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Known to many as the former, award-winning editor of Cosmopolitan South Africa, Vanessa Raphaely has had a long career in women’s media, including many years in London. She is now Associated Media Publishing's content editor and is visiting the Knysna Literary Festival later this month to talk about her thrilling debut novel, Plus One.

Plus One is about two young women who find themselves in the darker side of the Hollywood media industry. The book touches on important themes surrounding women’s issues, many of which led to the creation of the #MeToo movement. 

Raphaely said that although Plus One is not autobiographical, the world that it's set in was, very much, her world. “I worked in media in London for over 10 years and spent a lot of time immersed in fashion, beauty, wealth, inherited wealth and celebrity. I have famous friends. Hugh Grant did used to drink too much, drop his trousers and waggle his bits around at parties I found myself at. I once did have to get off a billionaire’s yacht in a hurry and I also had a boyfriend, who is now a hugely successful Hollywood agent. Early on in the process of writing, I was told to only ‘write what you know,’ so I did.”

Plus One is not chic lit nor is it a moralistic tale, and Raphaely said her editor, Alison Lowry, described it well – ‘dark material written with a light touch.’ "I love this description. The whole question of women’s power versus men’s is such a wound, that I think the subject matter is really of its time and actually, deadly serious. The scenes in the book that deal with rape and misogamy, are spot on. I think they read authentic, because they are. As Claudia says in the book, ‘You show me a skirmish when a woman gets off better than a man.’ So, I’d say it’s contemporary fiction, a page-turner with something to say and a very real sting in its tail.”

Raphaely said it was written before the #MeToo movement gathered momentum. “However in my career I have met more than a few Harveys, Les’, Terry Richardsons, Kevins and Bills, I’m sad to admit.”

Published in Festivals & events
Friday, 25 January 2019 23:10

Rebels and Rage

Adam Habib, the most prominent and outspoken academic leader through the recent student protests, takes a characteristically frank view of the past 3 years on South Africa’s campuses. He critically examines the student movement and individual student leaders who emerged under the banners #feesmustfall and #Rhodesmustfall, and debates how to achieve truly progressive social change in South Africa, on and off our campuses.

Visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za for more information

Friday, 25 January 2019 22:10

The First World Champions

The First World Champions explores the origins of the unique rivalry between the All Blacks and the Springboks: 2 countries united in their passion for rugby, but divided by their politics. A forgotten Springbok tour of New Zealand in 1937 provides the platform and characters through which Michael Charton brings this story to life. His message celebrates the value system associated with rugby’s amateur era and it serves as a nostalgic reminder of what is important in life and legacy.

Visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za for more information

Friday, 25 January 2019 21:10

Delicious Word Journey

The extremely popular Delicious Word Journey gives you the opportunity to experience some stylish homes in Simola Golf and Country Estate. Enjoy great food accompanied by Knysna's delicious craft gin, craft beer and fine wines, whilst chatting to well known authors.

Visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za for more information

Friday, 25 January 2019 20:10

Scent of Fear

Scent of Fear is a gripping action thriller exploring the world of tracker dogs and their handlers in the war against poaching in Africa. Tony Park has written 15 other thrilling novels set in Africa.

Visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za for more information

Friday, 25 January 2019 19:10

Plus One

Vanessa Raphaely, former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine chats about her thrilling debut novel, Plus One. It would be a weekend of fun, sunshine, champagne and partying. And it was all of those things. Until it wasn't......

Visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za for more information

Friday, 25 January 2019 18:10

On the Brink

How did South Africa land up teetering on the brink of a political and fiscal cliff? JJ Tabane chats with Claire Bisseker, Chris Holdsworth (Investec Investment Strategist) and Bonang Mohale on how South Africa will recover from this crisis.


Friday, 25 January 2019 18:10

Chef's Playdate #2.0

Expect understated elegance and indulgent deliciousness created by our playdate, David Higgs and vineyard friends. Enjoy fine bites, delightful sips and stylish ambience together with team île de païn. We playwith friends in the kitchen. You play with friends at the table…


Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones is the book every teenager (and their parents) should read. It covers all of the major issues teenagers face in the digital age.

Knysna Primary School
14h30 - 15h30
R50 pp (Booking Ref C)
Emma Sadleir

Friday, 25 January 2019 15:10

Fate of the Nation

2019’s SA is divided and caught in a web of state capture, corruption, poverty and despair. The Zuma years have left the country and its institutions battered and bruised. Can Ramaphosa pull South Africa out of the quagmire and restore it to its former glory?

Visit www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za for more information.

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