Book excerpts

‘Calls for television grew louder in 1969, after the rest of the world got to see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon’—Read an excerpt from William Dicey’s new book 1986

The JRB presents an excerpt from 1986, the new book by William Dicey. 1986William DiceyPenguin Random House SA, 2021 ~~~…

Academic

‘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…

Creative non-fiction

What continuities can be drawn from the murder of Ahmed Timol in apartheid Joburg to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis? Wamuwi Mbao unpacks the debased tradition of police murdering civilians

The abolition of slavery, formalised gender discrimination, apartheid and other reprehensible ways of being did not occur simply through continued…

Art & Architecture

[City Editor] Conjuring his images out of darkness—Lidudumalingani reflects on how the late Santu Mofokeng’s photographs are a kind of visual metaphor for Johannesburg

Johannesburg is a city that dances on the edges of elusive, and yet somehow Santu Mofokeng managed to contain it…

Africa

[Conversation Issue] ‘I won’t be polite, because there’s nothing polite about patriarchy’—Mona Eltahawy inspires (and triggers) at the Abantu Book Festival, reports Itumeleng Molefi

As part of our January Conversation Issue, Itumeleng Molefi reflects on Mona Eltahawy’s keynote address and conversation with Pumla Dineo…

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….

Fiction

‘I have turned my car into a mobile bookshop’—Siphiwo Mahala chats to Jennifer Malec about self-publishing his new book, Red Apple Dreams, and why short stories are the future

The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec chats to Siphiwo Mahala about his new collection of short stories, Red Apple Dreams. Mahala…

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…

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…

Fiction

‘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…

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

Unsettling old assumptions about xenophobia—Read an excerpt from I Want to Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis

The JRB presents ‘On Patrol in the Dark City’, an excerpt from I Want to Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and…

Drama

‘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…

Awards

‘I have always been interested in hidden histories’—Harry Kalmer chats about his award-winning debut English novel, A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg

Harry Kalmer won the 2018 Barry Ronge Fiction Prize recently, for his novel A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg. He chatted to…

Fiction

[City Editor] ‘I try to appreciate township solidarity without romanticising it’: Niq Mhlongo chats to Jennifer Malec about Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree

The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec chatted to City Editor Niq Mhlongo about the banning of Inxeba, writing to music, and his brand…

Fiction

‘I don’t believe in showing off’: Nthikeng Mohlele chats about his award-winning novel Pleasure and future artistic pursuits

Nthikeng Mohlele’s Pleasure was recently longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award—this after winning two major South Africa literary prizes in 2017. The…