The Jewish Literary Festival is back

Planning is under way for another bumper edition of the Jewish Literary Festival to be held at the Gardens Community Centre on Human Rights Day, 21 March 2023. 

After we had to adapt our 2020 JLF line-up to a series of online sessions, we are thrilled to be staging an in-person event again. 

Visitors can look forward to an abundant line-up of writers from Cape Town, Johannesburg, and overseas, including some old favourites and many new faces.  

One author travelling from the UK is novelist Louisa Treger. Her novel, Madwoman, released this year, is an extraordinary work of historical fiction that tells the story of Nellie Bly, considered the first female investigative journalist. Nellie was what you might call an ‘inconvenient woman’, defying conventions to trailblaze a path for the future of women. In Madwoman, Louisa Treger has focussed on the act that brought Nellie fame and the job she wanted, but also put her life at extreme risk. 

To land a job at a major male-dominated newspaper, Nellie makes a bargain with the editor and owner: she will get herself committed to the mental asylum on Blackwell’s Island (now Roosevelt Island off the coast of New York), and write the story of her incarceration in exchange for a job. Treger’s vivid prose is magnetic as she immerses herself in Nellie’s persona and gets right under the skin of this extraordinary woman.

A local investigative journalist who also put herself at risk for her craft is Janine Lazarus. Formerly the head of the crime desk at The Sunday Star, Lazarus worked on the story of the Norwood rapist and serial killer in the early 1990s. Breaking almost every rule in newsroom ethics, she became increasingly obsessed with this story, and BAIT: To catch a killer is her account of how she helped the Norwood police catch this deadly criminal by becoming human bait. 

Don’t miss these and other exciting local and international authors at JLF 2023. Bookings will open soon so watch this space, visit and like our Facebook page. 

Other authors appearing at JLF2023: AntonyAltbeker • AlanAmbor • JonathanAncer • GigiFenster • Anton Harber • Joanne Jowell • Des Lindberg • Rael Levitt • Gail Schimmel • Patricia Schonstein • Gus Silber • Steven ‘Boykey’ Sidley • and many more…

Janine Lazarus, local author of Bait: To catch a killer; and Louisa Treger, International (UK) author of Madwoman

Jewish Literary Festival

• Published in the December 2022/January 2023 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.

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