Biography & Memoir

‘The beginning of an adventure’—Read the late George Bizos’s account of his escape from Nazi-occupied Greece as a child, from his memoir Odyssey To Freedom

The JRB presents an excerpt from Odyssey To Freedom, the memoir of the late George Bizos. Bizos passed away in…

Biography & Memoir

‘The whole wide world could see what South Africa was truly like’—Read an excerpt from Heart of a Strong Woman: A Memoir by Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, as told to Fred Khumalo

The JRB presents an excerpt from Heart of a Strong Woman: A Memoir by Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, as told to Fred…

Biography & Memoir

[Sampler issue] ‘I was outed before I was ready, but there was nothing I could do’—Read an excerpt from Jamil F Khan’s new book Khamr: The Makings of a Waterslams

The JRB presents an excerpt from Khamr: The Makings of a Waterslams, the forthcoming book by Jamil F Khan. Khamr:…

Academic

[Sampler issue] ‘I would stare at this monstrous building trying to visualise my uncle falling to his death’—Read an excerpt from The Murder of Ahmed Timol by Imtiaz A Cajee

The JRB presents an excerpt from The Murder of Ahmed Timol: My Search for the Truth by Imtiaz A Cajee….

Academic

[The JRB Daily] 2020 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards winners announced, including Fiona Snyckers for Lacuna and Gabeba Baderoon for The History of Intimacy

The winners of the 2020 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards (HSS Awards) have been announced. The awards, now in their…

Biography & Memoir

Jia Tolentino is a moral voice for the secular world—Khanya Mtshali reviews Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, a collection of essays that explores how we survive our late-capitalist hellscape

In Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, Jia Tolentino presents her cosmopolitan obsessions with piercing insight and authority, writes Khanya Mtshali. Trick…

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,…

Africa

Bearing witness to unusual childhoods of privilege under oppression—Panashe Chigumadzi reviews Township Girls: The Cross-Over Generation

A significant first step in documenting the life writing of black Zimbabwean women—The JRB Contributing Editor Panashe Chigumadzi reviews Township Girls:…

Africa

[The JRB exclusive] ‘PS. Everybody calls me Binyavanga these days.’ Read Binyavanga Wainaina’s letter to his late mother, from the 2016 exhibition Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison

In 2016, the late Binyavanga Wainaina contributed a piece of writing to a United Kingdom-based art project titled Inside: Artists and…

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…

Academic

[The JRB Daily] Commemorate Human Rights Day with an exclusive excerpt from Lie on Your Wounds: The Prison Correspondence of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe

Header image: Book cover (left); and Sobukwe, inside the grounds of Orlando Police Station, awaiting arrest, on the morning of 21…

Biography & Memoir

Illuminating a mighty poet and a total artist—Rustum Kozain reviews Dread Poetry and Freedom: Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Unfinished Revolution

The JRB Poetry Editor Rustum Kozain reviews David Austin’s new book Dread Poetry and Freedom: Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Unfinished Revolution, finding…

Biography & Memoir

‘It was the only way we could escape our whiteness’—Read ‘Struggle Heroes’, an excerpt from Hugh Lewin’s memoir, Stones Against the Mirror

The JRB presents an excerpt from Stones Against the Mirror, the memoir of journalist, author and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Lewin,…

Africa

[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….

Africa

[Conversation Issue] ‘Every small victory chips away at the fallacy that gay people are some sort of un-African species’—Chike Frankie Edozien chats to Efemia Chela

As part of our January Conversation Issue, The JRB Contributing Editor Efemia Chela chats to Chike Frankie Edozien about his memoir, Lives of Great…

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…

Africa

[The JRB Exclusive] ‘The colonisers were right: the mbira is dangerous’—Read an excerpt from Panashe Chigumadzi’s new book These Bones Will Rise Again

Chigumadzi’s exploration of personal, family and national history reincarnates in stark, vivid images, many of those interred in the shadows…