Books

A new biography gives  the real Sol Plaatje
A new biography gives  the real Sol Plaatje
Sol Plaatje was a man of prodigious talents. He had mastered seven languages before the age of 20 and was a writer of prevailing prose. He was a...
Austere beauty of Chatsworth
Austere beauty of Chatsworth
Pravasan Pillay is a literary ascetic. Chatsworth (Dye Hard Press, 2018), his collection of short stories, is largely unencumbered by...
The complex histories we’re connected to
The complex histories we’re connected to
“The act of representation is inevitably doomed to failure,” says Craig Higginson, who is seated across from me in a restaurant as we discuss...
​Searching for Zimbabwe’s scattered (hi)stories
​Searching for Zimbabwe’s scattered (hi)stories
Brooklyn is not an obvious inspiration for an archival project about Zimbabwe. In a modest brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Nontsikelelo Mutiti,...
​Silences speak of bitter times
​Silences speak of bitter times
“Your daughter looks just like …” Jennifer Makumbi rattles off the name of one of my aunts whom I don’t see very often. “This one is...
​Arundhati Roy: Brilliant, troubled and troubling
​Arundhati Roy: Brilliant, troubled and troubling
In the 1780s, the Dutch East India Company moved the eastern border of the Cape to the Fish River. Under European law, this act tacitly affirmed...
Seeking the real Chimurenga
Seeking the real Chimurenga
Three photographs. The 19th-century spirit medium Mbuya Nehanda as she stands defiantly before the gallows; former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe...
​Enigmatic Michael K stripped
​Enigmatic Michael K stripped
Ever since taking up literature studies at the University of Witwatersrand in the late 1990s, author Nthikeng Mohlele has read JM Coetzee’s...
Life and death of a little river
Life and death of a little river
Writing the Ancestral River – a biography of the Kowie by Jacklyn Cock. (Wits University Press, 2018)...
Singapore’s pop culture, pollution cuts no ice
Singapore’s pop culture, pollution cuts no ice
PONTI by Sharlene Teo (Pan Macmillan)
Two takes on the kwaito legacy
Two takes on the kwaito legacy
BORN TO KWAITO by Esinako Ndabeni and Sihle Mthembu (Blackbird Books)
To hate gays is to hate God
To hate gays is to hate God
I found my Christianity in high school. At the peak of my faith, I attended youth groups every Friday, embarked on an annual church camp to Port...
Rappetti reveals her many selves
Rappetti reveals her many selves
The opening scene of my favourite musical, Rent, begins with Seasons of Love and a familiar piano riff. Characters gather at the...

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