Contributors include the novelist Fred Khumalo, Etisalat Prize 2015 winner Songeziwe Mahlangu, Caine Prize 2007 winner Mary Watson, Short Story Day Africa prize 2014 winner Diane Awerbuck, the Caine Prize 2016 finalist Bongani Kona, the Brittle Paper Award 2018 finalist Mapule Mohulatsi, Alex Latimer, Kholofelo Maenetsha, Tumelo Buthelezi, Craig Higginson, Mishka Hoosen, Bobby Jordan, Shubnum Khan, Palesa Morudu, Tiffany Kagure Mugo, Sally-Ann Murray, Sue Nyathi, Alex Smith, Melissa A. Volker, Lester Walbrugh, and Michael Yee.
The photographs are by Kirsten Arendse, Saaleha Idrees Bamjee, Nina Bekink, Noncedo Charmaine, Keran Elah, Michael Tymbios, Jasmin Valcarcel, Megan Voysey, Retha Ferguson, Sue Greeff, Liesl Jobson, Simangele Kalisa, Andy Mkosi, Manyatsa Monyamane, Nick Mulgrew, Aniek Nieuwenhuis, Chris Snelling, Karina M. Szczurek, Lebogang Tlhako, and Karina Turok.
Publisher: TATTOO PRESS
“There is nothing boring about this anthology! Many of the stories are partially embedded in time and space against the background of South Africa’s historical legacy, but there is also spontaneity, humour and mystery, and a sense of how one might wriggle out from under the weight of our hair (the burdens of past and present).
As the first brilliant story ‘The Collection’ by Alex Latimer reminds us hair is something dead and yet it makes us alive and present.
Other stories that stayed with me (yours may well be different, this collection is that good!): ‘Before We Go’, ‘Spa Ritual’, ‘The Wisdom of Sunday’, ‘A Woman’s Glory’, ‘At Length, Hair’s Breath,’, That Famous Winter Brown’, Let The Music Play On’, ‘Reunion’. And then there’s the soulful, beautifully written (not an unnecessary word) ‘Lila’, by Bongani Kona, that felt like someone had thrown a brick at my chest so that I could hardly breathe with the sadness of it.
My parting thought as I closed this multi-faceted anthology, well satisfied with my investment of time and attention, was that it was a fascinating example of how good curatorship (and editing) can make all the difference for an anthology. The careful choice of genuinely entertaining tales demonstrates the varied possibilities of short stories as well as showcases the quality of the writing.