EVENT: Sunday Times Literary Awards
The shortlisted titles of the 2022 Sunday Times Literary Awards, presented in conjunction with Exclusive Books, were announced on 4 September.
Griffin Shea, chair of the judging panel for the non-fiction award, noted the shortlisted titles and said: "Thula Simpson’s History of South Africa: From 1902 to the Present takes in the entire 20th century, and most of the 21st. Tembeka Ngcukaitobi covers more emotive history in Land Matters. He excavates the past in a way that lays the groundwork for thinking about the future. In The Poisoners, Imraan Coovadia takes stories we may have heard before, but layers them with context and nuance. He finds toxic distrust within society a deeper cause of deadly potions. Bloody Sunday reveals a horrific episode largely forgotten from the history books. Instead of merely recounting a massacre, Mignonne Breier finds an intimate narrative infused with the conviction that one person can make a difference. And in Scatterling of Africa, Johnny Clegg reminds us with humour and joy of the music that defined the turbulent years leading to democracy. There is a vibrant, if complicated, cross-cultural friendship which produced music that gave hope for the possibilities that were to come."
The other judges in this category were NomaVenda Mathiane, Bongani Ngqulunga.
Novelist Ekow Duker, who chaired the panel of judges for fiction, said: "An Island by Karen Jennings is a masterful depiction of a fragile life lived in near-solitude. With its cast of indentured labourers and colonial administrators, Joanne Joseph’s Children of Sugarcane took us on a meticulously detailed journey from India to the cruel fields of Natal, and back again. All Gomorrahs Are The Same by Thenjiwe Mswane gently lifts the veil of familiarity that shrouds the existence of three women, allowing us a powerfully intimate view into their inner lives. Damon Galgut’s The Promise, winner of the 2021 Booker Prize, is a compelling study of a once privileged family in terminal decline. Finally, and without any warning to buckle up, Junx by Tshidiso Moletsane, flung us headlong into the exhilaration of inner-city Jo’burg.”
Nomboniso Gasa and Kevin Ritchie were Dukow’s fellow judges in the fiction category.
The prizes are worth R100 000 each. The winners will be announced early next month.