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:
- Writing Athlone—Gabeba Baderoon’s latest poetry collection The History of Intimacy maps the small hurts of apartheid, writes Toni Giselle Stuart
- JM Coetzee’s ‘late style’—Angelo Fick reviews The Death of Jesus, the ‘masterful, spare and beautiful’ final book of the Jesus trilogy
- ‘If I had power over the lexical landscape, I would get rid of the word immigrant’—Nana Oforiatta Ayim talks to Wamuwi Mbao about her debut novel The God Child
- ‘The majority of writers in Africa, of us, confine ourselves, rather than having great ambition’—An interview with Nuruddin Farah, by Lebohang Mojapelo
- [Exclusive] ‘A notice at the cash register with a sad-face emoji reads, “Sorry! Hand Sanitizer Sold Out!”’—Read an excerpt from Lauren Beukes’s prescient new novel Afterland
- As a coronavirus ravages the world, cigarettes become currency—read an excerpt from Deon Meyer’s prophetic post-apocalyptic thriller Fever
- The search to find a new vocabulary for the new city—Lidudumalingani muses on literature and lockdown Joburg
- Kinshasa, a Love Story—Zukiswa Wanner encounters beauty and brutality on her visit to the Congolese capital for the Fête du livre de Kinshasa
The JRB Daily
- ‘Discomforting and elating encounters with selves in a state of transition’—2020 International Booker Prize shortlist announced
- ‘A delightfully queer treatment of everyday life’—Jarred Thompson wins 2020 Afritondo Short Story Prize for ‘Good Help is Hard to Find’
- ‘A story luminously told’—Marguerite Poland’s historical novel A Sin of Omission shortlisted for prestigious Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
- 2020 Windham–Campbell Prizes winners announced, including Zambian writer Namwali Serpell
- 2020 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards winners announced, including Fiona Snyckers for Lacuna and Gabeba Baderoon for The History of Intimacy