Lives. This episode, recorded two years ago, was never released and we’re releasing it now to coincide with the 109th anniversary of the birth of Bram Fischer – the South African prime minster we should have had.
The author featured in today's episode of Amabookabooka is Christa Kuljian, whose new book Darwin’s Hunch joins 26 other excellent South African works of non-fiction on the longlist for the prestigious Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Christa tells Amabookabooka about her journey to writing – from mid-career shift, to Ruth First Lecture in 2010 to publishing Sanctuary in 2013 and now Darwin’s Hunch.
BLURB: After spending three months in detention in the 1980s student activist Bridget Hilton-Barber discovered she had been betrayed by one of her best friends, Olivia “Olive” Forsyth, who was a member of the apartheid security police also known as "Branch". Three decades later Hilton-Barber talks to Amabookabooka about betrayal, forgiveness and what to do when you accidentally cook your laptop (besides panic).
The guest in today's episode of Amabookabooka is a radio star – video didn’t kill this radio star, but wine almost did. Seven-and-a-half litres of it one night. Sam Cowen, one of South Africa’s favourite media personalities and an alcoholic who is now sober, talks about her courageous memoir From Whiskey to Water. Cowen writes about her drunk experiences – some are very funny like the time she made a pass at Jon Bon Jovi (he was having none of it), the time she woke up clutching a toy duck, and the time she tried to order a French maid’s outfit online, but some are horribly scary – like the blackouts and the night she was nearly raped. In the podcast, Cowen talks about when and why she stopped drinking, her battle with food and her new addiction - water – lots and lots of water. In fact, she became so obsessed with water she took part in the Robben Island challenge – swimming 7.5km. For anti-apartheid activists the island meant prison for Cowan it became a symbol of freedom – she was free of booze. She spent three hours in the icy Atlantic Ocean, braving sharks and jellyfish, and flirting with hypothermia. A newspaper published a photograph of her when she emerged from the water – she was blue and looked like Smurfette. According to Cowen, From Whiskey to Water is about dragons and learning how to put them to sleep when you can’t slay them. “It’s about being my own Daenarys.” She may not be able to slay all her dragons, but she certainly slayed the Sound Effects Rorschach Test. Also, listen to what books Mervyn Sloman would have recommended to cyclists who found themselves at a loose end when Sunday's Cape Town Cycle Tour was cancelled because of gale-force winds. Click on the link to listen to this episode of Amabookabooka or subscribe to Amabookabooka on iTunes. Amabookabooka is a podcast about books and the people who write them. It is produced by Jonathan Ancer and Dan Dewes for the Daily Maverick and in partnership with the Book Lounge.