Zukiswa Wanner

zukiswa_wannerZukiswa Wanner is the author of the novels The Madams (2006), Behind Every Successful Man (2008), Commonwealth Best Book –shortlisted and Herman Charles Bosman Award shortlisted Men of the South (2010). Her fourth novel, London Cape Town Joburg is due in April 2014. Her two children’s books, Jama Loves Bananas and Refilwe , came out in 2012. Wanner is co-editor of the African-Asian short story anthology Behind the Shadows (2012) with Indian author and editor, Rohini Chowdhury. She is one of 66 writers in the world (with Wole Soyinka, Jeanette Winterson, and Archbishop Emeritus of Canterbury Rowan Williams, among others) to write a contemporary response to the Bible. The works were staged at Bush Theatre and at Westminister Abbey in October 2011. 66 Books: 21st Century Writers Speak to the King James Version Bible’s proceeds benefit disadvantaged art students.

Wanner co-authored A Prisoner’s Home (2010), a biography on the first Mandela house 8115 Vilakazi Street with the late award-winning South African photographer Alf Kumalo as well as L’Esprit du Sport (2010) with French photographer Amelie Debray. she has also conducted workshops in Zimbabwe (Intwasa Festival), Denmark, Germany (Bayreuth), Kenya, and Uganda (FEMRITE 2013 with Doreen Baingana).

As an essayist she has written The Politics of Race, Class, and Identity in Education and 2011 Mail & Guardian’s book of Women Introductory essay , On Being a Woman in South Africa.  She was in the inaugural writing team for first South African radio soapie in English, SAFM’s Radio Vuka.

Wanner has contributed articles to New African, New African Woman, Observer, Forbes Africa, New Statesman, O, Elle, The Guardian, Africa Review, Mail & Guardian, Marie Claire, Real, New African Woman, Juice, Afropolitan, OpenSpace, Wordsetc, Baobab, Sunday Independent, City Press, & Sunday Times. She is currently a columnist for Kenyan newspaper The Weekend Star.

Selected Books by Zukiswa Wanner

1. The Madams (2006)

TheMadams_ZukiswaWhen Thandi decides she’s done with being a Supermom to her five year old son, a Superslut to her man, and a Superwoman to her staff at the tourism board, she realises she needs to concede to the great South African bourgeois accessory: a maid. And since she doesn’t have it in her to boss a ‘sista’ about in her own home – and would love to see the look on her best friends’ faces- it’s gonna have to be a white maid. The arrival of the charming ex-con Marita, catalyses a chain of events which forces Thandi and her two closest friends to confront their assumptions about relationships, history, and each other. This comedy of manners for Mzansi roasts a desirable woman;s lobola’s worth of sacred cows. Middle-class attitudes on hired help, adultery, BEE, child-rearing, cultural identity, shopping, and HIV status are lashed by Thandi’s sharp tongoue. The Madams reminds us (with tongue firmly in cheek) that nothing is simply black and white: in South Africa, or in life.

2. Men of the South (2010)

MenofSouth_ZukiswaA fascinating novel about three men out from three worlds. Mfundo the musician and dad, Mzi – gay, but married, and Tinyae – a displaced Zimbabwean in South Africa. Published by Kwela Books in 2010, Men of the South is a remarkable novel, one which you can read over and over again because the prose is simply addictive! And it’s not just the prose that captivates, the sensitive issues covered in a humorous manner makes it even more fascinating. The reader will love the characters portrayed, laugh with them, and sympathize when they are sad. The story is set in South Africa, during and after the apartheid era.



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