The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 2, Issue 5 (May 2018)

JohannesburgWelcome to the fifth issue of Volume 2 of The Johannesburg Review of Books—our first birthday issue!

The inaugural issue of The JRB dropped twelve months ago, on 1 May 2017; revisit that issue here; and revisit our missive introducing The JRB to the world here; what a ride it’s been since that moment!

In the current issue, The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec reviews Zadie Smith’s new collection of essays, Feel Free, Wamuwi Mbao looks at the new Julian Barnes novel, The Only Story, and Adekeye Adebajo considers Carien du Plessis’s recent biography of Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Woman in the Wings.

We also feature an essay by Ntombizikhona Valela on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s literary legacy, Fred Khumalo’s thoughts on the resurgence of historical fiction, and the joint reflections of Zukiswa Wanner and City Editor Niq Mhlongo on their Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study fellowship.

Niq Mhlongo also recounts his experiences from his recent trip to Harare, for two joint book launches with the very same Wanner.

Elsewhere in this issue, we sit down with bestselling self-published author of the Hlomu series, Dudu Busani-Dube, and discuss the new Wits-based African Centre for the Study of the United States with project leader Tawana Kupe.

Poetry lovers are in for a treat, with two new poems by Karen Jennings and an excerpt from Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese’s poetry collection Loud and Yellow Laughter, which won the 2018 Ingrid Jonker Prize.

Our Photo Editor, Victor Dlamini, shares striking images and video from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral.

In our fiction section this month, read ‘Gutting Instincts’, a new short story by Jarred Thompson, as well as Wame Molefhe’s ‘A Woman is her Hands’, excerpted from The Gods Who Send Us Gifts: An Anthology of African Short Stories.

In literary news, Maureen Isaacson reports from Stockholm, Sweden, on the latest developments around the scandal engulfing the Nobel Prize in Literature, and we report on the recent honouring of literary stalwarts Gcina Mhlophe and Sindiwe Magona.

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

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 5, which you will also find on our issue archive page:









The JRB Daily

Header image: Jennifer Malec


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