The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 4, Issue 3 (March 2020)

Vonani Bila • Ayanda Billie • Willem Anker • Angelo Fick • Rustum Kozain • Mukoma wa Ngugi • Carey Baraka • Genna Gardini • James Murua • Jerry Chiemeke Ahmet Sait Akçay • Moshumee T Dewoo • Victor Dlamini

Welcome to the third issue of Volume 4 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.

In this edition of The JRB, Vonani Bila reviews KwaNobuhle Overcast, the new collection of poetry by Ayanda Billie, who won a South African Literary Award last year for his isiXhosa collection, Umhlaba Umanzi.

The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec talks to Willem Anker about his novel Red Dog, which was recently longlisted for the International Booker Prize.

To honour JM Coetzee’s eightieth birthday, which fell on 9 February 2020, an exhibition on his life and work is being held at the Amazwi South African Museum of Literature in Makhanda. In this issue, Angelo Fick reflects on the exhibition’s opening celebrations, and Rustum Kozain shares his piece ‘The man who would be eaten’, which he read at the event.

In a JRB exclusive, you can read an excerpt from the new African edition of Mukoma wa Ngugi’s novel We, the Scarred.

Carey Baraka considers Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s Dust and The Dragonfly Sea, and the Kenyan novelist’s mission to retell the ‘vile things’ of history.

In our poetry section this month, we present ‘Nipple Hair’, a new poem by Genna Gardini.

The JRB Editorial Advisory Panel member James Murua reports back from his trip to the Salon du Livre de Mayotte, the Mayotte Book Fair, which took place on the island nation’s capital, Mamoudzou, from 17–20 October 2019.

The JRB makes its Pidgin English debut this month, with ‘Ugborikoko’, a new short story by Jerry Chiemeke.

The JRB Photo Editor Victor Dlamini shares portraits of Shaun Johnson and Harry Garuba, who both passed away last week.

Finally, in a wide-ranging interview, Turkish author Ahmet Sait Akçay chats to Indo-Mauritian poet Moshumee T Dewoo about being denied Africanness, the hypocrisy of religion, and speaking freely through writing.

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 4, Issue 3, which you will also find on our issue archive page:



JM Coetzee at 80







The JRB Daily

Header image: Jennifer Malec

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