BFLA Authors in best of 2015 lists

It’s that time of year again when everyone's sharing their ‘Best of’ lists, and we’re extremely proud that our authors have been included in many of them. Below is a summary of the great places they were included and the great quotes that accompanied their pick.



Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015:
"A delightful debut, tender and funny. The mystery takes on the worldwide problem of abused women while revealing both the beauties and problems of South Africa. And the recipes will make you want to drop everything and start cooking."

Wall Street Journal Best Mystery Book of 2015:
“The exotic locale, the lovely patois and the heroine’s unique sensibility make Ms. Andrew’s “Recipes” a blue-ribbon winner.”

Samantha Gibb, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
“The quintessential feel-good SA whodunit, complete with recipes and advice. A must read.”

LUNGDON by Edward Carey




NPR Guide to 2015’s Great Reads:
“A magnificently engrossing indictment of our late capitalist modernity.”





THE FETCH by Finuala Dowling

Margaret von Klemperer, Fiona Snyckers & Helené Prinsloo, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘A sparkling comedy of manners, but under the froth there are serious issues, and it is Dowling’s sensitive handling of them that makes this such a lovely book’ – Margaret von Klemperer

‘Comparisons with Jane Austen are not misplaced.’ – Fiona Snyckers

‘The characters from THE FETCH by Finuala Dowling haunted my dreams. The story led me to a garden cottage in the deep south where I kept waiting to happen upon someone like William.’ – Helené Prinsloo


THE DARKEST HOUR by Barbara Erskine



Books Covered, Favourite Book Covers of 2015:
‘Tender, romantic, and earnest, just like the brilliant story within. The gold foil adds a luxuriousness without being flashy and the whole designs speaks of the era so perfectly. This is a standout cover in this area of the market.’




JELLYFISH by Janice Galloway

Zoe Strachan, The Herald:
‘Janice Galloway prefaces her new collection of stories, JELLYFISH (Freight, £12.99), with a quote from David Lodge: “Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life’s the other way round.” In fact she gives us plenty of both, but it’s the stories about mothers and children that really cut to the quick.’

Sara Crowley and Kaite Welsh, Bristol Prize Best Short Story Reads of 2015:
‘My most eagerly awaited publication of 2015 was Janice Galloway’s JELLYFISH (Freight) which I am reading very slowly so as to savour each brilliant word.’ – Sara Crowley

‘Galloway has hit a rich seam of imagination as she returns to the short story as a form. It’s perfect for her style – wry, slightly off-kilter and always returning to the theme of parent and child, the kind of subject matter that offers Galloway the chance to delve once more into the murky depths of human relationships.’ – Kaite Welsh

Scots Whay Hae! Best Books of 2015:
‘Janice Galloway has always been an innovative and playful writer, but never to the detriment of her prose… JELLYFISH is a timely reminder that she is one of the finest writers around. Each story, each sentence, is beautifully crafted by someone who cares enough to take such care… If you read a better book than Jellyfish this year you are a very lucky person indeed.’




Alice Thompson, The Herald:
‘In these stories, the powerful juxtaposition of scientific intellect and emotional frailty is played out engagingly. The stories also imply no matter how objective scientific genius is, the scientists themselves, like the rest of us, are subject to moral failings.’




YOU ARE DEAD by Peter James



Guardian Best Crime and Thriller books of 2015:
‘Peter James showed that a diversion this year into ghost stories with THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL had not diverted energy from his consistently impressive sequence of DS Roy Grace policiers, the 11th of which, YOU ARE DEAD (Macmillan), confidently combines a cold case with a very hot one.’




THE LAST PILOT by Benjamin Johncock

Isabella Costello Literary Sofa ‘My Year in Books’:
‘Ben Johncock’s debut has all the things I love about American fiction and he’s not even American. Gorgeous spare prose, authentic sense of time and place, a poignant story told with sensitivity and restraint – I have raved about this book so much it’s embarrassing.’

Reading Groups’ Staff Picks for 2015:
‘With echoes of Tom Wolfe’s THE RIGHT STUFF and Richard Yates’ REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, THE LAST PILOT re-ignites the thrill and excitement of the space race through the story of one man’s courage in the face of unthinkable loss.’

Ian Rankin’s End of Year Roundup

Utter Biblio, Top 10 of 2015

ICARUS by Deon Meyer



Financial Times’ Crime Books of the Year

Boston Globe's Best Mystery Books of 2015:
‘An website-related murder and a parallel plot that delves into the dregs of South Africa’s wine industry keep Benny Griessel and his cadre of Cape Town coppers on their toes.’




GREEN LION by Henrietta Rose-Innes


Ben Williams, Fiona Snyckers & Jennifer Malec, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘And if readers missed Henrietta Rose-Innes’s GREEN LION (Umuzi) … they’d best not let 2015 expire without acquainting themselves’ – Ben Williams

‘Rose-Innes goes from strength to strength, refining her craft with each new book.’ – Fiona Snyckers

‘Masterful’ – Jennifer Malec



THE FOLLY by Ivan Vladislavic



Flavorwire’s 15 Worthwhile Books You Might Have Missed in 2015:
‘Praised by the likes of Coetzee and others — it’s not hard to see why…’




101 DETECTIVES by Ivan Vladislavic

Michelle Magwood, Jennifer Malec & Sophie Kohler Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘Mordantly funny, acutely perceptive and exquisitely styled, this collection of short stories is a definitive showcase of Vladislavic’s talents.’ – Michelle Magwood

‘Witty, enthralling and pleasurably disorientating.’ – Jennifer Malec

‘The stories are bewildering in their refusal to provide a clear resolution, but this is to their credit, in that each leaves a mystery to be solved.’ – Sophie Kohler




 Rose Prince, Spectator Best New Cookery Books 2015:
‘There is food in A Wong: The Cookbook (Mitchell Beazley, £25) for home cooks, but it is also a chef’s book. May every aspiring one buy it. If they did, Chinese food in Britain would go through a true revolution.’

Observer 25 best food books 2015:
‘At his Pimlico restaurant, Wong is keen to prove that Chinese food can be just as considered as other, more revered cuisines.’


Ivan Vladislavić’s THE FOLLY is out now in the UK, published by And Other Stories. The novella was originally published twenty years ago, heralding the arrival of a unique and surprising voice in fiction. It was read then as an evocative allegory on the rise and fall of apartheid, but continues to strike new chords, its haunting characters speaking strange truths to our world today. THE FOLLY is published in South Africa by Umuzi and Archipelago published in the US in September, when Ivan Vladislavić was in the country to receive his Windham Campbell Prize for fiction. At a ceremony at Yale University he was awarded one of this year’s nine $150,000 prizes for Fiction, alongside writers Teju Cole, Helon Habila, Geoff Dyer and Edmund de Waal, among others.

On first publication THE FOLLY was hailed by André Brink as being ‘In the tradition of Elias Canetti, a tour de force of the imagination’ and its new edition has already drawn much praise. Nicholas Lezard has picked it as Paperback of the Week in the Guardian and spoken of its ‘fabulistic timelessness’ and other reviewers have described it as follows:

‘THE FOLLY is mysterious, lyrical and wickedly funny — a masterful novel about loving and fearing your neighbour. Ivan Vladislavić is one of the most significant writers working in English today. Everyone should read him.’ — Katie Kitamura

‘The rise and fall of ‘the plan’ at the heart of this potent short novel is as brilliant as it is unsettling. Vladislavić writes with spring-loaded precision about universal dreams and local desolation. A fable for the ages, a parable for our time.’ — Laird Hunt

‘Vladislavić’s cryptic, haunting tale echoes Jorge Luis Borges and David Lynch, drawing readers into its strange depths.’ — Publishers Weekly

'Memorable work that never underplays the unpleasant societal tensions that lie below the surface. … THE FOLLY plays out like a berserk blend of fairy tales, the plays of Samuel Beckett, and the films of Jacques Tati.’ – Tobias Carroll, Electric Lit

In THE FOLLY Mr and Mrs Malgas are going quietly about their lives when an eccentric squatter named Nieuwenhuizen arrives on the vacant plot next door, with a scheme to build an elaborate mansion. Slowly but surely the stranger's charm and persuasive language draws Malgas into "the plan". Grimly humorous and playfully serious, Ivan Vladislavić’s classic first novel is a comic and philosophical masterpiece.

Ivan Vladislavić is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed author of a prestigious body of literary work, published in several international markets. Ivan lives in Johannesburg, where he is a Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand and has won and been shortlisted for South Africa’s most prestigious prizes.  His work is included in the GRANTA BOOK OF THE AFRICAN SHORT STORY and Sylph Editions published A LABOUR OF MOLES in the Cahiers Series. His novel DOUBLE NEGATIVE has just been published in Germany by A1 and Osburg have acquired German rights to THE EXPLODED VIEW, for publication in 2016.  And Other Stories published his new short story collection 101 DETECTIVES earlier this year.

Read a new short story ‘Catch’ by Ivan on Visual Verse.

Visit Ivan's website.

And Other Stories and Archipelago acquire THE FOLLY by Ivan Vladislavić

Stefan Tobler, publisher of the UK based independent publishing house And Other Stories, and Jill Schoolman, at Archipelago in North America, are delighted to announce a simultaneous acquisition of THE FOLLY by the celebrated South African writer Ivan Vladislavić from agent Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann. The publication of THE FOLLY is scheduled for the Autumn of 2016 in the UK and Commonwealth.

Mr and Mrs Malgas are going quietly about their lives when an eccentric squatter called Nieuwenhuizen arrives on the vacant plot next to their home with a grandiose plan to build an elaborate mansion. Slowly, Father, as Nieuwenhuizen prefers to be called, draws Mr Malgas into his grand scheme, while Mrs Malgas keeps an anxious watch from her lounge window… Menacing, hilarious, playfully serious, THE FOLLY is a South African classic with universal resonance.

'And Other Stories and Archipelago are both wonderfully innovative and dynamic publishers. THE FOLLY will be in very good company on their lists.' Ivan Vladislavić

'Archipelago is delighted to be publishing Vladislavić's THE FOLLY. The novel explores friendship and community (and home improvement) with his own unique blend of humor, empathy, and quirky detail. It's a gem, and Vladislavić is one of the most inventive and compassionate writers working today.' Jill Schoolman, Publisher, Archipelago Books

‘Ivan Vladislavić could well be the next South African writer to win the Booker Prize and become a household name. He deserves it. Part of his genius is that he tries something new with every book and so we're excited that our fourth book by him will also be published by Archipelago in the US in 2016, as Jill Schoolman at Archipelago is as excited as we are about his writing.’ Stefan Tobler, Publisher, And Other Stories

And Other Stories have successfully published two of Vladislavić’s novels, DOUBLE NEGATIVE (2013) and THE RESTLESS SUPERMARKET (2014) in Europe and North America. And Other Stories intend to build on this success with the publication of 101 DETECTIVES, Vladislavić’s collection of short stories, in June 2015, in North America and Europe. Random Umuzi have published all of Ivan’s books in South Africa, and published THE FOLLY earlier this year.


Praise for THE FOLLY

‘An exquisite intellectual delight’ – Southern African Review of Books

‘An uncanny ability to mine the stranger, more obsessive features of white South African life’ – SA Times

‘His stylistic virtuosity, sardonic wit, playful inventiveness and his cool intimations of menace transmute the banal into something rich and strange loaded with comic and philosophical significance.’ – Mail & Guardian

Praise for Ivan Vladislavić:

'Ivan Vladislavić is one of a handful of writers working in South Africa after apartheid whose work will still be read in fifty years.' – Jan Steyn, The White Review

‘Vladislavić is a rare, brilliant writer’ – Sunday Times (SA)

‘One of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today.’ – André Brink