[The JRB Daily] 2018 Alan Paton Award for Non-fiction longlist announced

The 2018 Sunday Times Literary Awards longlists have been announced!

The awards celebrate ‘the best of South African non-fiction and fiction’ from the previous year. The winners each receive R100 000.

The Alan Paton Award for Non-fiction criteria stipulate that the prize should be bestowed on a book that presents ‘the illumination of truthfulness, especially those forms of it that are new, delicate, unfashionable and fly in the face of power’, and that demonstrates ‘compassion, elegance of writing, and intellectual and moral integrity’.

Last year’s winner was Greg Marinovich, for his book Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre.

The longlist of twenty-five books was selected by judges Sylvia Vollenhoven (chair), Edwin Cameron and Paddi Clay. The shortlists will be announced in May.

Vollenhoven says, in the Sunday Times announcement:

It is inspiring to note that out of the 25 books on a very prestigious longlist, eight have been written by women and, as two of the books have been co-authored, it means we have 10 female authors in the running. Dominant trends this year include corruption and state capture which are probed mercilessly. The Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma come under scrutiny from several quarters. There are journeys into the criminal underworld and insights into past and present spy networks that read like thrillers, and a selection of moving biographies and memoirs of courageous struggles by contemporary and historic figures.

These intensely personal accounts help us understand the bigger picture. There are also specialist offerings that delve into topics as diverse as regional history, social activism, sport, anthropology and feminism.

Each of the books is like a pointer on a road map, illuminating the place in which we now find ourselves. A common thread is the question of how on earth did we get here?

We need to know what happened if we want to shape a solid, healthier future and together these books answer myriad questions about the road we have travelled as a nation. 

2018 Alan Paton Award for Non-fiction longlist

  • Spy: Uncovering Craig Williamson, Jonathan Ancer (Jacana Media)
  • Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo Naledi, Lee Berger (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  • 65 Years of Friendship, George Bizos (Umuzi)
  • Rule of Law, Glynnis Breytenbach with Nechama Brodie (Pan Macmillan)
  • Reflecting Rogue: Inside the Mind of a Feminist, Pumla Dineo Gqola (MF Books Joburg)
  • Kingdom, Power, Glory: Mugabe, Zanu and the Quest for Supremacy (1960–87), Stuart Doran (Bookstorm)
  • Skollie: One Man’s Struggle to Survive by Telling Stories, John W Fredericks (Zebra Press)
  • No Longer Whispering to Power: The Story of Thuli Madonsela, Thandeka Gqubule (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  • Being Chris Hani’s Daughter, Lindiwe Hani and Melinda Ferguson (MF Books Joburg)
  • Get Up! Stand Up! Personal Journeys Toward Social Justice, Mark Heywood (Tafelberg)
  • A Simple Man: Kasrils And The Zuma Enigma, Ronnie Kasrils (Jacana Media)
  • Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years, Nelson Mandela and Mandla Langa (Pan Macmillan)
  • Unmasked: Why the ANC Failed to Govern, Khulu Mbatha (KMM Review Publishing)
  • Being a Black Springbok: The Thando Manana Story, Sibusiso Mjikeliso (Pan Macmillan)
  • Democracy and Delusion: 10 Myths in South African Politics, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (Tafelberg)
  • Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home, Sisonke Msimang (Jonathan Ball Publishers) 
  • The Republic of Gupta: A Story of State Capture, Pieter-Louis Myburgh (Penguin Books)
  • The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Bongani Ngqulunga (Penguin Books)
  • Colour Me Yellow: Searching for My Family Truth, Thuli Nhlapo (Kwela Books)
  • How to Steal a City: The Battle for Nelson Mandela Bay, Crispian Olver (Jonathan Ball Publishers) 
  • The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and Out of Prison, Jacques Pauw (Tafelberg)
  • Miss Behave, Malebo Sephodi (BlackBird Books)
  • Hitmen for Hire: Exposing South Africa’s Underworld, Mark Shaw (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  • Khwezi: The Remarkable Story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, Redi Tlhabi (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  • Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit, Hennie van Vuuren (Jacana Media)

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