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Book Reviews: Artists, obscene chaos, and magic

Book Reviews Explore! Awesome South African Artists

Explore! Awesome South African Artists | By Cobi Labuscagne and illustrated by Lauren Mulligan | Publisher: Jacana Media | ISBN: 9781431429127
‘I hope that Explore! Awesome South African Artists introduces you to some of our great artists working today so you can go on and learn more about them. Enjoy this book and know that you can become an artist yourself if you really want to.’ – Cobi Labuscagne
     South Africa’s finest living contemporary artists, like William Kentridge, Nandipha Mntambo, Penny Siopis, Banele Khoza, Zander Blom, Billie Zangewa and many, many more, grace the pages of this funky children’s book.
     Explore! Awesome South African Artists is illustrated by Lauren Mulligan. With its engaging prose and colourful design, including illustrations of the artists’ most famous pieces, it will certainly keep kids entertained.
     Cobi Labuscagne holds advanced degrees in painting and animation from Michaelis School of Fine Art and Wits University. Before joining Artlogic to produce the FNB JoburgArtFair, she worked and taught in the fields of software and visual art. In 2011, she received a PhD as a doctoral fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. Labuschagne has been part of the FNB JoburgArtFair team for the past 11 years and is the director of Artlogic. She is the mother of Lunga and Ellen Mambo and lives in Johannesburg.

Book Reviews Outrages

Outrages | By Naomi Wolf | Publisher: Virago | ISBN: 9780349004082
The bestselling author of The Beauty Myth, Vagina and The End of America illuminates a dramatic history – how the Obscene Publications Act of 1857 led to a maelstrom, with reverberations lasting to our day.
     At once, dissent and morality, deviancy and normalcy, became modern legal concepts: if writers, editors, printers and booksellers did not uphold the law and the morals of society, they faced serious repercussions.
     Wolf depicts the ways this censorship played out – decades before the infamous trial of Oscar Wilde – among a bohemian group of ‘sexual dissidents’, including Walt Whitman in America and the English critic John Addington Symonds, who fell in love with Whitman’s homoerotic voice in Leaves of Grass
     Algernon Charles Swinburne, Dante and Christina Rossetti, Walter Pater and Simeon Solomon were among the artists whose lives were shadowed with jeopardy. But Wolf also reveals how, cleverly, they crafted their works to avoid the censor.
     Wolf recounts how a dying Symonds, inspired by his love for Whitman, helped to write the book on ‘sexual inversion’, one of the foundations of our modern understanding of homosexuality. By shining a light on his secret memoir, rightfully understood as one of the first gay rights manifestos in the west, Outrages also shows how the literature of love ultimately triumphs over censorship.

Book Reviews Starfell Willow Moss and the Lost Day

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day | By Dominique Valente and illustrated by Sarah Warburton | Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books | ISBN: 9780008308407
The most spellbinding new children’s fantasy series is now available in paperback, with beautiful black-and-white inside illustrations by Sarah Warburton. 
     Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, has a magical ability for finding lost things – like keys, or socks, or wooden teeth. Useful, but not exactly exciting… 
     Then the most powerful witch in the world of Starfell turns up at Willow’s door and asks for her help. A whole day – last Tuesday to be precise – has gone missing. Completely. And, without it, the whole universe could unravel.
     Now Willow holds the fate of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands… Can she save the day – by finding the lost one?
     This book is perfect for anyone who has ever felt unworthy, less-than, overlooked, forgotten or ordinary. Step into Starfell, a world crackling with warmth, wit and magic, perfect for readers aged 8 to 12 and it is part of a series. Currently, there are three more books to come. Book two will be out in April 2020.

To keep up-to-date with the latest arts and culture news in South Africa, purchase the November 2019 issue of Creative Feel or subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 to R365.00 per year! SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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