The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 2, Issue 6 (June 2018)

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

This month, we review a trio of superb debut novels: Akwaeke Emezi’s FreshwaterRoland Rugero’s Baho!—the first Burundian novel to be translated into English—and Olumide Popoola’s When We Speak of Nothing. City Editor Niq Mhlongo chimes in with a review of a debut book of non-fiction, Clinton Chauke’s Born in Chains: The Diary of an Angry ‘Born Free’, and The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec assesses the first two books of Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet.

We also feature three big interviews in this issue. Pede Hollist chats to James Murua about his book So the Path Does Not Die and the vibrant Sierra Leonean literary sceneImraan Coovadia chats to Jennifer Malec about his new spec-fic novel A Spy in Time and time-travelling while Black, and Zinzi Clemmons reveals how being in South Africa as an author shifted her perspective on the country.

In our poetry section this month, we’re proud to present a new poem by Gabeba Baderoon, from her forthcoming collection The History of Intimacy.

Fiction fans will be pleased to find a new short story by Kiprop Kimutai, which recently received a commendation from the 2018 Gerald Kraak Award. We also have an excerpt of Coovadia’s new book, hot off the press, as well as an extract from Roland Rugero’s Burundian novel Baho!

Photo Editor Victor Dlamini has contributed striking original portraits of Masello Motana and Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh for this edition. 

In Francophone news, Efemia Chela alerts us to a new French translation of Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ’s novel Nairobi Heat, and looks at some new words that have entered the French lexicon, including some wonderful Africa-inspired additions.

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

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 6, which you will also find on our issue archive page:








Francophone news

The JRB Daily

Header image: Ben Williams


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