The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 2, Issue 12 (December 2018, The Fiction Issue)

Ivan Vladislavić • Sisonke Msimang • Nuruddin Farah • Achmat Dangor • Odafe Atogun • Michiel Heyns • Koos Prinsloo • Palesa Manaleng • Nthikeng Mohlele • Byron Loker • Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu • Kagiso Lesego Molope • Frank Owen • Stephen Symons • Victor Dlamini • Efemia Chela

JohannesburgWelcome to the twelfth issue of Volume 2 of The Johannesburg Review of Books—our second annual Fiction Issue!

This year’s Fiction Issue has taken a slightly different slant to last year’s. While we have a clutch of sterling short stories from some exciting new and established writers, the heft of the issue is a throw-forward to some important novels that will be appearing in 2019.

To that end, you can read world-exclusive excerpts from The Distance, the forthcoming novel by Ivan Vladislavić; from North of Dawn, the forthcoming novel by Nuruddin Farah; from a work in progress by Achmat Dangor; and from Nthikeng Mohlele’s forthcoming novel, Illumination.

We also feature an excerpt from a work in progress by Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, author of The Theory of Flight; a first look at North, the new post-apocalyptic novel by Frank Owen, the pen name of Diane Awerbuck and Alex Latimer; and an excerpt from Kagiso Lesego Molope’s new novel, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road.

We are delighted to publish the first short story by acclaimed non-fiction writer Sisonke Msimang, as well as new, original short fiction by Byron Loker, Palesa Manaleng and Odafe Atogun. 

Two short stories by Koos Prinsloo are published for the first time in English in this edition of The JRB, translated from the Afrikaans by award-winning author and translator Michiel Heyns. Written in the early nineteen-nineties, they are among the first fictional texts about HIV/Aids in South African literature.

From our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini this month, feast your eyes on striking portraits of Binyavanga Wainaina and Zakes Mda.

In our poetry corner, read an excerpt from Stephen Symons’s new collection, Landscapes of Light and Loss.

And finally, in Francophone news, find out more about Ivorian Armand Gauz’s sublime historical fiction novel Camarade Papa, which has been awarded the 2018 Prix-Ivoire.

The header image for this issue is a close-up of the old Eyethu Cinema in Mofolo, Soweto, next to where the Abantu Book Festival will be taking place this week. Those planning on visiting the festival can warm up by reading work from two authors who will be in attendance: Nigerian author Odafe Atogun, and Canada-based Kagiso Lesego Molope, whose new novel, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, is not yet available in South Africa, but which will be on sale at Abantu.

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

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 2, Issue 12, which you will also find on our issue archive page:

Forthcoming novels

Original short fiction

Book excerpts

Works in progress



Francophone news

The JRB Daily

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