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Pictures by Jason Buch.

Highlights of JBF 2015




Enrique Perez Diaz (Cuba)

Cuban writer, critic, publisher & researcher of children's literature.

Enrique holds a Licentiate in Journalism (1982) and is currently the Director of Gente NuevaPublishing House in Havana.  He is also the Director of the theoretical magazine En julio como en enero, working with the IBBY Cuban Committee, since 2007.  He is a writer, critic, editor and children’s literature researcher, as well as President of the Children’s Literature Section of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) and he was a member of the IBBY Cuban Committee (1993-2008).  He was the founder of the first Cuban bookshop for children: El Cochero Azul, with a sociocultural approach to community works with children and teenagers.


His books are known in in many countries including Japan, Switzerland, the USA, and most of Latin America and are included in primary school programmes in many countries.  He has published many academic works and is also the author of some twenty anthologies in Cuba and other countries, including an Anthology of the Andersen Award Winners.


He has received many awards and served on juries in Cuba and internationally. He has spoken at many conferences and was co-organizer of the biennial Cuban IBBY conferences held in Havana.

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Michael Williams

 Michael Williams was born in 1962 in South Africa. He studied at the University of Cape Town. Williams has published over 12 books, including novels for young people. Crocodile Burning is one of his work that has been translated into different languages. It is also one of the highly popular young adult novels in South Africa. Williams' work has been incorporated in the South African school syllabus in KwaZulu Natal Province for Grade Seven to Grade Nine learners. His novels “The eighth man” (published in 2002) touches on the cultural practices in modern South Africa. Then another “Who killed Jimmy Valentine?”(Published 1998) writes about detectives working in a South African setting. While another of Michael Williams’ books, 'Hijack City” (published in 1999) focuses on people taking the law into their own hands.
Michael Williams who is also a writer of plays, musicals and operas is currently a managing director of Cape Town Opera in South Africa. His latest book, “Diamond boy”(just published in 2014) examines the high-stakes and harrowing adventure set in the diamond field of Southern Africa.
Michael Williams will be in conversation with the Tshohang Batjha group discussing his latest book 'Diamond Boy' in the 7th annual JBF taking place at Wits University from the 11 – 13 of September 2015.
Diamond Boy is set against the backdrop of Zimbabwe's brutal recent history, Diamond Boy is the story of a young man who succumbs to greed but finds his way out through a transformative journey to South Africa in search of his missing sister, in search of freedom, and in search of himself.
A high-stakes, harrowing adventure in the blood-diamond fields of southern Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of Now Is the Time for Running.

7th Jozi Book Fair Guest: Gcina Mhlophe

The Jozi Book Fair launched the guest of the 7th Fair, Gcina Mhlophe, on the 13 of February2015 in Yeoville Boys Primary School. At least 8 schools attended the event together with their teachers. After an hour of learners engaging with each other, Gcina Mhlophe's embodies performance and resounding voice filled the Yeoville Boys Primary School Hall with charged energy. Beginning with a song that asks for the embrace of the African child, Mhlophe immediately drew attention of her teachers and pupils' audience.