Africa

‘You gave me permission to lean into the terrible, of both myself and the people I wrote into existence’—Read an excerpt from Akwaeke Emezi’s new book Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir

The JRB presents an excerpt from Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir by Akwaeke Emezi. Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit…

Africa

‘Putting myself in those blood-soaked shoes was the most difficult thing to contend with’—Robert Jones Jr talks to Efemia Chela about his debut novel The Prophets

Contributing Editor Efemia Chela spoke to Robert Jones Jr about his debut novel, The Prophets. The ProphetsRobert Jones JrQuercus Publishing, 2021 Efemia…

Fiction

‘They say charity begins at home. But so does depression’—Mercy Dhliwayo talks to Jennifer Malec about her debut collection of short stories, Bringing Us Back

Mercy Dhliwayo chatted to The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec about family relationships, border jumping, and her debut collection of short…

Academic

‘Black women’s imaginative works are wreaths lain on the graves of ancestors so that they may not weep.’—Read an excerpt from Panashe Chigumadzi’s essay ‘Hearing the Silence’

The JRB presents an excerpt from a new essay by The JRB Contributing Editor Panashe Chigumadzi, from Surfacing: On Being…

Fiction

To move about in an unkind world under the mark of racial blackness—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Scatterlings, the debut novel by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe

Wamuwi Mbao reviews Rešoketšwe Manenzhe’s novel Scatterlings, winner of the 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award. ScatterlingsRešoketšwe ManenzheJacana Media, 2020 There…

International

To overthrow Europatriarchy, logic and emotion must work in tandem—Shayera Dark reviews Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone by Minna Salami

Europatriarchy takes centre stage in Minna Salami’s elegant book of essays Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone, writes…

Academic

‘Race matters. It matters because of the meanings we give to it.’ Read an excerpt from Race Otherwise: Forging a New Humanism for South Africa by Zimitri Erasmus

This excerpt is based on a chapter from a Zimitri Erasmus’s book Race Otherwise: Forging a New Humanism for South…

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…

Children

[Conversation Issue] ‘I know what lurks in the bushes. And that’s how I write the stories’—Jason Reynolds talks to Tony Eprile about resistance and the imagination

As part of our January Conversation Issue, author and Editorial Advisory Panel member Tony Eprile is in conversation with Jason…

Fiction

A depth charge aimed at the submerged wreckage of slavery—Wamuwi Mbao reviews The Water Dancer, the debut novel by acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between Baldwin, the world and the Old South—Wamuwi Mbao reviews The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Water DancerTa-Nehisi CoatesHamish…

Fiction

Fragments, explorations and variations—Jennifer Malec reviews Zadie Smith’s debut collection of short stories, Grand Union, her most American book to date

Zadie Smith, the accomplished, experimental New Yorker—The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec reviews Grand Union. Grand UnionZadie SmithHamish Hamilton, 2019 Read an…

Africa

‘I can’t attach the word “iconic” to baobab trees and sunsets’—Sarah Ladipo Manyika chats to Jennifer Malec about African publishing, Toni Morrison and writing older women

Nigerian–British author Sarah Ladipo Manyika was in South Africa recently, and took some time out from the Open Book Festival…

Africa

‘Not your traditional immigrant novel’—Efemia Chela reviews Beyond Babylon, the newly translated English debut by Somali–Italian author Igiaba Scego

In Beyond Babylon, by Igiaba Scego, migrants come to rebuild their lives in the midst of ruins, writes Francophone and…

AfricaSouth Africa

‘I was trying to catch an echo of a memory I never experienced’—Mphuthumi Ntabeni chats to Zoë August about his novel, The Broken River Tent

Zoë August discusses The Broken River Tent, the rise of the African historical novel, and African literature’s trajectory in general,…

Academic

[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,…

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

A novel that takes up Baldwin’s declaration that the story of America ‘is not a pretty one’: Wamuwi Mbao reviews Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

Wamuwi Mbao reviews Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, winner of the 2017 National Book Award for fiction. Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn…

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…