The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 7, Issue 5 (December 2023, the Fiction Issue)

Makhosazana Xaba • Masiyaleti Mbewe • Wamuwi Mbao • Jarred Thompson • Simon van Schalkwyk • Franki Jenkins • Werner Pretorius Duane Jethro • Tshegofatso Nkwane • Shubnum Khan • Mubanga Kalimamukwento • Tsitsi Mapepa • Diane Awerbuck • Magogodi oaMphela Makhene • Hamza Koudri • SE Bhamjee • Byron Loker • iyra e m maharaj • Victor Dlamini • Tymon Smith

Welcome to the fifth issue of Volume 7 of The Johannesburg Review of Books—our seventh annual Fiction Issue!

Seven years, seven fiction issues, and to scratch that creative writing itch, we have new original stories from Masiyaleti Mbewe, Wamuwi Mbao, Jarred Thompson, Simon van Schalkwyk, Werner Pretorius, Duane Jethro, Franki Jenkins and Tshegofatso Nkwane.

We’re also delighted to share an exclusive first look at a work in progress by our Patron, Makhosazana Xaba.

Elsewhere in the issue, get a sneak peek of the forthcoming novels by Shubnum Khan (The Lost Love of Akbar Manzil) and SE Bhamjee (Home Scar), as well as the recently published Inside your body there are flowers by Diane Awerbuck, Ndima Ndima by Tsitsi Mapepa, Innards by Magogodi oaMphela Makhene and Sand Roses by Hamza Koudri. We also feature a story from Byron Loker‘s collection New Swell, forthcoming early next year in a new edition.

Now Now: The 2023 Doek Anthology will shortly be available in South Africa, all being well and just, and until then you can whet your apetite with an excerpt from one of the stories in the collection, Mubanga Kalimamukwento’s ‘Mastitis’.

We also feature poetry by iyra e m maharaj, from her collection earth-circuit, while our Photo Editor Victor Dlamini shares a portrait of Teju Cole.

And while you’re feasting your eyes and mind on the above, feast your ears on ‘A Christmas Miracle at the South African Post Office’, the JRB playlist for this issue, compiled by Tymon Smith.

Enjoy the issue, and let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 7, Issue 5, which you will also find on our issue archive page:

New original fiction

Works in progress

Forthcoming works

New published fiction




The JRB Daily

Header image: Egoli at the end of the rainbow/Jennifer Malec

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