The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 2, Issue 10 (October 2018)

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

In this edition, Azad Essa makes his JRB debut with a review of Feroz Rather’s work of interconnected short stories The Night of Broken Glass, a book that masterfully captures the peculiar, punctured lives of ordinary Kashmiri civilians living under an occupation.

Scottish–Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna sat down with The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town to talk about her new novel, Happiness, the question of authenticity in fiction, and why she believes the word ‘trauma’ is overused.

This month we’re pleased to present a trio of contemplative essays: Wamuwi Mbao laments the lack of prospects for what he terms Mzansi noir—dark and moody South African television adaptations of strong local fiction; Mohale Mashigo asserts that ‘Afrofuturism is not for Africans living in Africa’; and Fred Khumalo recalls being swept off his feet by Alan Paton, the African Writers Series and James Hadley Chase.

Jennifer Malec reviews Esi Edugyan’s Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, Washington Black, Zukiswa Wanner reports back from the Gaborone Book Festival, and City Editor Niq Mhlongo continues the tale of his literary travels in Africa—this time recounting how he overstayed his visa in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Mbeya, while learning more about how ANC exiles lived during apartheid.

In creative writing, we’re proud to present a new short story by poet, playwright and literary critic Sandile Ngidi, as well as new poetry by Maya Surya Pillay, a young poet who is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini shares his original portraits of Chika Unigwe and Don Mattera.

In this edition you can also read an excerpt Poacher: Confessions From the Abalone Underworld by Kimon de Greef and Shuhood Abader, which our Editorial Advisory Panel member Richard Poplak called: ‘A stunning achievement. A classic South African narrative that includes questions of race, place, politics and morality. Intimate and wide-ranging, superbly researched and superbly written …’

At a recent Johannesburg symposium on the life of literary icon Can Themba, organised by author Siphiwo Mahala as a coda to his doctorate, Professor Muxe Nkondo delivered a keynote address that reaffirms Themba’s place in the canon and holds him up as role model for South Africans to follow, when considering fellow citizens who are not explicitly like themselves. We bring you Prof Nkondo’s address in its entirety.

Finally, in our Francophone section, we get excited about the new Alain Mabanckou novel, Les cigognes sont immortelles, which tackles a turbulent three days in Congolese history, and reveal the longlists for the Prix Femina and Prix Femina étranger—the latter of which includes Nigerian author Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

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

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 10, which you will also find on our issue archive page:









Francophone news

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