The Johannesburg Review of Books Vol. 8, Issue 1 (February 2024, the Conversation Issue)

Makhosazana Xaba • Wamuwi Mbao • Danai Mupotsa • Sanya Osha • Tan Twan Eng • Jennifer Malec • Uhuru Portia Phalafala • Kim M Reynolds • Kelwyn Sole • Margie Orford • Ivan Vladislavić • Haidar Eid • Teju Cole • Njabulo S Ndebele • Victor Dlamini • Tymon Smith

Welcome to the first issue of Volume 8 of The Johannesburg Review of Books—our Conversation Issue!

JM Coetzee’s late style has often been indifferently received, but The Pole and Other Stories is a beautifully elegant story, writes Wamuwi Mbao, in a review that might count as being ‘in conversation’ with its contemporaries.

Sanya Osha pays tribute to the late Jimi Solanke, and chats to Oluwatoyin Sutton about her book Jimi Solanke: The Indestructible.

In the fifth in our series of long-form interviews by Patron Makhosazana Xaba, danai mupotsa discusses love, freedom, justice and her book feeling and ugly.

Tan Twan Eng’s third novel, The House of Doors, has just been longlisted for the 2024 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. He chats to The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec about writing, rewriting and reverse-engineering.

Kim M Reynolds considers the historical and the personal in Uhuru Portia Phalafala’s new book Mine Mine Mine, in discussion with the author.

We also have a selection of exclusive first-looks at newly published fiction and non-fiction, including Margie Orford’s forthcoming memoir, Love and Fury; Ivan Vladislavić’s forthcoming novel The Near North; and Teju Cole’s latest novel Tremor.

Elsewhere in the issue, read Njabulo S Ndebele’s Foreword to the new sixtieth-anniversary edition of William ‘Bloke’ Modisane’s seminal memoir Blame Me on History.

Finally, read an excerpt from Decolonising the Palestinian Mind by South African-Palestinian author Haidar Eid, written from within besieged Gaza.

For the poetry aficionados, we present previously unpublished new work by Kelwyn Sole.

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

Here’s the complete breakdown of Vol. 8, Issue 1, which you will also find on our issue archive page:

Conversation Issue

New published




Header image: Nobody expects the red bishop/Jennifer Malec

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