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Books LIVE Exclusive: The 2014 Sunday Times Literary Awards Judging Panels

Alert! Books LIVE can reveal the judging panels for the 2014 Sunday Times Literary Awards.

The awards, which comprise the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction and the Fiction Prize, are given annually and are considered South Africa’s most prestigious literary prizes. Each comes with a cheque from the Sunday Times for R75 000. Last year’s winners were Redi Tlhabi (Alan Paton) and Karen Jayes (Fiction).

Award judges traditionally serve two-year stints; last year marked the end of a judging cycle, giving two new panels to present.

The panels have finalised the longlists for the prizes, of about twenty-five books each, which will be announced in May next year. The shortlists of five books per award will be announced at the 2014 Franschhoek Literary Festival, and the winners announced at a gala function in Johannesburg in late June.

2014 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Alan Paton Award, while the Fiction Prize will have been given fourteen times.

Without further ado, here are the 2014 Sunday Times Literary Awards judges:

2014 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award Judges

The War at HomeBill NassonBill Nasson (Chair)

Prof Bill Nasson is a Professor of History at the University of Stellenbosch. A historian of modern South Africa and the British Empire, he has also taught at UCT and universities in the US, the UK, Ireland and Australia. A former editor of The Journal of African History, he has published across a wide range of fields, including oral history, military history, education and politics. His books include Britannia’s Empire: A Short History of the British Empire (2006); Springboks on the Somme: South Africa in the Great War, 1914-1918 (2007); The War for South Africa: The Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 (2010), co-editor, The Cambridge History of South Africa, Volume 2 (2011), and South Africa at War 1939-1945 (2012). His latest book, The War At Home: Women and Families in the Anglo-Boer War, co-edited with Albert Grundlingh, has just been published.

Walter and Albertina SisuluElinor Sisulu & Helen MoffettElinor Sisulu

Elinor Sisulu is a writer and human rights activist, having studied history, English literature, development studies and feminist theory at institutions in Zimbabwe, Senegal and the Netherlands. Her biography of her parents-in-law, Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime won the 2003 Noma Award for publishing in Africa. Elinor’s involvement in book promotion and literary development efforts for many years has culminated in her work with the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation. She has been a judge for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Sanlam Youth Literature Prize and the Penguin Prize for African Writing.

The Native CommissionerShaun JohnsonShaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson studied at Rhodes University and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. After a long career as an anti-apartheid journalist, editor and newspaper executive, he was asked to establish the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in 2003, of which he is currently the CEO. Johnson is an award-winning author. His first book was the non-fiction bestseller Strange Days Indeed, while in 2007 his novel The Native Commissioner won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in Africa, the MNet Literary Award, and the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Book of the Year. The novel was subsequently prescribed as an English set work by the Independent Examinations Board in South Africa.

~ ~ ~

2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize Judges

Annari van der MerweAnnari van der Merwe (Chair)

Dr Annari van der Merwe began her career as children’s book publisher at Tafelberg in 1978, and in 1993 established the groundbreaking new South African publishing imprint Kwela Books for Naspers. She was also the founding publisher of Umuzi, for Random House, in 2005. Annari studied literature at the universities of Port Elizabeth and Rhodes and at the Utrecht Rijksuniversiteit in the Netherlands. She obtained a PhD at Rhodes while teaching there in the Department of Afrikaans-Nederlands, and from 1978 to the mid eighties she lectured part-time in the Afrikaans Department of the University of the Western Cape.

Sindiwe MagonaFrom Robben Island to BishopscourtSindiwe Magona

Dr Sindiwe Magona is an award-winning author, storyteller, motivational speaker, actor, Xhosa teacher and translator. She has written more than 100 children’s books; stage plays; collections of short stories, including Living, Loving, and Lying Awake at Night (voted one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century); autobiography; novels; radio plays; and a screenplay. From Robben Island to Bishopscourt, her biography of Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, was published 2011. Magona was awarded the Order of iKhamanga in 2011. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at the University of the Western Cape.

Ivan VladislavicDouble NegativeIvan Vladislavić

Ivan Vladislavić was born in Pretoria and lives in Johannesburg, where he works as a writer and editor. His books include the novels The Restless Supermarket, The Exploded View and Double Negative, and a compendium of short stories titled Flashback Hotel. In 2006, he published Portrait with Keys, a sequence of documentary texts on Johannesburg. He has edited books on architecture and art, and sometimes works with artists and photographers. TJ/Double Negative, a joint project with photographer David Goldblatt, received the 2011 Kraszna-Krausz Award for best photography book. His work has also won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the Alan Paton Award and the University of Johannesburg Prize.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    December 13th, 2013 @09:36 #

    Excellent panels!

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    December 13th, 2013 @11:19 #

    Thanks! We're delighted to be working with them :)

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    December 13th, 2013 @20:05 #

    Oh frabjus! These judges, in combo with some really strong books, should make next year's awards a real treat.


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