- Category: TOW 2014
MURHANDZIWA NICHOLAS MHLONGO, better known as Niq Mhlongo, was born in Soweto in 1973. The eighth of ten children, his parents sent him to Limpopo province (former Northern Province) in order to escape the violence that was rife in Soweto. This is where he did his primary and secondary schooling. In the political turbulence of 1990, Mhlongo’s matric year, the schools were disrupted. He subsequently failed to graduate from high school and had to repeat the grade, which he did in 1991.
In 1996, Mhlongo obtained a BA degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, majoring in African Literature and Political Studies. In 1997, he enrolled for a law degree at the same University. The following year, he went to study at the University of Cape Town, where he continued with his law degree until 2000. He discontinued his studies at third year to write his first novel, Dog Eat Dog.
Published in 2004, Dog Eat Dog was translated into Spanish under the title Perro Come Perro in 2006. This Spanish edition was awarded the Mar de Letras prize. Mhlongo’s works have been translated into several other languages including, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Chinese.
Mhlongo has presented his work at key African cultural venues, including the Caine Prize Workshop and the Zanzibar International Film Festival. He was also a 2008 International Writing Program fellow at the University of Iowa.
After Tears is the title of Mhlongo’s second novel, published in 2007. In his most recent novel published in 2013, Way Back Home, Mhlongo lays bare the lewdness of South Africa’s elite.
The New York Times called Mhlongo “. . . one of the most high-spirited and irreverent new voices of South Africa’s post-apartheid literary scene.”
Way Back Home, Kwela Books, 2013
After Tears, Kwela Books, 2007
Dog Eat Dog, Kwela Books, 2004