• two kids reading a fairy tale book

     Teaching Children: Books for Young People who want to know more

    Some years ago, I met with three serious Chinese folk for coffee in a barn-like farmer’s market outside Boston. They’d heard that I taught writing to adults; would I consider teaching children, too? I was not sure.             Classes would be just once a week, so I could comfortably slot them into my schedule. I was touched that they were so intent on their children getting the best education that they’d started an after school learning center. I agreed, then panicked, what did I know about teaching children? I’d raised two of my own, but as any parent knows, that is at best a suspect credential. I enrolled to get…

  • happy woman working in flower shop

    Love in a flower shop

    Some parts of the world are still exciting places in which to live, even for people who have tired of the trodden world. One such place is the city of Shanghai, in East China. At the last count, Shanghai was the third biggest city in the world, with upwards of 26 million people living there. Colin loved residing among them. You see, Colin appreciated living in South Shaanxi Road, in the French Concession area of Shanghai. The suburb was certainly a more convenient, safe place in which to live and work than his home town of Welkom, in Free State. The concession areas were forced out of the Qing Dynasty,…

  • crop woman writing in notebook at home

    Women Writers Reigning Readers

    A NEW CORP of progressive female authors is making waves, covering red-button issues and controversial topics; a brand of femmes’ fatales who are riding the crest of the wave in the books business. These women writers have discovered their niche and are lobbying to break out of conventions. Here is a salute to the latest work of some women authors.  Within the conservative Afrikaner community – against a full-blown backdrop of the controversial apartheid hegemony of the old white ruling elite, Christi Van Der Merwe has raised eyebrows with her brilliantly researched and written book, Sitting Pretty – White Afrikaans Women in Post apartheid South Africa (UKZN Press). …

  • Literature

    The Box

    The streets were ablaze with people cheering. Flags were burning on the street, and a group was setting an effigy of the now-former leader alight. The country had gone through some dark days, but those days were hopefully over for good. They had fought for liberation and had finally won.It was a cold victory bathed in the blood of the fallen. It had cost money, families, and above all, it had cost lives. Lives that would never get to see what they had paid for. Tonight, mothers and fathers had to accept the icy hope that their children had died for a more peaceful future. Some parents were still hoping…