Carey Baraka • Rustum Kozain • Petina Gappah • Fiona Zerbst •
Wamuwi Mbao • Efemia Chela • Lidudumalingani • Angelo Fick •
Arja Salafranca • Fred Khumalo • Tymon Smith •
Makhosazana Xaba • Victor Dlamini • Imraan Coovadia •
Barbara Boswell • Ivan Vladislavić • Mark Gevisser
Welcome to the seventh issue of Volume 4 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.
In this issue, Carey Baraka investigates the unspoken demise of Kwani?, and the death of a dream, and Angelo Fick reflects on 150 days of lockdown.
In a JRB exclusive, read the first act of Petina Gappah’s new Dambudzo Marechera play, Black Sunlight.
If it’s book recommendations you’re after, The JRB Poetry Editor Rustum Kozain offers a glowing a review of Fiona Zerbst’s new collection of poetry, In Praise of Hotel Rooms, The JRB Francophone and Contributing Editor Efemia Chela travels to Mozambique with Mia Couto’s novel Confessions of a Lioness, Wamuwi Mbao reviews Nudibranch by 2020 Caine Prize winner Irenosen Okojie, and Arja Salafranca looks at The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers by Mark Gevisser.
This month, Guest City Editor Lidudumalingani considers Johannesburg’s obvious and hidden histories, and reveals his plans for the next few issues.
From our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini, a portrait of Tsitsi Dangarembga, who was longlisted for 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction in July, before being arrested during a protest in Harare days later. She was later released on bail.
We also feature excerpts from some exciting new books, Barbara Boswell’s And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels as Feminism; Heart of a Strong Woman: A Memoir by Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, as told to Fred Khumalo; a piece on JM Coeetzee’s literary imagination from Imraan Coovadia‘s Revolution and Non-Violence in Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela; and Mark Gevisser’s The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers.
A new collection of poems by the late Chris van Wyk titled My Mother’s Laughter has been released, and we’re pleased to present The JRB Patron Ivan Vladislavić’s Introduction to the book in this issue.
You can also feast your ears on an apocalypse playlist, compiled by Tymon Smith, and listen to The JRB Patron Makhosazana Xaba on the WiSER Podcast, discussing the life and work of Noni Jabavu.
Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 4, Issue 7, which you will also find on our issue archive page:
- ‘Poetry where the heavy and the light are held in tension’—Rustum Kozain reviews Fiona Zerbst’s new collection, In Praise of Hotel Rooms
- [Temporary Sojourner] The Beast in the Village—Efemia Chela reviews Confessions of a Lioness by Mia Couto, finding uncanny echoes of the coronavirus lockdown
- Embodying the resurgence in Black surrealism—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Nudibranch by 2020 Caine Prize winner Irenosen Okojie
- ‘A tour de force of scholarship’—Arja Salafranca reviews The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers by Mark Gevisser
- Intimations of an ending—Carey Baraka on the unspoken demise of Kwani?, and the death of a dream
- The Winter of Our Discontent—Angelo Fick reflects on 150 days of lockdown
- A city caught between two moments—Lidudumalingani considers Johannesburg’s obvious and hidden histories
- Making Piles, Telling Tales—an apocalypse playlist, compiled by Tymon Smith
- Listen to Makhosazana Xaba on the WiSER Podcast—An absent presence: Writing Noni Jabavu’s life
- ‘Bessie Head’s work jolted me awake … I had not thought it possible that a black woman could be a writer’—Read an excerpt from Barbara Boswell’s new book, And Wrote My Story Anyway
- ‘The idea of literary imagination as a kind of violation’—Imraan Coovadia considers JM Coetzee’s Disgrace, excerpted from his new book Revolution and Non-Violence in Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela
- ‘We didn’t fight a revolution to stay inside’—Read an excerpt from Mark Gevisser’s new book The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers
- ‘Lines and images stick in the mind years after they have been heard or read’—Read Ivan Vladislavić’s Introduction to My Mother’s Laughter, a new collection of poems by the late Chris van Wyk
- ‘The whole wide world could see what South Africa was truly like’—Read an excerpt from Heart of a Strong Woman: A Memoir by Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, as told to Fred Khumalo
The JRB Daily
- [The JRB Daily] ‘I am as proud as a cow with seven udders!’ Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and Michele Hutchison win the 2020 International Booker Prize for The Discomfort of Evening
- [The JRB Daily] Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga arrested during protest in Harare, released on bail
- [The JRB Daily] Tsitsi Dangarembga, Maaza Mengiste longlisted for 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction
- [The JRB Daily] ‘It is so important now that Africans own their own narrative’—Irenosen Okojie wins the 2020 Caine Prize for African Writing
- [The JRB Daily] Saaleha Idrees Bamjee wins 2020 Ingrid Jonker Prize for debut poetry for Zikr, a poignant collection of longing and loss