THE longlist for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for non-fiction has been announced, in association with Porcupine Ridge.
This is the 27th year the Alan Paton Award will be bestowed on a book that presents “the illumination of truthfulness, especially those forms of it that are new, delicate, unfashionable and fly in the face of power”, and that demonstrates “compassion, elegance of writing, and intellectual and moral integrity”.
This year’s longlist includes: Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa by Dean Allen; JM Coetzee and the Life of Writing by David Attwell; Democracy: More Than Just Elections by Brigalia Bam; The Secret Society: Cecil John Rhodes’s Plan for a New World Order by Robin Brown; The Black Sash: Women for Justice and Peace by Mary Ingouville Burton; Papwa: Golf’s Lost Legend by Maxine Case; Birthmark by Stephen Clingman; The Pavement Bookworm by Philani Dladla; To Quote Myself by Khaya Dlanga; Rape: A South African Nightmare by Pumla Dineo Gqola; What If There Were No Whites In South Africa? by Ferial Haffajee; Operation Lock and the War on Rhino Poaching by John Hanks; In Enemy Hands: South Africa’s POWs in World War II by Karen Horn; Eugene de Kock: Assassin for the State by Anemari Jansen; Leading for Change by Jonathan Jansen; How Long Will South Africa Survive?: The Looming Crisis by RW Johnson; We Have Now Begun Our Descent: How To Stop South Africa Losing Its Way by Justice Malala; Capitalist Crusader: Fighting Poverty Through Economic Growth by Herman Mashaba; God, Spies and Lies: Finding South Africa’s Future Through its Past by John Matisonn; Run Racist Run: Journeys Into The Heart Of Racism by Eusebius McKaiser; The Rainy Season: Three Lives in the New South Africa by Maggie Messitt; Deliberate Concealment: An Insider’s Account of Cricket South Africa and the IPL Bonus Saga by Mtutuzeli Nyoka; A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930 – 1948 by Milton Shain; Jan Smuts: Unafraid of Greatness by Richard Steyn; and Showdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin, 1859–1910; by Charles van Onselen.
Judging this year’s awards are Achmat Dangor (chairperson), Tinyiko Maluleke and Pippa Green. Speaking about the longlist, Dangor said: “The 2016 Alan Paton Awards longlisted books examine topics that cover almost the whole spectrum of macro subjects – culture, race, politics, economics – that impact on South Africa today.
“There are personal stories about very high-profile figures as well as ordinary people such as street kids and women sangomas in patriarchal rural environments, all of whom deal with the challenging realities of their lives in different ways. Questions are asked: what is race and racism; how is inequality defined; is a true democracy solely embedded in its political order; and how can the constitution be made to work for the true liberation of all citizens.
“The books selected for consideration are those that are honest, do not hesitate to challenge power and convention, and are engaging enough to reach a broad general readership.”
Last year’s Alan Paton Award winner was Jacob Dlamini for his book Askari: A Story of Collaboration and Betrayal in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle (Jacana Media).
The shortlist will be announced on Saturday, May 14 at the Franschhoek Literary Festival. The winner of the 2016 Alan Paton Award will receive R100 000.