Crime Fiction

‘A story that skips along breezily, even as the body count rises’—Jennifer Malec reviews My Sister, the Serial Killer, the debut novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Contrary to what the title and pulpy cover seem to suggest, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is…

Africa

[Temporary Sojourner] Efemia Chela reads Trifonia Melibea Obono’s La Bastarda, the first novel by an Equatoguinean woman to be translated into English

In La Bastarda we find a revolutionary piece of literature, where a young girl isn’t saved by her long-lost father,…

Africa

The rediscovery of the ordinary does not preclude the extraordinary—Jennifer Malec reviews Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black

The JRB Editor Jennifer Malec reviews Esi Edugyan’s Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, Washington Black. Washington Black Esi Edugyan Serpent’s Tail‎, 2018 Esi…

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…

Academic

The Durban Riots and an ‘ambitious re-examination’ of the relationship between Africans and Indians–Alex Lichtenstein reviews Jon Soske’s Internal Frontiers

By recentering the narrative on Durban and Natal, rather than Johannesburg and the Transvaal, Jon Soske modifies the established account…

Africa

‘English’s tendency to obliterate other languages does not apply here’—Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire reviews Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu

Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire reviews Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu, which was recently awarded a prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction. Kintu Jennifer…

Biography & Memoir

The hidden history of an ordinary umZulu woman who asserted her freedom—Makhosazana Xaba reviews Nomavenda Mathiane’s Eyes in the Night: An Untold Zulu Story

Nomavenda Mathiane’s Eyes in the Night: An Untold Zulu Story illuminates the times, spaces and voices in-between, writes The JRB…

Fiction

A novel that takes up Baldwin’s declaration that the story of America ‘is not a pretty one’: Wamuwi Mbao reviews Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

Wamuwi Mbao reviews Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, winner of the 2017 National Book Award for fiction. Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn…

Africa

[Temporary Sojourner] Efemia Chela reads The Ultimate Tragedy, the first novel from Guinea-Bissau ever to be translated into English

Efemia Chela travels to Guinea-Bissau with Abdulai Silá’s The Ultimate Tragedy in The JRB’s Temporary Sojourner series. The Ultimate Tragedy (A Última Tragédia)…