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David Schmahmann PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 September 2016 15:45

David Schmahmann grew up and went to high school in Durban. His mother was one of the founders of the Progressive Party and ran for Parliament as its candidate in Berea. He served in the Fifth South African Infantry in Ladysmith, and then left the country. Schmahmann graduated from Dartmouth College in 1976,and Cornell Law School in 1979, and ended his law career as a senior partner in the Boston law firm founded by Justice Louis Brandeis.

To date he has published four novels: Empire Settings: A Novel of South Africa (2001), Nibble & Kuhn (2009), Ivory from Paradise (2011) and The Double Life of Alfred Buber (2011). Schmahmann has also contributed legal publications on issues such as animal rights, Burmese corporate law, and American constitutional legal issues.

Despite no longer living permanently in the country, KwaZulu-Natal remains close to his heart. In terms of the influence the province has had on his life, he told the project:


KZN didn't simply influence my writing; two of my four novels are set mostly in Durban, and while the stories are largely allegorical, at base they're about this extraordinary time, and lingering thoughts of the evocative place. My second novel, Ivory from Paradise, is in fact about history, and largely the history of KZN: to whom does the history belong, who has a right to recount it, and to lay claim to it, and can whites ever hope to have any real connection to indigenous history or are they simply visitors and their experience entirely ersatz?


Schmahmann has two daughters, Olivia and Annabel, and currently lives in Weston, Massachusetts. He is currently working on his next novel, The Color of Skin, which is loosely based on John Dunn’s life. The novel is written from the perspective of a descendant of Dunn’s, who lives in America, and is trying to come to terms with his origins.



Enter the African Pen Short Story Competition PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:57

You are invited to enter your Short Story into the African Pen Short Story Competition!


Writers must satisfy one of these criteria:

1. Born in Africa

2. Living in Africa

3. Working in Africa

4. Of African descent and living outside Africa


Writing format guidelines:

  • Arial Font, 12 pitch
  • Line spacing 1.5
  • 10 - 12 pages
  • MS Word


Please include the following:

1. Passport-size photo of the author/writer

2. 150-word profile of the author/ writer



  • First prize: R5000
  • Second prize: R3000
  • Third prize: R2000


Marí Peté to Perform Bilingual Pop-up Poetry PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 September 2016 18:10

Fans of acclaimed poet and KZN Literary Tourism writer, Marí Peté, should take note of her upcoming performances of “Step Through”, a bilingual pop-up poetry event with sketches by Dina Cormick.

Date: 4 September 2016

Time: 15:00 – 16:00

Location: Pierneef Theatre, Pretoria.

Details: The poet steps us through imaginary spaces wherein she speaks her poems. She uses transitional musical snippets, playing out elements from the poems -- pegging delights, dreams and sorrows alongside exhibited sketches and poems.

Book sales after the performance at R150 (cash)

A second pop-up performance will also be done on Tuesday, 6 September at 17.30 at The Emperor's Palace, Oliver Tambo.



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