PEN SA Member Zakes Mda Wins the Sunday Times’ 2017 Barry Ronge Prize for Fiction
26 Jun 2017
(Pictured: Bongani Siqoko, Zakes Mda, & Christiane von Arnim)
Congratulations to PEN SA Member Zakes Mda who has been named the winner of the Barry Ronge Prize for fiction at the Sunday Times Literary Awards for his novel Little Suns. The award ceremony was held on Saturday 24 June at The Empire at Tiso Blackstar Group, in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The Alan Paton Award for non-fiction was won by Greg Marinovich for his book Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre. Mda and Marinovich will receive R100,000 respectively.
The judging panel for the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize consisted of Africa Melane and Kate Rogan, chaired by Rehana Rossouw. The judges said that Little Suns was a “novel of rich, magical African imagery”. They applauded Mda for “bringing history to glorious life, in writing that is unique to him”.
Mda was also the keynote speaker at the award ceremony and spoke about about how fiction exposes the truth behind the facts, and how great historical fiction is more about the present than it is about the past. Read the full address in the Johannesburg Review of Books.
Press release from the Sunday Times
Winners of the 2017 Sunday Times Literary Awards announced
Johannesburg, 25 June 2017: The 2017 winners of the Sunday Times Literary Awards, in association with Porcupine Ridge, were announced last night at The Empire venue at Tiso Blackstar Group’s (formerly Times Media) new purpose-built offices in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The 17th Barry Ronge Prize for fiction was awarded to Zakes Mda for his book Little Suns (published by Umuzi) while Greg Marinovich was the recipient of the 28th Alan Paton Award for non-fiction writing for Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre (published by Penguin Books).
The Sunday Times Literary Awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious literary recognition in South Africa.
Jennifer Platt, Sunday Times Books Editor says: “The shortlists were particularly powerful this year. The judges had a tough job, indeed. At the end, two winners were chosen that speaks to who we are as a country now – especially in examining our past and scrutinizing our present.”
The winners were adjudicated from shortlists selected by esteemed panels of judges.
Professor Pippa Green chaired a panel which included Justice Johann Kriegler and Professor Tinyiko Maluleke in deciding the Alan Paton Award. The judges called Marinovich’s book Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre, “one of the most important books of the year”. They said it was “so far, the definitive account of the Marikana massacre”.
The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize was decided by a judging panel consisting of Africa Melane and Kate Rogan, chaired by Rehana Rossouw. The judges said that Little Suns was a “novel of rich, magical African imagery”. They applauded Mda for “bringing history to glorious life, in writing that is unique to him”.
The winners each receive a R100 000 prize from the Sunday Times, for their contribution to South African literature.
(Image courtesy of Sunday Times)