This year, Picador Africa, an imprint of Pan Macmillan SA, celebrates 10 years of publishing local and African literature in South Africa. In celebration of this milestone and in honouring Phaswane Mpe in the 10th anniversary of his passing, we will be publishing 13 time-honored titles as ebooks this year.
Picador Africa Classics aims to build a catalogue of exceptional titles that may be out of print or lack presence in digital form. It builds on the historical concept of something like the African Writers Series as well as a publisher such as Ravan Press, which showcased works of excellence by African writers. The focus of the series is initially on South African fiction titles but adding specific ‘classic’ works of non-fiction is a future possibility. This important digital archive also serves to highlight great work that receives little or no attention. We are honoured to have Mpe’s work feature in this selection of great South African writing.
When a Man Cries by Siphiwo Mahala
When a Man Cries is an uncompromising and engrossing novel from Siphiwo Mahala about the challenges of manhood in contemporary South Africa. It interrogates the dynamics of township life and the human and socioeconomic realities of the most impoverished communities in post-apartheid South Africa.
I Speak to the Silent by Mtutuzeli Nyoka
Walter Hambile Kondile is the typical ‘good native’ of his generation, poorly educated and subservient, brought up to know his place and believe that ‘it was God’s design for the white man to rule over me’. Then Kondile’s beloved daughter, Sindiswa, a young struggle activist, goes missing in exile. Kondile’s search leads him to Lesotho and grim discoveries of betrayal that shatter forever his own ‘complicity of silence’, committing him to an irrevocable path of no return.
This is a compelling and beautifully written novel by Mtutuzeli Nyoka, a powerful storyteller who shares history as he sees it.
Welcome to Our Hillbrow by Phaswane Mpe
Welcome to Our Hillbrow is an exhilarating and disturbing ride through the chaotic and hyperreal zone of Hillbrow – microcosm of all that is contradictory, alluring and painful in the South African psyche.
Small Things by Nthikeng Mohlele
Through his protagonist, the trumpet-playing philosopher poet, Nthikeng Mohlele weaves his unique magic with words, posing powerful questions in his inimitably individualistic and evocative style.
Small Things is the story of a dreamer, an average man, singled out by fate for an uncertain life. Jailed for 18 years under apartheid for unspecified sins, he emerges into a world that has no place for him. His fluctuating fortunes land him on the unpredictable, bitter-winter streets of Johannesburg, where ‘harmlessness’ is an ‘unfortunate trait’ but the tempestuous skylines offer space to breathe.
The Brooding Clouds by Phaswane Mpe
The Brooding Clouds collection is a gem of creative achievement that stands as a poignant tribute to the tremendous talent of a writer cut down much
The Brooding Clouds is a posthumous collection of short stories and poems that were written as a prequel to Phaswane Mpe’s acclaimed bestseller, Welcome to Our Hillbrow.
And coming soon:
A Man Who is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozana
The controversial topic of botched traditional circumcision is a steady constant in the South African news and the focus of much debate. This powerful first novel recounts the personal trauma of a young Xhosa initiate after one such circumcision gone wrong.
With frankness and courage Thando Mgqolozana details the pain and life-long shame that is experienced as a result of not only the physical trauma, but the social ostracism of being labelled ‘a failed man’.
Jozi by Perfect Hlongwane
This absorbing novel by debut author Perfect Hlongwane offers a biting portrait of inner-city Jo’burg, ‘a place where dreams come to die’.
A Daughter’s Legacy by Pamphilia Hlapa
A Daughter’s Legacy is the story of Kedibone’s journey from childhood to parenthood, from the dusty streets of her home village to the
modern worlds of university and working life.
Determination and resilience battle with fear and insecurity in Kedibone’s searing engagement with relationships and personal growth. This novel is a bold and necessary statement that exposes the taboos and abuse that a male-dominated culture allows, if not engenders. It breaks the silence and
connivance in a way that is seldom done.
Our Story Magic by Gcina Mhlophe
Our Story Magic is a collection of enchanting and compelling tales written by Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa’s most popular performance storyteller.
The illustrations are by artists from Mhlophe’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal. Read and share these 11 stories with the love that went into
Stories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe
Stories of Africa is a folklore story collection that offers a feast of enjoyment for young South African readers, with 10 enchanting tales, steeped in the imaginative richness of African oral tradition.
Told with inimitable aplomb by Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa’s most popular performance storyteller, and illustrated by a lively selection of
KwaZulu-Natal artistic talent, Stories of Africa is a classic to delight readers of all ages and cultures.
Fanie Fourie’s Lobola by Nape ’a Motana
Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is filled with naughty humour and ironic reversals of stereotype. With a deft and humorous pen, Nape ’a Motana evokes the colliding worlds of traditional and contemporary culture in a South Africa still struggling to renegotiate roles and relationships and shake off the complexes and prejudices of the past.
This novel was turned into an acclaimed comedic film. It demonstrates how far we have come in that we can now write with piercing humour about what used to be life-and-death issues – specifically ‘love across the colour bar’.
To Every Birth Its Blood by Mongane Wally Serote
The Rediscovery of the Ordinary: Essays on South African Literature and Culture by Njabulo Ndebele