The winners of the 2019 Sunday Times Literary Awards have been announced.
Terry Kurgan has won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction, for her book Everyone is Present: Essays on Photography, Family and Memory (Fourthwall Books), and Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu has won the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, for her novel The Theory of Flight (Penguin Random House).
Each winner, picked from a shortlist of five books, receives R100,000.
The judges of the Alan Paton Award, Sylvia Vollenhoven (chair), Paddi Clay and Tinyiko Maluleke, called Kurgan’s work ‘a compassionate, mesmerising tale of a time and place and the singular journey of a remarkable people’.
The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize judges, Ken Barris (chair), Nancy Richards and Wamuwi Mbao, called Ndlovu’s novel ‘utterly captivating and image-rich, a beautifully resolved magical-realist novel’.
‘This was a special and significant year for the Sunday Times Literary Awards,’ Sunday Times books editor Jennifer Platt said. ‘It marked the thirtieth anniversary of the coveted Alan Paton Award. Both winners showcase once again the best in South African writing, and the prizes continue to signify the dedication that the Sunday Times has to our local literature.’
Last year’s Alan Paton Award winner was Bongani Ngqulunga, for The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme, while Harry Kalmer won last year’s Barry Ronge Fiction Prize for his novel A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg.