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…

Africa

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s weight of whispers—Carey Baraka considers Dust, The Dragonfly Sea and a novelist’s mission to retell the ‘vile things’ of history

The Kenyan novel is not dead, writes Carey Baraka, as long as Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor keeps writing. 1. On June…

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…

Academic

How Hip Hop is helping a new generation to ‘read the world’—Read an excerpt from Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Hip Hop is producing a new generation of readers and writers in a world that operates in diverse literary forms,…

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,…

Academic

The quest to establish a world-class African philosophical tradition—Sanya Osha reviews Paulin Hountondji: African Philosophy as Critical Humanism

On Paulin Hountondji’s Universalist philosophy—Sanya Osha reviews Paulin Hountondji: African Philosophy as Critical Humanism, by Franziska Dubgen and Stefan Skupien….

Africa

Rough honesty, ample sex and ripe desire—Efemia Chela reads Leïla Slimani’s Adèle, Ariana Harwicz’s Die, My Love and Melissa Broder’s The Pisces

The JRB Contributing Editor Efemia Chela reads Adèle, Die, My Love and The Pisces, three stirring psychological novels, kindred portraits of contemporary womanhood….

Essays

‘Baldwin the symbol of black transgression and global black anger is simply peerless’—Bongani Madondo on If Beale Street Could Talk, the book and Oscar-winning film

James Baldwin’s novel of half a century ago, If Beale Street Could Talk, now reissued by Penguin Random House, was…

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,…

Academic

[The JRB Daily] [World Aids Day] Two Koos Prinsloo short stories translated into English for the first time—among the first fictional texts about HIV/Aids in South Africa

In The JRB’s forthcoming Fiction Issue, we will feature two short stories by Koos Prinsloo, published for the first time…

Book excerpts

‘Afrofuturism is not for Africans living in Africa’—an essay by Mohale Mashigo, excerpted from her new collection of short stories, Intruders

The JRB presents ‘Afrofuturism: Ayashis’ Amateki’, an essay by Mohale Mashigo, which serves as the preface to her new collection…

Africa

How to eat a small child–Yemisi Aribisala considers the question of representation in books for children of colour and the legacy of Little Black Sambo

Yemisi Aribisala recalls her first encounter with Little Black Sambo, and asks: Who is responsible if the image of the…