South African Masande Ntshanga is on the Saboteur Awards 2018 shortlist for his debut novel The Reactive. The book was published by Jacaranda Books.

UK based Sabotage Reviews provides commentary and reviews of small-scale and ephemeral literature that might not otherwise receive such critical and public attention. The focus is on independent, small-budget literature; poetry pamphlets, short stories and live performance (particularly open mic events and spoken word shows). The review has an awards ceremony where they celebrate the birthday of its founding by Claire Trévien in 2010.

This year Masande Ntshanga is in the running for this year’s awards for his debut novel The Reactive (Jacaranda Books). He is in the running alongside Dead Dogs & Angels by Mickela Sonola (Holland House Books), How to Make A Window Snake by Charmaine Wilkerson (Ad Hoc Fiction), Seed by Joanna Walsh (Visual Editions) and Tumours by Chay Collins (Ampersand Publishing).

This isn’t the first time we have covered this writer here at; he first appeared on our radar when he won the Pen International New Voices Award in 2013. His novel The Reactive was published in 2014 and the book blurb described the new publication thus;

“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.”

That book would make it to the longlist and then the shortlists of the Sunday Times Literature Prize in 2015.

The winners for the Saboteur Awards will be announced at a ceremony on May 18-19.

Update: He didn’t win. Next time man.