- Category: TOW 2013
Johannesburg-born Jonny Steinberg is the award-winning author of several books about everyday life in the wake of South Africa’s transition to democracy. With a doctorate in political theory from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, Steinberg is currently a lecturer in African Studies at Oxford. He teaches Master's and Doctoral students about South Africa.
In 2002, Steinberg’s debut novel Midlands was published. About the murder of a white South African farmer, Midlands won South Africa’s premier non-fiction award, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize in 2003, and the National Booksellers' Choice award the same year. In 2004, Steinberg’s second book The Number, a biography of a prison gangster, received the same award.
Steinberg’s books also include Three-Letter Plague, which chronicles a young man’s journey through South Africa’s AIDS pandemic. It was a Washington Post Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Award, among others. A collection of his columns, Notes From a Fractured Country, was published in 2007.
Steinberg is also the author of Thin Blue (2008), an exploration of the unwritten rules of engagement between South African civilians and police. His latest book, Little Liberia: An African Odyssey in New York, about the Liberian civil war and its aftermath in an exile community in New York, was published in 2011.
Steinberg has published a number of monographs and research papers on South Africa's criminal justice system for the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Johannesburg. He has edited two books on contemporary South Africa: From Comrades to Citizens (with Glen Adler), in 2000 and Crime Wave: The South African Underworld and its Foes, published by Wits University Press in 2001.
Steinberg has a fortnightly column in the Sunday Times.
Little Liberia: An African Odyssey in New York, Jonathan Cape, 2011
Three-Letter Plague, Vintage Books, 2008
The Number, Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2004
Midlands, Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2002