Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg, and eGoli is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa's three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.
The metropolis is an alpha global city as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. In 2011, the population of the city of Johannesburg was 4,434,827, making it the most populous city in South Africa. In the same year, the population of Johannesburg's urban agglomeration was put at 7,860,781. The land area of the municipal city (1,645 km2 (635 sq mi)) is large in comparison with those of other major cities, resulting in a moderate population density of 2,364/km2 (6,120/sq mi). Read more on Wikipedia
By Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
By Zinzi Clemons
Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love.
In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.
By Zakes Mda
“Brilliant...A new kind of novel: one that combines Gabriel García Márquez's magic realism and political astuteness with satire, social realism and a critical reexamination of the South African past.” —The New York Times Book Review
By Phaswane Mpe
“Phaswane Mpe (1970–2004) was one of South Africa’s major literary talents who emerged after the fall of apartheid. His intellectual honesty in exploring thematic concerns germane to postapartheid South African society continues to inspire readers who seek to reflect on old and new sets of problems facing the new South Africa. His style continues to set the bar for many aspiring black South African writers. And he is a truly ’home-grown’ South African literary phenomenon.”—From the introduction by Ghirmai Negash
By Marlene Van Niekerk
Set in apartheid South Africa, Agaat portrays the unique, forty-year relationship between Milla, a sixty-seven-year-old white woman, and her black maidservant turned caretaker, Agaat. In 1950s South Africa, life for white farmers was full of promise--young and newly married, Milla raised a son and created her own farm out of a swathe of Cape mountainside with Agaat by her side. By the 1990s, Milla's family has fallen apart, the country she knew is on the brink of huge change, and all she has left are memories and her proud, contrary, yet affectionate guardian. With haunting, lyrical prose, Marlene van Niekerk creates a story about love and loyalty.
By Kopano Matlwa
"Narrated from a teenager's perspective, [this] is an audacious, lyrical and compassionate tale. It explores the grey, in-between, intimate experiences and dilemmas of a young girl who, like the society around her, is undergoing changes that call old boundaries, comforts, and certitudes into question." —European Union Literary Award Jury
By Nadine Gordimer
Toby Hood, a young Englishman, shuns the politics and the causes his liberal parents passionately support. Living in Johannesburg as a representative of his family's publishing company, Toby moves easily, carelessly, between the complacent wealthy white suburbs and the seething, vibrantly alive black townships. His friends include a wide variety of people, from mining directors to black journalists and musicians, and Toby's colonial-style weekends are often interspersed with clandestine evenings spent in black shanty towns. Toby's friendship with Steven Sithole, a dashing, embittered young African, touches him in ways he never thought possible, and when Steven's own sense of independence from the rules of society leads to tragedy, Toby's life is changed forever.
By Beverley Naidoo
A classic look at prejudice and racism in apartheid South Africa, this short and compelling novel is perfect for independent reading projects and classroom sharing.
By John van de Ruit
It's 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud Milton--thirteen-year-old, prepubescent choirboy extraordinaire--is about to start his first year at an elite boys-only boarding school in South Africa. Cursed with embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, a senile granny named Wombat, and a wild obsession for Julia Roberts, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home.
Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes readers of all ages on a rowdy boarding school romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in total hysterics and thirsty for more.
Winner of South Africa's Booksellers' Choice Award 2006
By Fiona Melrose
Set across the course of a single momentous day and narrated by a chorus of voices, Fiona Melrose's second novel is a hymn to an extraordinary city and its people, an ambitious homage to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on mothers and daughters, justice and love.
By Ivan Vladislavic
This dazzling portrait of Johannesburg is one of the most haunting, poetic pieces of reportage about a metropolis since Suketu Mehta's Maximum City. Through precisely crafted snapshots, Ivan Vladislavic observes the unpredictable, day-today transformation of his embattled city: the homeless using manholes as cupboards, a public statue slowly cannibalized for scrap. Most poignantly he charts the small, devastating changes along the postapartheid streets: walls grow higher, neighborhoods are gated off, the keys multiply. Security insecurity? is the growth industry. Vladislavic, described as one of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today (Andre Brink), delivers one of the best things ever written about a great, if schizophrenic, city, and an utterly true picture of the new South Africa (Christopher Hope).
By Zukiswa Wanner
Written in first person narrative, it follows the friendship of three women in contemporary South Africa and the issues they encounter in their social, work, and romantic lives.
By Ivan Vladislavic
-Vladislavic is amazing ---Teju Cole
It is 1993, and Aubrey Tearle's world is shutting down. He has recently retired from a lifetime of proofreading telephone directories. His favorite neighborhood haunt in Johannesburg, the Cafe Europa, is about to close its doors; the familiar old South Africa is already gone. Standards, he grumbles, are in decline, so bad-tempered, conservative Tearle embarks on a grandiose plan to enlighten his fellow citizens. The results are disastrous, hilarious, and poignant.