Biography & Memoir

‘Startlingly good’—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Misfits: A Personal Manifesto by Michaela Coel, creator and star of the hit TV show I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel’s Misfits blends an effervescent sense of social realism with a beguiling clarity, writes Wamuwi Mbao. Misfits: A Personal…

Book excerpts

‘Wouter Basson didn’t reply to my queries’—Imraan Coovadia chats to Jennifer Malec about his new book The Poisoners: On South Africa’s Toxic Past

Award-winning author Imraan Coovadia chats to The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec about the mechanisms of good and evil, emailing Wouter Basson, and his…

Academic

‘It is dangerous to be gay in Uganda’—Read the personal experience of Angel, a 32-year-old asylum seeker, from Seeking Sanctuary: Stories of Sexuality, Faith and Migration

The JRB presents an excerpt from John Marnell’s new book Seeking Sanctuary: Stories of Sexuality, Faith and Migration. Seeking Sanctuary:…

Africa

‘Nothing, virtually no project, no cultural initiative, was left unbrushed by the CIA reptilian coils’—Wole Soyinka. Read an excerpt from White Malice: The CIA and the Neocolonisation of Africa

The JRB presents an excerpt from Susan Williams’s new book White Malice: The CIA and the Neocolonisation of Africa. White…

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…

Essays

[City Editor] In communion—Lidudumalingani gives deference to the worshippers who gather in the streets, parks and open lands of Johannesburg

On Sundays, in downtown Johannesburg, on the edge of Hillbrow, encroaching into Braamfontein, queues of worshippers fill out the streets,…

Biography & Memoir

‘Grief—a word that seemed too small to encompass the world I had been plunged into’—Read Sisonke Msimang’s essay from Our Ghosts Were Once People: Stories on Death and Dying

In a new anthology on death and dying, Sisonke Msimang writes about the multiple losses faced when her mother passed…

Academic

‘The violators were in breach of the unwritten codes that make for proper new South Africanness’—Read ‘Foreign Familiars’, from Pumla Dineo Gqola’s new book Female Fear Factory

The JRB presents an excerpt from Female Fear Factory, the highly anticipated new book from Pumla Dineo Gqola. Female Fear…

Academic

‘He was no longer working for the colonial state, and had fully taken on his revolutionary status’—Read an excerpt from Amílcar Cabral: The Life of a Reluctant Nationalist

The JRB presents an excerpt from António Tomás’s new book Amílcar Cabral: The Life of a Reluctant Nationalist. Amílcar Cabral:…

Africa

View an excerpt from African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other, including work by Zanele Muholi, Hélène A Amouzou and Wilfred Ukpong

The JRB presents an excerpt from African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other. African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the OtherFotofestSchilt…

Academic

‘Miriam Tlali understood the complicated meanings of being “the first” for a black woman’—Read an excerpt from Pumla Dineo Gqola’s new book Miriam Tlali: Writing Freedom

The JRB presents an excerpt from Miriam Tlali: Writing Freedom, the latest book by Pumla Dineo Gqola, which brings together…

Academic

Johannesburg’s Place of Good Hope—Read an excerpt from Amakomiti: Grassroots Democracy in South African Shack Settlements by Trevor Ngwane

The JRB presents an excerpt from Trevor Ngwane’s forthcoming book Amakomiti: Grassroots Democracy in South African Shack Settlements.  Amakomiti: Grassroots…

International

‘What does it do to you to be the subject of someone else’s imaginative impoverishment?’—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Claudia Rankine’s new book Just Us

Claudia Rankine’s Just Us is perhaps the most profound meditation on race and violence to emerge in the first two…

Academic

Hiding in Plain Sight: Cold War Interventions into African Literature—Bhakti Shringarpure reviews Monica Popescu’s At Penpoint: African Literatures, Postcolonial Studies, and the Cold War

Monica Popescu’s At Penpoint: African Literatures, Postcolonial Studies, and the Cold War is a steadfast engagement with the cultural Cold…

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…

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

Read an excerpt from ‘Buchi Emecheta: The Burden of Exile’ by Louisa Uchum Egbunike, from The Pan-African Pantheon: Prophets, Poets and Philosophers

The JRB presents an excerpt from Louisa Uchum Egbunike‘s chapter examining the life and work of Buchi Emecheta from the…

History

The archive has been rigged—Wamuwi Mbao reviews Patric Tariq Mellet’s The Lie of 1652, uncovering the debased half-truths installed as national narrative

In The Lie of 1652, Patric Tariq Mellet fills in the ‘before’ that was of little interest to those invested…

Academic

‘Oppression and thwarted aspiration are no bar to an appreciation of nature’—Read an excerpt from Jacob Dlamini’s new book Safari Nation: A Social History of the Kruger National Park

The JRB presents an excerpt from Safari Nation: A Social History of the Kruger National Park by Jacob Dlamini. Safari Nation:…