The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 3, Issue 10

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.

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:








The JRB Daily

Header image: A view of Westdene Dam/Jennifer Malec

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