[The JRB Daily] Fred Khumalo to publish a book of short stories in isiZulu—uManzekhofi Nezakhe

Kwasukela Books, a new publisher dedicated to isiZulu fiction, has announced Fred Khumalo’s isiZulu debut, uManzekhofi Nezakhe.

The book will be released in 2019. 

Khumalo’s previous books include Bitches’ BrewTouch My Blood and, most recently, Dancing the Death Drill, a historical novel about the sinking of the SS Mendi during World War I. This year, he has been shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the University of Johannesburg Prizes for South African Writing.

Khumalo’s debut isiZulu short story, ‘Kwakungcono eGibhithe’, was published in The JRB in January, and is anthologised in the speculative fiction anthology Izinkanyezi Ezintsha, also published by Kwasukela Books.

According to the publisher, uManzekhofi Nezakhe is a collection of ‘interconnected, whimsical and witty short stories centered around a cast of animal and human characters’.

In writing the short stories, Khumalo was inspired by his memories of reading Kunyenyeza Esikhotheni, Geraldine Elliott’s fanciful book of fables for schoolchildren. uManzekhofi Nezakhe is, however, intended for readers of all ages.

Khumalo says he grew up admiring the talent of writers such as Elliott, and has ‘tried to reflect the style of timeless humour and rich language’.

uManzekhofi Nezakhe will contain fourteen stories, loosely centered around the main character of Manzekhofi, a housecat belonging to the Sibiya family.


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