Introducing The 2024 Sunday Times Literary Awards Longlist

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The Sunday Times has unveiled the longlists for South Africa’s most prestigious literary awards for non-fiction and the fiction. To mark the 34rd anniversary of the non-fiction prize and 23rd anniversary of the fiction prize, this year’s edition is in partnership with Exclusive Books.

Chaired by Kevin Ritchie, with assistance from Hlonipha Mokoena and Sewela Langeni, here is the nonfiction longlist: 

  1. Daisy de Melker: Hiding Among Killers in the City of Gold, Botha Ted (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  2. Finding Endurance: Shackleton, My Father and a World Without End, Bristow-Bovey Darrel (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  3. Domestic Terror: Intimate Partner Violence in South Africa, Brodie Nechama (Kwela)
  4. Harry Oppenheimer: Diamonds, Gold and Dynasty by Cardo Michael (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  5. Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom, De Ruyter André (Penguin Non-fiction)
  6. Durban’s Casbah: Bunny Chows, Bolsheviks and Bioscopes, Desai Ashwin and Goolam, Vahed (UKZN Press)
  7. Coloured: How Classification Became Culture by Dooms, Tessa and Chutel, Lynsey Ebony (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  8. Decolonising the Palestinian Mind by Eid Haidar (Inkani Books)
  9. Rassie: Stories of Life and Rugby by Erasmus, Rassie with O’Sullivan, David (Pan Macmillan)
  10. The Inheritors: An Intimate Portrait of South Africa’s Racial Reckoning, Fairbanks Eve (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  11. Place: South African Literary Journeys, Fox Justin (Umuzi)
  12. Zondo at Your Fingertips by Holden, Paul (Jacana Media)
  13. Corrupted: A Study of Chronic Dysfunction in South African Universities, Jansen, Jonathan (Wits University Press)
  14. I am Ella, Jowell Joanne (Kwela)
  15. Standing Up for Science: A Voice of Reason by Karim Salim S Abdool (Pan Macmillan)
  16. Milk the Beloved Country, Khumalo Sihle (Umuzi)
  17. Son of a Whore, Lategan, Herman (Penguin Fiction)
  18. Capture in the Court: In Defence of Judges and the Constitution , Mafora Dan (Tafelberg)
  19. The Plot to Save South Africa: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation  Malala Justice (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  20. Dolly Rathebe: Queen of African Jazz Blues & Mbaqanga, Mazibuko-Msimang Nokuthula (Xarra Books)
  21. Shoot to Kill: Police and Power in South Africa by McMichael, Christopher (Inkani Books)
  22. Impossible Skies: Life with My Brother, the Artist Walter Meyer, Meyer Frans (Melinda Ferguson Books)
  23. Statues and Storms: Leading Through Change, Price Max (Tafelberg)
  24. The MiG Diaries: Fighter Pilot Memoirs and Accounts of Cuban, SAAF and Angolan Air Combat in Southern African Skies, Reid, Lionel with Lt-Col González Sarría, Eduardo (Burnet Media)
  25. The Race To Be Myself by Semenya, Caster (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  26. Maye! Maye!: The History and Heritage of the Kwa Mai Mai Market, Sithole Sipho (Jacana Media)
  27. Winnie and Nelson: Portrait of a Marriage by Steinberg Jonny (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
  28. The Lion’s Historian: Africa’s Animal Past, Swart Sandra (Jacana Media)
  29. The End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown, Welz Adam (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  30. Wake Up, This Is Joburg by Zack, Tanya, photography by Lewis, Mark (Duke University Press)
  31. Dearest MaRiky: A Mother’s Journey through Grief, Trauma and Healing, Zondo, Louisa (Jacana Media)

Chaired by award winning author, playwright, Siphiwo Mahala, with Michele Magwood and Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele, here is the fiction longlist 2024: 

  1. Buried Treasure by Axelrad Sven (Umuzi)
  2. Bridge by Beukes Lauren (Umuzi)
  3. The Weight of Shade by Boyd Michael (Karavan Press)
  4. The Bitterness of Olives by Brown Andrew (Karavan Press)
  5. Lost Property by Choritz Megan (Melinda Ferguson Books)
  6. At Fire Hour by Gilder Barry (Jacana Media)
  7. Flipped by Hawthorne Tracey (Modjaji Books)
  8. On That Wave of Gulls by Head Vernon RL (Jacana Media)
  9. Each Mortal Thing by Heyns Michiel (Umuzi)
  10. The Ghost of Sam Webster by Higginson Craig (Picador Africa)
  11. My Side of the Ocean by Irwin Ron (Pan Macmillan)
  12. Glass Tower by Isaacs Sarah (Holland House Books)
  13. The Reed Dance Stalker by Makholwa Angela (Pan Macmillan)
  14. Three Egg Dilemma by Morojele Morabo (Jacana Media)
  15. The Frightened by Msimang Lethokuhle (Karavan Press)
  16. Tunnel by Mulgrew Nick (Karavan Press)
  17. A Soft Landing by Mushwana Wisani (Kwela)
  18. A Remedy for Death by Naidoo Sarah M (Kwela)
  19. Of Fathers and Fugitives by Naudé SJ translated by Heyns, Michiel (Human & Rossouw)
  20. On the Precipice by Nyatsumba Kaizer M (Verity Publishers)
  21. Eye Brother Horn by Pitt Bridget (Catalyst Press)
  22. The Resurrection by Qwabe Sihle (Kwela)
  23. Little Secrets by Schimmel Gail (Pan Macmillan)
  24. Bloomer by Schlebusch Anne (Modjaji Books)
  25. The Thing with Zola by Sithole Zibu (Pan Macmillan)
  26. Paperless by Siwisa Buntu (Jacana Media)
  27. The Institute for Creative Dying by Thompson Jarred (Picador Africa)
  28. Ghost Limb by Van der Merwe Almini (Umuzi Trailblazer)
  29. Decima by Venter Eben (Umuzi)
  30. Mirage by Viviers David Ralph (Umuzi)
  31. Sons of Mud by Vlok Louw Johan (Umuzi)

Originally established in 1989, The Sunday Times CNA Literary Awards are awarded annually to South African writers by the South African weekly newspaper the Sunday Times. They comprise the Sunday Times CNA Literary Award for Non-fiction and the Sunday Times CNA Literary Award for Fiction, and are awarded for full-length non-fiction works and novels, respectively. Both winners receive R100 000. 

Congratulations to all longlistees!


Bakare Oluwatobiloba

I write to educate, motivate and define history with literature. Just being me!