Between writing his own books, this insightful author has been called upon to speak at various conferences. This week he appears on the programme of the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University, along with other African writers, Chinua Achebe, Veronique Tadjo, Alain Mabanckou and Biyi Bandele.
Steinberg also wrote the introduction to a fascinating new book of photography, Beaufort West, just released by South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky.
At the halfway point along South Africa’s great highway-the N1, running from Cape Town to Johannesburg-lies the small town of Beaufort West. With a prison in the middle of town on an island in the highway, it’s a surreal road stop that offers everything a traveler might want: food, gas, a place to stay, an hour of sex. Its vivid characters and poignant social landscapes are the subject of Mikhael Subotzky’s first photobook. Exquisitely designed and produced on a large portfolio scale, Beaufort West features thirty-six plates and an introduction by leading South African writer Jonny Steinberg. The book is both an important social document and the visual manifesto of the best of the new wave of South African art photographers.