The Franschhoek Literary Festival 2024 Programme has been Announced!

Franschhoek Literary Festival

Franschhoek Literary Festival 2024 is thrilled to announce the release of its highly anticipated official programme, with its offering of a captivating lineup of renowned local, pan-African and international authors. From 17 May–19 May 2024, Festival enthusiasts will be making their way to what is frequently regarded as “the literary event of the year”.

This year’s Festival boasts an eclectic mix of voices from various genres, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to engage with celebrated authors and discover new literary gems.

The programme promises an enriching experience featuring a wide variety of thought-provoking panel discussions, in-depth author interviews, interactive writing workshops and poetry readings; and Melodies in Words, an evening of artsong and poetry inspired by literature.

Among the excellent local authors and works featured in this year’s programme we introduce:

  • Andrew Brown (The Bitterness of Olives) 
  • Angela Makholwa (The Reed Dance Stalker)
  • Arthur Goldstuck (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AI)
  • Anoeschka von Meck (Twa die Tydloper)
  • Busisekile Khumalo (Sunshine and Shadows)
  • Craig Higginson (The Ghost of Sam Webster)
  • Ivan Vladislavić (The Near North)
  • Justice Malala (The Plot to Save South Africa)
  • Karen Jennings, author of Crooked Seeds (longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize)
  • Acclaimed poet Koleka Putuma and her brand-new collection, We Have Everything We Need to Start Again
  • Margie Orford and her long-anticipated memoir, Love and Fury
  • Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba (Positively Me)
  • Pieter-Dirk Uys (One Man Shows, in three volumes and free to read online)
  • Sally Andrew, who will be launching her long-awaited Tannie Maria cookbook, Recipes to Die Live For
  • Shubnum Khan (The Lost Love of Akbar Manzil)
  • Zibu Sithole (The Thing with Zola)

Franschhoek Literary Festival 2024 also boasts a list of both established and newer pan-African voices. Says Jennifer Ball, festival programme director: “We are thrilled and honoured to include these authors on our programme this year, and to celebrate and amplify voices and stories from the African continent.” The authors on the 2024 list are:

  • Adekeye Adebajo. Adebajo is the editor of many texts, and the author of eight books – including The Curse of Berlin: Africa after the Cold War and Thabo Mbeki: Africa’s Philosopher-King. He is also a columnist for Business Day (South Africa), The Guardian (Nigeria) and The Gleaner (Jamaica).
  • Kobby Ben Ben. Born in Ghana, Ben Ben is a prominent book reviewer and runs @bookworm_man on Instagram. No One Dies Yet is his first novel. It has been described as “genre-breaking” and “iconoclastic”.
  • Femi Kayode. Kayode lives in Windhoek, Namibia. Gaslight, his crime thriller, has received rave reviews.
  • Morabo Morojele. Raised in Ethiopia, Italy and Lesotho, Morojele has a voice all his own. Three Egg Dilemma is his second novel.
  • Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu was born and raised in Nairobi, and she has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Lucky Girl is her debut novel.
  • Troy Onyango is an award-winning writer and editor from Kisumu, Kenya. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Lolwe. For What Are Butterflies Without Their Wings is his debut short-story collection.

In addition to these respected and stimulating voices, the Festival is honoured to host several esteemed international authors who will be adding a global perspective to the event. Among them are:

  • Cecelia Ahern, a Dubliner well known for her bestselling novel PS, I Love You. Her novels have been translated into 35 languages and have sold more than 25 million copies in over 50 countries. She released a brand new novel – In a Thousand Different Ways – in 2023.
  • Bolu Babalola, a British-Nigerian writer of books, scripts, cultural pieces and retorts. Her debut novel, Honey & Spice (published in July 2022) was met with phenomenal success: a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, it was shortlisted for the British Book Awards and also won the TikTok Book Awards Book of the Year.
  • Candice Carty-Williams. Born in South London in 1989, Carty-Williams has written for The Guardian, i-D Magazine, Vogue, every iteration of The Sunday Times (London), Beat magazine, Black Ballad and more. With her bestselling novel Queenie (2019), Carty-Williams became the first black writer to win the Book of the Year award at the British Book Awards.
  • Patrick Radden Keefe (appearing virtually). Keefe is an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty (which won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction). His new book, Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks, is a collection of 12 of his best stories to have appeared in The New Yorker.
  • Andrey Kurkov (appearing virtually). Born near Leningrad, Kurkov is Ukraine’s most celebrated writer, and a respected public intellectual. His work of reportage, Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, was published in 2014. Diary of an Invasion, written in 2022, came out in 2023.
  • Tim Marshall (appearing virtually). Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs, with more than 30 years’ reporting experience. He is the author of two No. 1 Sunday Times Bestsellers: Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics; and The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World: The Illustrated Edition. His latest book is The Future of Geography: How the Competition in Space Will Change Our World.
  • Lynda la Plante (appearing virtually). Born in Liverpool, La Plante is known as the Queen of Crime. She is the author of over 40 novels, all of which have been bestsellers. Alibi: A Trial & Retribution Thriller is her latest book.
  • David Walliams. Since the publication of his ground-breaking first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008), Walliams has seen unprecedented growth (with global sales exceeding 56 million copies). His books have been translated into an astounding 55 languages across 40 titles.
  • Pip Williams. Born in London, Williams grew up in Sydney and now lives in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. Her debut novel, The Dictionary of Lost Words, was a New York Times bestseller and a Reese’s Book Club pick. The Bookbinder of Jericho is her second novel.

The Festival programme has been designed to cater to a diverse audience, featuring discussions, workshops and performances that explore a wide range of literary themes. Attendees should expect to delve into the minds of their favourite authors, participate in engaging conversations, gain insights into the creative process behind some of today’s most compelling works, and explore a beautiful town in the Cape winelands.

Franschoek Literary Festival Members will receive early access to tickets, with sales having gone live on Webtickets since Friday, 8 March 2024. The general public should expect ticket sales from Friday, 15 March 2024.

For more information about the festival and the speakers, including the complete programme and ticket details, please visit the Festival site.