The longlist for the 2024 Sunday Times Literary Awards is out! This year marks the 34rd anniversary of the non-fiction and 23 years of the fiction prize.

The Sunday Times Literary Awards are South Africa’s most prestigious annual literary awards for non-fiction and fiction. Presented in partnership with Exclusive Books, they are awarded annually to South African writers by the South African weekly newspaper the Sunday Times. Both winners receive R100,000. The nonfiction award was established in 1989 and the fiction award in 2001.

Nonfiction Prize

The nonfiction prize judging panel includes Kevin Ritchie (chair), Hlonipha Mokoena, and Sewela Langeni. The prize will be bestowed on a book that presents “the illumination of truthfulness, especially those forms of it that are new, delicate, unfashionable and fly in the face of power”, and that demonstrates “compassion, elegance of writing, and intellectual and moral integrity”.

Check out the non-fiction longlist below:

Daisy de Melker: Hiding Among Killers in the City of Gold by Botha, Ted

Finding Endurance: Shackleton, My Father and a World Without End by Bristow-Bovey, Darrel

Domestic Terror: Intimate Partner Violence in South Africa by Brodie, Nechama

Harry Oppenheimer: Diamonds, Gold and Dynasty by Cardo, Michael

Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom by De Ruyter, André

Durban’s Casbah: Bunny Chows, Bolsheviks and Bioscopes by Desai, Ashwin and Goolam, Vahed

Coloured: How Classification Became Culture by Dooms, Tessa and Chutel, Lynsey Ebony

Decolonising the Palestinian Mind by Eid, Haidar

Rassie: Stories of Life and Rugby by Erasmus, Rassie with O’Sullivan, David

The Inheritors: An Intimate Portrait of South Africa’s Racial Reckoning by Fairbanks, Eve

Place: South African Literary Journeys by Fox, Justin

Zondo at Your Fingertips by Holden, Paul

Corrupted: A Study of Chronic Dysfunction in South African Universities by Jansen, Jonathan

I am Ella by Jowell, Joanne

Standing Up for Science: A Voice of Reason by Karim, Salim S Abdool

Milk the Beloved Country by Khumalo, Sihle

Son of a Whore by Lategan, Herman

Capture in the Court: In Defence of Judges and the Constitution by Mafora, Dan

The Plot to Save South Africa: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation by Malala, Justice

Dolly Rathebe: Queen of African Jazz Blues & Mbaqanga by Mazibuko-Msimang, Nokuthula

Shoot to Kill: Police and Power in South Africa by McMichael, Christopher

Impossible Skies: Life with My Brother, the Artist Walter Meyer by Meyer, Frans

Statues and Storms: Leading Through Change by Price, Max

The MiG Diaries: Fighter Pilot Memoirs and Accounts of Cuban, SAAF and Angolan Air Combat in Southern African Skies by Reid, Lionel with Lt-Col González Sarría, Eduardo

The Race To Be Myself by Semenya, Caster

Maye! Maye!: The History and Heritage of the Kwa Mai Mai Market by Sithole, Sipho

Winnie and Nelson: Portrait of a Marriage by Steinberg, Jonny

The Lion’s Historian: Africa’s Animal Past by Swart, Sandra

The End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown by Welz, Adam

Wake Up, This Is Joburg by Zack, Tanya, photography by Lewis, Mark

Dearest MaRiky: A Mother’s Journey through Grief, Trauma and Healing by Zondo, Louisa

Fiction Prize

The fiction prize judging panel includes Siphiwo Mahala (chair), Michele Magwood, and Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele. The winning novel should be one of “rare imagination and style … a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction”.

Check out the fiction longlist below:

Buried Treasure by Axelrad, Sven

Bridge by Beukes, Lauren

The Weight of Shade by Boyd, Michael

The Bitterness of Olives by Brown, Andrew

Lost Property by Choritz, Megan

At Fire Hour by Gilder, Barry

Flipped by Hawthorne, Tracey

On That Wave of Gulls by Head, Vernon RL

Each Mortal Thing by Heyns, Michiel

The Ghost of Sam Webster by Higginson, Craig

My Side of the Ocean by Irwin, Ron

Glass Tower by Isaacs, Sarah

The Reed Dance Stalker by Makholwa, Angela

Three Egg Dilemma by Morojele, Morabo

The Frightened by Msimang, Lethokuhle

Tunnel by Mulgrew, Nick

A Soft Landing by Mushwana, Wisani

A Remedy for Death by Naidoo, Sarah M

Of Fathers and Fugitives by Naudé, SJ translated by Heyns, Michiel

On the Precipice by Nyatsumba, Kaizer M

Eye Brother Horn by Pitt, Bridget

The Resurrection by Qwabe, Sihle

Little Secrets by Schimmel, Gail

Bloomer by Schlebusch, Anne

The Thing with Zola by Sithole, Zibu

Paperless by Siwisa, Buntu

The Institute for Creative Dying by Thompson, Jarred

Ghost Limb by Van der Merwe, Almini

Decima by Venter, Eben

Mirage by Viviers, David Ralph

Sons of Mud by Vlok Louw, Johan

Congrats to all the longlisted writers!