South African novelist Zukiswa Wanner has been awarded the 2020 Goethe Medal.

The official honor by The German government is annually conferred by Goethe-Institut, on individuals “who have made an outstanding contribution to international cultural exchange”.

Wanner, who is the first female African awardee, received the medal alongside Bolivian artist and museum director Elvira Espejo Ayca and Booker Prize-winning British author Ian McEwan.

The theme of this year’s award is “Accepting contradictions – the fruits of contradiction.”

On Zukiswa Wanner as a choice awardee, the medal jury notes:

Her conception of herself as an African writer leads her to range far beyond national frontiers in her writing, while at the same time bringing the diversity of African culture into her artistic work. Her detailed knowledge of South African literature and her nuanced understanding of regional discourses and female identity in Africa mean her expertise is internationally sought after; she is also a role model for an entire generation of African writers.

Brittle Paper congratulates Zukiswa Wanner.