By Phaswane Mpe
“Phaswane Mpe (1970–2004) was one of South Africa’s major literary talents who emerged after the fall of apartheid. His intellectual honesty in exploring thematic concerns germane to postapartheid South African society continues to inspire readers who seek to reflect on old and new sets of problems facing the new South Africa. His style continues to set the bar for many aspiring black South African writers. And he is a truly ’home-grown’ South African literary phenomenon.”
From the introduction by Ghirmai Negash
“This book was one of the first looks at what it meant to be young and black and relatively hip in the post-apartheid period. It’s a great book.”
Imraan Coovadia, FiveBooks
“Amid the muddle of the politics, the gripping drama—revealed in fast, tumbling style—centers on friendship, family, betrayal, and love. Fans of Zakes Mda are the perfect audience for Mpe’s similar work.”
“In his 2001 novel, Welcome to Our Hillbrow, Mpe captured the dislocation and despair of people who moved in the late ’90s from rural South Africa to Hillbrow, a rough neighborhood in downtown Johannesburg with overcrowded high-rises and a large population of immigrants from elsewhere in Africa. In the South African literary imagination, Hillbrow has come to represent everything frightening and promising about the new South Africa; it is at once a scene of drugs, crime and xenophobia toward immigrants and also what theorists enthusiastically call ‘Afropolitan,’ a space that transcends national boundaries.”
New York Times
Welcome to Our Hillbrow is an exhilarating and disturbingride through the chaotic and hyper-real zone of Hillbrow—microcosm of all that is contradictory, alluring, and painful in the postapartheid South African psyche. Everythingis there: the shattered dreams of youth, sexuality and its unpredictable costs, AIDS, xenophobia, suicide, the omnipotent violence that often cuts short the promise of young people’s lives, and the Africanist understanding of the life continuum that does not end with death but flows on into an ancestral realm. Infused with the rhythms of the inner-city pulsebeat, this courageous novel is compelling in its honesty and its broad vision, which links Hillbrow, rural Tiragalong, and Oxford. It spills out the guts of Hillbrow—living with the same energy and intimate knowledge with which the Drum writers wrote Sophiatown into being.
Phaswane Mpe taught African literature and publishing studies at the University of Witwatersrand. Welcome to Our Hillbrow was his only published novel. He died in 2004. More info →
Save 20% ($15.16)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp’s red-light district, promising to make men’s desires come true—if only for half an hour.
Eloquent and thought-provoking, this classic novel by the Eritrean novelist Gebreyesus Hailu, written in Tigrinya in 1927 and published in 1950, is one of the earliest novels written in an African language and will have a major impact on the reception and critical appraisal of African literature.
Set in contemporary Zimbabwe, Caine Prize finalist Tendai Huchu’s comedic and devastating novel of manners and sexual mores chronicles the rise and fall of an unconventional friendship between a single mother and a rival male hairdresser, with brutal consequences for both.
In Tales of the Metric System, Coovadia explores a turbulent South Africa from 1970 into the present. He takes his home country’s transition from imperial to metric measurements as his catalyst, holding South Africa up and examining it from the diverse perspectives of his many characters.
Sign up to be notified when new Fiction titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.