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Booktown Richmond 2012 Reportback

Booktown Richmond 2012 Reportback

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Published by: Books LIVE on Dec 13, 2012
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Don’t Frack With Our Karoo™
Booktown Richmond’s 6
th
Anniversary
BookBedonnerd V October 25,26, 27, 2012A Richmond Community Development Foundation Project
BOOKTOWN RICHMOND 2012 REPORTBACKYou thought we had forgotten about all of you, didn’t you. Our humblest apologies, butonce out of Booktown Richmond we have to land back on terra firma of the real worldand start again doing what real people have to do. That 4 lettered word.We were on fire at BoekBedonnerd 2012! I think that it is safe to say that when manyof you left Richmond, it was with a heavy heart but with a feeling of great joy to havebeen part of such a great weekend. It was truly special. Undoubtedly BookBedonnerd Vwas the best festival to date. We knew it was going to be a good year when we saw thecrowds on the first morning. Usually we only fill up by lunch on Friday, the second day,but as the festival has matured, so too have the bibliophiles, and now they don’t want tomiss a word. Our journalists have also matured. In the old days they took down noteswith pen and paper. Now the likes of Tymon Smith can be seen with fingers dancing likespiders on iPads, spinning yarns for webs of a different sort.I said it right from the start. Hector Kunene came to Richmond as an unknown. But Ipredicted that everyone present would know who he was by the time he left. And I wasright. By the time the' Kanga taker' left Richmond, he also left with our hearts andadmiration. Costumed in a rainbow, multicolored, harlequin, condo-commando, outfit hewas an entertainer
par excellance 
!
 
Anton Schoombee was next up and he was a great addition for the festival. AtRichmond, we pride ourselves on finding interesting speakers, and Anton’s talk on hismagnificent obsession - collecting signatures - had us spellbound. It was a reallyinteresting account and story of the characters he has stalked and we shudder at thethought that he almost didn’t come; in addition to a great talk he was also superbcompany in the evenings as well, a true Richmond all-rounder.
Find of the Festival
After tea, it was the turn of Anni Snyman and her land art project. She strode into thevenue with a bright red scarf. Days before she rode into Richmond in a bright red AlfaMito. Definitely a
fashionista 
this one! And they would have us believe that they wereslogging under the harsh Karoo sun and creating land art in the form of a RiverineRabbit in Richmond, but whenever I saw them, they were poshly dressed with a glass ofwine in hand. But many thanks to Anni and her team for bringing a truly unique projectto Richmond.
 
No not Marilyn Monroe
Tod Collins, my old mate from Underberg, told us about his journey from being a vet toauthor of animal tales. Tod can shame many an academic with his exposition of how onecrafts a short story, and Welma Odendaal remarked that Tod’s story was a classicexample of how one goes about creating suspense. Considering where that vets handhas been, it is unsurprising that he has such interesting stories to tell.
Vets are perhaps some of the most intelligent, clever, handsome, witty, andentertaining people on the planet....
Just before lunch, Cyril Hromnik gave one of the talks of the festival. Never beforehad I heard such controversial thoughts that Indians were actually the first people inAfrica; that the San could not be the civilisation that brought us rock art, nor the rocktemples and markers on the Karoo landscape. This is a talk I will never forget as long asI live. And as I told Cyril, maybe people will soon stop saying to me: ‘What is an Indiandoing in the Karoo?’Lunch was a wonderful affair. There was a buzz in town, and Richmonders must becongratulated for putting on a smorgasbord of delicacies. This was truly a highlight ofthe festival for me. I feel like leaving my desktop as I am typing, because I am feelinghungry just thinking about the food.After lunch, Chris Nicholson was at his sublime best. I have always claimed, like M-Net,that if there is magic out there, we will find it. And I am proud to say it was I whodiscovered Chris. Everyone knew him as the man who set Jacob Zuma free; we know himfor his Cricket SA investigations. But I know him as the author of great books on
Papwa Sewgolum; 
on the
Cradock Four 
; and this book on
Wagner and Hitler 
wasspectacular. That book should have earned Chris an Honorary Doctorate. It is a lessonin how research should be conducted.

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