Niq Mhlongo and Bongani Kona were the speakers at the Johannesburg launch of the Akashic Books published Joburg Noir on November 11, 2020. Their moderator was Lorraine Sithole.

Akashic Books is a US publisher of urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are ignored by the mainstream. One of the most remarkable of its offerings is its Noir series, comprising stories set in a distinct neighbourhood or location within a city that started with Brooklyn Noir in 2004. Since then, there have been many in the series from dozens of cities around the world with three African cities giving us the best in Noir. They have been Lagos Noir edited by Chris Abani, Nairobi Noir edited by Peter Kimani, and Addis Ababa Noir edited by Maaza Mengiste.

The latest in the Noir series is the Niq Mhlongo edited Joburg Noir with the official publishing date of February 2, 2021. The new anthology features the contributions of Sam Mathe, Fred Khumalo, Lidudumalingani, Keletso Mopai, Sibongile Fisher, Styles Lucas Ledwaba, Mapule Mohulatsi, Khanyi Magubane, Sifiso Mzobe, Gloria Bosman, Nedine Moonsamy, Yewande Omotoso, Mabel Mnensa, Nthikeng Mohlele, Siphiwo Mahala, Nkateko Masinga, Mzuvukile Maqetuka, Sydney Mojoko, Michelle van Heerden.

The Johannesburg launch of the book, hosted by Jacana Media with excellent moderation by Lorraine Sithole, happened online on Wednesday, November 11. The discussants at the event were Niq Mhlongo, who edited the collection, and Bongani Kona, who edited the contributors’ stories.

It was an hour where those who tuned in learnt how stories were chosen for the project, why the editors opted to include essays, and much more. The healthy number of guests, that crossed the 100 mark at one point, also got to ask questions from the editors of the newest anthology in town.

Watch the discussions in full at the following address.