Books LIVE is proud to present the list of non-fiction books to look out for in the first half of 2016.
Three eagerly anticipated books that will make an appearance this year are Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak’s magnum opus on Africa, Continental Shift, Alex Eliseev’s examination of the Betty Ketani murder investigation, Cold Case Confession, and Don Pinnock’s City Press Non-fiction Award-winning book, Gang Town.
Patrick Craven’s The Battle for Cosatu: An Insider’s View and The Big Fix by Ray Hartley are sure to make a splash.
Letters of Stone: Discovering A Family’s History In Nazi Germany by Capetonian Steven Robins is already receiving some very favourable reviews, with Antjie Krog calling it “a most exceptional and unforgettable book”.
Finally, William Dicey, the author of the critically acclaimed Borderline (2004), has a new book of essays out titled Mongrel, which comes highly recommended by Ivan Vladislavić.
Looking ahead towards the second half of the year, Jessica Pitchford’s Switched At Birth – the true story of the boys who were accidentally swapped at an East Rand hospital in 2010 – is out in July, and is sure to capture the imagination. In November, Trevor Noah’s collection of essays will be published, while the long-awaited sequel to Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom is expected in November or December.
Ed’s note: We usually make a point of not using the word ‘local’ to refer South African books, but include it the title of this bi-annual list simply to differentiate it from the many international lists that pop up at this time of year.
Without further ado, have a look at our list:
Note: Covers are subject to change, and information was provided by the publishers
Relocations: Reading Culture in South Africa edited by Cóilín Parsons, Imraan Coovadia and Alexandra Dodd
Relocations brings together a selection of the Gordon Institute for the Performing and Creative Arts Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series by world-renowned artists, writers and thinkers
The authors range from novelists André Brink and Imraan Coovadia (one of the collection’s editors), to poets Gabeba Baderoon and Rustum Kozain, to artist William Kentridge and social activist Zackie Achmat. The topics are as wide as Don Quixote, Marx and Lincoln, trout fishing, Hamlet, the 19th-century Russian writer Gogol and Nabokov’s novel Lolita.
The Compassionate Englishwoman: Emily Hobhouse in the Boer War by Robert Eales
In 1899 the South African War broke out. As the war progressed, in London the upper-class Emily Hobhouse learned of the camps in southern Africa that contained mostly Boer women and children who had been displaced by the hostilities. She was so concerned that she decided to go to South Africa to investigate. By herself and on her own initiative, she travelled by ship to Cape Town, to begin the distribution of aid to these camps.
Letters of Stone by Steven Robins
Penguin Random House South Africa
“This is a most exceptional and unforgettable book” – Antjie Krog
Letters of Stone tracks Robins’s journey of discovery about the lives and fates of the Robinski family, in southern Africa, Berlin, Riga and Auschwitz. It also explores the worldwide rise of eugenics and racial science before the war, which justified the murder of Jews by the Nazis and caused South Africa and other countries to close their doors to Jewish refugees.
Most of all, this book is a poignant reconstruction of a family trapped in an increasingly terrifying and deadly Nazi state, and of the immense pressure on Robins’ father in faraway South Africa, which forced him to retreat into silence.
Continental Shift by Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak
Africa is falling. Africa is succeeding. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on earth. Africa is squandering its bountiful resources. Africa is a roadmap for global development. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future.
All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their nine-year road trip through the paradoxical continent they call home.
How to Invest Like Warren Buffett by Alec Hogg
This is the South African guide on investing like Warren Buffett by award-winning financial publisher Alec Hogg.
Learn how the investment genius of Buffett can be applied to South African investing. This book is packed with invaluable lessons and insights from the world’s greatest wealth creator.
Useful charts and graphics are included in the book to provide more details about concepts and shares.
Touched by Biko by Andile M-Afrika
This is a political memoir of life in a rural South African township – with Andile M-Afrika weaving a lyrical tale from actual events surrounding this country’s struggle history, where Steve Bantu Biko played a pivotal role.
M-Afrika’s engaging narrative delves deep into his personal encounters with people, political events and day-to-day life in rural King Williams Town, Eastern Cape. What speaks volumes, are the pervasive echoes of Biko’s presence, on those who shared life in this historic village.
Written with a unique vibrancy and fine wit to enthrall readers from all walks of life, Touched by Biko will be enjoyed by all with an interest in the South African struggle history.
Murder at Small Koppie by Greg Marinovich
Penguin Random House South Africa
Renowned photojournalist Greg Marinovich explores the truth behind the Marikana massacre, looking specifically at the largely untold slaughter at Small Koppie.
Drawing on his own meticulous investigations, eyewitness accounts and the findings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry set up by President Jacob Zuma following the massacre, Marinovich accurately reconstructs that fateful day as well as the events leading up to the strike.
This is the definitive account of the Marikana massacre from the journalist whose award-winning investigation into the tragedy was called the most important piece of South African journalism post-apartheid.
The New Black Middle Class in South Africa by Roger Southall
Despite the fact that the “rise of the black middle class” is one of the most visible aspects of post-apartheid society and a major actor in the reshaping of South African society, analysis of it has been lacking. Rather, the image presented by the media has been of “black diamonds” and corrupt “tenderpreneurs”.
This book presents a new way of looking at the black middle class which seeks to complicate that picture, an analysis that reveals its impactful role in the recent history of South Africa.
The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe by David Coltart
The memoir of David Coltart, one of the most prominent political and human rights figures in Zimbabwe. Over the years, Coltart has been threatened, detained, spuriously prosecuted and has survived several direct attempts on his life.
As a young man, Coltart was urged by Robert Mugabe to return to Zimbabwe from South Africa, but he would become one of Mugabe’s favourite targets of vilification, branded a traitor to the state and worthy of remaining in the country only as a resident of one of its prisons.
Simply Delicious by Zola Nene
In Nene’s own words: “Food has always been a huge part of my life; important occasions were always marked with a feast of some sort …”
That’s exactly what Simply Delicious is all about; it’s Nene’s culinary career told through her recipes, interspersed with snippets and perspectives of her life journey, including tributes to the people who have inspired and influenced her cooking style and explaining the reason for certain culinary choices that she has made.
Nene is currently the resident chef on Expresso Morning Show.
The Dot Spot:A Journey into Sex and Love by Dorothy Black
The Dot Spot will be South Africa’s first, fun and frank “how-to” guide on untangling the mysteries of sex, love and relationships.
Written in an upfront, entertaining and sassy style, the book uncovers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about dating and relationships, from kink to sexual self-empowerment.
All of us want to find the similarities and connections in the secrets, fantasies and desires that we have but are often too shy to talk about. This book will spark that conversation with unbridled candour.
Dorothea Bleek: A Life of Scholarship by Jill Weintroub
Wits University Press
Dorothea Bleek (1873 to 1948) devoted her life to completing the “bushman researches” her father and aunt had begun in the closing decades of the 19th century.
How has history treated Dorothea Bleek? Has she been recognised as a scholar in her own right? Was she an adventurer, or was she conservative, a researcher who belittled the people she studied? These are some of the questions with which Jill Weintroub starts this thoughtful biography.
Weintroub is Research Fellow at the Wits Rock Art Research Institute.
The Banting Solution by Bernadine Douglas and Bridgette Allan
Penguin Random House South Africa
At last, the banting book that will answer ALL your questions about the banting lifestyle AND provide you with the solution to permanent weight loss!
The Banting Solution answers banters’ most pressing questions, including mythbusting, meal plans, and how to bant on a budget.
Most importantly, it teaches us how to get rid of those unwanted kilos and keep them off forever.
The Reb and the Rebel: Jewish Narratives in South Africa 1892-1913 by Carmel Schrire and Gwynne Schrire
Unedited, unbowdlerised memoirs of the origin and development of the South African Jewish community are few and far between.
The Reb and the Rebel contains three previously unpublished autobiographical works – a diary, a poem and a memoir – by Yehuda Leib Schrire (1851-1912) and his son, Harry Nathan. Few of the early immigrants to South Africa were writers, let alone poets, and the social history provided in these documents embellishes and enlivens the picture of South African Jewish communities at the turn of the 20th century.
Mongrel: Essays by William Dicey
From the author of the critically acclaimed Borderline (2004), Mongrel investigates a range of topics – radical environmentalism, the faultlines between farmer and farm worker, the joys and sorrows of reading – yet drifts of concern and sensibility draw the collection together. Several essays touch on how books can move, and sometimes maul, their readers.
Ivan Vladislavić says: “Dicey is what I look for in a writer: he has something to say and he puts it across with skill, intelligence and wit.”
To Quote Myself by Khaya Dlanga
In To Quote Myself, Khaya Dlanga recounts entertaining and moving stories about his roots and upbringing in rural Transkei, how he made his mark at school as well as his time spent studying advertising and as a stand-up comedian.
Dlanga also shares his political views, and how he overcame homelessness to become one of the most influential marketers in South Africa.
The cover of this new edition, designed by Ayanda Mbanjwa, was the winning entry in a competition held by Pan Macmillan last year.
Gang Town by Don Pinnock
Gang Town is the winner of the 2013 City Press Non-fiction Award.
Why is Cape Town one of the most violent cities on earth? What is it that makes gangs so attractive to young people? Why is it getting worse? Bestselling author Don Pinnock answers these questions in Gang Town, and looks at solutions to the problem.
Umkonto We Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle by Thula Simpson
Penguin Random House South Africa
Written in a fresh, immediate style, Umkhonto we Sizwe is an honest account of the armed struggle. It does not seek to glorify or to whitewash, but rather to chronicle a fascinating series of events from the beginning of the struggle to the negotiated settlement of the 1990s.
Thula Simpson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies at the University of Pretoria. He has spent a decade researching and writing on the history of the ANC’s liberation struggle. His research has been conducted in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, the United Kingdom and most extensively in South Africa.
Exit! by Grizelda Grootboom
Exit! is the story of Grizelda Grootboom life of prostitution and her ultimate escape from it all.
Grizelda’s life was dramatically changed when she was gang raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township. Her story starts there. It is a story about the cycle of poverty, family abandonment, dislocation, and survival in the streets of Cape Town.
Grizelda is now an activist against human trafficking who supports fellow survivors undergoing rehabilitation.
Exit! is a BlackBird Books title.
Own Your Space: The Toolkit for the Working Woman by Nadia Bilchik and Lori Miller
Own Your Space provides practical tools and insights gleaned from workshops held around the world and from interviews with some of South Africa’s most accomplished women.
The book will provide you with tried-and-tested techniques, tips and advice to help you boost your career, enhance your confidence and truly own your space on every level.
The End of Whiteness: Satanism and Family Murder in South Africa by Nicky Falkof
Towards the end of apartheid, white South Africans found themselves in the middle of new social and political change that showed itself in some strangely morbid “symptoms”. This book discusses two of the primary symptoms that appeared in the media and in popular literature at the time – an apparent threat from a cult of white Satanists and a so-called epidemic of white family murder.
Nicky Falkof is senior lecturer in Media Studies at Wits University.
This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens.
From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims.
The Code: The Power of “I Will” by Shaun Tomson
This book is about many things – faith, courage, creativity, determination – but above all it’s about the promises we make to ourselves about the future.
Shaun Tomson is a former World Surfing Champion, and considered one of the 16 greatest surfers of all time. He is a business finance graduate from the University of Natal and the creator of two popular apparel brands: Instinct in the 1980s and Solitude in the 1990s. He lives in Santa Barbara, California, and is an inspirational speaker.
Trail Blazer: My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner by Ryan Sandes with Steve Smith
What does it take to run a six-day race through the world’s harshest deserts? Or 100 miles in a single day at altitudes that would leave you breathless just walking? More than that, though: what is it like to win these races? South Africa’s ultra-trail-running superstar – and former rudderless party animal – Ryan Sandes has done just that.
Trail Blazer: My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner is written with bestselling author and journalist Steve Smith.
Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? The Zuma Years by Tim Richman
Although we thought we’d got it all off our chests in the late 2000s with the original Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? series, well, it’s back on our chests, isn’t it?
After the annus horribilus Saffercanus of 2015 – after the doom and gloom of How Long Will South Africa Survive? and We Have Now Begun Our Descent (NB: bestsellers!) – it’s time once again for a book that unites South Africans in their misery and allows us to laugh it off. Just in time for the National Elections, of course!
The Story Of A House: Fables And Feasts From La Creuzette by Louis Jansen van Vuuren and Hardy Olivier
It took 15 years to fully restore the impressive Château de la Creuzette to her former glory. She continues to rest in her shaded park, surrounded by centuries-old trees, and welcomes her expectant guests with open arms.
Apart from the almost 90 new recipes, there is an additional Crookbook in which the two hosts share their easy shortcut recipes and tips. The Story of a House is not only two cookbooks in one, but also a richly adorned reading book that traces the history of a manor house and follows the story of its people.
Writing the Decline by Richard Pithouse
This book tracks the steady decay of the democratic promise in recent years. Written from an understanding that democracy should be for everyone, rather than merely a contest between elites, it explores the growing authoritarianism of the state, the deepening social crisis, and avenues of hope and possibility.
Dr Richard Pithouse teaches politics at Rhodes University, where he lectures on contemporary political theory and urban studies.
Writing the Decline has received high praise from Niren Tolsi and Eusebius McKaiser.
The Goddess Mojo Bootcamp by Kagiso Msimango
The Goddess Mojo Bootcamp will help you discover an authentic you to find real long-lasting love.
This is the book for you whether you want a man for a reason, a season, a lifetime, or one to match each of your handbags … it has zero moral pontifications. It won’t warn you against sleeping with a man on the first date. There are no 90-day rules in this book.
The Goddess Mojo Bootcamp is a MFBooks title.
River of Gold: Narratives and Exploration of the Great Limpopo by Mike Gardner, Peter Norton and Clive Walker
Here for the first time is the only full account of South Africa’s most iconic river, its history, its ancient past, wildlife, landscapes, early kingdoms and their people, warfare, trade, slaves, 19th-century hunting, travel and adventures and the conservation efforts of four national parks of which the renowned Kruger National Park is one.
The book (and the river) encompasses two world heritage sites, two Transfrontier conservation areas, private game reserves, some of the richest rock art sites in southern Africa with the river’s “source” centred at the site of the world’s richest gold deposits ever discovered, Johannesburg.
The Sword and the Pen: A Lifetime in South African Journalism by Allister Sparks
Legendary journalist Allister Sparks joined his first newspaper at age 17. In The Sword and the Pen, he tells the story of how he watched and chronicled and participated in his country’s unfolding drama for more than 60 years.
Nelson Mandela said Sparks’s “outspoken views have served the cause of democracy in this country magnificently”.
In trenchant prose, he has written a remarkable account of both a life lived to its fullest capacity as well as the surrounding narrative of South Africa from the birth of apartheid, the rise of political opposition, the dawn of democracy, right through to the crisis we are experiencing today.
Thabo Mbeki: A Jacana Pocket Biography by Adekeye Adebajo
This is a fresh and concise reappraisal of Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s second democratic president in succession to Nelson Mandela.
Though his term of office was controversial in many respects and ended in a spectacular palace coup at the ANC’s Polokwane Conference in 2007, his reputation has been gradually undergoing rehabilitation since then, particularly because of widespread disillusion his successor as president, Jacob Zuma.
Part of the Jacana Pocket series.
Jack Simons – Teacher, Scholar and Comrade: A Jacana Pocket Biography by Hugh Macmillan
Jack Simons (1907–1995) was one of the leading left-wing intellectuals – and one of the greatest teachers – in 20th-century South Africa.
As a lecturer in African Studies at the University of Cape Town from 1937 until he was prevented from teaching by the government in 1964, and thereafter through his lectures and writings in exile, he had a profound effect on the thinking of generations of white and black students and on the liberation movement as a whole.
Part of the Jacana Pocket series.
Fordsburg Fighter: The Journey of an MK Volunteer by Amin Cajee (as told to Terry Bell)
When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle he believed he had volunteered to serve “a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime”.
Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, “I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption”.
The Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber
Can business change the world? Can the world change business?
For a new breed of social entrepreneurs, striving to build and grow enterprises that fight social ills, foster opportunity, and help to improve society, the answer is not can, it’s must.
From healthcare to mobile gaming, from education to recycling, from dancing to gardening, these are the game-changers, the difference-makers, the doers of good. Here are their stories.
Kerryn Krige heads up the Network for Social Entrepreneurs at GIBS, and has worked in the social sector since 2001. Gus Silber is an award-winning journalist, editor speechwriter and author, with a special interest in social entrepreneurship.
The Maverick Insider: A Struggle for Union Independence in a Time of National Liberation by Johnny Copelyn
Johnny Copelyn is the CEO of Hosken Consolidated Investment (HCI) Limited and Johnnic Holdings Limited, a position he has held since 1997. From 1974 he was general secretary of various unions in the clothing and textiles industries before becoming a member of parliament in 1994.
The Maverick Insider provides a rich and detailed recording of the important years of building trade unions in South Africa from the 1970s onwards, in particular the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU).
Zimbabwe’s migrants and South Africa’s Border Farms: The Roots of Impermanence by Maxim Bolt
Wits University Press
“In precise, limpid prose, Maxim Bolt brings to life the human ecology of a border farm. [...] It is a significant achievement.” – Jonny Steinberg
During the Zimbabwean crisis, millions crossed through the apartheid-era border fence, searching for ways to make ends meet. Maxim Bolt explores the lives of Zimbabwean migrant labourers, of settled black farm workers and their dependants, and of white farmers and managers, as they intersect on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
South Africa’s Settler Colonialism and Liberal Democracy by Thiven Reddy
Wits University Press
Two unmistakable features describe post-apartheid politics. The first is the formal framework of liberal democracy, including regular elections, multiple political parties, and a range of progressive social rights. The second is the politics of the “extraordinary”, which include a political discourse that relies on threats and the use of violence, the crude re-racialisation of numerous conflicts, and protests over various popular grievances.
In this highly original work, Thiven Reddy shows how conventional approaches to understanding democratisation have failed to capture the complexities of South Africa’s post-apartheid transition. Rather, as a product of imperial expansion, the South African state, capitalism and citizen identities have been uniquely shaped by a particular mode of domination, namely “settler colonialism”.
From Protest to Challenge: Volume 2: Hope and Challenge, 1935–1952 by Thomas G Karis and Sheridan Johns, revised and updated by Gail M Gerhart
From Protest to Challenge is a multi-volume chronicle of the struggle to achieve democracy and end racial discrimination in South Africa.
Beginning in 1882 during the heyday of European imperialism, these volumes document the history of race conflict, protest, and political mobilisation by South Africa’s black majority.
This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organised Crime by Stephen Ellis
Successful Nigerian criminal networks have a global reach, interacting with their Italian, Latin American and Russian counterparts. Yet in 1944, a British colonial official wrote that “the number of persistent and professional criminals is not great” in Nigeria and that “crime as a career has so far made little appeal to the young Nigerian”.
This latest book by celebrated African historian Stephen Ellis traces the origins of Nigerian organised crime to the last years of colonial rule, when nationalist politicians acquired power at regional level.
Scorched Earth: 100 Years of Southern African Potteries by Wendy Gers
Scorched Earth will be the first comprehensive history of fine art potteries in southern Africa, with a focus on pioneer ceramic studios and workshops.
Wendy Gers is a former curator at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, and now lectures at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Valenciennes, France. Gers curated the prestigious Taiwan Ceramics Biennale 2014 and is a research associate at the University of Johannesburg and an associate advisor at The Design Cradle, Cape Town.
Promise and Despair: The First Struggle for a Non-Racial South Africa by Martin Plaut
Most people believe that black South Africans obtained the vote for the first time in 1994. In fact, for almost a century suitably qualified black people had enjoyed the vote in the Cape and Natal, and in certain constituencies had decided the outcome of parliamentary elections.
This is the story of the struggle for a non-racial constitution, with its centrepiece being a lively account of the delegation that travelled to London in mid-1909, led by a famous white lawyer and former prime minister of the Cape, Will Schreiner, brother of the novelist Olive Schreiner.
Sigh the Beloved Country by Bongani Madondo
With his customary flair and eye for detail, Bongani Madondo will delight his readers in this new essay collection.
The book displays his unique take on all things South African, including people and places, issues ranging from “Kissing & Lynching the Black Body” to “New Money Culture” and “Student Politics”, along with criticism and homage to our Beloved Country and those who call it home.
With a foreword by Rian Malan.
I am the Girl Who was Raped by Michelle Hattingh
In the morning Michelle Hattingh presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape, and in the evening she was raped herself.
Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realised she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped”. Her memoir of this experience is an act of reclamation for herself and for all the women in South Africa who are raped every day.
Michelle Hattingh works as senior online content producer at Marie Claire SA. Her work has been published in Elle SA, Marie Claire SA and the Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who was Raped is her first book.
Cold Case Confession by Alex Eliseev
Whether the real mastermind behind the Tandiwe “Betty” Ketani murder will be captured remains unknown, so does the true motive for the crime. In court, prosecutors said the case was like a mosaic, with all the pieces coming together to form a disturbing picture. Not all the pieces have been found. But already, this has become one of South Africa’s most intriguing crime stories.
Dubbed a “troublemaker” for his investigative work, Eyewitness News reporter Alex Eliseev is an award-winning hard news journalist who has reported from countries such as Haiti, Japan and Libya.
The Battle for Cosatu: An Insider’s View by Patrick Craven
In The Battle for Cosatu, former Cosatu insider and national spokesperson Patrick Craven recounts the happenings of the last five years of the biggest and most powerful labour federation, leading up to the expulsion of Numsa and Zwelinzima Vavi.
Craven has become the go-to person for labour-related commentary. In this, his first book, we are given insight into one of the most tumultuous times for trade unions in post-apartheid South Africa.
Drawing strongly on personal recollections, media interpretations and official documents, Craven exposes the breakdown of the tripartite alliance – and the implications of this for South Africa’s labour movement and the country as a whole.
The Road to Soweto by Julian Brown
This account of the decade that preceded the Soweto Uprising of June 1976 will transform our understanding of this crucial flashpoint of South Africa’s history. It begins by showing how students at South Africa’s segregated white and black universities began to reorganise themselves as a political force; how new ideas about race reinvigorated political thought; and how debates around confrontation shaped the development of new forms of protest.
Julian Brown is a lecturer in the Department of Political Studies at Wits and the author of South Africa’s Insurgent Citizens.
Your First Year of Varsity: A Survival Guide for University and College by Shelagh Foster and Lehlohonolo Mofokeng
Essential reading for matriculants, first year university and college students – and their parents!
Your First Year of Varsity talks directly to Grade 12 learners and first year students who arrive at their place of higher education filled with hopes, expectations, fears and dreams; yet with little understanding of what this new world means and how to adapt, grow – and graduate.
Shelagh Foster is the author of the highly popular Your First Year of Work. Lehlohonolo Mofokeng is a Master of Education candidate from Wits as a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar.
Natures of Africa: Ecocriticism and Animal Studies in Contemporary Cultural Forms edited by Fiona Moolla
Wits University Press
Environmental and animal studies are rapidly growing areas of interest across a number of disciplines, but there are few books that show how nature in Africa is represented, celebrated, mourned or commoditised.
Natures of Africa features new research from East Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the ecocritical and eco-activist “powerhouses” of Nigeria and South Africa.
Fiona Moolla is the author of Reading Nuruddin Farah: The Individual, the Novel and the Idea of Home.
Apartheid and The Making of a Black Psychologist by Chabani Manganyi
Wits University Press
Few autobiographies exploring the “life of the mind” and the “history of ideas” have come out of South Africa, and this intriguing memoir details what it meant to be a committed black intellectual activist during the apartheid years.
Starting with his rural upbringing in Mavambe in Limpopo province in the 1940s, Chabani Manganyi’s life story unfolds at a gentle pace, tracing the twists and turns of his journey from humble beginnings to Yale University in the USA, and beyond.
Land Dispossession and Resistance in Gordonia: A Hidden History of the Northern Cape, 1800-1990 by Martin Legassick
This book presents aspects of a generally unknown “brown” and “black” history of the Gordonia region of the Northern Cape Province, which has received relatively little attention from historians.
The essays are intended to emphasise the lives of ordinary people, and are also in part an exercise in “applied history” – historical writing with a direct application to people’s lives in the present.
Always Anastacia: A Transgender Life in South Africa by Anastacia Tomson
Born into an orthodox Jewish family in Johannesburg and brought up as a boy, Tomson was never sure how much of her conflicted sense of self to blame on her often troubled family life and strict upbringing. It would take her nearly 30 years, a great deal of questioning and a bravery she could never have imagined to find the peace and self-acceptance she had always sought.
Tomson’s moving memoir is the first of its kind in South Africa.
Blacks DO Caravan by Fikile Hlatshwayo
This book is written by a black woman whose voice so clearly disrupts the stereotypes that so many have grown accustomed to.
This trip began on 15 September 2014 and lasted three months. Fikile and her family visited over 25 caravan parks. They covered over 10 000 kilometres, and traversed all nine provinces. Fikile came to the realisation that South Africa is still a divided nation: “The idea that camping is for white people is so entrenched, and my question is, who set these standards?”
The Big Fix by Ray Hartley
Behind the 2010 World Cup lay years of corporate skulduggery, crooked companies rigging tenders and match-fixing involving the national team.
In The Big Fix, Ray Hartley reveals the story of an epic national achievement and the people who undermined it in pursuit of their own interests. It is the real story of the 2010 World Cup.
AB: The Autobiography by AB de Villiers
This is AB’s story, in his own words … the story of the youngest of three talented, sports-mad brothers growing up in Warmbaths, of a boy who excelled at tennis, rugby and cricket, of a youngster who made his international debut at the age of 20 and was then selected in every single Test played by South Africa for the next 11 seasons, of a batsman who has started to redefine the art, being ranked among the world’s very best in Test, ODI and T20.
This is the story of a modern sporting phenomenon.
Entrepreneurship 101 Tackling the basics of business start-up in South Africa by Joshua Maluleke
Entrepreneurship 101 aims to educate South Africans about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship while looking at a uniquely South African business environment.
Joshula Maluleke has included a section on frequently asked questions at the back of the book in an attempt to provide in-depth answers to some of the questions he gets asked at his entrepreneurship talks. Questions like: Can I register my spaza shop? I have registered a business with CIPC and government has not given me an opportunity to do business, what must I do?
The Thabo Mbeki I Know edited by Sifiso Ndlovu and Miranda Strydom
The Thabo Mbeki I Know is a collection of contributions on and personal recollections about former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
In some cases, individuals have been interviewed about their interactions with Mbeki, specifically with this collection in mind, and other contributions have been authored by the individuals concerned.
These personal reflections present a fresh perspective on Mbeki’s time in office and his legacy.
A Citizen’s Guide to Crime Statistics by Anine Kriegler and Mark Shaw
A Citizen’s Guide to Crime Statistics provides a basis to understand South Africa’s crime statistics in a manner that is accessible to the general public.
Each chapter challenges a set of oft-repeated assumptions about how bad crime is, where it occurs, and who its victims are. It also demonstrates how and why crime statistics need to be matched with other forms of research, including criminal justice data, in order to produce a fuller account of what we are faced with.
Verwoerd: Architect of Apartheid by Henry Kenney
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Hendrik Verwoerd by Dimitri Tsafendas.
Originally released in 1980, Henry Kenney’s incisive study of the architect of apartheid and paragon of Afrikaner nationalism will be republished in 2016 to coincide with this significant moment in South Africa’s modern history.
The new edition contains an introduction by David Welsh, Emeritus Professor at Stellenbosch University, bringing it into the 21st century and updating it for a new generation.