The Sunday Times Literary Awards 2018 longlist for the Barry Rouge Fiction Prize was announced on April 1, 2018.
In 1989, South African newspaper The Sunday Times started a new literary prize they called The Sunday Times Literary Prize. We aren’t sure if they were seeing what was happening as their country was in the throes of what could only be described as one of the bloodiest civil wars to be witnessed on African soil. In spite of this, they announced the new prize for meritorious works of non-fiction they called the Alan Patton Prize with Marq de Villiers winning the award for his book White Tribe Dreaming.
In 2001 the prize, now in a less crazy South Africa, introduced a fiction component to it they named the Sunday Times Fiction Prize which went to Zakes Mda for his classic The Heart of Redness. It was renamed in 2014 to the Barry Rouge Fiction Prize after South African journalist best known for his “Spit and Polish” column in the Sunday Times. He was also one of the founders of the prize.
This prize has been won by some of the best writers in the Southern African country including Zakes Mda and Greg Marinovich (2017), Pumla Dineo Gqola and Nkosinathi Sithole (2016), Jacob Dlamini and Damon Galgut (2015) and a host of others. They include Sifiso Mzobe, Nkosinathi Sithole, and Imraan Coovadia in fiction and Redi Tlhabi for nonfiction.
The 2018 edition is upon us and the judges for this year’s run Africa Melane, Kate Rogan, and Ken Barris and the team have announced those who they have prequalified in the fiction section. The longlist features the usual publishing suspects of Umuzi, Blackbird books, Picador Africa with some of our favourites like Angela Makholwa, Fred Khumalo, Fiona Snyckers, and Etisalat Prize shortlisted Rehana Rossouw.
The full list of those in the fiction longlist are;
- Selling LipService Tammy Baikkie (Jacana Media)
- Grace Barbara Boswell (Modjadji Books)
- A Handful of Earth Simon Bruinders (Penguin Books)
- Softness of the Lime Maxine Case (Umuzi)
- Dikeledi Achmat Dangor (Picador Africa)
- Accident Dawn Garisch (Modjadji Books)
- Bare Ground Peter Harris (Picador Africa)
- I Am Pandarus Micheil Hyens (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
- Dancing The Death Drill Fred Khumalo (Umuzi)
- Asylum Marcus Low (Picador Africa)
- The Blessed Girl Angela Makholwa (Pan Macmillan)
- Johannesburg Fiona Melrose (Little Brown)
- The Last Stop Thabiso Mofokeng (Blackbird Books)
- The Third Reel SJ Naude (Umuzi)
- If I Stay Right Here Chwayita Ngamlana (Blackbird Books)
- Unpresidented Paige Nick (B&N)
- Imitation Leonhard Praeg (UKZN Press)
- Bird-Monk Seding Lesego Rampolokeng (Deep South)
- New Times Rehana Rossouw (Jacana Media)
- The Camp Whore Francois Smith translated from French by Dominique Botha (Tafelberg)
- Spire Fiona Snyckers (Clockwork Books)
- Son/Seun Neil Sonnekus (MF Books Joburg)
- A Gap in The Hedge Johan Vick Louw (Umuzi)
- The Shallows Ingrid Winterbach translated by Michael Heyns (Human and Rousseau)
Following on this we shall be getting the shortlist and then the winners announced in June.