Koleka Putuma • Ta-Nehisi Coates • Khanya Mtshali • Siyanda Mohutsiwa • Mphuthumi Ntabeni • Efemia Chela • Sandile Ngidi • Sarah Ladipo Manyika • Adam Smyer • Moshibudi Motimele • Sanya Osha • Victor Dlamini • Daylin Paul • Zukiswa Wanner • Jennifer Malec
Welcome to the tenth issue of Volume 3 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.
In our review section this month, Khanya Mtshali and Mphuthumi Ntabeni make their JRB debuts. Mtshali reviews Jia Tolentino’s collection of essays Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, while Ntabeni reviews The Eternal Audience of One, the debut novel by Rwandan-Namibian author Rémy Ngamije. The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec, meanwhile, reviews Lauren Wilkinson’s Cold War thriller American Spy, a book that exposes the human drama that plays out in the wings of the theatre of politics.
- Find out more about The Eternal Audience of One in the new episode of our audio show Read This!—out today!
In our Temporary Sojourner series, The JRB Francophone and Contributing Editor Efemia Chela travels to Liberia with Wayétu Moore’s debut novel, She Would Be King.
Fiction fans are in for a treat. In a JRB exclusive, read an excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s poetic debut novel, The Water Dancer; and we’re delighted to feature Siyanda Mohutsiwa‘s short story ‘And Then We Disappeared into Some Guy’s Car’, excerpted from the new anthology Botswana Women Write.
For the younger reader, we present three new short stories from the Goethe-Institut Afro Young Adult anthology, Water Birds on the Lake Shore: An Anthology of African Young-Adult Fiction, edited by Zukiswa Wanner. Read more about this groundbreaking initiative here.
In our poetry corner this month, we present a new poem by Koleka Putuma: ‘EVERY / THREE HOURS’.
Sandile Ngidi pays tribute to Sibusiso Nyembezi, the literary and cultural giant of Zulu letters, in his centenary year.
Bestselling Nigerian–British author Sarah Ladipo Manyika, who was in South Africa recently, chats to Jennifer Malec about African publishing, Toni Morrison and writing older women.
‘I will always love Africa, because from the minute I arrived it treated me like a white girl.’ So says American author Adam Smyer, who visited the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in 2018. In a travel piece for this issue, Smyer reflects on his first visit to Africa.
Moshibudi Motimele reads Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000–2018, a new anthology edited by The JRB Patron Makhosazana Xaba, locating the book as an act of poetic revolt, while Sanya Osha traces the quest to establish a world-class African philosophical tradition in Paulin Hountondji: African Philosophy as Critical Humanism.
From our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini this month, meditate upon original portraits of Panashe Chigumadzi and Phehello J Mofokeng.
Additionally, we feature photography by the Ernest Cole Award winner, Daylin Paul, from his debut work Broken Land, a project that explores the devastating impact of Eskom’s cluster of coal-powered stations in Mpumalanga.
Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 3, Issue 10, which you will also find on our issue archive page:
- Jia Tolentino is a moral voice for the secular world—Khanya Mtshali reviews Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, a collection of essays that explores how we survive our late-capitalist hellscape
- American Spy reimagines the American spy, bringing gender and race into the war room—Jennifer Malec reviews Lauren Wilkinson’s new Cold War thriller
- Southern Africa throws its hat into the millennial fiction ring—Mphuthumi Ntabeni reviews The Eternal Audience of One, the debut novel by Rwandan–Namibian author Remy Ngamije
- [Temporary Sojourner] Liberia, the original African escapist fantasy—Efemia Chela reviews Wayétu Moore’s sweeping and poetic debut novel She Would Be King
- Tribute to Sibusiso Nyembezi, a literary and cultural giant, in his centenary year, by Sandile Ngidi
- ‘I can’t attach the word “iconic” to baobab trees and sunsets’—Sarah Ladipo Manyika chats to Jennifer Malec about African publishing, Toni Morrison and writing older women
- [The JRB exclusive] ‘It had happened when I was nine years old, the day after my mother was taken and sold’—Read an excerpt from The Water Dancer, the debut novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Read Siyanda Mohutsiwa’s short story ‘And Then We Disappeared into Some Guy’s Car’, excerpted from the new anthology Botswana Women Write
- Voices from the continent with the world’s youngest population—Water Birds on the Lake Shore: An Anthology of African Young-Adult Fiction (Plus: Read 3 of the stories)
- ‘I will always love Africa, because from the minute I arrived it treated me like a white girl.’—Author Adam Smyer reflects on his visit to the Open Book Festival
- Our Words, Our Worlds: The work of Black women poets as an act of poetic revolt, by Moshibudi Motimele
- The quest to establish a world-class African philosophical tradition—Sanya Osha reviews Paulin Hountondji: African Philosophy as Critical Humanism
- [Photo Editor] Original portraits of Panashe Chigumadzi and Phehello J Mofokeng by Victor Dlamini
- ‘As we sleepwalk ever closer toward climate catastrophe’—an excerpt from Broken Land, the new photobook by Daylin Paul, winner of the Ernest Cole Award
The JRB Daily
- 2019 South African Literary Awards shortlists revealed—including 3 from The JRB
- Terry Kurgan and Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu win the 2019 Sunday Times Literary Awards
- 2019 Booker Prize shortlist announced—including Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma