Academic

‘Navigating the reality of his blackness in an oppressive state’—Read an excerpt from Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi by Siphiwo Mahala

The JRB presents an excerpt from Siphiwo Mahala’s new biography, Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi….

Drama

‘They wrote to each other frequently, exchanged intellectual banter, confided in each other’—Siphiwo Mahala chats about his new play, Bloke and His American Bantu

The JRB presents an interview with Siphiwo Mahala about his new play, Bloke and His American Bantu.  Bloke and His…

Africa

‘Nothing, virtually no project, no cultural initiative, was left unbrushed by the CIA reptilian coils’—Wole Soyinka. Read an excerpt from White Malice: The CIA and the Neocolonisation of Africa

The JRB presents an excerpt from Susan Williams’s new book White Malice: The CIA and the Neocolonisation of Africa. White…

Fiction

Contemplating South Africa’s coalition of traumas through the idea of lost language—Khanya Mtshali reviews Phumlani Pikoli’s Born Freeloaders

In Born Freeloaders, Phumlani Pikoli seeks to provide a meditation on how empire is constructed through language. But the language…

Interviews

[Conversation Issue] [City Editor] Is it possible, or necessary, to write a friendlier and prettier Johannesburg? A conversation between Lidudumalingani and Outlwile Tsipane

As part of our January Conversation Issue, guest City Editor Lidudumalingani chats to Outlwile Tsipane about the literatures of Johannesburg….

Africa

Wider than the Black Atlantic—Bongani Madondo listens in on Kwame Brathwaite’s visual sounds of Blackness, from the photo book Black Is Beautiful

Contributing Editor Bongani Madondo unmoors Kwame Brathwaite’s Black Is Beautiful from mono-dimensional notions of the Black Atlantic into a New African Globalism of…

Academic

‘I didn’t seem to exist. It felt easier that way’—Es’kia Mphahlele. Read an excerpt from Like Family: Domestic Workers in South African History and Literature

The JRB presents an extract from Like Family: Domestic Workers in South African History and Literature, by Ena Jansen. Like…

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…

Book excerpts

‘Spending time with Bra Willie is the closest thing to being in touch with the soul of this country’: Read Mandla Langa’s Introduction to Keorapetse Kgositsile’s Homesoil in My Blood

Homesoil in My Blood: A Trilogy Keorapetse Kgositsile Xarra Books, 2018 Exclusive to The JRB, we present author Mandla Langa’s…