Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Books LIVE


Read the Winning Story in the Books LIVE Flash Fiction Competition: “Am I in the Right Place?” by Jen Thorpe:


Free the Word! at the Orbit

Thursday 4th December 2014 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Orbit Jazz Club, 81 De Korte Street, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Mandla Langa, Beatrice Lamwaka, Makhosazana Xaba and Masande Ntshanga In Conversation with Michelle Magwood
PEN International, South African PEN, and the University of Witwatersrand are delighted to invite you for an evening of readings, discussion, and debate in Johannesburg’s celebrated jazz venue The Orbit.

Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda), Mandla Langa (South Africa), Makhosazana Xaba (S.A.) and Masande Ntshanga (S.A.) will be reading extracts from their latest novels and poetry collections and discussing their work with Michele Magwood, Contributing Books Editor for the Sunday Times and host of TMLive Book Show.

The authors will also examine the role of contemporary novelists in bearing witness to social change in Africa and the tensions between the pressure to act as social commentators and their own creative expression.

The event will be free to the public.


New African’s Most Influential Africans of 2014 Includes a Pride of South Africans

Most Influential Africans 2014 according to New African

New African, an international magazine focused on bringing news and stories from the African continent and the African diaspora to the world, has announced its list of the Most Influential Africans of 2014.

In the introduction, the editors note that the list reflects the 100 Africans who, in their opinion, have made the biggest impact on the world this year – albeit negative in some cases:

Some may be part of an old guard that just never tires. Some may be children of the future with footprints deeper and weightier than their years. And some you may never have even heard of as they’ve been innovating, creating and debating behind the scenes. But without exception, and in their own way, the people we have chosen – our most influential Africans of 2014 – have left the world a little different this year.

Without further ado, here are the South Africans included in New African’s list of influential figures:

Politics and Public Office:

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Thabo Mbeki, Economic Freedom Fighter Julius Malema, public protector Thuli Madonsela, chairperson of the African Union Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Johannesburg High Court judge Thokozile Masipa (who sentenced Oscar Pistorius), and recently retired United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Business and Economy:

Space-travelling businessman Mark Shuttleworth, mining tycoon Bridgette Radebe, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) CEO Elon Musk, Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEA Nicky Newton-King, finance minister turned private advisor Trevor Manuel, Glencore Xstrata CEO Ivan Glasenberg, and Smile Telecoms CEO Irene Charnley.

Civil Society and Activism:

International executive director of Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo, AMCU head Joseph Mathunjwa, Chair of the Board of Directors Partnership Council of GAIN Jay Naidoo, and NUMSA secretary general Irvin Jim.

Religion and Tradition:

Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Science and Academia:

Astrophysicist and founding director of Astronomy Africa Thebe Medupe, and epidemiologist and leader in HIV and AIDS research Quarraisha Abdool Karim.


Talk radio queen Redi Tlhabi, straight-talking puppet Chester Missing, political cartoonist Zapiro, global news reporter Thabang Motsei, Daily Maverick editor Branko Brkic, and City Press editor Ferial Haffajee.

Arts and Culture:

King of comedy Trevor Noah, playwright Athol Fugard, township tech pioneer Spoek Mathambo, award-winning fashion designer David Tlale, house music duo Mafikizolo, and living legend of Afro-jazz Hugh Masekela.


South Africa’s first non-white Protea cricket captain Hashim Amla.

New African has also included many notable African authors on their latest list of Most Influential Africans: Binyavanga Wainaina, NoViolet Bulawayo, Wole Soyinka, Fatou Diome, Teju Cole, Yvonne Owuor and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o – all writers who, in their own right, have made a lasting impact on the world in 2014.

To discover more about these inspiring people, have a look at Books LIVE’s selection of book on or by those included on the list:

Cyril RamaphosaThabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANCThe Coming RevolutionTrevor Manuel21 IconsFighting for JusticeMetal That Will Not BendThe Book of ForgivingEndings and BeginningsChester Missing's Guide to the Elections '14It's Code Red!Brain PornMy Children! My Africa!Still GrazingOne Day I Will Write About This PlaceWe Need New NamesForest of a Thousand DaemonsCelles Qui AttendentEvery Day is for the ThiefIn the House of the InterpreterInspired

Book details

  • The Book of Forgiving: The Four-Fold Path of Healing For Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu
    EAN: 9780007512881
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

2015 IMPAC Dublin Award Longlist Announced: Six Africans Named, Including JM Coetzee

2015 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

Alert! Six African writers have been named on the longlist for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English.

The longlist, which was announced yesterday, consists of 142 books, 29 of which are first novels.

This year’s African contingent comprises: JM Coetzee (The Childhood of Jesus), NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah), Moroccan author Mahi Binebine (Horses of God), Taiye Selasi (Ghana Must Go) and Mia Couto (The Tuner of Silences), who has already won the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature this year.

The shortlist will be announced in April.

The Childhood of JesusWe Need New NamesAmericanahHorses of GodThe Tuner of SilencesGhana Must Go

Other notable names on the list include Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Dave Eggers, this year’s Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan, Neil Gaiman, Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling), Elizabeth Gilbert, Khaled Hosseini, Stephen King, Karl Ove Knausgaard, 2013 National Book Award-winner James McBride, Jodi Picoult, Thomas Pynchon, 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winner Donna Tartt and Tim Winton.

Nominees for the IMPAC Dublin Award are made by libraries in major cities throughout the world. Over 400 libraries in 177 countries participate, with each nominating up to three novels they believe are of “high literary merit”. The winner receives €100,000 (+/- R1.4 million).

No South African has yet won the award, although in 2010 there was strong local representation on the longlistThando Mgqolozana, Jacques Pauw, Mark Behr, JM Coetzee, Zakes Mda, Gill Schierhout and Marie Heese – while JM Coetzee was shortlisted in 2007, Damon Galgut and Diane Awerbuck shortlisted in 2005, and Andre Brink shortlisted in 1998.

Book details

Image courtesy of International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

Selected Writers Announced for the 2015 Writivism Creative Writing Workshops

Writivism has released the names of the writers who have been selected to take part the 2015 Writivism Creative Writing Workshops.

Workshops are being held in five African countries in January next year and will be led by successful authors. In addition to the opportunities for improvement afforded by the workshops, selected writers will be assigned writing mentors.

London – Cape Town – JoburgA Killing in the SunFeast, Famine and PotluckBom Boy

The Lagos workshop will be facilitated by Dami Ajayi, Kampala by Dilman Dila, Gaborone by Donald Molosi and Lauri Kubuitsile and Dar es Salaam by Zukiswa Wanner and Ayeta Anne Wangusa.

The Johannesburg workshop will be led by Yewande Omotoso and Saaleha Idrees Bamjee. 11 emerging writers have been selected to attend:

1. Saaleha Bhamjee
2. Greta Schuler
3. Siyabonga Lerumo
4. Chivimbiso Gava
5. Chris Djuma
6. Hellen Herimbi
7. Jafta Odendaal
8. Khanyile Joseph Mlotshwa
9. Lerato Molisana
10. Michelle Ainsile
11. Chumisa Ndakisa

Read the article and lists of attendees:

Since September 21, 2014, we have been receiving applications from emerging writers from allover the continent for our 2015 workshops. We are excited to announce that from the numerous applicants (over a hundred), our workshop facilitators have selected about fifty who shall attend workshops in Lagos, Kampala, Gaborone, Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg throughout January 2015.

Book details

2015 Caine Prize Judging Panel Announced – Zoe Wicomb to Chair

Zoë Wicomb

Alert! The 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel was announced at the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta in Nigeria on Friday.

The Gonjon Pin and Other StoriesOctoberLives of OthersHarare North

Award-winning South African author Zoë Wicomb will chair the panel, joined by television and radio journalist Zeinab Badawi, Indian author and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Neel Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgetown Cóilín Parsons (who was previously at the University of Cape Town), and Brian Chikwava, winner of the 2004 Caine Prize.

Caine Prize Director Lizzy Attree said: “We are proud to announce the 2015 judges early this year and hope the calibre of this outstanding panel will encourage publishers to enter stories before the deadline of 31 January, 2015.”

The judges will meet in late April 2015 to decide on a shortlist, and the winning story will be announced at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, on Monday, 6 July, 2015.

This year’s winner was Okwiri Oduor, for her short story “My Father’s Head”, which originally appeared in Short Story Day Africa’s collection, Feast, Famine and Potluck. This year’s Caine Prize anthology is entitled The Gonjon Pin.

Press release

Caine Prize 2015 judging panel announced in Nigeria

The judges of this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing were announced today at the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The panel will be chaired by award-winning South African author Zoë Wicomb. She will be joined by the distinguished television and radio journalist Zeinab Badawi, Indian author and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Neel Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgetown Cóilín Parsons, and Brian Chikwava, the winner of the Caine Prize in 2004.

During the announcement Caine Prize Director Lizzy Attree stated, “We are proud to announce the 2015 judges early this year and hope the calibre of this outstanding panel will encourage publishers to enter stories before the deadline of 31 January 2015.”

Last year a record 140 qualifying stories were submitted to the judges from 17 African countries. The judges will meet in late April 2015 to decide on the shortlisted stories, which will be announced shortly thereafter. £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer. The winning story will be announced at a dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on Monday 6 July 2015.

The five shortlisted stories, alongside the stories written at the annual Caine Prize workshop, are published annually by New Internationalist in the UK and publishers in eight African countries; ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Bookworld Publishers (Zambia), Cassava Republic (Nigeria), FEMRITE (Uganda), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Langaa Research and Publishing CIG (Cameroon), Lantern Books (Nigeria) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).

Caine Prize workshops are held in Africa for writers who have been shortlisted for the Caine Prize and other talented writers who have come to the Prize’s attention through the selection process. Each workshop consists of 12 writers from different African countries, who convene for ten days to read and discuss work in progress and to learn from two more experienced writers, who act as tutors or animateurs. It is planned that next year’s workshop, which will be the thirteenth, will be held in Ghana.

Included in the 2014 anthology is the story by this year’s Kenyan winner, Okwiri Oduor. Jackie Kay MBE, chair of the 2014 judging panel said of the author, “Okwiri Oduor is a writer we are all really excited to have discovered. ‘My Father’s Head’ is an uplifting story about mourning – Joycean in its reach. She exercises an extraordinary amount of control and yet the story is subtle, tender and moving. It is a story you want to return to the minute you finish it.”


Book details

Fiction Friday: Diane Awerbuck's New Short Story Day Africa-winning Story (Plus: Cover Reveal!)

SSDA new logo
Diane Awerbuck

Short Story Day Africa has organised a special treat for us this Fiction Friday: Diane Awerbuck’s winning story from the new SSDA anthology, Terra Incognita, and a cover reveal!

Awerbuck was announced as this year’s Short Story Day Africa winner last Friday, for her short story “Leatherman”, which judges Richard de Nooy, Samuel Kolawole and Jared Shurin called “dark, twisted and visceral”. You can read the full story below.

But before you do, feast your eyes on this year’s anthology cover, which was designed by Nick Mulgrew.

SSDA Terra Incognita cover

Mulgrew says: “I’d like to say that the design is about subverting colonial cartographic tropes, and as well as about undermining ideas of Africa as a dark, impenetrable continent, in order to reclaim and reposition them in a more modern, Afrofuturist context – and, sure, it is about that – but mostly I think it just looks nice.”

We’re delighted to announce that Short Story Day Africa has joined the Books LIVE community. Read more about the design of the cover on their blog at

Read Awerbuck’s story:

Diane Awerbuck's short story Leatherman by Books LIVE