Sunday Times Literary Awards

Sunday Times Literary Awards 2024 longlists announced

The longlists for the Sunday Times Literary Awards 2024 were announced in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

The Sunday Times Literary Awards are awarded annually in fiction (since 1989) and nonfiction (since 2001). Organised by South African newspaper The Sunday Times, it has been won in recent times by Siphiwe Ndlovu and Terry Kurgan (2019), Bongani Ngqulunga and Harry Kalmer (2018), Zakes Mda and Greg Marinovich (2017), Pumla Dineo Gqola and Nkosinathi Sithole (2016), Jacob Dlamini and Damon Galgut (2015) and a host of others. Tshidiso Moletsane and Mignonne Breierwin won in 2022 while Bulelwa Mabasa and CA Davids won it last year.

The longlists for the 2024 edition, brought to you in partnership with Exclusive Books were announced on Sunday. Those hoping to make the shortlist and the R100,000 cash prize are;


This is the 21st year of the Sunday Times Fiction prize. The criteria stipulate that the winning novel should be one of “rare imagination and style … a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction”.

Jury: Siphiwo Mahala (Chair), Michele Magwood, Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele

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


The 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”.

Jury: Kevin Ritchie (Chair), Hlonipha Mokoena, and Sewela Langeni.

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

The shortlists and winners will be announced in due course.

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