Jonny Steinberg biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jonny Steinberg
Photo: Antoine De Ras

Jonny Steinberg

Jonny Steinberg Biography

Jonny Steinberg was born and bred in South Africa. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Three Letter Plague, published by Vintage (also published under the title Sizwe's Test), as well as Midlands and The Number, both of which won South Africa's premier nonfiction literary award, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize. Steinberg was also a recipient of one of the inaugural Windham Campbell Prizes. He teaches African Studies and Criminology at Oxford University.



This bio was last updated on 02/04/2015. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

Jonny Steinberg shares his experiences meeting and writing about Asad Addullani for his book A Man of Good Hope

When and where did you first meet Asad? What was it about him that intrigued you?

I did not intend to write a book about Asad Abdullahi when I first met him. I had employed him to introduce me to the world of Cape Town Somalis. Early in our association, he and I were strolling through Cape Town's botanical gardens when Asad idly picked up a twig from the ground, snapped it open and drew it to his nose. The smell transported him back more than 20 years. He was six years old, in a madrasa in Somalia, mixing the ink he would use to copy out passages from the Koran. The ink was clearly narcotic; he was reliving an old, forgotten high. I thought to myself, a man who can take me to his childhood so vividly, so intimately, is a man about whom I ought to write a book.

The Somali diaspora is one that many Americans are unfamiliar with. Why is Asad's story a good introduction to the topic?

In January 1990, more than half of the population of Mogadishu, Somali's capital city, fled. The majority never returned. It is a story of such incalculable scale. To get an inkling of what it means, one needs to go up close and look intimately at an individual life, to try, as best one can, to get under an individual's skin. ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Jonny Steinberg at BookBrowse
A Man of Good Hope jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jonny Steinberg but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Naomi Benaron

    Naomi Benaron

    Naomi Benaron is a fiction writer, a poet, and a social activist - all entwined. She has worked extensively with the African refugee population in her community, teaches online through the Afghan Women's Writing Project, has ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Man of Good Hope

    Try:
    Running the Rift
    by Naomi Benaron

  • Kenneth Bonert

    Kenneth Bonert

    Kenneth Bonert's work has appeared in McSweeney's 25, Grain, and The Fiddlehead. A former journalist, his work has appeared in the Globe and Mail and other publications. His story "Packers and Movers" was shortlisted for the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Man of Good Hope

    Try:
    The Lion Seeker
    by Kenneth Bonert

We recommend 11 similar authors

View all 11 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Conviction
    Conviction
    by Denise Mina
    Scottish author Denise Mina's latest novel, Conviction, is a fast-paced thriller narrated by Anna, a...
  • Book Jacket
    Dread Nation
    by Justina Ireland
    The war between the states is over and, instead, a very different battle is being waged for the ...
  • Book Jacket: Costalegre
    Costalegre
    by Courtney Maum
    The year is 1937 and Hitler is gaining stronger sway over Europe. Chief among the Führer's ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Ellie and the Harpmaker
    by Hazel Prior

    A rich, heartwarming and charming debut novel about finding love in unexpected places.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
America for Beginners
by Leah Franqui

A poignant debut that explores unlikely friendships forged in unusual circumstances.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Crudo

Crudo by Olivia Laing

A brilliant, funny, and emphatically raw novel of love on the brink of the apocalypse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S A A B In A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.