The Book Show: Sunday Times Book Awards shortlist

In this Book Show, Jenny Crwys-Williams looks at the books that form part of The Sunday Times Book Awards shortlist - winners to be announced on the 27th June 2015.

There are two major awards: the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction, now in its 26th year, and the Barry Ronge Fiction Award (in its 15th year). The winner of both categories gets a whopping R100,000 for their efforts- it has just been put up and it has to be hugely welcome for any writer.

Barry Ronge Award Fiction:

Tales of the Metric System by Imraan Coovadia (Umuzi Publishers)

Paper**back: R257.00 (Exclusive Books) eBook: **R189.00 (Exclusive Books)

Imraan Coovadia has won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize before - will he be able to do it again? He’s written fiction and non-fiction [but what Jenny loves about him most is that his favourite small word is “but” …

Tales of the Metric System shows how ten days spread across four decades send tidal waves through the lives of ordinary and extraordinary South Africans alike.

The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga (Umuzi Publishers)

Paper**back: R185.00 (Exclusive Books) eBook: **R131.00 (Exclusive Books)

There’s a lot of talk about this book, the author’s first. It’ already attracted attention in both the USA and Germany and I expect other countries will begin sniffing around. It’s set in a drug ravaged Cape Town and the Eastern Cape.

In a city that has lost its shimmer, Lindanathi and his two friends Ruan and Cecelia sell illegal pharmaceuticals while chasing their next high.

Lindanathi, deeply troubled by his hand in his brother's death, has turned his back on his family, until a message from home reminds him of a promise he made years before. When a puzzling masked man enters their lives, Lindanathi is faced with a decision: continue his life in Cape Town, or return to his family and to all he has left behind.

Rendered in lyrical, bright prose and set in a not-so-new South Africa, The Reactive is a poignant, life-affirming story about secrets, memory, chemical abuse and family, and the redemption that comes from facing what haunts us most.

Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut (Umuzi Publishers)

Paper**back: R185.00 (Exclusive Books) eBook: **R150.00 (Exclusive Books)

In this literary tour de force, twice Booker shortlisted novelist Damon Galgut evokes the life and work of EM Forster, his travels to India, and the freedom and inspiration he found there. In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters, who is embarking on a journey of discovery.

As Morgan stands on deck, the promise of a strange new future begins to take shape before his eyes. The seeds of a story start to gather at the corner of his mind: a sense of impending menace, lust in close confines, under a hot, empty sky. It will be another twelve years, and a second time spent in India, before A Passage to India, EM Forster's great work of literature, is published.

Other authors on the list:

  • October by Zoe Wicomb (Umuzi)
  • The Savage Hour by Elaine Proctor (Quercus Publishing)

Alan Paton Award for Non-fiction:

Lost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser (Jonathan Ball)

Paper**back: R236.00 (Exclusive Books) eBook: **R170.00 (Exclusive Books)

Lost and Found in Johannesburg begins with a transgression--the armed invasion of a private home in a suburb of the South African city in which Mark Gevisser was born and raised.

As a child growing up in apartheid South Africa, Gevisser becomes obsessed with a street guide called Holmden's Register of Johannesburg, which literally erases entire black townships. Johannesburg, he soon understands, is full of divisions between black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight; a place that, as he puts it, "draws its energy precisely from its atomization and its edge, its stacking of boundaries against one another." Here, Gevisser embarks on a quest to understand the inner life of the city of his birth.

Gevisser uses maps, family photographs, shards of memory, newspaper clippings, and courtroom testimony to chart his intimate history of Johannesburg

Other authors on the list:

Listen to the full conversation below:


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM
Read More
DA plans to serve charge sheet on De Lille

DA plans to serve charge sheet on De Lille

Federal Executive Chairperson James Selfe discusses the legal woes facing Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.

Some days I wanted to run away - Mel Bala and other moms on postpartum distress

Some days I wanted to run away - Mel Bala and other moms on postpartum distress

Media personality Melanie Bala and other mothers open up about their struggles with postpartum depression and social stigma.

[LISTEN] Are traditional leaders relevant in contemporary society… Yay or nay?

[LISTEN] Are traditional leaders relevant in contemporary society… Yay or nay?

The history of traditional leadership in South Africa is not as rosy as Nkosi Nonkonyana paints it, says analyst Prince Mashele.

Why divorce counselling is key to a healthy marriage split

Why divorce counselling is key to a healthy marriage split

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane suggests spouses independently consult with a divorce counsellor to get through the process.

The Book Show: New South African books you WILL hear about

The Book Show: New South African books you WILL hear about

Jenny Crwys-Williams and Redi Tlhabi look at South African fiction and non-fiction books EXPLODING at the moment.

Celebrating South Africa’s rich literary heritage

Celebrating South Africa’s rich literary heritage

Hosted by Phemelo Ngcobo in the last one for September the book show celebrates South Africa's literary heritage.

Popular articles
Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Ndlozi explains the significance of the the first chapter of his thesis: 'Trauma in the archives'.

Trump confirms his first visit to Africa

Trump confirms his first visit to Africa

United States President Donald Trump has disclosed his first stop on an African visit.

Art deco buildings make Springs an architectural tourism destination

Art deco buildings make Springs an architectural tourism destination

The style of visual arts architecture has become part of a few impromptu tours by Jeffrey Cole in the underrated East Rand.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will pilot a new funding model in 2017. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana explains.

How much should you be paying your domestic worker?

How much should you be paying your domestic worker?

A new online tool has been developed to put what you pay your domestic worker into perspective.