Longlisted titles for Sunday Times Literary Awards

We’re thrilled to have six of our titles longlisted for South Africa’s prestigious literary awards, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for non-fiction and the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize. 

23/04/2019
5 minutes to read
Sunday Times Awards.jpg


This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Alan Paton Award and the 19th year of the Barry Ronge fiction prize.

Here are the longlisted titles for the Alan Paton Awards:
Mandy Wiener
Ministry of Crime
A follow-up to the bestselling Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2011), Mandy Wiener examines the nexus between organised crime figures, corrupt police officials and powerful politicians. Ministry of Crime traces an underworld trajectory from Kebble to Krejcir to Modack. It features new revelations about high-profile, unsolved hits and the intricate relationships between known criminals and police officers at all levels.
Watch Many Wiener discussing Ministry of Crime.

Rekgotsofetse Chikane
Building A Rainbow, Building A Nation
A first-hand account of the university protests that gripped South Africa between 2015 and 2017, widely better known as  #FeesMustFall. Chikane outlines the nature of student politics in the country before, during and after the emergence of #MustFall politics.
Listen to Rekgotsofetse Chikane in conversation with Eusebius McKaiser.

Here are the longlisted titles for the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize:
Craig Higginson
The White Room
As the reader is drawn from contemporary London back to Paris on the eve of the war in Iraq, the mystery of past events is brought to vivid life in a series of dramatic, intriguing and deeply moving encounters. Written in layered, stark prose, The White Room lays bare many of our assumptions about language, identity, memory, loss and love.
Read the first chapter of The White Room here.

Nthikeng Mohlele
Michael K
A response to J.M. Coetzee’s classic masterpiece, Life & Times of Michael K, Nthikeng Mohlele’s Michael K explores the weight of history and of conscience, thus wrestling the character from the confines of literary creation to the frontiers of artistic timelessness.
Read a review of Nthikeng Mohlele’s Michael K by Mail & Guardian’s Kwanele Sosibo.

Sue Nyathi
The GoldDiggers
Told with brave honesty and bold description, the stories of the individual immigrants are simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming.
Listen to Sue Nyathi in conversation with The Cheeky Natives about The GoldDiggers here.

NR Brodie
Knucklebone
Set against the richly textured backdrop of a livewire African city, this fast-paced thriller offers a disturbing contemporary take on justice and morality.
Watch NR Brodie introducing Knucklebone here.

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation

by Rekgotsofetse Chikane

Book cover for Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation is a first-hand account of the university protests that gripped South Africa between 2015 and 2017, widely better known as the #FeesMustFall. Chikane outlines the nature of student politics in the country before, during and after the emergence of #MustFall politics, exploring the political dynamics that informed and drove the student protests, and the effect that these #MustFall movements have had on the nature of youth politics in the country.

Chikane looks at how the current nature of youth politics is different from previous youth upheavals that have defined South Africa, specifically due to the fact that the protests were being led by so-called coconuts, who are part of the black elite.

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation poses the provocative question, can coconuts be trusted with the revolution?

Knucklebone

by N.R. Brodie

Book cover for Knucklebone
Sangomas and cops don’t mix. Usually. But this is Joburg, a metropolis that is equal parts flash and shadow, and where not everything can be easily explained. Ian Jack, a disillusioned former police officer, teams up with Reshma Patel, a colleague from his old life, to investigate a routine housebreaking gone bad. But when they uncover links to a possible animal poaching and trafficking syndicate, things go from complicated to dangerous to downright evil. Set against the richly textured backdrop of a livewire African city, this fast-paced thriller offers a disturbing contemporary take on justice and morality. To be read with the lights on.

Michael K

by Nthikeng Mohlele

Book cover for Michael K
Bantubonke is an accomplished and revered jazz trumpeter, composer and band leader in decline – an absent present and inadequate spouse. He lives for art at the expense of all else, an imbalance that derails his life and propels him to the brink of madness and despair. A story of direct and implied betrayals, Illumination is an unrelenting study of possession and loss, of the beauty and uncertainty of love, of the dangers and intrusions of fame.

The White Room

by Craig Higginson

Book cover for The White Room

South African playwright Hannah Meade arrives in London for the opening night of her new play. She has arranged to meet Pierre, the student she was in love with when she taught English in Paris. During their time together, they lied their way towards truths they were too young and inexperienced to endure. Perhaps this time they will have a second chance.

As the reader is drawn from contemporary London back to Paris on the eve of the war in Iraq, the mystery of past events is brought to vivid life in a series of dramatic, intriguing and deeply moving encounters. Written in layered, stark prose, The White Room lays bare many of our assumptions about language, identity, memory, loss and love.