Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
| on your newsreader!
Print this page
South Africa: 30+ New Books
Dec 15, 2009 (091215)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
The most popular of these new books from and about South Africa is
undoubtedly that by John Carlin on Nelson Mandela and the Game
that Made a Nation, now available in two editions as well as in
the newly released Clint Eastwood movie. But probably the one most
in need of greater international attention is the one edited by
Tawana Kupe and colleagues - Go Home or Die Here: Violence,
Xenophobia and the Reinvention of Difference in South Africa. This
photographic and analytic portrayal of the xenophobic violence of
2008 poses fundamental questions about the shape of today's South
Also listed below are a wide range of other recent books which
struck me as ones I would like to read (if I had the time and money
for all of them). But I'm sure AfricaFocus readers can name more
recent books that I should have included. If so, just send a note
to me at email@example.com, and I'll add them to the web version
of this Bulletin.
For earlier book suggestions and CDs, other bulletins in the last
Gift Music CDs
New Books 2009
Gift Books Issue 2008
Gift Music CDs Issue 2008
For a much wider range, including selected African countries and
topics, visit the AfricaFocus Bookshop home page at
Books on specific African countries can be found under the regional
++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++
New Books from and about South Africa
Iris Berger, South Africa in World History
The most recent overview of South African history, in a little more
than 200 pages, nevertheless brings the story up to date and
connects history with today's issues.
Anthony Butler, Cyril Ramaphosa
Kadel Asmal says this biography "sheds light on the life and
thought on this most enigmatic and popular national leader," who
was sidelined by internal conflicts in the ANC.
John Carlin, Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a
The latest version, tied to new Clint Eastwood movie based on the
John Carlin, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that
Made a Nation
The drama of rugby and race in the transition from apartheid
David Catling, An Elusive Harvest: Working with Smallholder Farmers
in South Africa
The strengths and weaknesses of the non-governmental Land
Development Unit, which aimed at supporting disadvantaged farmers.
Written by the leader of the group, which pioneered participatory
methods beginning in the early 1990s but went out of existence in
Okwui Enwezor et al., Home Lands-Land Marks: Contemporary Art from
Focuses on seven contemporary South African artists - David
Goldblaat, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, Vivienne Koorland,
Santu Mofokeng, Berni Searlie, and Guy Tillim.
Mark Gevisser, A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future
of the South African Dream
Charlayne Hunter-Gault says "no one better explains [Mbeki], how he
got that way, and how it affected his place in the history of South
Africa - old and new - than Mark Gevisser."
Jeremy Gordin, Zuma: A Biography
Unauthorized biography. Publisher says it is "immensely readable
and, like its subject, highly controversial."
Pippa Green, Choice, Not Fate: Biography of Trevor Manuel
"Unlike many political biographies, it's also an exciting read." -
Mail & Guardian
Carolyn Hamilton, Bernard Mbenga, Robert Ross, eds., The Cambridge
History of South Africa, volume 1, from Early Times to 1885
In addition to the editors, chapter authors include John
Parkington, Simon Hall, John Wright, Martin Legassick, Norman
Etherington, and Paul Landau
Paul Holden, The Arms Deal in Your Pocket
376 pages would require a fairly big pocket, but the post-apartheid
arms deal has so many ramifications in South African politics that
it well deserves this detailed account.
David Hostetter, Movement Matters: American Antiapartheid Activism
and the Rise of Multicultural Politics
Covers the role of the American Committee on Africa, TransAfrica,
and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). While there are
a number of works that include the first two organizations, this is
one of the few that highlights the important role of the AFSC.
Peter Kagwanja, An Encumbered Regional Power: The Capacity Gap in
South Africa's Peace Diplomacy in Africa
"The main focus of this publication is the link between South
Africa's grand pan-African ambitions, especially in the area of
peace, security and governance, and its own capacity to pursue
these objectives." - from publisher's description
Antjie Krog, Nosisi Mpolweni, and Kopano Ratele, There was This Goat:
Investigating the Truth Commission Testimony of Notrose Nobomvu
An in-depth exploration of the different dimensions of one case, by
the renowned author of Country of My Skull and two collaborators.
Tawana Kupe, ed., Go Home or Die Here: Violence, Xenophobia and the
Reinvention of Difference in South Africa
This work includes photographs and a range of analytical essays and
journalistic accounts of the violence that erupted in 2008 in
particular against "foreign Africans" in South Africa. The authors,
as did the events, pose fundamental questions about the character
of "post-apartheid" society.
Premesh Lalu, The Deaths of Hintsa: Post-Apartheid South Africa and
the Shape of Recurring Pasts
This work features both history and the critical examination of how
history is done in the present as well as the past.
Nelson Mandela Foundation and Umlando Wezithombe, Nelson Mandela:
The Authorized Comic Book
Takes the ever-growing genre of works about Madiba into another
Deon Meyer, Blood Safari
The latest novel by South Africa's leading post-apartheid mystery
writer to be translated from Afrikaans. If you like good mystery
novels and thrillers with a nuanced view of society, don't miss
this one featuring bodyguard Martin Lemmer, or Meyer's series with
Cape Town detective Benny Griessel.
Thando Mgqolozana, A Man Who is Not a Man
Novel about aftermath of a botched initiation in Eastern Cape,
culture, stereotypes, and courage.
Kgebetli Moele, Room 207
Novel about a group of friends surviving in an apartment block in
Jeanette Ndhlovu, No Time to Mourn
The autobiography of long-time anti-apartheid activist Jeanette
Ndhlovu, now completing his term in Los Angeles as South African
Consul General. Her next post will be South African Ambassador to
Ghana. The book tells her story, from Soweto to the University of
Missouri to the South African mission to the UN.
Vasu Reddy, Theo Sandfort, and Laetitia Rispel, eds., From Social
Silence to Social Science: Same-sex Sexuality, HIV & AIDS and
Gender in South Africa
An edited collection summarizing current state of knowledge, from
the Human Sciences Research Council.
Alec Russell, After Mandela (in U.S., Bring Me My Machine Gun)
[This book] "stands as an informative, nuanced, and provocative
end-of-era report. ..[but] although Russell would agree that the
ANC was always more than one man, even when Mandela was at its
head, his emphasis is on the leader rather than the organization."
- Gillian Slovo
Jeff Sallaz, The Labor of Luck: Casino Capitalism in the United
States and South Africa
It's not about Wall Street (though it might be) and it's not by an
economist - it's about real casinos and it's by a sociologist. But
I'll wager you'll be able to find some similarities.
Vladimir Shubin, ANC: A View from Moscow
Shubin relies both on personal experience and on careful research
to put together his sober analysis of facts and myths. This second
edition makes this widely acclaimed book newly available. Shubin is
also the author of The 'Hot' Cold War, which similarly recounts the
regional dimension of Soviet involvement with African liberation
Melissa Steyn, Mikki van Zyl, eds., The Prize and the Price:
Shaping Sexualities in South Africa
432-page edited collection from the Human Sciences Research Council
Sharlene Swartz & Arvin Bhana, Teenage Tata: Voices of Young
Fathers in South Africa
Based on interviews in townships around Cape Town and Durban, from
the Social Sciences Research Council,
Hakan Thorn, Anti-Apartheid and the Emergence of a Global Civil
Swedish sociologist compares the anti-apartheid movements in Great
Britain and Sweden.
Sue Williamson, South African Art Now
Forty years of art history, by the founding editor of
Jeff Zapiro, Da Zuma Code
Eleventh annual collection of Zapiro cartoons from the Mail &
Guardian, Sunday Times, and Sowetan
Jeff Zapiro, The Mandela Files
Cartoons of Mandela, from the 1980s to the present, along with
AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication
providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with
a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus
Bulletin is edited by William Minter.
AfricaFocus Bulletin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
write to this address to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin,
or to suggest material for inclusion. For more information about
reposted material, please contact directly the original source
mentioned. For a full archive and other resources, see