Book Reviews

David Kenvyn reviews Barry Gilder’s novel The List

‘If anyone is going to write a novel based on the South African security services during apartheid and since the first democratic elections in 1994, Barry Gilder is a very good candidate.’

Pippa Green reviews Barry Gilder’s novel The List

One of the more intriguing aspects of Barry Gilder’s gripping spy novel comes in the Author’s Note. In Songs & Secrets, his non-fiction account of his life in exile, from where he returned to senior positions in government, he was ‘invariably asked: Why are there not more secrets’ in the book. The ‘Songs’ reflect another part of Gilder’s identity as an accomplished musician.

‘This book is a blessing’ – Tracey Farren reviews The Enumerations by Máire Fisher

The Enumerations is not only luminous with love and elegantly written but meticulously researched. This combination of gifts makes it not only a powerful read but a deeply healing book for people and families who are struggling with psychological ‘conditions’ or the condition of being, well, human. This book is a blessing.

‘It’s a very useful book’ – Eusebius McKaiser reviews Jan-Jan Joubert’s Who Will Rule in 2019? 

There’s something in this book for a range of folks: political reporters; commentators and analysts; academics working in various areas of contemporary South African politics; and the general reader keen to beef up their understanding of some of the dynamics in our body politic especially as we head to a general election in 2019.

Moving, authentic, compelling: Marcus Low contemplates the Karoo in 2022 in his debut novel Asylum

Marcus Low’s book is timely and important as it presents a human story behind untreatable infectious disease. Low places incarcerated people who have the dimmest hopes for the future and little consolation at the story’s center. Low movingly describes the mental state of Barry James in a way that seems entirely authentic. A compelling read!

A flamboyant and moving debut novel: Olumide Popoola’s When We Speak of Nothing

When We Speak of Nothing tells the story of friends Karl and Abu, both 17, who live near Kings Cross. Its 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is grappling with gender identity, and becomes the target of the local ‘wannabe’ thugs just for being different.