The Johannesburg Review of Books

The Johannesburg Review of Books, a new publication giving a view of world literature through African eyes, debuts on May 1, 2017.

It’s been a good few days on the African literary scene right now with books galore emerging from exciting writers old and new, prizes awash, and literary festivals in the most obvious and least likely of spaces. While African literature itself is bursting at the seams, and very well-supported by digital literati, it’s still the case that critical voices from Africa are not as well-heard, when it comes to considering new works of fiction and non-fiction – whether these be from Lagos, Mumbai, Toronto, Dublin or other publishing hubs – as voices from city-arbiters of literary taste like Los Angeles, New York and London.

Enter “The Johannesburg Review of Books” aka The JRB. This new publication is a collaboration between former editors of South Africa’s Books LIVE (, and with the support of many well-known writers from South Africa, elsewhere on the continent and beyond. The JRB aims to fill a conspicuous gap in world letters: namely, the lack of an authoritative review from Africa covering significant books from across the globe.

The first issue of The JRB will be published on Monday May1, 2017. Books under consideration include Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle, The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford, Collective Amnesia by Koleka Putuma and The Power by Naomi Alderman. The JRB will also publish original poetry and photography in its first issue, and a compelling personal essay. There are many other goodies in there that you want to check out as well (we are not trying to give spoilers so bear with us here). You can access the new publication on May 1 at the following address

If there wasn’t space at the table, before, for Johannesburg (and many other places besides), Johannesburg is now making space for itself.