Our South African coverage is focused on the transition from the Apartheid regime to a democratic one. For a general picture Alec Russell, the Financial Times’ former Johannesburg bureau chief offers his best books on South Africa. John Carlin, another journalist who covered the country during the transition from Apartheid to democracy gives his best books on Understanding Mandela and South Africa. He stresses the use Mandela made of forgiveness in achieving his political objectives. Colleen Murphy speaks at length on the country as a paradigm in her interview on her best books on Transitional Justice.
Jonny Steinberg chooses his best books on identity in the country and Kevin Bloom his best books on post-Apartheid identity in South Africa. Justin Cartwright also looks at the country in discussing his best books on Being White in Africa.
Imraan Coovadia chooses his five best books on the country's fiction. Daniel Norcross discusses cricket controversies during the Apartheid era and Steve Bloomfield talks about the role of football pre- and post-Apartheid in his discussion of World Football.
The journalist Heather Brooke talks about the role of newspapers in Apartheid South Africa in her best books on Holding Power to Account and issues related to the country are also touched on by the Ghanaian economist, George Ayittey in his best books on Africa through African Eyes and by the historian David Olusoga on his best books on Race and Slavery.
The 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature was won by South African author Nadine Gordimer with the 2003 prize going to J M Coetzee. Other notable South African authors include Damon Galgut (winner of the 2021 Booker Prize) and Zakes Mda.
From high-stakes thrillers to cosy mysteries, from South African township life to Zimbabwe’s independence, Southern African crime fiction is a flourishing genre. Michael Sears, half of the crime-writing duo Michael Stanley, talks us through some of the best Southern African crime books out there and explains how they shed light on important issues.
Nelson Mandela was a most unusual and unusually astute leader, says journalist and author of Playing the Enemy, John Carlin. He chooses the best books to understand Nelson Mandela, who used forgiveness as a political tool, and South Africa, the country he brought peacefully out of apartheid.
The South African novelist gives us an unvarnished view of the writer’s life, and explains how literature told the story of apartheid and why comedy is the easiest way to talk about race
The journalist and author discusses five books with strikingly different interpretations of what it means to be South African today, whether black or white
The award-winning South African writer Kevin Bloom discusses five books that bring light to post-apartheid South Africa with focus on the predicament of the white South African. Do whites ‘deserve’ to feel at home in their country?
The award-winning novelist thinks Africans want to know how it is that white men have got their hands on all the money. He picks five books on what it means and meant to be white in Africa
World News Editor at the FT and Pulitzer Prize nominee discusses the struggles and triumphs of South Africa – the colonial scramble, the end of apartheid, Mbeki, Mandela and rugby, ANC corruption and more