2016 Sunday Times Literary Award Winners Announced
29 Jun 2016
Press release from the Sunday Times:
Hunger Eats a Man and Rape: A South African Nightmare named winners of the 2016 Sunday Times Literary Awards
Johannesburg, Saturday 14 May 2016: The winners of the prestigious 2016 Sunday Times Literary Awards have been announced at an event in Sandton. The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize was awarded to debut novelist Nkosinathi Sithole for his book, Hunger Eats a Man, published by Penguin Books. Pumla Dineo Gqola received the Alan Paton Award for her book Rape: A South African Nightmare, published by MF Books. Advocate Thuli Madonsela was the guest speaker at the black-tie awards celebration.
The fiction prize judging panel was chaired by Rustum Kozain, a former recipient of the Olive Schreiner Prize, the Ingrid Jonker Prize and the Herman Charles Bosman Award for literature. Other members of the panel included novelist Angela Makholwa-Moabelo and publisher Stephen Johnson.
Of Hunger Eats a Man, Kozain says, “This is something entirely new in South African literature, in terms of its language and style. The writing is exceptional in the way it bends English to its own purpose. It’s a beautiful, disturbing, highly original novel with touches of unexpected humour.” The story is set in KwaZulu Natal and highlights the plight of many rural South Africans.
Nkosinathi Sithole has a PhD in English Studies and teaches at the University of Zululand.
The Alan Paton non-fiction judging panel was chaired by playwright, poet, novelist and political activist Achmat Dangor, supported by judges Tinyiko Maluleke and Pippa Green.
In Rape: A South African Nightmare, Pumla Dineo Gqola investigates the history and root causes of the epidemic of sexual violence in the country. “This is a fearless book that speaks a powerful truth of our times. Nuanced and cogently argued, it tackles the subject from every possible aspect in an attempt to deal with the unspoken,” says Dangor.
Pumla Dineo Gqola is professor of African literary and gender studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
“The Sunday Times Literary Awards have always acted as a sort barometer of the nation’s preoccupations, highlighting books that pick up and explore our concerns. There is an urgency reflected in the themes of the winning books this year: of poverty, hunger and the vapid promises of politicians and religion in one, and in the other the overt threat of toxic masculinity that pervades South Africa,” concludes Jennifer Platt, Sunday Times Books editor.
Apart from receiving the prestigious Sunday Times Literary Awards accolades, each author is also awarded prize money of R100,000.
(Image courtesy of Books LIVE)