The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 2, Issue 3 (March 2018)

JohannesburgWelcome to the third issue of Volume 2 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.

In our March 2018 edition, hot off the press, we’re proud to feature an interview with our City Editor, Niq Mhlongo, on his newly published collection of short stories, Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree—as well as an exclusive excerpt from Nthikeng Mohlele‘s new novel, Michael K.

Mandla Langa demonstrates his deserved seniority in South African letters with an astoundingly rigorous piece on the late Keorapetse Kgositsile, excerpted from the former Poet Laureate’s final work, Homesoil in My Blood.

We also have our finger on the pulse of non-fiction, as Perfect Hlongwane reviews the book on everyone’s lips: The Land is Ours by Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

Turning the focus to international publications, Wamuwi Mbao reviews Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award-winning novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, while Imraan Coovadia assesses the new Dave Eggers, The Monk of Mokha.

In our Temporary Sojourner series, Efemia Chela travels to Angola with José Eduardo Agualusa’s award-winning novel A General Theory of Oblivion.

This month we’re also excited to publish a new short story by a regular contributor, Mbali Sikakana—it’s her JRB fiction debut—as well as original poetry by Mikael Johani, a poet, critic and translator based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini proffers striking portraits of Perfect Hlongwane and Yewande Omotoso.

We have some wonderful conversations in this issue, with Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa talking to Tiah Beautement about her memoir, Flame and Song, and Karin Schimke discussing poetry and her new collection, Navigate, with Antjie Krog.

For the politically-minded, Ray Hartley considers whether Cyril Ramaphosa is the man to lead South Africa out of its political and economic crisis, in an excerpt from his book Ramaphosa: The Man Who Would Be King.

Margie Orford, President Emerita of PEN South Africa, tells us more about the PEN International Women’s Manifesto, which will be launched on International Women’s Day on 8 March.

In Francophone news, we track the recent heated debate sparked by French President Emmanuel Macron and authors Alain Mabanckou and Véronique Tadjo, and dip into an excerpt from Tunisian author Azza Filali’s novel, Les Intranquilles.

Enjoy the issue, and let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 3, which you will also find on our issue archive page:






Short fiction



The JRB Daily


Header image: Ben Williams


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