Joburg Noir by Niq Mhlongo
Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd, 01 April 2021
Soft cover, 268 pages
'This place is labelled the city of gold, Jozi Maboneng. There is indeed a constant rush, the winner takes it all, and a "survival of the fittest" mentality driving the hunger and competitive spirit of those born here, and equally seen in the eyes of the immigrants; legal and illegal alike. Dreams not realised have left most of the once-eager hopefuls desolate, seeking shelter under bridges and abandoned city buildings...
Oh Yeoville, Yeoville man, now this was a whole different world on its own ... the culture, the music, the DJs and live bands, the food and the hangout places' - Gloria Bosman, 'A Little Something from the Pot' Joburg Noir is a collection of writings about memories, legends, loss, jokes, stories, myths and experiences by twenty-two gifted and versatile authors in South Africa. It makes the reader experience present-day Johannesburg as if one were in the past.
The stories seek to understand, reconstruct, reinvent and recover this city space of loss, joy, deprivation, resistance and possibility by revealing its complex dynamics. They are funny, shocking, violent, absurd, strangely tender and memorable. Their lasting resonance lies in the fact that they invoke the joys and traumas of the past and present, making the two to co-exist and interlock.
After reading this uncompromising and gritty anthology, the reader is bound to feel like a time-traveller who has voyaged into a magical alternate city and a reality that was either misnamed or not named at all. The intention is to help the readers to delve into their own memories in search of pictures of their sweet childhood and fractured identities.