Image from @avatar_reso on Twitter.

The 2020 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award has been awarded to the South African writer Resoketswe Manenzhe for her novel manuscript Scatterlings. Resoketswe will receive a R35,000 cash prize and book publication by Jacana Media. The title would be available in September 2020.

Jennifer Malec, the South African editor and a judge for the Award, stated that Scatterlings “is a brilliant piece of writing, telling a story seldom told in South Africa. It is a compelling, original story, ambitious in its form, with a pioneering depth of research.”

Rehana Roussouw, the head judge, hailed the books on the shortlist as being spectacular in their “nuanced portrayals of the development of person-hood in a world fixated by difference and disaster.”

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According to the description provided by the publishers, Scatterlings is set over a hundred years ago and “chronicles a tale of migrancy very different to what we have come to expect in African literature. It incorporates myth and ritual, and the stories of extraordinary, ordinary women. What Scatterlings illustrates is that it is possible to write about what you know without limiting yourself to your own actual, physical, lived experiences.”

Resoketswe Manenzhe is a PhD candidate at the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Cape Town. In 2019, she won the Writivism Short Story Prize. Her poems have appeared in the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry anthology.

The 2019 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award was won by the Zambian writer Mubanga Kalimamukwento for her novel The Mourning Bird.

Jacana Media further announced Julia Landau, author of Sleeping Naked, as winner of The Kraak Writing Grant. The grant is valued at R25,000 and is dedicated to the memory of Gerald Kraak. It offers the recipient mentoring and intensive coaching from the editor, publishing expert and writer Alison Lowry.

Congratulations to Resoketswe Manenzhe and Julia Landau.