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Ryland Fisher

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Welcome to the “Race” Blog

Ryland Fisher (ii)Welcome to my blog. The express purpose of this blog (and that is why it is located within the network) is to facilitate discussion around my book, Race, which was launched at the Cape Town Book Fair on Sunday 17 June.

Despite the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon and Father’s Day, we had a capacity crowd at the launch at Marimba’s Restaurant. This again showed to me the interest that exists in the topic of race in South Africa. No matter how much we try to run away from it, race is something that will continue to torment us and we have to talk about it.

I saw a similar response when I spoke at Ohio University in April. I had close to 300 people at my presentation on race.

My book, Race, is based on a series of interviews with some prominent and some not-so-prominent South Africans. Among the prominent South Africans are Minister of Education Naledi Pandor, Orania founder Carel Boshoff, traditional leader Phatekile Holomisa, former South African ambassador to Ireland Melanie Verwoerd and human rights activist Rhoda Kadalie.

While the people above might have among the highest profiles of my interviewees, the other people I interviewed are as interesting, if not even more so.

Some of the topics I deal with include: “Is there such a things as a South African identity?”; “What is racism?”; “Is there still a need for exclusively black (or white) organisations?”; “Is it racist to criticise a black government?”; “Racism in the Media”; and so forth. The book is published by Jacana Media, and is available in stores now.

I wrote Race not to shock people but because I have a genuine belief that, if we do not tackle the race issue properly in South Africa, we could come to regret it.

So, on this blog, I want to encourage readers to engage me and each other on the issues of race and racism in post-apartheid South Africa. Only by talking about this very important issue will we be able to start dealing with it.

I am looking forward to some interesting interactions.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Karina</a>
    June 27th, 2007 @19:16 #

    Hi Ryland,
    I would be interested in buying your book, but it does not seem to be possible through (or I am doing something wrong, which is not impossible) and I cannot find it at Exclusive Books. Where can I buy it? Race and ethnicity are topics which I am investigating for my final exam.
    Please let me know. Thanks!

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 27th, 2007 @20:59 #

    "Race" is in stores now - but will only be available online in a few weeks, which is why we haven't linked it to the BOOK Finder yet. But if you pop into your local Exclusive's or Wordsworth, you should find it there (though I'd advise calling ahead!).

    The book's EAN might come in handy: 9781770093737.

  • Rob
    July 6th, 2007 @18:33 #

    ryland, did you transcribe all your interviews? Or did you tape and pick out the bits you wanted? Did you give your subjects advance notice of the questions you would ask in writing? I would be interested to read full, transcribed interviews with some of your subjects/interviewees, rob

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Ryland</a>
    July 8th, 2007 @09:45 #

    Dear Rob, I recorded and transcribed all the interviews, which was quite a laborious process. Obviously, what appears in the book are edited extracts from the interviews.
    When I completed the first draft, I had written more than 140 000 words and, in the editing process, we cut it down to about 85 000 words.This was necessary because otherwise the book would have been more than 500 pages, but also, more importantly, it would probably have been priced way out of the reach of most people.
    I did not give my interviewees advance notice of the questions I wanted to ask (I am an old-fashioned journalist in that sense) but I told them roughly what I wanted to speak to them about. I would also be interested in making available recordings of my interviewees, if there was some easy way of doing it. Ryland

  • Rob
    July 8th, 2007 @10:49 #

    ryland, would you post your interview with Minister Pandor here on your blog? rob


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