This is the brainchild of book lover Don Makatile. Don grew up with books from an early age. Memories of his eldest brother Barnes etched into his mind are of the now deceased older sibling always with a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Outside the latest American fashion labels and jazz, Barnes had another extravagance - Western paperbacks. This is how Louis L’Amour entered the impressionable young Don’s vocabulary. After this came a gradual introduction into James Hadley Chase, African Writers’ Series and the wider world of books.
The love for reading thus developed, the next logical passion was writing, as evinced by his school essays, copies of which he still keeps [for posterity]. His ambition is to get feedback from his children on his writing. He reads in the toilet courtesy of a lifestyle that sees him complete at least one book a week.
Ben Okri, JM Coetzee, Graham Swift, Marlene van Niekerk, Jo Nesbo, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Henning Mankell, Mario Vargas Llosa, Orhan Pamuk, Chris van Wyk, Salman Rushdie and Damon Galgut have the freedom of his house and can come visiting any time.
For some celestial inspiration, Stieg Larsson and Ahmadou Kourouma can come calling too. Trained in journalism, he gravitated towards literary journalism from very early in his career. He contributed to the US-based African books website www.africabookclub.com. He holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Wits University where, as part of the course, he finished a full-length novel, titled AN INTERRUPTED DEATH.
His short stories await a home in various anthologies. Only one so far, ON THE TRAIN TO RANDFONTEIN, has been accommodated – in an e-book the title of which THE SHORT STORY IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE SHORT STORY, was derived from a feature he wrote on the genre of short stories.
He is a board member of the Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF). When he is not reading a book, attending launches, chatting to authors and lending books to new readers, he dreams of life as a full-time biographer.