Book excerpts

[The JRB exclusive] ‘I still take my bearings from the inner city’—Read an excerpt from Ivan Vladislavić’s forthcoming book The Near North

The JRB presents an exclusive excerpt from The Near North, the new book by Ivan Vladislavić, which will be published…


‘My writing comes alive when I have questions, when I don’t know where I’m headed, when I’m in the dark’—Yewande Omotoso chats to Jennifer Malec about her new novel An Unusual Grief

The JRB’s Editor Jennifer Malec chats to Yewande Omotoso about questions, answers, and her new novel, An Unusual Grief. An Unusual GriefYewande OmotosoCassava,…

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…


‘Lines and images stick in the mind years after they have been heard or read’—Read Ivan Vladislavić’s Introduction to My Mother’s Laughter, a new collection of poems by the late Chris van Wyk

The JRB presents an excerpt from My Mother’s Laughter: Selected Poems by Chris van Wyk, edited by Ivan Vladislavić and…


JM Coetzee celebrates his 80th birthday in Makhanda—festivities offer a glimpse into the life of John Coetzee, the man, who engenders JM Coetzee, the writer

To honour JM Coetzee’s eightieth birthday on 9 February 2020, an exhibition celebrating his life and work titled Scenes from…


‘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…


[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….


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…


‘The fallible memory is surely at the heart of writing fiction’—Jennifer Malec interviews Ivan Vladislavić about his latest novel, The Distance

The JRB Patron Ivan Vladislavić chats to Editor Jennifer Malec about memory, nostalgia and his latest novel, The Distance. Ivan…


[Conversation Issue] ‘There is nothing I loathe more than the idea that a piece of writing is “experimental”’—Emmanuel Iduma in conversation with Lidudumalingani

As part of our January Conversation Issue, Emmanuel Iduma, author of A Stranger’s Pose, in conversation with writer and photographer Lidudumalingani….


[Conversation Issue] ‘Intersectionality seems so blindingly obvious a notion’—Zoë Wicomb in conversation with Andrew van der Vlies, from their new book Race, Nation, Translation

As part of our January Conversation Issue, we present an excerpted interview from a new collection of Zoë Wicomb’s writing, Race,…


‘I want the reader to be an active participant, to work things out for themselves’—Craig Higginson chats about his new novel, The White Room

Craig Higginson’s sixth novel, The White Room, was published by Picador Africa in August. He chatted to The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec about…