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The best African books

The best African books

 

To celebrate Africa Day, we asked our Books LIVE community what their favourite African books were.

You can suggest contemporary books or classics, fiction or non-fiction. The list is a work in progress. If you feel something is missing, let us know on Twitter @BooksLIVESA or Facebook.com/BooksLIVESA.

Without further ado, the best African books – as chosen by you!
 
 
Do Not Go GentleDo Not Go Gentle by Futhi Ntshingila
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EAN: 9781920590505
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Sweet MedicineSweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
EAN: 9781928337126
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MalikhanyeMalikhanye by Mxolisi Nyezwa
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EAN: 9780958491594
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Born on a TuesdayBorn on a Tuesday by Elnathan John
EAN: 9781911115021
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Season of Crimson BlossomsSeason of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
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EAN: 9781911115007
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Easy Motion TouristEasy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle
EAN: 9781911115069
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The Lazarus EffectThe Lazarus Effect by H J Golakai
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EAN: 9780795703195
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Half of a Yellow Sun Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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EAN: 9780007200283
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Say You're One of ThemSay You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
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EAN: 9780349120645
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In Corner BIn Corner B by Es’kia Mphahlele
EAN: 9780143106029
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Lost and Found in JohannesburgLost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser
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EAN: 9781868425884
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We Need New NamesWe Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
EAN: 9780099581888
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Portrait with KeysPortrait with Keys: Joburg and what-what by Ivan Vladislavic
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EAN: 9781415200209
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Nervous ConditionsNervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
EAN: 9780954702335
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Purple HibiscusPurple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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EAN: 9780007189885
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UnimportanceUnimportance by Thando Mgqolozana
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EAN: 9781431409525
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The ReactiveThe Reactive by Masande Ntshanga
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EAN: 9781415207192
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African DelightsAfrican Delights by Siphiwo Mahala
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EAN: 9781431402519
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Half of a Yellow Sun Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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EAN: 9780007200283
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Under the Udala TreesUnder the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
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EAN: 9781847088369
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The Book of MemoryThe Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
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EAN: 9780571249626
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AffluenzaAffluenza by Niq Mhlongo
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EAN: 9780795706967
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What Will People SayWhat Will People Say by Rehana Rossouw
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EAN: 9781431420247
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The FishermenThe Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
EAN: 9780957548862
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The Woman Next DoorThe Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
EAN: 9781784740344
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EfuruEfuru by Flora Nwapa
EAN: 9780435900267
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Second Class CitizenSecond Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
EAN: 9780807610664
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2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists announced

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists announced

 
Alert! The shortlists for the 2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards have been announced.

The awards recognise the best work published by Media24 Books – including NB Publishers and Jonathan Ball – during the previous year. An exception occurred in 2014, when Dominque Botha’s Valsrivier, published by Umuzi, was deemed too strong not to be included and the won Jan Rabie Rapport Prize.

The winner in each of the six categories receives R35,000, with the MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books being shared by the author and illustrator. Independent panels of judges compiled the shortlists.

The prizes will be awarded in Cape Town on 22 June, 2016.

Last year’s six winners were Willem Anker, Michiel Heyns, Antjie Krog, Mark Gevisser, Andre Eva Bosch and Fiona Moodie.

* * * * *

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists

WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Fiction (novel, short stories or drama)

WonderboomBrandwaterkomVlakwater

Wonderboom by Lien Botha (Queillerie)
Brandwaterkom by Alexander Strachan (Tafelberg)
Vlakwater by Ingrid Winterbach (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

Recht Malan Prize for Afrikaans or English Non-Fiction

Black Brain, White BrainA Perfect StormShowdown at the Red Lion

Black Brain, White Brain by Gavin Evans (Jonathan Ball)
Perfect Storm by Milton Shain (Jonathan Ball)
Showdown at the Red Lion by Charles van Onselen (Jonathan Ball)

* * * * *

Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Fiction (novel, short stories or drama)

The FetchThe Shadow of the Hummingbird

The Fetch by Finuala Dowling (Kwela)
The Shadow of the Hummingbird by Athol Fugard and Paula Fourie (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

Elisabeth Eybers Prize for Afrikaans and English Poetry

Vry-TakelwerkBladspieël

Vry- by Gilbert Gibson (Human & Rousseau)
Takelwerk by Daniel Hugo (Human & Rousseau)
Bladspieël by Marlise Joubert (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

MER Prize for Afrikaans and English Youth Novels

Elton Amper-Famous April en Juffrou BromBambaduzeSwemlesse vir 'n meermin

Elton amper-famous April en juffrou Brom by Carin Krahtz (Tafelberg)
Bambaduze by Derick van der Walt (Tafelberg)
Swemlesse vir ’n meermin by Marita van der Vyver (Tafelberg)

* * * * *

MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books in Afrikaans and English

Hendrik LeerdamDie Dingesfabriek: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjienProfessor Sabatina se wetenskapboek

Hendrik Leerdam: Kaap van storms by James Home en Peter Mascher (ill.) (Tafelberg)
Die Dingesfabriek 4: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjien by Elizabeth Wasserman and Astrid Castle (ill.) (Tafelberg)
Professor Sabatina se wetenskapboek by Elizabeth Wasserman, Astrid Castle (ill.) and Rob Foote (ill.) (Tafelberg)

The prizes will be awarded in Cape Town on 22 June 2016.

Book details

Thabo Jijana wins the 2016 Ingrid Jonker Prize for Failing Maths and My Other Crimes

Thabo Jijana wins the 2016 Ingrid Jonker Prize for Failing Maths and My Other Crimes


 

Failing Maths and My Other CrimesAlert! Thabo Jijana has been announced as the winner of the 2016 Ingrid Jonker Prize, for his collection Failing Maths and My Other Crimes.

Jijana was born in Peddie, in the Eastern Cape, and is currently enrolled for an MA at Rhodes University. He won the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award in 2014 and was longlisted for the 2015 Short Story Day Africa Prize; his story "Native Mayonnaise" appears in the 2015 SSDA anthology Water. Jijana is also the author of a searing first-person investigation into the taxi industry, Nobody’s Business, published in 2014.

Failing Maths and My Other Crimes was published by uHlanga Press.

Read an excerpt here!

From the Ingrid Jonker Prize Committee"

In a fiercely-contested struggle among seven eligible volumes, Jijana’s debut emerged victorious. Jijana was championed by one judge in particular, who described his debut, with its ‘subtle, wry and memorable title’, as ‘a rich and satisfying collection where, unusually, every poem strikes something hard and vital.’ The judge went on to remark that ‘Jijana has a painterly way with the image, capturing in impossibly few words a picture that does most of the poem’s outer work, so that the poet himself can get on with what it is he is trying to say’.

The judge observed that ‘while the self is – in any enquiring poet’s obsessions – an important project, what emerges here is not the self as the bull’s eye, but the self as link – between histories, times, generations and people’.

Two other entries also received judges’ commendations: Matric Rage by Genna Gardini - also published by uHlanga - and The Attribute of Poetry by Elisa Galgut, published by Modjaji Books.

Matric RageThe Attribute of Poetry

 
The judges praised Gardini's "lyrical-experimental imagination", the "edginess" and "sexiness" of her debut collection, and the "wonderfully varied scenarios" of her poems.

Galgut’s collection was described as "a stunning debut" that "moves with great ease from the personal to the philosophical".

This year’s judges were Karin Schimke, Jim Pascual Agustin and Professor Sally-Ann Murray. Judges of the Ingrid Jonker prize are unaware of one another’s identities until judging is complete.

The Ingrid Jonker Prize is awarded in alternate years to the best debut collections in English or Afrikaans. The winner receives a bronze medal and a cash prize dependant on the interest accumulated in an account originally established for this purpose.

The 2016 Ingrid Jonker Prize will be awarded at the Franschhoek Literary Festival on Saturday, 14 May at 5:15 PM in the Council Chamber.

Ronel de Goede is the convenor of the Ingrid Jonker committee. The other committee members are Leon de Kock, Finuala Dowling, Diana Ferrus and Danie Marais.

 
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Book details

Nuut: Die na-dood deur Breyten Breytenbach

Die na-doodIn sy jongste bundel kom ons weer onder die indruk van Breyten Breytenbach se skerpsinnige én aangrypende digterstem.

Die titel verwys na die tyd digby die dood maar ook ná die dood – vir Breytenbach ook Dina Dood – en roep op vernuwende wyses kenmerkende leitmotiewe op uit sy werk. Die digter is deurgaans bewus van die asimptotiese aard van skryf en tog word die verse ’n poging om die niesêbare op te roep (“daar jou taak, leesskrywer, kyk:/ om die niet se oopgaanwond/ stekie vir stekie met woorde /toe te werk.”).

Tegelykertyd bied. dié laatwerk ’n troos teen die dood wat wag, vir die digter én leser. Onthou word “’n bevrugting van die verlede”, en skryf uiteindelik “diep bevredigend/ om die laaste duisternis in jou asem te mag mond in Afrikaans”.

Boekbesonderhede

PE Book Launch: I'm the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghFogarty’s and Modjaji Books invite you to the Port Elizabeth launch of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, a memoir by Michelle Hattingh. The author comes from Port Elizabeth, so she is back in her home town talking about her incredibly courageous book.

“Compelling, clear and beautiful writing on such a necessary topic. She shatters rape myths on every page.” Jen Thorpe, gender activist and author of The Peculiars.

“Many people think middle class women are magically immune to rape or that if they are raped their easy access to the resources they need will be everything they need to recover completely. A book that discusses the cross cutting nature of the pain all women must feel when a man rapes them can only be welcomed in a time when communities across South Africa struggle with high rape rates.” Kathleen Dey of Rape Crisis

More about the book:
That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped.”

This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.

About the author:

Michelle Hattingh was born in South Africa in 1988. She attended school in Port Elizabeth and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Stellenbosch University. She went on to do her Honours in Psychology at Cape Town University and now lives in Cape Town. Michelle works as senior online content producer at Marie Claire SA. Her work has been published in Elle SA, Marie Claire SA and Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who Was Raped is her first book.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 12 May 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: GFI Gallery, 30 Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth
  • Guest Speaker: Emily Buchanan
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and snacks
  • RSVP: Fogarty’s, fogartys@global.co.za, 041 368 1425
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
Book Details

Finish your manuscript with the ‘250 Words a Day' challenge and enter the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature

Sanlam Prize
OnderwêreldDo Not Go GentleTaking ChancesDeath By CarbsThis Book Betrays my BrotherSister-Sister
To Quote MyselfBroken MonstersThe Big StickI am Incomplete Without You

 

Alert! The 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is open for entries, and budding writers are invited to join the “250 Words a Day” challenge to complete their novel by the closing date.

Paige Nick, author, Sunday Times columnist and advertising copywriter, says: “Writing a whole book can feel daunting, but anyone can write just 250 words a day, right?”

Nick is part of the team of published authors acting as mentors for the “250 Words a Day” campaign. Others include Futhi Ntshingila, Fanie Viljoen, Sicelo Kula, Kagiso Lesego Molope and Rachel Zadok.

Published authors have also been sharing valuable writing advice and glimpses into their working life on the page, including Lauren Beukes, Richard de Nooy, Khaya Dlanga and Iain Thomas.

The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is presented in six categories: Afrikaans, English, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Tshivenda and Xitsonga, with two prizes in each category, Gold (R12,000) and Silver (R6,000).

Submitted work should be suitable for young readers (between 12 and 18 years) and at least 25,000 words.

The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016 – so get writing!

Press release:

2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature launched alongside “250 Words a Day” campaign

Entries for the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature are now open!

However, writing a whole book can be daunting …

Elena Meyer, senior sponsorships manager at Sanlam, says: “As Wealthsmiths, we have a deep understanding and respect for what it takes to turn 26 alphabetic letters into something that can make you cry, scared or make you love. A process that talks to commitment and determination, yet achievable for any person that has a love for the word.

“It is from this understanding that our campaign of ’250 Words a Day’ was born. We want this competition to be accessible not only to established authors, but also to young and upcoming writers.”

By joining the “250 Words a Day” campaign on Facebook, entrants will have access to a panel of renowned and established authors who will act as writing mentors. Would-be authors are encouraged to write 250 words every day. If they commit to this, they should have a manuscript ready to submit by the closing date. Not only will advice, inspiration and helpful writing tips be offered, but mentors will also read segments of manuscripts and respond to writers with useful feedback. Mentors include among others Paige Nick, Cat Hellisen, Fanie Viljoen, Redi Tlhabi and Kagiso Lesego.

According to Michelle Cooper, publisher of children and young adult fiction at Tafelberg, the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is vital in finding and developing new talent and to create literature of high quality for readers between 12 and 18 years of age: “We are excited about the 250 Words a Day campaign and are looking forward to discovering talented new writing voices!”

The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature was launched in 1980 and is awarded every second year. It is open to entries in all 11 official languages. Gold and silver prizes are awarded in the categories for African languages (Tshivenda, Xitsonga and Nguni & Sotho languages), Afrikaans and English.

A panel of readers will compile a shortlist of 18 manuscripts which will then be judged by representatives from the educational and trade book sector, librarians and academics. Manuscripts are judged anonymously so that debut writers are able to compete with established authors.

Over the years around 78 novels that were awarded the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature have been prescribed as setwork books in schools, while some have even been made into films — Lien se lankstaanskoene by Derick van der Walt and Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom written by Marita van der Vyver.

The total prize money amounts to R54,000: R12,000 for the winner (gold) and R6,000 for the runner-up (silver) in each category.

The prize-winning books will be available in bookshops and in ebook format. The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016.


To join the “250 Words a Day” campaign, visit http://bit.ly/SanlamYouth

Download the entry form at www.nb.co.za/Sanlam

Ends

 
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Book details

  • I am Incomplete Without You: An Interactive Poetry Journal from the Author of I Wrote This for You by Iain Sinclair Thomas
    EAN: 9781612435329
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