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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

The cover of Mohale Mashigo’s new short story collection has been revealed!

Synonyms: trespassers, interlopers, invaders, prowlers, infiltrators, encroachers, violators

Orphan sisters chase monsters of urban legend in Bloemfontein. At a busy taxi rank, a woman kills a man with her shoe. A genomicist is accused of playing God when she creates a fatherless child.

Intruders is a collection that explores how it feels not to belong. These are stories of unremarkable people thrust into extraordinary situations by events beyond their control.

With a unique and memorable touch, Mohale Mashigo explores the everyday ills we live with and wrestle constantly, all the while allowing hidden energies to emerge and play out their unforeseen consequences.

Intruders is speculative fiction at its best.

MOHALE MASHIGO, is the author of the widely acclaimed and best-selling novel, The Yearning, which won the University of Johannesburg 2016 Debut Prize for South African Writing in English, as well as of Beyond the River, a young adult adaptation of the movie of the same name. She is also an award-winning singer, songwriter and comic book writer for the Kwezi series.

Intrigued by the revealing the cover for yourself? Try your hand at it here.

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Phumlani Pikoli’s The Fatuous State of Severity a fresh collection of short stories that explores the experiences of young South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language insecurities and relationships

‘Hauntingly engaging’ – Thandiwe Ntshinga, The South African


‘Crisp, experimental and beautifully weird’ – Phumlani S. Langa, City Press

The Fatuous State of Severity is a fresh collection of short stories and illustrations that explores themes surrounding the experiences of a generation of young, urban South Africans coping with the tensions of social media, language insecurities and relationships of various kinds.

Intense and provocative, this new edition of the book, which was first self-published in 2016, features six additional stories as well as an introductory essay on Phumlani Pikoli’s publishing journey.

Phumlani Pikoli is a multi-media journalist and multi-skilled artist. He was born in Zimbabwe in 1988. This is his first time being published by an actual publishing house and he intends to write and publish many more books without restriction to form.

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University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English 2016 winners announced


The University of Johannesburg is pleased to announce the winners of its annual literary award:

The main prize of R75 000 is awarded to Nthikeng Mohlele for Pleasure (Picador Africa).

The debut prize of R35 000 is awarded to Mohale Mashigo for The Yearning (Picador Africa).

A formal prize-giving ceremony will be held later in the year.

Publishers who wish to submit entries for the UJ prize for works published in 2017 should contact Prof Ronit Frenkel (

Background information

The prizes are not linked to a specific genre. This may make the evaluation more challenging in the sense that, for example, a volume of poetry, a novel and a biographical work must be measured against one another, but the idea is to open the prize to as many forms of creative writing as possible.

Approximately 60 works were submitted this year, from which the following books were selected for the shortlist:

Main Prize:
Pleasure by Nthikeng Mohlele
The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Sigh the Beloved Country by Bongani Madondo

Debut Prize:
The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo
Loud and Yellow Laughter by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese
Tjieng-Tjang and Other Stories by Jolyn Philips
The Keeper of the Kumm by Sylvia Vollenhoven

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New novel from South African literary legend Achmat Dangor to be published in 2017 – along with a new edition of Bitter Fruit

New novel from Achmat Dangor to be published by in 2017 with a new edition of Bitter Fruit
Strange PilgrimagesWaiting for LeilaKafka's CurseBitter Fruit


Pan Macmillan South Africa and Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann Literary Agency are pleased to announce that a new novel from Achmat Dangor will be published in southern Africa under the Picador Africa imprint in 2017.

In addition, a new edition of the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel Bitter Fruit will be published as part of the Picador Africa Classics series as well as in paperback in 2017.

Dangor is an award-winning poet and novelist whose titles include Kafka’s Curse (1997) and the 2004 Booker-shortlisted Bitter Fruit, and Strange Pilgrimages (2013), an acclaimed collection of short stories. He lives and works in Johannesburg, and was last year awarded a Lifetime Achievement Literary Award.

I am honoured that Pan Macmillan is to publish my new novel and reissue Bitter Fruit. Both books explore, through eyes of ordinary people, the unresolved legacies of our troubled past.

- Achmat Dangor

Achmat Dangor’s prize-winning, Booker-shortlisted Bitter Fruit is one of the great classics of South African literature, a searing novel still so relevant in so many ways. I’m thrilled that it will reach new readers under the Picador Africa Classics banner, and that Pan Macmillan will also be publishing an exciting new novel by Achmat next year.

- Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency

I am delighted that Pan Macmillan will have the opportunity to work with Achmat Dangor to publish his new novel in 2017, as well as to bring an absolute classic, in Bitter Fruit, back to our local bookstores and readers. Achmat’s writing is a national literary treasure.

– Andrea Nattrass, Publisher at Pan Macmillan

Related news:

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Achmat Dangor “Perversely” Thanks the Apartheid Government for His SALA Lifetime Achievement Award

Strange PilgrimagesThis month, the 2015 South African Literary Awards will present Achmat Dangor with a Lifetime Achievement Literary Award.

The legendary activist, whose most recent book is Strange Pilgrimages, spoke to Morning Live presenter Samm Marshall about his literary life and what being nominated for the SALAs means to him.

Reflecting on where it all started, Dangor said the apartheid banning order that prohibited him from publishing any books or preparing any manuscripts for publication gave him the time to focus on writing.

“In many ways, perversely almost, I need to thank the South African government, the old apartheid government,” he says. “In 1973, I was part of the Black Consciousness Movement, the student movement, and I was banned for five years.

“But my spare time I devoted to my writing because I had nothing else to do.

“Every time I wrote a manuscript, in those days yes it was pen to paper, I’d even hide it. I had manuscripts in my ceiling, in friends’ ceilings, in the garden.”

Dangor was also part of a literary group called Black Thoughts that went around to schools reading banned literature to students.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

The SALA ceremony will be held at the Tshwane Events Centre on 7 November, 2015:


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Highlights from the Picador Africa Classics Inaugural Twitter Town Hall, Hosted by Victor Dlamini

On Tuesday, 16 June, Victor Dlamini hosted the #PicadorAfricaClassics inaugural Twitter Town Hall, with authors Mtutuzeli Nyoka, Thando Mgqolozana, Gcina Mhlophe, Perfect Hlongwane, Nthikeng Mohlele, Siphiwo Mahala and Jo-Anne Richards.

Stories of AfricaOur Story MagicJoziSmall ThingsWhen a Man Cries

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Picador Africa Classics is committed to the preservation of African writing. Picador Africa, an imprint of Pan Macmillan SA, celebrated 10 years of publishing local and African literature in 2014 and to celebrate this milestone published 13 time-honored titles as ebooks.

PEN International board member and author Margie Orford joined the conversation, as did Andrea Nattrass, Babongile Zulu and Wesley Thompson, and many more people asked questions.

During the Town Hall the authors spoke about their books, the places that inspired them and the language of their hearts. Dlamini (@victordlamini) asked Mgqolozana (@thando_mgqo) about how place becomes a character in his books, and whether he writes to disturb the peace:

Hlongwane (@perfecthow) spoke about his life-long love affair with language and the effect that Mongane Wally Serote’s view of the city of Joburg had on his writing:

Richards reflected on the way in which she addresses social issues through fiction (@joanne_richards):

Mahala (@SiphiwoMahala) shared the Department Of Arts and Culture’s strategy in transforming the literary landscape:


Mohlele (@NthikengMohlele) revealed his love of writing in Sepedi, talked about the significance of names and reflected on the Town Hall as a whole:

In conclusion to the discussion Dlamini tweeted:


* * * * * * * *

Follow the full conversation using the hashtag #PicadorAfricaClassics:


Related links:


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Picador Africa Classics Presents a Twitter Town Hall on Youth Day, Hosted by Victor Dlamini

Pan Macmillan invites you to participate in the Picador Africa Classics Twitter Town Hall in commemoration of Youth Day 2015.

The event will be hosted by Victor Dlamini (@victordlamini) and features authors Mtutuzeli Nyoka (@Dr_Nyoka), Thando Mgqolozana (@thando_mgqo), Gcina Mhlophe (@gcinamhlophe5), Perfect Hlongwane (@perfecthow), Nthikeng Mohlele (@NthikengMohlele), Siphiwo Mahala (@SiphiwoMahala) and Jo-Anne Richards (@joanne_richards).

Picador Africa Classics is an imprint of Pan Macmillan that aims to build a catalogue of exceptional titles that may be out of print or lack presence in digital form.

Follow the hashtag #PicadorAfricaClassics on Twitter and let your voice be heard!

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 16 June 2015
  • Time: 2:00 PM for 3:00 PM
  • Host: Victor Dlamini
A Hill of FoolsUnimportanceA Man Who is Not a ManHave You Seen Zandile?JoziThe Imagined Child

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Achmat Dangor Believes Undemocratic Inequality is Holding South Africa Back

Strange PilgrimagesAchmat Dangor believes inequality is the main issue preventing South Africa from becoming a successful democracy.

Dangor, author of Strange Pilgrimages and the Ford Foundation‘s representative for Southern Africa in Johannesburg, co-wrote the article for Business Day with Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

The pair write that although basic living conditions have improved since 1994, International Monetary Fund statistics show that “half of the country’s total income goes to the top 10 percent of earners, while the bottom 20 percent of earners take in only 2.7 percent of national income”, making South Africa one of the most unequal countries in the world.

Dangor and Walker point out that the “eyes of the world” are on South Africa, not out of wariness but because there are many countries in need of ideas on how to combat the same problems.

In 2004, a decade into South Africa’s extraordinary experiment with democratic government, Archbishop Desmond Tutu reminded us that we could “kiss reconciliation and forgiveness goodbye unless the gap between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots, is narrowed”.

Today, 10 years on, Tutu’s words ring truer than ever.

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Excerpt: Read “Skin Costs Extra” from Strange Pilgrimages by Achmat Dangor

Strange PilgrimagesAchmat Dangor tells a story of desire, alienation and betrayal in “Skin Costs Extra”, which appears in his latest short story collection, Strange Pilgrimages.

Aerodrome has shared the story in which protagonist Simon Mashaba accepts the post of Special Investment Adviser to the consulate in New York and decides to stop over in London to contact old Sussex varsity friends, before going to America where his wife is to join him.

Simon Mashaba accepted the New York posting reluctantly. It was so inopportune, barely two months after he and Nomsa had – finally – moved out of their small Soweto home into a house on a quiet, tree-lined street in the northern suburbs. He had remained faithful to his late father’s request: ‘Stay true to your roots, live among your people’, for as long as he could. It was Nomsa who had pointed out that many of his comrades in the struggle – some were now his colleagues in government – had fled the township as soon as they could. She was a professor at a prestigious university close to the city and she resented her daily commute along roads clogged with crazy ‘kombi’ taxis as a needless – Quixotic – gesture.

Despite the lingering sense of guilt, he soon came to like their new home as much as Nomsa did. It was large enough for them to have separate studies overlooking different parts of the garden. He was able to walk from his desk to a stone bench nestled in the shade of a giant old jacaranda tree with gnarled but sturdy branches that defied the wind and hardly creaked. She often fell asleep, a book clutched to her chest, beneath an older magnolia tree that flowered only in the evening, giving off a strong, womanly fragrance. At the centre of the garden water gurgled from the mouth of a metal bird standing in an ancient fountain, adding to the gentle texture of sounds.

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New Collection of Columns by Jonathan Jansen: We Need to Act

We Need to ActPan Macmillan presents a new collection of columns by Jonathan Jansen, We Need to Act:

Following the success of We Need to Talk, published in 2011, comes a new collection of Jonathan Jansen’s columns originally published in The Times newspaper. Jansen’s decidedly non-PC views are organised around four action areas critical to all South Africans: Education (schools and universities); The Future (young people and their futures); Service Delivery (stories about failures of government and institutions); and Hope (stories to inspire).

Jansen takes his inspiration from a diverse group of people – statesmen, teachers, students, children and everyday South Africans he meets – and introduces us to them through his columns. Bound to make you stop and think, and then, we hope, develop your own plans to act to change lives.

About the author

Professor Jonathan Jansen is the rector of the University of the Free State, where he has earned a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He is an educationalist, a former Dean of Education at the University of Pretoria, who holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards, including the position as President of the South African Institute of Race Relations. He was born in the Western Cape, and has lived in various parts of South Africa and in the United States. He is married with two children.

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