Welcome to the fourth issue of Volume 2 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.
In our April 2018 edition, we’re proud to feature an interview with Paul Gilroy, whose 1995 book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness is a seminal work on the emergence of a black cultures and identity. He chatted to The JRB Academic Editor Simon van Schalkwyk.
Also in this issue, the JRB Patron Makhosazana Xaba contributes a review of Nomavenda Mathiane’s Eyes in the Night: An Untold Zulu Story, a book that illuminates the hidden story of an ordinary woman who asserted her freedom during a tumultuous period in amaZulu history.
The JRB Editorial Advisory Panel member Nozizwe Cynthia Jele has a new novel out in April: The Ones with Purpose. She chats to The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec about the book, and we also have an exclusive excerpt for you to read ahead of its publication.
William Kentridge and Denis Hirson were in Johannesburg in February to launch their book of conversations, Footnotes for the Panther. The full, fascinating discussion is available to read in this issue.
In our reviews section this month, Wamuwi Mbao assesses Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel, Exit West, Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire looks at language and ‘Africanness’ in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu, and Imraan Coovadia considers considers Blackness, Black Panther and Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason. In this issue’s ‘anti-review’, Richard Poplak rails against Jordan B Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life, ‘a self-help book for assholes’.
Our poetry this month is from Sarah Johnson, who published a collection, Personae, in 2004, and began writing again last year after a hiatus of nearly a decade.
From our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini, we feature two portraits of poet and performer Natalia Molebatsi, which evoke the spirit of Wakanda, although they were in fact taken in mid-2017.
City Editor Niq Mhlongo contributes an image of himself under the famous tree that lent its name to his new collection of short stories, Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree.
Zukiswa Wanner launched her latest book, Hardly Working: A Travel Memoir of Sorts, in Johannesburg recently, and we’re pleased to present a short clip from the event that illustrates the trials of being a writer in Africa.
In a JRB exclusive from our Francophone section, read an excerpt from An Eternity in Tangiers, a graphic novel that evokes the mental and physical limbo of migrancy, by Faustin Titi and Eyoum Nganguè.
In other Francophone news, Rwandese author and genocide survivor Scholastique Mukasonga chronicles her quest for an education in a new book, Un si beau diplôme !
Finally, we publish correspondence from Christine Chiosi, who responds to Wamuwi Mbao’s report from an exhibition of JM Coetzee’s boyhood photographs in our February 2018 issue.
Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 4, which you will also find on our issue archive page:
- ‘English’s tendency to obliterate other languages does not apply here’—Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire reviews Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu
- Those who migrate remake the places they arrive in: Wamuwi Mbao reviews Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel, Exit West
- The hidden history of an ordinary umZulu woman who asserted her freedom—Makhosazana Xaba reviews Nomavenda Mathiane’s Eyes in the Night: An Untold Zulu Story
- Africanism and Afrofuturism: Imraan Coovadia considers Blackness, Black Panther and Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason
- Richard Poplak sets Jordan B Peterson’s house in order: a (scorching) review of 12 Rules For Life
- ‘Imagination is everything’: Paul Gilroy chats to The JRB about race, land and South Africa’s role in overthrowing the racial order
- ‘The argument between Beauty and, perhaps, War’: William Kentridge and Denis Hirson in conversation in Johannesburg
- ‘My main objective is still to help build a bigger reader base of fiction in this country and beyond’—Nozizwe Cynthia Jele chats to Jennifer Malec about her new book, The Ones with Purpose
- [Photo Editor] Two original portraits of Natalia Molebatsi by Victor Dlamini
- [City Editor] Niq Mhlongo: Spinach, under my own apricot tree
- [Audio] It’s a writer’s life: That hilarious time Zukiswa Wanner encountered her own book in a Joburg taxi
- Home is better than this place: Read an exclusive excerpt from Nozizwe Cynthia Jele’s forthcoming novel, The Ones with Purpose
- The JRB Exclusive: Read an excerpt from An Eternity in Tangiers, a graphic novel that evokes the mental and physical limbo of migrancy, by Faustin Titi and Eyoum Nganguè
- Letter: Christine Chiosi on the ‘discomfort’ and ‘estrangement’ of Wamuwi Mbao’s report from an exhibition of JM Coetzee’s boyhood photographs
- Un si beau diplôme !—Rwandese author and genocide survivor Scholastique Mukasonga chronicles her quest for an education in new book
In Memoriam, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
- Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1936–2018, RIP
- ‘I am me; I am black; I must be proud of my blackness.’—Read an excerpt from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s memoir, 491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69
The JRB Daily
- 2018 Barry Ronge Fiction Prize longlist announced
- 2018 Alan Paton Award for Non-fiction longlist announced
- Former Caine Prize director Lizzy Attree joins Short Story Day Africa
- Man Booker International Prize longlist announced
- Queer Africa 2, edited by Makhosazana Xaba and Karen Martin, announced as a 2018 Lambda Literary Awards finalist
Header image: Jennifer Malec