IN PICS: The Sunday Times Literary Awards in partnership with Exclusive Books
The winners of the 2023 Sunday Times Literary Awards, in partnership with Exclusive Books, were announced on November 1.
The illustrious event celebrating South Africa’s pre-eminent literary awards was held at the Sunday Times' HQ in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Emceed by Sunday Times' books editor Jennifer Platt, Bulelwa Mabaso won the non-fiction award for My Land Obsession: A Memoir (Picador Africa), and CA Davids was awarded the fiction prize for her second novel, How to be a Revolutionary (Umuzi).
The criteria for the non-fiction award stipulates the winner should demonstrate the illumination of truthfulness — especially those forms of it that are new, delicate, unfashionable and fly in the face of power — compassion, elegance of writing and intellectual and moral integrity. Panelled by Dr Judy Dlamini and Julian Rademeyer, the five titles shortlisted for the 2023 non-fiction award were My Land Obsession by Mabasa, Unforgiven: Face to Face with My Father's Killer by Liz McGregor (Jonathan Ball Publishers), Dear Comrade President: Oliver Tambo and the Foundations of South Africa’s Constitution by André Odendaal, with editorial contributions by Albie Sachs (Penguin Non-fiction), The Blinded City: Ten Years In Inner-City Johannesburg by Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon (Picador Africa), and Manifesto: A New Vision for South Africa by Songezo Zibi (Pan Macmillan).
As for fiction? The winner should be a novel of rare imagination and style, evocative, textured and a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction. Chair Ekow Duker, Nomboniso Gasa and Kevin Ritchie were tasked with determining the winner of this prize, with the shortlist narrowed down to Davids' winning title, The Heist Men by Andrew Brown (Penguin Fiction), The Quality of Mercy by Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu (Penguin Fiction), An Unusual Grief by Yewande Omotoso (Jonathan Ball Publishers/Cassava Republic Press), and The Errors of Dr Browne by Mark Winkler (Penguin Fiction).
A new — and lauded by all — addition to the evening included brief panel discussions with publishers and the shortlisted authors à la Jennifer Platt.
Here's a look at the night in photos:
Fiction finalists Brown and Winkler were unable to attend the event but the remaining three (all women) novelists chatted with Platt about the inspiration behind their stories and the writing process.
The only non-fiction finalist unable to make the do was Liz McGregor, with the remaining four authors engaging in all things non-fiction writing with Platt.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.