The people of Brand South Africa wrote up this list of “31 books every South Africa should read“. I’m honoured that they included Zoo City, together with Nadine Gordimer, legend Zakes Mda, Breyten Breytenbach, and so many other brilliant local writers of our past and present.

Here’s what Brand South Africa has to say about Zoo City:

In 2010, Lauren Beukes won the Kitschies Red Tentacle Award for her phantasmagorical Zoo City; the following year, she won the Arthur C Clarke Award for the novel, a hardboiled thriller about crime, magic, the music industry, refugees and redemption, set in a re-imagined Johannesburg. People who have committed a crime are magically attached to an animal familiar; the chief protagonist, Zinzi December, is “animalled” to a sloth after getting her brother killed. Zinzi is attempting to repay the financial debt she owes her drug dealer. It’s a wild, fantastical ride.

An extra shout-out to reader @drunkonbookz for the great photo, featuring Zoo City in brilliant company.