The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 4, Issue 8 (October 2020)

Makena Onjerika, Wamuwi Mbao, Christa Kuljian, Shayera Dark, Sanya Osha, Sihle Ntuli, Zoë Wicomb, Sibongile Fisher, Nkiacha Atemnkeng, Nicky Falkof, Makhosazana Xaba, Niq Mhlongo, Lidudumalingani, Tymon Smith, Victor Dlamini, Ben Williams

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

In this issue, Christa Kuljian, Makhosazana Xaba, Sanya Osha and Ben Williams remember three writers who died this year, having changed the landscape of African letters: Myesha Jenkins, Harry Garuba and Achmat Dangor.

Wamui Mbao reviews the Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi and Shayera Dark reviews Minna Salami‘s new book of essays, Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone.

In a JRB exclusive, read a new story by Caine Prize-winning author Makena Onjerika, ‘Black Beauty’.

Nkiacha Atemnkeng returns to our pages with a fresh piece of creative non-fiction, ‘A trilogy of visa rejections’.

This month, Guest City Editor Lidudumalingani pays a visit to Johannesburg’s James Hall Museum of Transport, musing on the role that off-the-beaten-track museums play in cities’ lives.

The Editor for whom Lidudumalingani is guesting, Niq Mhlongo, returns with a piece on being in lockdown during his residency in Berlin.

We feature poems from Sihle Ntuli‘s new collection, Rumblin’ and, from our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini, a portrait of Chika Unigwe.

We also feature excerpts from some exciting new books: Zoë Wicomb‘s new novel, Still Life; Niq Mhlongo’s forthcoming novel, Paradise in Gaza; the new collection of short stories, Joburg Noir; and Anxious Joburg: The Inner Lives of a Global South City, edited by Nicky Falkof and Cobus van Staden

Finally, feast your ears on a fresh apocalypse playlist from by Tymon Smith.

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 4, Issue 8, which you will also find on our issue archive page:


Creative nonfiction



City Editor

Book excerpt





The JRB Daily

Cover image: Jennifer Malec

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