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South Africa has a thriving fiction market, with authors writing original stories that often include hard-hitting looks at society in South Africa. Perdeby took a look at some of the authors to look out for next time you wander into your local bookstore.
J. M. Coetzee is arguably one of South Africa’s most important authors. The reclusive writer has multiple awards and award nominations to his name, including two Booker Prizes and the Nobel Prize for Literature. He writes thought-provoking novels, the latest investigating the experience of growing up in a foreign place. The School Days of Jesus, sequel to The Childhood of Jesus, is set to be released in September.
Zakes Mda, along with being one of our most prolific writers, is also an avid beekeeper and music producer. He has 29 novels to his name, not including his non-fiction works. His latest novel, Little Suns, is a historical fiction and includes an insightful look into the genealogical history of the Xhosa nation.
Jade Gibson is and up-and-coming author boasting an impressive education. With a background in biomedical science and fine art, she also has a doctorate in anthropology. Her first novel, Glowfly Dance, is a beautifully written account from the perspective of young Mai as she is forced to travel the world. The novel showcases the resilience of people and issues that women and families have to face. Her novel has also been nominated for two international awards.
Deon Meyer is a popular Afrikaans writer whose novels have been translated into 28 languages. He won over the hearts of many South Africans with his Benny Griessel series, following Detective Griessel as he tries to solve crimes. His novels often touch on current issues unique to South Africa. His latest novel, Koors, was released earlier this August with the English copy, Fever, expected to be released in early 2017.
Andrew Miller’s debut novel Dub Steps is thrilling South Africa’s literary community, having already won an award. The novel is a science fiction story set in a dystopian Johannesburg where the few remaining people have to find each other and try to start again. Miller uses this base to look at the dynamics between people in a modern South African context.
Nkosinathi Sithole is also making waves with his debut novel Hunger Eats a Man, which was described as “beautifully poetic, funny and highly relevant” when it won an award at The Sunday Times Literary awards in June. The novel takes a look at the power of a community working together to bring about change in a rural South African context.