Jonny Steinberg

South Africa

Jonny is a South African writer and scholar who currently holds a professorship in African Studies at Oxford University, UK. Much of his works explore the South African people and institutions in the wake of the transition to democracy. As he uniquely combines the depth of an academic investigator with the journalistic writing skills he acquired when working as a journalist in South Africa, his books get under the reader's skin. And stay there, for a long time.
He is the author of, among others, A Man of Good Hope (2015) and Little Liberia (2011). His latest book, One Day in Bethlehem, will be out in August 2019.
What you can't miss:

A van full of men armed with AK47s is stopped by two policemen while driving through Bethlehem in the Free State. They open fire on the policemen and, from that moment, their lives are irrevocably changed.

Publisher's info

When civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in 1991, two-thirds of the city’s population fled. Among them was eight-year-old Asad Abdullahi. His mother murdered by a militia, his father somewhere in hiding, he was swept alone into the great wartime migration that scattered the Somali people throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the world.
This extraordinary book tells Asad’s story.


The Guardian

African Arguments

On Park Hill Avenue in New York City, almost everyone is Liberian. Many are survivors of a brutal civil war. But even an ocean away, the baggage of the past is difficult to leave behind. Steinberg spent two years in this close-knit neighbourhood, tracing the tensions between two men, Rufus and Jacob, with very different pasts but goals which were locked into a collision course.


The Guardian

Africa Book Club

More on Jonny:
Jonny in Granta Magazine
Jonny on his writing process
Great texts/ big questions (2016) - Institute for creative arts UCT

Disclaimer: Books by our festival guests will be available during and after the event from our partnering bookshop, Prestige Bookshop