Fiction

‘What happens when you have a crime committed against a person that never ever comes to an end?’—Margie Orford talks to Jennifer Malec about her new novel The Eye of the Beholder

The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec sat down with Margie Orford to talk about the challenges of writing about sexual violence, the politics…

Fiction

‘I was constantly weaving fact and fiction, and blurring truth with fable’—CA Davids chats to Efemia Chela about her new novel How to Be a Revolutionary

Contributing Editor Efemia Chela speaks to CA Davids about her new novel, How to Be a Revolutionary. How to Be a RevolutionaryCA…

AfricaSouth Africa

A much needed corrective to the literary canon’s rural bias—Timothy Wright reviews Claiming the City in South African Literature by Meg Samuelson

Timothy Wright reviews Meg Samuelson’s new book, Claiming the City in South African Literature, which argues that only through writing…

Book excerpts

[Fiction Issue] ‘The past was home. Home meant facing the past’—Read an excerpt from Colleen van Niekerk’s debut novel A Conspiracy of Mothers

The JRB presents an excerpt from A Conspiracy of Mothers by Colleen van Niekerk. A Conspiracy of MothersColleen van NiekerkLittle…

Essays

[City Editor] In communion—Lidudumalingani gives deference to the worshippers who gather in the streets, parks and open lands of Johannesburg

On Sundays, in downtown Johannesburg, on the edge of Hillbrow, encroaching into Braamfontein, queues of worshippers fill out the streets,…

Book excerpts

‘The Pit was a place steeped in gloom, where people seldom went, and where certainly no one went alone’—Read an excerpt from Ashraf Kagee’s new novel By the Fading Light

The JRB presents an excerpt from By the Fading Light, the new novel from European Union Literary Award-winner Ashraf Kagee….

International

Poetry as a short circuit in the machine of communication—Lidudumalingani talks to Simon van Schalkwyk about his debut collection, Transcontinental Delay

Guest City Editor Lidudumalingani talks to Academic Editor Simon van Schalkwyk about identity, memory, psychogeography, and his new poetry collection,…

International

‘A tour de force of scholarship’—Arja Salafranca reviews The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers by Mark Gevisser

Arja Salafranca reviews Mark Gevisser’s new book The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers. The Pink Line: Journeys…

Academic

‘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 JRB presents an excerpt from the Author’s Preface of And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels…

Poetry

Writing Athlone—Gabeba Baderoon’s latest poetry collection The History of Intimacy maps the small hurts of apartheid, writes Toni Giselle Stuart

Toni Giselle Stuart reviews Gabeba Baderoon’s poetry collection The History of Intimacy, which won the 2019 University of Johannesburg Main…

Essays

‘I am quite normal. I just wonder what JM Coetzee would taste like, slow-roasted, with tarragon.’—Read ‘The man who would be eaten’ by Rustum Kozain

The following piece was written in 2006, since when it has been languishing on the author’s blog. It was revived…

Fiction

[Conversation Issue] ‘Dispossession is the backdrop to every South African story’—Henrietta Rose-Innes in conversation with Gail Fincham about her forthcoming novel, Stone Plant

As part of our January Conversation Issue, Gail Fincham interviews Henrietta Rose-Innes about her work, including her forthcoming fifth novel,…

Academic

How Hip Hop is helping a new generation to ‘read the world’—Read an excerpt from Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Hip Hop is producing a new generation of readers and writers in a world that operates in diverse literary forms,…

Africa

Southern Africa throws its hat into the millennial fiction ring—Mphuthumi Ntabeni reviews The Eternal Audience of One, the debut novel by Rwandan–Namibian author Rémy Ngamije

With prose that sparkles and pops, Rémy Ngamije’s The Eternal Audience of One is a millennial novel that intricately traces…

Africa

‘I will always love Africa, because from the minute I arrived it treated me like a white girl.’—Author Adam Smyer reflects on his visit to the Open Book Festival

The following is an edited excerpt from a work in progress by American author Adam Smyer, whose debut novel, Knucklehead,…

Academic

A brief history of Joubert Park, an unruly space of despondency and hope—Read an excerpt from Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld by Jonathan Cane

The JRB presents an excerpt from Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld by Jonathan…

Fiction

An exhilarating elegy for the slaves and storytellers of old—Lara Buxbaum reviews Patrick Chamoiseau’s wildly inventive novel The Old Slave and the Mastiff

Tracing the memory of bones, ‘a long thread of words that attempted to fulfil the universe’—Lara Buxbaum reviews The Old…

Academic

‘A literary con’—Hedley Twidle rereads Familiarity is the Kingdom of the Lost by Dugmore Boetie, the joker in the pack of Sophiatown-era life writing

In this excerpt from his forthcoming book on non-fiction in South African literature, Experiments with Truth, Hedley Twidle revisits Dugmore…

Biography & Memoir

Nelson Mandela’s ‘new’ collection of prison dispatches signs his name across our hearts: Bongani Madondo reviews The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

Torn for so long between anxiety and awe at the idolisation of Nelson Mandela, The JRB Contributing Editor Bongani Madondo…

Fiction

[Conversation Issue] ‘I’ve become emboldened and do not give a shit anymore’—Award-winning author of Penumbra Songeziwe Mahlangu talks to Mbali Sikakana

As part of our January Conversation Issue, Mbali Sikakana interviews award-winning author Songeziwe Mahlangu. Penumbra Songeziwe Mahlangu Kwela Books, 2013…