Over the weekend I read two Niq Mhlongo short novels, Dog Eat Dog and After Tears. They are full of energy and vivid description. Very sexually explicit. Gritty, dirty, occasionally funny, and of course very poignant. The writing is not great (a better editor would be very helpful), and the plotting leaves something to be desired (the denouement of After Tears is just an afterthought). For a nascent South African “hip-hop” literary scene, and an opportunity for young adult readers from townships and other poverty-stricken areas of South Africa to hold up the mirror and see their own lives in literature, the novels probably cannot be beat.
Here is Niq Mhlongo as part of a panel on new South African writing. At 28:57 an interesting exchange referring to Thomas Sankara!