Wamuwi Mbao, Lidudumalingani, Efemia Chela, Stephen Langtry, Lebohang Mojapelo, Kopano Maroga, Simon van Schalkwyk, Sanya Osha, Louisa Uchum Egbunike, Tymon Smith, Ijeoma Oluo, Lindiwe Nkutha, Brandon Taylor, William Dicey, Victor Dlamini
Welcome to the first issue of Volume 5 of The Johannesburg Review of Books.
We’re into our fifth year. Issa lot.
In our first issue of 2021, Wamuwi Mbao reviews Scatterlings by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe, winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, Stephen Langtry makes his JRB debut with a review of Martin Plaut’s new biography Dr Abdullah Abdurahman: South Africa’s First Elected Black Politician, and Lebohang Mojapelo delves into The Rise of the African Novel by Mukoma Wa Ngugi, a book that traces the way African literature has been a space to formulate and untangle African identity.
In interviews, Contributing Editor Efemia Chela chats to Raven Leilani about desire, contradictions, intimacy, and her debut novel Luster, and Guest City Editor Lidudumalingani talks to Academic Editor Simon van Schalkwyk about identity, memory, psychogeography, and his new poetry collection, Transcontinental Delay.
In our survey of new publications, we present excerpts from Sanya Osha’s Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Shadow: Politics, Nationalism and the Ogoni Protest Movement; William Dicey’s work of historical excavation, 1986; Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male Power by Ijeoma Oluo, the bestselling author of So You Want to Talk About Race; and Real Life, the acclaimed debut novel by Brandon Taylor. You can also dip into ‘Buchi Emecheta: The Burden of Exile’ by Louisa Uchum Egbunike, excerpted from The Pan-African Pantheon: Prophets, Poets and Philosophers.
Fans of short fiction may be interested in our excerpt from the title story of Lindiwe Nkutha’s debut collection, 69 Jerusalem Street.
We feature exciting new poetry from Kopano Maroga’s volume Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Fabulations, and Simon van Schalkwyk’s collection Transcontinental Delay.
From our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini this month, ‘History’, a portrait of remembrance.
And to accompany all this reading, we present ‘We’re still here’, a playlist to kick off 2021, compiled by Tymon Smith.
Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 5, Issue 1, which you will also find on our issue archive page:
- To move about in an unkind world under the mark of racial blackness—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Scatterlings, the debut novel by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe
- A Cape tragedy—Stephen Langtry reviews Martin Plaut’s new book Dr Abdullah Abdurahman: South Africa’s First Elected Black Politician
- African literature should be free to remain ‘a question to itself’—Lebohang Mojapelo reviews The Rise of the African Novel by Mukoma Wa Ngugi
- Poetry as a short circuit in the machine of communication—Simon van Schalkwyk talks to Lidudumalingani about his debut collection, Transcontinental Delay
- ‘You can have all the cathedrals’—Raven Leilani chats to Efemia Chela about her debut novel, Luster
- ‘Calls for television grew louder in 1969, after the rest of the world got to see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon’—Read an excerpt from William Dicey’s new book 1986
- ‘White male mediocrity harms us all.’—Read an excerpt from Ijeoma Oluo’s new book, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male Power
- In search of Ken Saro-Wiwa—Read an excerpt from Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Shadow, a new book by Sanya Osha
- Read an excerpt from ‘Buchi Emecheta: The Burden of Exile’ by Louisa Uchum Egbunike, from The Pan-African Pantheon: Prophets, Poets and Philosophers
- ‘The water in the buckets was as dark as tar’—Read an excerpt from Real Life, the acclaimed debut novel by Brandon Taylor
- ‘August winds, unlike those of other months, always came armed with a purpose’—Read an excerpt from Lindiwe Nkutha’s debut short story collection 69 Jerusalem Street
- New poetry by Kopano Maroga, from Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Fabulations
- New poetry by Simon van Schalkwyk, from Transcontinental Delay
The JRB Daily