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Imraan Coovadia, Niq Mhlongo, Siphiwo Mahala and Lauretta Ngcobo Share Their Books of the Year

The Mail & Guardian spoke to authors Imraan Coovadia, Niq Mhlongo, Siphiwo Mahala and Lauretta Ngcobo about their favourite books and authors of the year.

African DelightsWhen a Man CriesProdigal DaughtersDog Eat DogAfter TearsThe Institute for Taxi PoetryTransformations

Mahala named Yewande Omotoso‘s Bom Boy, McIntosh Polela’s My Father, My Monster, Bonnie Henna’s Eyebags and Dimples and A Bantu in My Bathroom by Eusebius McKaiser as his favourite books of the year and said that Sifiso Mzobe and Omotoso are “the greatest discoveries over the past three years” in terms of emerging writers.

Saraswati ParkBom BoyMy Father, My MonsterEyebags & DimplesA Bantu in My Bathroom

Nights of the Creaking BedBlackbirdLovely Beyond Any SingingSarah HouseYoung Blood

Ngcobo, editor of Prodigal Daughters: Stories of South African Women in Exile, is currently reading People’s War: New light on the struggle for South Africa by Anthea Jeffery, which she says “answers a lot of historical puzzles in the recent history of South Africa”. She recommends The Lost Boy: The True Story of a Young Boy’s Flight from Sudan to South Africa by Aher Arop Bol.

People's WarDreams from My FatherThe Lost BoyThabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC

Mhlongo is currently reading Hamilton Wende’s Only the Dead and his favourite books of the year were Mzobe’s Young Blood, The Honour to Serve by James Ngculu, Hear Me Alone by Thando Mgqolozana, Mahala’s African Delights, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Many Rivers by Christopher Mlalazi and Heading South, Looking North by Ariel Dorfman. He said that Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho are his favourite emerging writers as they write about the issues currently facing the youth.

Only the DeadThe Honour to ServeHear Me AloneDon QuixoteMany RiversHeading South, Looking NorthThere Was A Country

Coovadia’s favourite books from this year come from beyond our borders; The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, My Struggle by Karl Knausgaard, The Last Policeman by Ben Winters, Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station and Alina ­Bronsky’s Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine.

The Tragedy of Great Power PoliticsPortrait of a NovelThe Dog StarsMy StruggleLeaving the Atocha StationThe Last PolicemanThe Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine

Siphiwo Mahala: Author of African Delights and When a Man Cries

What are you reading now?
I’m reading Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph, a novel set in Bombay. The setting, plot and characters are as dynamic as South Africa. It’s a captivating tale of hope and regret and you find it difficult to distance yourself from the joys and frustrations of the characters.

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  • A Bantu in My Bathroom: Debating Race, Sexuality and Other Uncomfortable South African Topics by Eusebius McKaiser
    EAN: 9781920434373
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