The Shortlistees Photo/
The Shortlistees Photo/

The Sunday Times Literary Awards are one of richest prizes for writers on the continent with winners in the two categories going home with R100 000. The awards are in two categories; the fiction prize is called the Barry Ronge Award and the non fiction category is called the Alan Paton Award. The award is for South African writers.

The fiction category this time round included Masande Ntshanga whose writing career has been doing doing big things with his book The Reactive. Damon Galgut is also in the running for his book Artic Summer. Also on the list is Zoe Wicomb, the chair of for this years Caine Prize for African literature, for her book October. Four out of five of the shortlisted books came from Umuzi which tells me that if you want to go places in South Africa this publisher is the way to go.

On the non-fiction side, the publisher battles are between two books from Jonathan Ball Publishers and Tafelberg with the fifth book from Jacana Media. A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg is of special interest to us in East Africa as it is the story of a Somali man who left his war torn country and made his way to South Africa. It puts this Xenophobia attacks in South Africa in a different light.

Here is the full list of those who made the shortlists

The Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize 2015 Shortlist

  • Tales of the Metric System by Imraan Coovadia (Umuzi)
  • The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga (Umuzi)
  • Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut (Umuzi)
  • The Savage Hour by Elaine Proctor (Quercus)
  • October by Zoe Wicomb (Umuzi)

The Sunday Times Alan Paton Award 2015 shortlist (Non fiction)

  • Askari: A Story of Collaboration and Betrayal in the Anti-apartheid Struggle by Jacob Dlamini (Jacana Media)
  • Lost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  • DF Malan and the Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism by Lindie Koorts (Tafelberg)
  • Postmortem: the Doctor Who Walked Away by Maria Phalime (Tafelberg)
  • A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg (Jonathan Ball Publishers)

On 27 June the overall winners of the Alan Paton Award and the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize will be announced at Summer Place, Johannesburg.