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

[Temporary Sojourner] Thrill to the layered, secret nature of it—Efemia Chela reviews Maaza Mengiste’s new novel, The Shadow King

The JRB Francophone and Contributing Editor Efemia Chela travels to Ethiopia with the living archive of Maaza Mengiste’s novel, The Shadow King. The…

Poetry

A perfectly shaped raging fire of language and emotion—Lidudumalingani reviews Everything is a Deathly Flower, the debut poetry collection by Maneo Mohale

Lidudumalingani reviews Everything is a Deathly Flower by Maneo Mohale, finding it to be a succession of powerful moments. Everything…

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

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…

Africa

Southern Africa throws its hat into the millennial fiction ring—Mphuthumi Ntabeni reviews The Eternal Audience of One, the debut novel by Rwandan–Namibian author Rémy Ngamije

With prose that sparkles and pops, Rémy Ngamije’s The Eternal Audience of One is a millennial novel that intricately traces…

Africa

[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…