These short shorts (most only one to two pages or less) are slices of South African life with the warts left on. Many involve broken families; some describe mental illness; several include explicit sexuality, mostly between women.
Two very different women meet during a long wait to buy subsidized rice and discover they have more in common than their poverty; an old man and child share a last, loving waltz; a cynical, disabled gangster learns humanity from a committed social worker; and a young girl finds her missing father and her role in the political struggle.
In his innovative and challenging new book, Architects of Poverty: Why Africa’s Capitalism needs Changing Moeletsi Mbeki analyses the plight of Africa and concludes that the fault lies not lie with the mass of its people but with its rulers the political elites who contrive to keep their fellow citizens poor while enriching themselves.
In July 2007, the acclaimed writer Bessie Head would have turned 70 years old. Her friends, colleagues andliterary critics honoured her with a series of conferences, new books and theses, and the founding of a permanent Bessie Head Heritage Trust to guarantee the future of her house and literary papers. Wits University Press took the opportunity to repackage and republish this excellent biography and it appears with new, never-before-published photographs of Bessie Head’s life.
From Paul Theroux and Peter Moore to Jonny Steinberg, JM Coetzee, Jonathan Kaplan, Nelson Mandela, Mamphela Ramphele, Tom Eaton, Breyten Breytenbach, Pieter-Dirk Uys and Gabeba Baderoon: Discover Cape Town with top contemporary authors – both well-loved locals and international travel writers. Selected and with an introduction by Justin Fox.
Life in exile, the poet Roy Campbell, and the world of a boys’ boarding school are the three topics explored in this, the first collection of the work of one of South Africa’s leading playwrights, Anthony Akerman.
Far more than being about a single artwork, this book participates in the myriad conversations and debates on the meaning of public art. The essays prise open critical questions about public space in Johannesburg; Oliver Barstow’s interviews with the various collaborators on the sculpture reveal the complexities and challenges of creating such a massive work in so short a time; and the images by John Hodgkiss of the making of the sculpture, alongside two photo essays suggest the metaphorical power of Fire Walker as well as the fragile hold of street vendors over their small share of city space.
Cupidity, corruption and conciliation are the themes of the three plays in this collection: The Mother of all Eating, a one-hander, with its central character a corrupt Lesotho official, is a grinding satire on materialism in which the protagonist gets his come-uppance.
First published in 1964, Indaba, My Children is an internationally acclaimed collection of African folk tales that chart the story of African tribal life since the time of the Phoenicians. It is these stories that have shaped Africa as we know it.
Lyric, vigilant, hyper-alert to the surfaces, textures and sensations of the physical world, the poems in Moolman’s sixth collection are beautiful and dangerous, a meditation on the fraught and even perilous relationship of mind and body.
This book collates nearly 300 prison letters to and from Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, inspirational political leader and first President of the Pan-Africanist Congress. These letters are testimony to the desolate conditions of his imprisonment and to his unbending commitment to the cause of African liberation.
Through five colourful characters, three of them living out their very individual lives in an unnamed public park in Johannesburg, Zakes Mda explores the plight of women and children in a patriarchal and male-dominated twenty-first century world.