Siphiwe Ndlovu and Terry Kurgan are the winners of the Sunday Times Literary Awards 2019 announced today, September 6, 2019.
The Sunday Times Literary Prize, organised by South African newspaper The Sunday Times, has the subsections of the Barry Rouge Prize for fiction and the Alan Paton Award for nonfiction. Founded in 1989, it has been won by Bongani Ngqulunga and Harry Kalmer (2018), Zakes Mda and Greg Marinovich (2017), Pumla Dineo Gqola and Nkosinathi Sithole (2016), Jacob Dlamini and Damon Galgut (2015) and a host of others.
The longlist for the Sunday Times Literary Awards were announced on April 21 with fifty books in the running in the two categories; the shortlists for the awards were announced on July 21. The winners were announced at a ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa this evening.
“This was a special and significant year for the Sunday Times Literary Awards. It marked the 30th anniversary of the coveted Alan Paton Award,” said Sunday Times Books Editor Jennifer Platt. “Both winners showcase once again the best in South African writing, and the prizes continue to signify the dedication that the Sunday Times has to our local literature.”
The Barry Rouge Prize goes to The Theory of Flight by Siphiwe Ndlovu (Penguin Fiction). The judges Ken Barris (chair), Nancy Richards, and Wamuwi Mbao called Ndlovu’s book “a beautifully resolved magical-realist novel” and described it as being “utterly captivating and image-rich”.
The Alan Paton Award winner is Everyone is Present: Essays on Photography, Family and Memory by Terry Kurgan (Fourthwall Books). The winner was selected by a judging panel of Sylvia Vollenhoven (chair), Paddi Clay, and Prof Tinyiko Maluleke. The judges called Kurgan’s book “a compassionate, mesmerising tale of a time and place and the singular journey of remarkable people”.
Apart from the trophy, the winners each receive R100,000.