The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 2, Issue 11 (November 2018)

Efemia Chela • Maryse Condé • Tsitsi Dangarembga • Shayera Dark • Victor Dlamini • Rebecca Duncan • Terry Kurgan • Bongani Madondo • Jennifer Malec • Wamuwi Mbao • Niq Mhlongo • Thando Njovane • Nnedi Okorafor • Kole Omotoso • Geoffrey Philp • Lola Shoneyin

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

In this edition, Contributing Editor Bongani Madondo experiences tinges of nostalgia occasioned by the twentieth anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and presents his ruminations in a review of Joan Morgan’s new book on the album, She Begat This.

Wamuwi Mbao reviews Sally Rooney’s unusual and evanescent novel Normal People, The JRB Francophone and Contributing Editor Efemia Chela reads Trifonia Melibea Obono’s La Bastarda—the first novel by an Equatoguinean woman to be translated into English—and The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec reviews Patrick deWitt’s latest, French Exit, declaring it a supreme pleasure to read.

We are delighted to present an exclusive excerpt from This Mournable Body, the highly anticipated new novel from Tsitsi Dangarembga, as well as an excerpt from a short story by Nnedi Okorafor, taken from the new anthology Lagos Noir.

Shayera Dark chats to Aké Arts and Book Festival founder Lola Shoneyin about the fifth edition of the festival, which took place in Lagos in October under the theme ‘Fantastical Futures’.

City Editor Niq Mhlongo shares his visa hassles and visa hustles, comparing his trips to Nigeria in 2008 and 2018 (the latter for the very Aké Arts and Book Festival mentioned above).

Giant of black feminist writing and thought Maryse Condé was recently awarded the New Academy Prize in Literature, the ‘alternative Nobel’ created after the cancellation of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. The JRB presents an excerpt from her memoir What Is Africa to Me?

Thando Njovane shares three thoughts on Nnedi Okorafor’s seminal catalyst of African speculative fiction, Who Fears Death.

Photo Editor Victor Dlamini shares original portraits of Sue Nyathi and Athol Fugard, while in our poetry section, read a previously unpublished poem by Jamaican poet, novelist and playwright Geoffrey Philp.

You can also read an excerpt from Terry Kurgan’s new book, Everyone is Present: Essays on Photography, Memory and Family, which The JRB Patron Ivan Vladislavić has called ‘a truly dynamic fusion of text and image […] both a moving family memoir and an illuminating reflection on photography and memory.’

Find out more about Johannesburg’s subterranean horror in contemporary fiction by dipping into South African Gothic: Anxiety and Creative Dissent in the Post-apartheid Imagination and Beyond, the new book by Rebecca Duncan.

This year’s Annual Sol Plaatje Lecture was delivered in October at Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, by Professor Kole Omotoso. We’re pleased to share his remarks in full.

The cover image for the November 2018 issue of The JRB, a photograph of the Carmel Building on Diagonal Street taken in 1967, is excerpted from the new book Johannesburg Then and Now. Find out more about the book in this issue.

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

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 11, which you will also find on our issue archive page:









Francophone news

The JRB Daily

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