The Sunday Times Literary Awards 2018 shortlists were announced at a ceremony in Parkview, Johannesburg on May 12, 2018.
The Sunday Times Literary Prize is an award scheme that was founded by South African newspaper The Sunday Times in 1989. It is divided into two categories of fiction called the Barry Rouge Prize and nonfiction called the Alan Paton Award. 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 journey for this year’s awards started earlier in the year with a callout that led to the longlist being announced in April. Those in the running for the award have since become known as the shortlist was announced in a ceremony in Johannesburg. Here are the shortlistees and the comments from the judges;
Alan Paton Award 2018.
Chair of judges Sylvia Vollenhoven comments: “When nations sink into division and despair creativity points to a way forward. The collective power and style of the five authors (three of them women) on this year’s shortlist represent the finest artistic vision for the future. Literary flair is coupled with excellent research that takes us into places we need to visit. Exploring recent history a remarkable opus dissects Zimbabwe like no other, the man who founded the ANC is honoured in all his complexity and we get to know exactly why we owe the former Public Protector such a huge debt of gratitude. Balancing the political with the personal, two achingly beautiful memoirs give us deep insight into the family terrain where all our horrors and delights originate.”
- Kingdom, Power, Glory – Mugabe, Zanu and the Quest for Supremacy, 1960-1987, Stuart Doran (Sithatha Media/Bookstorm)
- No Longer Whispering to Power – The Story of Thuli Madonsela, Thandeka Gqubule (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
- Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home, Sisonke Msimang (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
- The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Bongani Ngqulunga (Penguin Books)
- Colour Me Yellow: Searching For My Family Truth, Thuli Nhlapo (Kwela Books)
Barry Ronge Prize 2018.
Judging chair Africa Melane says: “The authors on this list help us search for truth, which is often unsettling and uncomfortable. There are stories of love and loss, of lives not yet lived and those long forgotten. Our history narrates heartbreak and pain, and we learn how to carry our past in our souls. The pulsating veins of our cities are laid bare through deeply personal accounts and there is a fearlessness in addressing controversial issues. The works are thought- provoking, unflinching and disturbing at times, but very compelling. Every read has been immensely rewarding.”
- Softness of the Lime, Maxine Case (Umuzi)
- A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg, Harry Kalmer (Penguin Books)
- The Third Reel, SJ Naudé (Umuzi)
- Bird-Monk Seding, Lesego Rampolokeng (Deep South Publishers
- The Camp Whore, Francois Smith, translated by Dominique Botha (Tafelberg)
The winners, who will each receive R100,000, will be announced on Saturday June 23, 2018.