The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 1, Issue 6 (October 2017)

JohannesburgWelcome to the sixth issue of The Johannesburg Review of Books. Half a dozen and going strong!

In this edition, Wamuwi Mbao reviews Teju Cole’s new book Blind Spot, declaring it a ‘work of quiet intensity’. Athambile Masola looks at two recently published biographies, of Pixley ka Seme and Charlotte Maxeke, drawing conclusions about how women’s histories are in danger of becoming ‘insignificant back roads’ in the geography of South Africa’s decolonised national memory.

The JRB’s Contributing Editor Bongani Madondo remembers the magic of The Village Voice, in the wake of the announcement of the end of its print edition, while our City Editor Niq Mhlongo pens a love letter to his home, Soweto (and reveals the best spots to visit).

In our long interview this month, The JRB’s Editor, Jennifer Malec, sits down with Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ to talk about her debut novel, Stay With Me, which was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (and was the last-ever book to be reviewed by Michiko Kakutani for the New York Times).

Two essays show the startling relevance of the not-so-new: Mbali Sikakana reads Fran Ross’s forgotten black feminist satire Oreo, and Sanya Osha considers how to reread legendary Nigerian author Amos Tutuola.

In another edition of our Temporary Sojourner series, Contributing Editor Efemia Chela travels to the lush Sierra Leone of the nineteen-sixties with Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love

We’re honoured to feature previously unpublished poetry by Ingrid de Kok, as well as original portraits of Rafique Gangat and Aja Monet by our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini

Exclusive to The JRB, we have an excerpt from Trade Secrets, the new Short Sharp Stories anthology, in Ntsika Gogwana‘s Commended story, ‘Home Cooked’, which judge Phakama Mbonambi calls a ‘powerful read’.

Zukiswa Wanner makes her JRB debut this month, with a piece that documents the labyrinthine bureaucracy an African traveller—even a fairly famous one—experiences in Eastern Europe. 

In Francophone news, listen to a new Radio France Internationale radio play featuring Le Ventre de l’Atlantique by Senegalese author Fatou Diome; or read about the Sub-Saharan African Spring, which Alain Mabanckou believes is imminent on the continent.

Our cover image this month is excerpted from the book UP UP: Stories of Johannesburg’s Highrises, which is published by Fourthwall Books. Find out more about the book here.

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 1, Issue 6, which you will also find on our issue archive page:









Issue photo: UP UP: Stories of Johannesburg’s Highrises

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