Book excerpts

[Fiction Issue] ‘I enjoyed occupying blurred lines. Ambiguity was an unsettling yet exhilarating space.’—Read an excerpt from Zaina Arafat’s debut novel, You Exist Too Much

The JRB presents an excerpt from You Exist Too Much, the debut novel from Zaina Arafat. You Exist Too Much…


[Fiction Issue] ‘Were there places in the world where neighbours would have greeted us instead of turning away?’—Read an excerpt from Yaa Gyasi’s new novel Transcendent Kingdom

The JRB presents an excerpt from Transcendent Kingdom, the new novel by Yaa Gyasi. Transcendent KingdomYaa GyasiViking, 2020 Read the…

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…


‘I could easily be the next George Floyd. If I make just one unconscious mistake …’ Read ‘A letter from Texas’, by Nkiacha Atemnkeng

Nkiacha Atemnkeng1619 Ranch Road no. 16 San MarcosTX 78666USA Akale StreetFiango, KumbaSouth West RegionCameroon Dear Papa,  Greetings from a sci-fi…

Book excerpts

‘Those gold men really think this land belongs to them’—Read an excerpt from How Much of These Hills is Gold, C Pam Zhang’s debut novel, which reimagines the myth of the American West

The JRB presents an excerpt from How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang, a revisionist immigrant…

Book excerpts

‘It’s surreal that a coming-of-age story set in Umlazi has found another home in the USA’—International deal for Sifiso Mzobe’s debut novel Young Blood (Plus: Excerpt)

United States publisher Catalyst Press has acquired the rights to publish Sifiso Mzobe’s award-winning novel Young Blood in North America….

Book excerpts

[Sampler issue] Read an exclusive excerpt from Jacob Dlamini’s new book The Terrorist Album: Apartheid’s Insurgents, Collaborators, and the Security Police

The JRB presents an exclusive excerpt from The Terrorist Album: Apartheid’s Insurgents, Collaborators, and the Security Police by Jacob Dlamini….

Book excerpts

[The JRB Daily] [Exclusive] ‘A notice at the cash register with a sad-face emoji reads, “Sorry! Hand Sanitizer Sold Out!”’—Read an excerpt from Lauren Beukes’s prescient new novel Afterland

The JRB presents an exclusive excerpt from Afterland, the new novel from Editorial Advisory Panel member Lauren Beukes. Afterland is…


[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…


[Conversation Issue] ‘I wanted to throw back the curtain on some of the things and places that “nice” people avoid talking about’—Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan talks to Ben Williams about her bestselling Singlish novel Sarong Party Girls

As part of our January Conversation Issue, The JRB Publisher Ben Williams chats to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan about her debut…


[Conversation Issue] ‘I seek out women who make unpopular decisions in my writing because they’re more interesting to me’—Nicole Dennis-Benn chats to Wamuwi Mbao about her bestselling novel, Patsy

As part of our January Conversation Issue, Wamuwi Mbao chats to Nicole Dennis-Benn about her work, the process of writing…


[Conversation Issue] ‘Appropriation is not in and of itself a bad thing, but the way it’s invoked in the culture makes it seem like it is’—Lauren Michele Jackson talks to Khanya Mtshali about her book, White Negroes

As part of our January Conversation Issue, Lauren Michele Jackson talks to Khanya Mtshali about her new book, White Negroes:…


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…


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…


[The JRB Daily] Listen to the new episode of our audio show Read This! featuring Efemia Chela on Wayétu Moore’s novel She Would Be King and an interview with Sarah Ladipo Manyika

The new episode of our books show Read This! is out now—find out what’s hot in the world of literature!…

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…


American Spy reimagines the American spy, bringing gender and race into the war room—Jennifer Malec reviews Lauren Wilkinson’s new Cold War thriller

The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec reviews Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel American Spy, a thriller that exposes the human drama that plays out…

Book excerpts

[The JRB exclusive] ‘It had happened when I was nine years old, the day after my mother was taken and sold’—Read an excerpt from The Water Dancer, the debut novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The JRB presents an excerpt from The Water Dancer, the debut novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates, the critically acclaimed author of…


[Temporary Sojourner] Liberia, the original African escapist fantasy—Efemia Chela reviews Wayétu Moore’s sweeping and poetic debut novel She Would Be King

Fantastic Returns and Where to Find Them—The JRB Francophone and Contributing Editor Efemia Chela travels to Liberia with Wayétu Moore’s…


‘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,…