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Karin Schimke Picks Ten Best Local Books from 2013

Karin Schimke, author of Bare & Breaking, has rounded up her top ten local books from last year. Originally written for The Star, Schimke has shared the list on her blog, Not Now, Darling. Starting with Categories of Persons: Rethinking Ourselves and Others edited by Jacob Dlamini and Megan Jones, Schimke writes that the collection of essays offers “outstanding writing and exciting slant-wise thought on the absurdity and inefficiency of simple identity markers”.

Categories of PersonsFalse RiverThe Imagined ChildWolf, WolfThe Universe Within

The list includes False River by Dominique Botha, The Imagined Child by Jo-Anne Richards, Wolf, Wolf by Eben Venter, The Universe Within by Neil Turok, Zebra Crossing by Meg Vandermerwe, The Spiral House by Claire Robertson, My Children Have Faces by Carol Campbell and Endings and Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi. Lastly, Schimke mentions Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu, which she calls an “astonishing debut”.

Zebra CrossingThe Spiral House My Children Have FacesEndings and BeginningsPenumbra

There are a great many contenders each year, but here’s my pick for The Star’s Top Ten Books of 2013. Sheesh, what challenge to narrow it down.

Categories of Persons: Rethinking Ourselves and Others

Edited by Megan Jones and Jacob Dlamini

Picador Africa

These nine engrossing essays grasp way beyond stereotype towards richer understandings of what it means to be South African. In lucid prose, each essay reveals the intimate politics of body, language or role. Outstanding writing and exciting slant-wise thought on the absurdity and inefficiency of simple identity markers.

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