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

Wamuwi Mbao • Lauren Beukes Lebohang Mojapelo • Toni Giselle Stuart Deon Meyer • Angelo Fick • Isobel Dixon • Lidudumalingani • Tymon Smith • Zukiswa Wanner • Victor Dlamini •

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

In this edition of The JRB, Toni Giselle Stuart reviews Gabeba Baderoon’s award-winning poetry collection The History of Intimacy, while Angelo Fick considers JM Coetzee’s new novel The Death of Jesus, the ‘masterful, spare and beautiful’ final book of the Jesus trilogy.

Ghanaian writer, filmmaker and art historian Nana Oforiatta Ayim talks to Wamuwi Mbao about her debut novel The God Child, and internationally renowned Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah, whose debut novel From a Crooked Rib celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, sits down with Lebohang Mojapelo to talk about language, tradition, fame and infamy. 

This month, we feature two novels that deal prophetically with a world affected by a viral pandemic: read an exclusive excerpt from Afterland, the high-concept new dystopian thriller from Lauren Beukes, and an excerpt from Deon Meyer’s post-apocalyptic thriller Fever, in which a coronavirus ravages the world, and cigarettes become currency.

Guest City Editor Lidudumalingani muses on literature and the lockdown, and searches for a new vocabulary for a new city.

Zukiswa Wanner reflects on her recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the Fête du livre de Kinshasa.

In our poetry section this month, read ‘Matsephe’s Dance’, a new poem by Isobel Dixon.

The JRB Photo Editor Victor Dlamini shares original portraits of the late Keorapetse Kgositsile and Nadine Gordimer.

Finally, unwind with our lockdown playlist, sixty songs to see you through, compiled by Tymon Smith.

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




City Editor






The JRB Daily

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