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2018 Media24 Books prize winners announced

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw and Cape Town writer and poet Ken Barris were among the recipients of the 2018 Media24 Books prizes awarded in Cape Town on Thursday, 14 June 2018.

The Media24 Books prizes are awarded annually for books published by the Media24 Books division and Jonathan Ball Publishers, also part of Media24, in the preceding year. This year, prizes to a combined value of more than R200 000 were awarded in six categories.

Jacques Pauw won the Recht Malan prize for nonfiction for The President’s Keepers, published by NB Publishers under the Tafelberg imprint. According to the judges, The President’s Keepers will be remembered, along with #GuptaLeaks, for the change it brought about in South African society and the ANC. “The power of The President’s Keepers lies partly in the explosive revelations it makes, but mostly in that for the first time a broad-based narrative connected the dots between the private and public interests propping up Zuma at all costs. South Africans live in a better country today than a mere eight months ago, partly thanks to Pauw.”

The other titles on the nonfiction shortlist were How to Steal a City by Crispian Olver and Khwezi: The Story of Fezekile Kuzwayo by Redi Tlhabi.

The Herman Charles Bosman prize for English fiction went to Ken Barris for The Life of Worm and Other Misconceptions, a short story collection published by Kwela. The judges called it an extraordinary collection that combines the mundane with the surreal in illuminating but often deeply unsettling ways. It is a collection that keeps the reader “constantly intrigued, amused, repelled and acutely aware of South African realities”.

Also on the fiction shortlist were I am Pandarus by Michiel Heyns and Being Kari by Qarnita Loxton.

Novelist Eben Venter won the WA Hofmeyr prize for Afrikaans fiction for the fifth time with Groen soos die hemel daarbo, published by Tafelberg. The novel, which explores modern sexuality, intimacy and identity, was lauded by the judges for its finely honed style of writing. The other books on the shortlist were Die wêreld van Charlie Oeng by Etienne van Heerden and As in die mond by Nicole Jaekel Strauss.

Marlene van Niekerk received the Elisabeth Eybers prize for Afrikaans and English poetry for In die stille agterkamer, ekphrastic verses about the paintings of Dutch painter Jan Mankes (1889–1920). The collection, published by Human & Rousseau, was described by the judges as “a gripping yet meditative reading experience”. Also shortlisted were Nou, hier by Corné Coetzee, Radbraak by Jolyn Phillips and Alles het niet kom wôd by Nathan Trantraal.

The MER prize for youth novels was awarded to Carin Krahtz for Blou is nie ’n kleur nie (Tafelberg), while the MER prize for illustrated children’s books went to writer Rosamund Haden and illustrator Tony Pinchuck for The All Africa Wildlife Express.

The judges were: For the Recht Malan prize: Jean Meiring, Elsa van Huyssteen and Pauli van Wyk; for the Herman Charles Bosman prize: Johan Jacobs, Molly Brown and Ann Donald; for the WA Hofmeyr prize: Francois Smith, Sonja Loots and Kerneels Breytenbach; for the Elisabeth Eybers prize: Henning Pieterse, Bibi Slippers and Charl-Pierre Naudé; for the MER prize for youth novels: Nanette van Rooyen, Henriëtte Linde-Loubser and Betsie van der Westhuizen; and for the MER prize for illustrated children’s books: Piet Grobler, Marjorie van Heerden and Magdel Vorster.

The President's Keepers

Book details

 
How To Steal A City

 
 
 

Khwezi

 
 
 

The Life of Worm

 
 
 

I am Pandarus

 
 
 

Being Kari

 
 
 

Groen soos die hemel daarbo

 
 
 

Die wêreld van Charlie Oeng

 
 
 

As in die Mond

 
 
 

In die stille agterkamer

 
 
 

Nou, hier

 
 
 

Radbraak

 
 
 

Alles het niet kom wôd

 
 
 

Blou is nie 'n kleur nie

 
 
 

All Africa Wildlife Express

 

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