Welcome to the seventh issue of Volume 2 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.
This month, we’re delighted to publish the winning stories from this year’s Short Story Day Africa Prize: Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor’s winning story ‘All Our Lives’, and the joint second place winners, Agazit Abate’s ‘The Piano Player’ and Michael Yee’s ‘God Skin’. We also have an interview with Okafor about his win, and his writing life.
In tribute to David Goldblatt, who passed away in June, the cover image for the July 2018 issue of The JRB is his photograph ‘Hillbrow, June 1972’, excerpted from his solo exhibition and accompanying book TJ (published in 2011 by Umuzi).
This July marks the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe’s seminal novel Things Fall Apart. To commemorate the occasion, Lebohang Mojapelo reviews Terri Ochiagha’s new book Achebe and Friends at Umuahia: The Making of a Literary Elite, which places Achebe among his contemporaries.
Wamuwi Mbao reviews Colson Whitehead’s The Colossus of New York, recently reissued fourteen years after its first publication, finding its heated restlessness undiminished. In our Francophone section, Efemia Chela reviews Anne Garréta’s newly translated memoir, Not One Day, the second of her books to be translated into English.
Argentine author Mariana Enriquez, who will be at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September, sits down with Bongani Kona to talk about the aftermath of Argentina’s violent past and her English-language debut, Things We Lost in the Fire, while The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec chats to Harry Kalmer about his recent Barry Ronge Fiction Prize win, for his first English novel A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg.
In a penetrating and incisive essay, Mbali Sikakana considers Nozizwe Cynthia Jele’s new novel The Ones With Purpose in the context of Hilton Als’s groundbreaking 1996 sociopolitical manifesto The Women.
In our poetry section this month, we feature three previously unpublished poems by Kenyan poet Bethuel Muthee, while from our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini, feast your eyes on original portraits of Imraan Coovadia and TJ Dema.
Finally, City Editor Niq Mhlongo turns the focus onto South Africa’s cultural game-changers—the book clubs that are changing the literary landscape.
Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 7, which you will also find on our issue archive page:
- Reading social reality in the writhing surface of the city—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Colson Whitehead’s The Colossus of New York
- Coming out of Achebe’s shadow: Nigeria’s first generation of writers and the literary brotherhood of Umuahia
- The over-intellectualisation of desire—Efemia Chela reviews Anne Garréta’s newly translated memoir Not One Day
- ‘I have always been interested in hidden histories’—Harry Kalmer chats about his award-winning debut English novel, A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg
- ‘Dark history is good for literature’—Bongani Kona chats to Argentine author Mariana Enriquez about her English debut, Things We Lost in the Fire
- ‘As I wrote and rewrote, I made new discoveries’—An exclusive interview with Short Story Day Africa Prize winner Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor
- Bucking against the inevitability of her martyrdom—The Negressity of Black womenhood and The Ones With Purpose
- [City Editor] South Africa’s cultural game-changers—Niq Mhlongo on how book clubs are changing the literary landscape
- New short fiction: ‘All Our Lives’ by Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor, winner of the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize
- New short fiction: ‘The Piano Player’ by Agazit Abate, joint runner-up for the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize
- New short fiction: ‘God Skin’ by Michael Yee, joint runner-up for the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize
- [Photo Editor] Original portraits of Imraan Coovadia and TJ Dema by Victor Dlamini
- In tribute to David Goldblatt—an excerpt from TJ, his authoritative collection of Johannesburg photographs
The JRB Daily
- [The JRB Daily] Harry Kalmer and Bongani Ngqulunga win Sunday Times Literary Awards
- [The JRB Daily] 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize winner announced
- [The JRB Daily] Masande Ntshanga, Omar Robert Hamilton, Anietie Isong and Kayo Chingonyi shortlisted for Society of Authors 2018 Authors’ Awards
- [The JRB Daily] Irish author Mike McCormack wins ‘world’s richest annual literary prize’ for his one-sentence novel Solar Bones
- [The JRB Daily] Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie awarded 2018 PEN Pinter Prize for ‘fierce intellectual determination to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’
- [The JRB Daily] Kamila Shamsie wins 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her ‘remarkable’ novel Home Fire