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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

“In Our Safest Places We Aren’t Safe” – Joanne Macgregor on the “Intimate Violence” in Skadustemme

Joanne Macgregor and Lood du Plessis

 
Joanne Macgregor and Lood du PlessisDark WhispersSkadustemmeIt was a brisk winter’s evening in early August and Love Books in Johannesburg was shrouded in darkness. Readers, friends and fellow writers braved the loadshedding to listen to Joanne Macgregor tell Lood du Plessis about Skadustemme, the Afrikaans translation of her psychological thriller Dark Whispers.

Macgregor launched Dark Whispers at Bibliophilia in Cape Town last year. Skadustemme, translated by Elsa Silke, tells the story of Megan Wright, a clinical psychologist who comes to suspect that one of her clients has been tortured and mutilated by her gynaecologist. A game of cat and mouse ensues when he realises that she’s been investigating his past activities and speaking to his former patients. Megan also has an overbearing mother, a sister with an eating disorder, a pregnancy and a loser boyfriend to deal with, as if having an evil doctor hot on her heels is not enough.

Du Plessis observed that Macgregor is known for her strong female characters. “I don’t set out to do it but I don’t know any weak women,” she retorted, adding that although Megan Wright is strong she’s far from perfect. “She’s fallible, she cocks up.” How much of Joanne is in Megan? “Everything you write is a projection of yourself,” the clinical psychologist answered.

Macgregor spoke about the “intimate violence” in her book, which is a breakaway from the usual crime fiction characterised by blazing guns and overt physical confrontation. Going to the gynaecologist is a private moment in which you hand over all control of your body.

Skadustemme is not a whodunnit; a big part of building suspense in the novel is through the onerous ethics of psychology. When Doctor Trotteur realises that Megan is onto him, he becomes her patient in order to toy with her and find out what she knows. “The truly dangerous people don’t volunteer for therapy. What if someone became your client so you can’t catch them?”

Macgregor admitted she was a “colossal nuisance” in the translation process – she struggled to let certain things go. Afterwards she attended a panel discussion on translation at the Kingsmead Book Fair where she learned valuable lessons. Jaco van Schalkwyk spoke about translating his own book and said it is important to realise that the two books are not the same, “they’re twins”. At the end of Skadustemme the villain’s language becomes a “word salad”, which Silke translated very well. “I think what changes most in translation is the voice,” Macgregor says.

At this point Macgregor read the prologue in both English and Afrikaans and a shiver ran through the audience as the thoughts of the villain filled the room.

Listen to the podcasts, first in English, then in Afrikaans:

 

 
“If you want to know a society look at its crime fiction; it’s a thriving genre in South Africa,” Macgregor remarked. “I’ve always been interested in the victim’s perception of crime, not the police’s. I bring something more intimate to the table.”

She reflected on the setting of the novel: “In Joburg I don’t know if we’re ever home from the war. Where’s the line between paranoia and vigilance?

“In our safest places we aren’t safe.”

 

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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) live tweeted the event using #livebooks:


 

 
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The author spoke to Lood du Plessis about Skadustemme, the Afrikaans translation of her psychological thriller, Dark Whispers.http://protea.bookslive.co.za/blog/

Posted by Protea Boekhuis on Thursday, 13 August 2015

 

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Wie was Doc Immelman en wat het sy stories vir Namibië beteken? Oud-uitgewer Danie Botha vertel

Die groot sand en ander storiesBaarde, briewe en barmhartigheid\'n Kwartmiljoen MauserpatroneDie wrede somerVyf Waens na San Pedro

 
Oud-uitgewer Danie Botha het verlede maand ’n brief aan DEKAT Boekeblad gestuur waarin hy ‘n oorsig gebied het van Doc Immelman se lewe en sy stories.

In die brief skryf Botha: “Ek vertel graag van ’n aangename leeservaring. Dis van wyle Doc Immelman se dertien kortverhale in Die groot sand en ander stories, in 2014 gepubliseer deur Protea Boekhuis.”

Botha vertel ook van ‘n reistog na Namibië wat hy in 1983 as boekeredakteur aangepak het. Hy het Immelman daar in ’n “somber kantoor in die Windhoekse poskantoor aangetref”.

Lees die brief wat DEKAT Boekeblad op hul Facebook-bladsy gedeel het:

In Die groot sand en ander stories is dit dadelik opvallend hoe Immelman die landstreek en sy mense deeglik ken en stemmingsvol kan beskrywe. Hy haal Duitse en Ovambo-woorde aan. Of dui aan wat deel is van die Ovambo- of Herero-kultuur. In “Die eretoordokter” kry ons bv. die seremoniële Ovambo-groet: “Jy bly nog goed op hierdie plek, Ouma?”

“Die groot sand” is ’n spannende oorlewingsverhaal van ’n tweemanskap wat diamante onwettig gaan soek in die Sperr-gebied. Dis ’n “wrede, gevoellose wêreld van sand en son en dors. Baie het al die Sperr ingegaan. ’n Paar van hulle het uitgekom. Party skatryk; ander gebroke en waansinnig.” Dit word ’n spanningsverhaal deur die bedreiging van die natuur, maar ook deur wraak- en moordgedagtes by een van die stappers. Hy weet daar’s net genoeg water in die waterkantien vir één oor. Die verhaal het ‘n sterk dramatiese slot

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A Gallery of Pictures of Doc Immelman, Writer and Poet

Die groot sand en ander storiesBaarde, briewe en barmhartigheid\'n Kwartmiljoen Mauserpatrone

 
Doc Immelman is the author of Die groot sand en ander stories and many more adventure stories set in Namibia and South Africa.

As a tribute to their father, Lorraine Immelman and Yvette Muldoon have compiled the story of his life along with some of his writing and photographs.

The website’s gallery contains images from Immelman’s childhood in the Cape and significant moments in his life as a writer and poet. The pictures give an idea of his important influences and proof of a good life well lived.

View the gallery:

 

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Wie is Joanne Macgregor? Sielkundige, skrywer, John Steinbeck-aanhanger, kimchi-guru en nog meer

Joanne Macgregor

SkadustemmeDark WhispersSkadustemme het vanjaar by Protea Boekhuis verskyn en is die Afrikaanse vertaling van Joanne Macgregor se angswekkende roman, Dark Whispers. Die skrywer het ook twee jeugverhale by Protea Boekhuis uitgegee, Rock Steady en Turtle Walk.

In Skadustemme ontmoet ons die beeldskone en vurige Megan Wright, ‘n rooikop sielkundige in die private praktyk wat snuf in die neus kry omtrent ‘n dokter wat in dieselfde hospitaal as sy praktiseer, Dokter Trotteur. Een van haar trauma-pasiënte onthul tydens hipnose dat die ginekoloog haar fisies en emosioneel geteister het terwyl sy onder narkose was. Megan is vasberade om reg te laat geskied, maar sy het etlike etiese dilemmas wat sy moet oorkom. Dan besef sy die dokter is op haar spoor, en soos hy self sê, “Dokter weet die beste”.

Books LIVE het onlangs met Macgregor gesels oor die vertaling van haar roman, skewe magsverhoudings en wat die misdaadfiksiegenre vir die samelewing beteken.

Lees deel 1 van die onderhoud, in Engels:

Ons het ook by die skrywer uitgevind wie sy is, wat sy graag lees, hoe haar werkspasie lyk en nog meer.

Lees deel 2 van die onderhoud met Macgregor:

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In ’n neutedop, wie is Joanne Macgregor?

Ek is ’n skrywer, ’n sielkundige in die private praktyk, ’n opleier in die sakewêreld, ’n moeder en vrou, en ’n eksentrieke. Een van die redes waarom ek lief is om stories te skryf is omdat dit my toelaat om baie lewens en persoonlikhede in my kop en my hart te ervaar.

Wat is jou belangstellings buiten skryf?

Ek is nogal ’n goeie tuiskok. Ek is altyd besig om nuwe kombuisvaardighede te bemeester, soos om suurdeegbrood te bak met “wilde gis”, my eie kimchi (’n Koreaanse kooldis) te fermenteer, jogurt te maak, of geurige pesto voor te berei van die bosse basieliekruid wat in my tuin groei. Ek het ‘n florerende organiese kruie- en groentetuin, wat met erdwurmtee gevoed word en ek sien uit daarna om my eerste reuse bos pienk knoffel volgende jaar te oes.

Wie is jou gunsteling skrywer?

Ek het baie gunstelinge, maar ek moet sê dat die skrywer wie se styl ek die meeste bewonder is John Steinbeck. Sy boeke pak gewigtige argetipiese temas en karakters, maar sy skryfwerk is karig – seermaakmooi. As skrywer, sal ek tevrede daarmee wees as ek ’n sin so perfek soos “Die middag was silwer met reën” (The Grapes of Wrath<) geskryf het.

En jou gunsteling boek?

Ek dink East of Eden deur John Steinbeck is die beste boek wat ek al ooit gelees het, maar vir pure genot, en vir my innerlike tiener, lees ek ook graag die Harry Potter-reeks.

Wanneer skryf jy die graagste? Oggend, middag of saans?

Ek is meer produktief in die oggende. Om te slaap is een van my verborge talente – ek hou daarvan om ’n goeie agt tot tien ure in droomland te spandeer. Daarom skryf ek maar selde in die aande. Ek doen my skryfwerk en brood-en-botter-werk op verskillende dae en op verskillende plekke.

Watter wenke het jy vir nuwe skrywers?

Lees! En terwyl jy lees, probeer om te bepaal wat die skrywer doen, hoe sy dit doen en waarom. Daar is wonderlike skryfkursusse beskikbaar en baie hulpbronne op die internet wat jou skryfvaardige kan help slyp. Maak jou stories klaar en wanneer dit afgehandel is, redigeer dit deeglik voordat jy dit na uitgewers stuur. Jy sal ’n dik vel moet ontwikkel omdat jy beslis onder die “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (ook bekend as verwerpings) sal ly. Twee goeie eienskappe om te hê as jy ’n skrywer wil wees is volharding en vasberadenheid. Moenie dink jy gaan ryk word deur te skryf nie. Moenie tyd mors op die internet nie. Op die ou eind kom dit neer op BOCHOK (bum on chair, hands on keyboard).

Volg jy jou eie raad?

Beslis ;)

Waar skryf jy graag? Hoe lyk jou werkspasie?

My huis is maar klein en ek het nie my eie skryfspasie nie, so ek neem maar gewoonlik die etenstafel oor. In die winter sit ek soms op my bed en skryf.

My werkspasie lyk so: Oral is daar stukkies papier en post-it’s; groot stukke karton met my storieuitleg daarop neergeskryf, pers en groen kokie-penne (ek sukkel om met ’n pen te skryf). Daar is ook hordes afgerolde felle fakspapier wat baie nuttig is vir die ontwikkeling van storielyne. Sommige mense sal sê dis ’n deurmekaarspul, maar ek noem dit my kreatiewe kwekery.

Laastens, watter lewenslesse het jy geleer met die skryf van jou boeke?

My skryfvaardighede het geweldig verbeter. Ek ook baie geleer van gewere, gifstowwe wat vinnig werk, lykskouings, ploftoestelle, terrorisme en kuberkrakery. Ek sien al hoe daag een or ander intelligensieburo eendag op my voorstoep op om ondersoek in te stel oor my navorsing op Google!

Wanneer dit kom by lewenslesse reken ek dat ek geleer het om meer geduldig te wees. Nee wag ek jok, ek is nog steeds ongeduldig. Maar ten minste het die boekbedryf my geleer dat skryf, net soos die lewe, ’n marathon is en nie ’n wedstryd nie. Jou lewe verander nie oornag net omdat jy een, of meer, van jou boeke gepubliseer het nie. Jy kan dit nie glo voordat jy gepubliseer is nie, maar dis waar.

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Kom vier die bekendstelling van Skadustemme met Joanne Macgregor en Lood du Plessis by Love Books

Joanne Macgregor in gesprek met Lood du Plessis

 
SkadustemmeDark WhispersProtea Boekhuis nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Skadustemme deur Joanne Macgregor, die vertaling van die skrywer se sielkundige riller, Dark Whispers, wat verlede jaar by Bibliophilia bekendgestel is.

Macgregor sal met Lood du Plessis van Books LIVE gesels oor Skadustemme. Die gesprek vind plaas op Dinsdag, 4 Augustus by Love Books in Johannesburg en begin om 18:00 vir 18:30. Verversings sal bedien word.

Skadustemme vertel die angswekkende verhaal van ‘n sielkundige wat op die kronkelende spoor van ‘n geweldadige ginekoloog beland. Macgregor beskryf die boek as ‘n “whydunit” eerder as ‘n “whodunit” – die spanning lê in die kat-en-muis speletjie tussen die sielkundige en die misdadiger.

Moenie die gesprek misloop nie!

Besonderhede

  • Datum: Dinsdag, 4 Augustus 2015
  • Tyd: 18:00 vir 18:30
  • Plek: Love Books
    Die Bamboo-sentrum
    Rustenburgstraat 53
    Hoek van 9de straat
    Melville
    Johannesburg
    Melville | Padkaart
  • Gespreksgenoot: Lood du Plessis
  • Verversings: Eet- en drinkgoed sal bedien word
  • RSVP: Kate, kate@lovebooks.co.za, 011 726 7408

 
Lees ook:

 
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Skadustemme: Afrikaanse vertaling van Joanne Macgregor se eerste roman vir volwassenes

SkadustemmeSkadustemme, die Afrikaanse vertaling van Dark Whispers deur Joanne Macgregor, sal eersdaags beskikbaar wees op Protea Boekhuis se rakke:

In dié debuutroman (wat in Engels gepubliseer is as Dark Whispers) onthul een van Megan Wright, ’n sielkundige, se kliënte dat sy deur ’n snydokter wat in ginekologiese operasies spesialiseer, geskend is. Dit word duidelik dat die gewraakte operasie geen ongeluk was nie. Die vrywaringsbrief wat die pasiënt vooraf moes teken, maak dit egter onmoontlik om die betrokke dokter te laat vervolg.

Toe Megan haar kom kry, is sy daarop uit om dié dokter te ontbloot en te keer dat hy nog vrouelewens vernietig. Veral toe sy uitvind dat hy ’n hele paar ander pasiënte ook geskend het, soms so erg dat hulle nooit sal kan kinders hê nie. Nie een van die klagtes wat teen die dokter gelê is, was suksesvol nie. Verwikkelinge in Megan se persoonlike lewe word meesterlik met die verhaal se hoofspanningslyn vervleg.

“Die skrywer se navorsing is puik. Sielkundige tegnieke soos kliniese hipnose word meesterlik deelgemaak van die intrige en nóg ’n genre-etiket is in orde: Dark Whispers is ’n sielkundige riller in die volle sin van die woord. Wat veral die bloed laat stol, is die roman se vreesaanjaende geloofwaardigheid. Ook dat dit so aktueel is: In die moderne era het die meeste van ons ’n amper blindelingse vertroue in ons dokters.”Media24 resensie:

“Bloedstollend geloofwaardig!” – JB Roux

“Dark Whispers is ’n heerlike spanningsvolle lees en word aanbeveel vir boekliefhebbers.” – Sandra Marais

Oor die outeur

Dit is die vertaling van Joanne Macgregor se eerste volwasse roman wat oorspronklik as Dark Whispers in 2014 gepubliseer is. Sy het ook reeds twee jeugromans by Protea gepubliseer: Turtle Walk en Rock Steady.

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Joanne Macgregor Presents Her First Novel for Adults, Psychological Thriller Dark Whispers

Dark WhispersNew from Protea Books, Dark Whispers by Joanne Macgregor:

What do you do when you can’t tell what you know?

When psychologist Megan Wright discovers in a hypnosis session that one of her clients may have been mentally tortured and sexually mutilated by a gynaecologist at the private hospital where she works, she decides to find out more. She uncovers horrifying details of abuse and damage, but can tell no one because of the ethics of confidentiality. Her investigation will lead her client and herself into the mind and hands of a dangerously disturbed man.

Dark Whispers is a psychological thriller set in contemporary South Africa and it fits well into the new breed of commercial South African fiction headed by Margie Orford, Deon Meyer and Mike Nicol. The idea for the story was sparked by a news report on the “Butcher of Bega”, an Australian doctor who mistreated and sexually mutilated his patients, whispering a terrifying and sickening threat to one of them just as she was going under anaesthetic. He damaged hundreds of women before one stepped forward to tell how she had been tortured, after which the full truth emerged.

About the author

A born and bred Joburger, Joanne Macgregor is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice, where she works primarily with victims of trauma and crime. She started her professional life as a high school English Teacher and has always been in love with words. This is her first novel for adults.

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Chris Marnewick Discusses Clarence van Buuren: Knew the Words But Not the Music

Clarence van Buuren Knew the Words But Not the MusicThe fascinating case of Clarence van Buuren, who was hanged for having killed Joy Aken, has disturbed and invaded Chris Marnewick’s conscience to the extent that he wrote a book about it: Clarence van Buuren: Knew the Words But Not the Music (in Afrikaans, Clarence van Buuren: Die man agter die donkerbril).

With the Oscar Pistorius case making headlines around the world, and mirroring the attention around the Van Buuren case, Marnewick spoke to Margaret von Klemperer of The Witness about his attempt at finding out why Van Buuren was driven to murder. His book is a look at the idea of evil, and why a man might kill.

OPEN a local newspaper in February 2013, and it is all about the Oscar Pistorius case. The level of obsession was the same back in 1957 when it was the Clarence van Buuren case.

Those papers are yellow and brittle now, and alongside the murder there is more international news than you can see in these days of the so-called global village. But it was murder that grabbed the headlines.

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Chris Marnewick Questions Why Men Murder at the Launch of Clarence van Buuren

 
Clarence van Buuren Knew the Words But Not the MusicWhile South Africa is currently gripped by the proceedings of a different murder case, Chris Marnewick’s Clarence van Buuren Knew the Words But Not the Music, a work of non-fiction about a murder trial from the 1950s that intrigued him since he was eight years old, was launched at Adams Books in Musgrave, Durban.

Originally written in Afrikaans, and called Clarence van Buuren: Die man agter die donkerbril, the translation was published by Protea Boekhuis late last year. At the launch, Marnewick, a retired senior advocate who worked in Durban for many years, but who now lives in New Zealand, explained that writing the book enabled him to find closure for his “obsession” with this case.

In 1956, 18-year-old Myrna Aken was given a lift by a salesperson, Clarence van Buuren, in Durban. A few days later her naked disfigured body was found on the south coast with the help of a medium. Marnewick, who was at the time only a boy, living in Johannesburg, followed the story closely in the newspapers. By day he would read about the case and Van Buuren’s eventual hanging. By night he would be haunted by nightmares about the murder and the accused’s claims that he was innocent.

“A psychic was the first person to find the body. My book is partly about whether there is any real substance in that claim,” he said. He also examines Van Buuren’s claims that he was innocent, investigating rumours that Aken had had an affair with him. “I also look at the curious parallel between the lives of the police officer, Frans Steenkamp, investigating the case, who left school at 16 because he had no money for school books, and ten years later became a detective sergeant, and the killer who ran away from school at 16, stole a car, was involved in several crimes and imprisoned for five years before writing his exams, qualifying as an engineer, and then for three years leading what appears to be an ordinary life with his wife and two children,” he says.

Chris Marnewick Chris Marnewick

Marnewick mentioned some of his main sources: a journalist called Gehri Strauss, who had done a series of interviews with the accused while he was imprisoned, and published the stories in The Star. He said Strauss was “objective but empathetic”. After Strauss’ death, his long-term partner Ricky Hamilton gave Marnewick a battered old cardboard suitcase that Strauss had kept full of newspaper reports and magazine articles on the case. Also in the suitcase were notebooks, revealing Strauss’ thoughts as he followed the case, and photographs of the crowds at the trial, the accused and the policemen who caught him, the prosecutors and various locations identified in the investigation. Marnewick brought the suitcase with him to the launch, saying that without it there would have been no book.

He also mentioned the late investigating officer Frans Steenkamp’s wife, Maxi, who had kept the Van Buuren docket after her husband’s death, and allowed Marnewick to use it for his research.

Marnewick explained that the book works as an analysis of Van Buuren’s mental state, and possible motivations for the murder. Why, when he led such a comfortable life, did he commit such a heinous crime? He said the same questions can be asked about Oscar Pistorius, who has been charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Marnewick said he believes in tangible evil that exists in men, that makes them commit crimes against women.

During the question and answer session, a member of the audience asked Marnewick whether he believed in capital punishment. He said he did not, although he invites the reader to make up his/her own mind in this book. He expressed concern that the act of killing changes one, saying he thought it was bad for the executioners to be doing such work.

Next up for Marnewick is a legal book about bail, followed by a novel, with “lots of sex”. He said he plans for it to be a detective story set in South Africa.

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Chris Marnewick Investigates a 1950s Murder Case in Clarence van Buuren

Clarence van Buuren Knew the Words But Not the MusicProtea releases Clarence van Buuren: Knew the Words But Not the Music, the English translation of Clarence van Buuren: Die man agter die donkerbril, this month:

In 1957 Clarence Gordon van Buuren was convicted of the murder of Myrna Joy Aken and executed. He denied murdering her up to the very end.

A young boy, Chris Marnewich, read the details in the newspaper and he had nightmares about them: Why was Van Buuren hanged if he had maintained his innocence?

The case was sensational for several reasons:

  • It was alleged that a clairvoyant found the body after a séance
  • There were indications of a sexual relationship between Van Buuren and Aken
  • There was the crude sexual mutilation of the corpse

The press leapt at the sensation: Women queued outside the court in long lines, trampling each other when the doors opened. Van Buuren enjoyed the attention and he flirted with them during the entire hearing.

Despite all the attention focussed on the case, the author found that the evidence led in court simply was the tip of the iceberg. The police dossier revealed so much more. Information indicated that Van Buuren was a narcissistic psychopath, a sadist who battered women. He was an emotional vampire and a sadistic sex murderer. Or was he? None of this was mentioned in the court case, nor in the newspapers.

When Marnewick decided to reinvestigate the case, the case record had disappeared. Eventually Marnewick tracked it down.

Today, more than 60 years after the murder, we are in a position to relive the crime through Marnewick’s legal eye. The book tells the story of the murder, but it also traces Marnewick’s own journey with the book.

About the author

Chris Marnewick has retired as a senior advocate in Durban. His first book on crime was Shepherds & Butchers and for that he was shortlisted for the M-Net Literary Awards and the Sunday Times Award. Chris is also wrote The Soldier Who Said No and A Sailor’s Honour.

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