fluid-coverFLUID: THE FREEDOM TO BE (2023)

Edited by Joanne Hichens and Karina M. Szczurek

In these twenty short stories of inquiry, transgression, osmosis and transformation, we embrace the fluid nature of humanity.

Stories by Peter-Adrian Altini, Diane Awerbuck, K. L. Bohle, Anna Hug, Kingsley Khobotlo, Yuwinn Kraukamp, Alex Latimer, Keith Oliver Lewis, Lerato Mahlangu, Shari Maluleke, David Medalie, Mabel Mnensa, Lerato Moletsane, Nadine Moonsamy, Shanice Ndlovu, Vuyokazi Ngemntu, Robyn Perros, Bridget Pitt, Lorraine Sithole, Jarred Thompson and Andrew Robert Wilson

‘I’m in awe of the literary talent in this riveting collection.’ – Shubnum Khan

‘Catch a ride through dystopia, run through a thousand lifetimes, and rediscover your sense of wonder with fables of water spirits. The voices in Fluid dispel the notion of a divided country. These stories haunt, enchant, and turn your heart inside out with a gloriously unflinching, shared South African sensibility. There is ‘diversity’ in ‘division’ and you are able to choose. Read these stories and come away a little softer, a lot stronger, and a bit more fluid.’ – Lester Walbrugh

‘Short.Sharp.Stories gives aspiring writers a right to write. It is an important and necessary addition to our South African literary landscape.’ – Niq Mhlongo


Edited by Rachel Zadok, Karina Szczurek & Jason Mykl Snyman

This genre-spanning anthology explores the many ways that we grow, adapt, and survive in the face of our ever-changing global realities. In these evocative, often prescient, stories, new and emerging writers from across Africa investigate many of the pressing issues of our time: climate change, pandemics, social upheaval, surveillance, and more.

From a post-apocalyptic African village in Innocent Ilo’s “Before We Die Unwritten”, to space colonization in Alithnayn Abdulkareem’s “Static”, to a mother’s attempt to save her infant from a dust storm in Mbozi Haimbe’s “Shelter”, Disruption illuminates change around and within, and our infallible capacity for hope amidst disaster. Facing our shared anxieties head on, these authors scrutinize assumptions and invent worlds that combine the fantastical with the probable, the colonial with the dystopian, and the intrepid with the powerless, in stories recognizing our collective future and our disparate present.

Disruption is the newest anthology from Short Story Day Africa, a non-profit organization established to develop and share the diversity of Africa’s voices through publishing and writing workshops.


Edited by Joanne Hichens & Karina M. Szczurek

A collection of short stories inspired by hair. Like skin, hair is a body feature with a complex and controversial history, and is constantly under scrutiny in the media, specifically with regard to identity. HAIR: Weaving and Unpicking Stories of Identity features short stories by contemporary established and emerging South African writers of diverse backgrounds writing about hair and its intimate, personal as well as socio-political meaning. The book includes illustrative photographs by local visual artists.


Selected and edited by Karina M. Szczurek

She was based in Austria, married and only twenty-seven years old at the time; he was single, but already sixty-nine and, after four failed marriages, full of apprehension. The intense correspondence which followed in the weeks after their encounter in Vienna recounts the couple’s courtship, revealing not only their initially unacknowledged attraction, but also their hopes, fears and longings. Planning to meet again in Paris on 14 March 2005, they write a new world of recognition and possibility into being…

In October 2005, Karina relocated to Cape Town and asked André to marry her a few months later. The two writers shared a decade of love until his death in February 2015. In her memoir, The Fifth Mrs Brink (2017), Karina told the story of their ten years as a couple. Intimate, daring, and full of wonder, You Make Me Possible takes us back to the very beginning of their romance.

Are you my everlasting, redeeming kiss of life?

— André Brink, 1 January 2005


Edited by Catherine Shepherd and Karina Szczurek

These wonderful stories from six highly talented African writers under the age of eighteen were entered into the annual Short Story Day Africa Prize along with over 400 stories from adult writers. Under the guidance of editors Catherine Shepherd and Karina Szczurek, these wise young souls lead us into the world and perceptions of the youth on the subject of migrations. They tell of war and pain, of the grief one experiences when fleeing one’s home. Of addiction, loss and hope. They touch on the heartache of parents as their children grow up and move away. They speak of what it means to be an illegal human in a strange place, and of the final big migration we will all face one day. These are powerful, universal stories that transcend barriers between people all over the world, and they form a young companion to the 2017 Short Story Day Africa anthology of new African writing, Migrations.

This is the beginning of a literary journey for six young writers. May their stars burn brightly for many years to come.

Buy Misplaced & Other Stories on Amazon.

The Fifth Mrs BrinkTHE FIFTH MRS BRINK: A MEMOIR (2017)

Karina M. Szczurek’s soul-baring memoirs of her life before, with and after her marriage to André P. Brink details a year of widowhood and a love to last a lifetime. This is the book which shows decisively that Karina is a writer in her own right, still coming in to her full creative powers, and simultaneously silences any gossips who might still have disbelieved Karina and André Brink’s love for one another.

A homage to a marriage cut tragically short by Brink’s death, in 2015 at 79 years old, and a diary of creative dissolution and knitting back together, The Fifth Mrs Brink combines enough literary skinner, salacious detail and moving romantic description of dealing with the death of a loved one to satisfy fans of her and her husband, both old and new.


Edited by Nick Mulgrew and Karina Szczurek

The tidemark of African fiction. A deluge of new short stories on murder, magic, family, war and water from twenty-one of Africa’s finest writers.

Water: New Short Fiction from Africa is Short Story Day Africa’s third anthology of short fiction from the African continent and diaspora. This carefully-curated anthology of twenty-one stories is harvested from the over-400 entries to the project’s annual short story competition, the Short Story Day Africa Prize, in 2015. The collection includes well-known authors – such as Mark Winkler, Alex Latimer, Cat Hellisen, Fred Khumalo, Pede Hollist, Mary Okon Ononokpono, Efemia Chela and Louis Greenberg – alongside emerging stars like Megan Ross, Dayo Ntwari, Louis Ogbere and Alexis Teyie. With settings both realistic and fantastical, and stories both lyrical and urgent, this collection is the definitive high watermark for fiction from Africa this year.

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Edited by James Thomas, Robert Shapard, Christopher Merrill

A dazzling new anthology of the very best very short fiction from around the world.
What is a flash fiction called in other countries? In Latin America it is a micro, in Denmark kortprosa, in Bulgaria mikro razkaz. These short shorts, usually no more than 750 words, range from linear narratives to the more unusual: stories based on mathematical forms, a paragraph-length novel, a scientific report on volcanic fireflies that proliferate in nightclubs. Flash has always—and everywhere—been a form of experiment, of possibility. A new entry in the lauded Flash and Sudden Fiction anthologies, this collection includes 86 of the most beautiful, provocative, and moving narratives by authors from six continents, including best-selling writer Etgar Keret, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah, Korean screenwriter Kim Young-ha, Nobel Prize winner Czesław Miłosz, and Argentinian “Queen of the Microstory” Ana María Shua, among many others. These brilliantly chosen stories challenge readers to widen their vision and celebrate both the local and the universal.
Includes my story “Not Far From the Tree”.

Invisible OthersINVISIBLE OTHERS (2014)

A novel by Karina M. Szczurek

Set against the stark beauty of contemporary Paris, Invisible Others is a story about loss, intimacy, and the inability to communicate despite best intentions. Provocative, sensual and fiercely honest, the novel captures our feeble attempts at deciphering those fleeting moments when others, consciously or not, leave indelible marks on our lives.


Edited by Willie Burger and Karina Magdalena Szczurek

André Brink is one of South Africa’s most prolific, influential, and internationally distinguished writers. This compilation includes twenty essays written in English and Afrikaans by some of the leading critics of his oeuvre. It strives to be indicative of the kind of research undertaken on Brink’s work and to give insight into a variety of its aspects, focusing primarily on his novels and their reception. Published since the late 1980s, the criticism collected in this volume looks at Brink’s approach to the genre and its narrative techniques. It also contextualises Brink’s writing in relation to existentialism, (post)colonialism, myth-making, magic realism, representations of gender and sexuality, the dialectic of history and fiction, the picaresque tradition, and the tensions between memory, narration and identity.
Contributors: Johan Anker, Lianne Barnard, Mathilda Bothma, Monica Bungaro, Willie Burger, Neil Cochrane, Ampie Coetzee, Isidore Diala, Heilna du Plooy, A.J. Hassall, Peter Horn, Ute Kauer, Godfrey Meintjes, Richard Peck, Jochen Petzold, Henriette Roos, Christell Stander, H.P. van Coller, Louise Viljoen, Marita Wenzel and Nicholas Wroe.

This exciting new collection contains the winning play A Change of Mind by Karina Magdalena Szczurek and the runners up The Locket by Richard Street and Sugar Daddies Rot Your Teeth by Mark Scheepers. Other contributors include: Gcina Mhlophe, Anil Polton, Philemon Ngwenya, Stephen Finn, Nelson Khumalo, Gail Smith and Daryn Leigh.
A Change of Mind is eloquently written with convincing, natural dialogue, well-rounded characters and a keen eye for detail and stage direction.” Greig Coetzee, Judge


Selected by Arja Salafranca

The Edge of Things brings together twenty-four South African stories selected by award-winning author Arja Salafranca, and features writers such as Jayne Bauling, Rosemund Handler, Liesl Jobson, Aryan Kaganof, Margie Orford, Fred de Fries and Hamilton Wende.
The stories range across a spectrum od themes exploring the complexities of relationships, childhood, the effects of solitude on individuals, and the crucial issue of identity in post-apartheid South Africa. Sometimes straddling the lines between fiction and nonfiction, and between reality and fantasy, the stories are an invaluable contribution to contemporary South African literature.
The Edge of Things is a special issue of the literary journal Green Dragon. The volume includes my short story “The Basket”.


Encounters with André Brink is a collection of personal essays written by some of the men and women who have briefly or over many years shared their lives with André Brink: family members; friends and lovers; publishers and translators; colleagues, students, fellow writers and other artists.
Commissioned by his wife Karina Magdalena Szczurek, and edited by Michiel Heyns, the publication celebrates his life as witnessed through the eyes of the people he has encountered on his fascinating and eventful path. The collection forms a tapestry of unique stories from around the world which reflect on the renowned South African author as he is known by those who have been close to him.
Encounters with André Brink captures moving, funny, and nostalgic episodes from the lives of the contributors and their subject. Some remember the circumstances of their first meeting with André Brink; some deal with the nature of their relationship; others focus on key moments in their trajectories. All royalties will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Contributors: Staff of Aschehoug, Chris Barnard, Elleke Boehmer, Kerneels Breytenbach, Marita Brink, Gustav Brink, J.M. Coetzee, Tim Couzens, Braam de Vries, Ariel Dorfman, Rastko Garic, Marina & Gerrit Geertsema, Ian Glenn, Nadine Gordimer, Jean Guiloineau, Malcolm Hacksley, Koos Human, Nancy Huston, Bertil Käll, Sonja Kershaw, Antjie Krog, Bernard Magnier, Sindiwe Magona, Bodil Malmsten, Alberto Manguel, Susan Mann, Geoff Mulligan, Tania & Bassem Nasir, Christie Roode, Leon Rousseau, Nancy Sabatier, Hettie Scholtz, Mark Solms, Naas Steenkamp, Karina Magdalena Szczurek, Per Wästberg, Emma van der Vliet, Helen Moffett, Hermione Harris, Eva Koralnik.

Home AwayHOME AWAY (2010)

Edited by Louis Greenberg

Being South African isn’t as black and white as it used to be. People from all over the world make this country their home, while South Africans have more geographic freedom than ever before. This unique and captivating collection is a snapshot of South African writing today: diverse, energetic, inquisitive and compelling. In Home Away, twenty-four chapters by twenty-four writers, set in cities all around the world, make up one global day, a mosaic reflecting on the nature of home. The stories veer from Peruvian ruins and medieval European abbeys to American highways and Asian metropolises, from the suburbs of Sydney to the streets of Lagos. There are tales about holidaying, honeymooning and working abroad, about emigrants in their new homes and immigrants visiting their old ones. Written by award-winning established authors and exciting new voices, Home Away is an exhilarating mix of memoir, travelogue, thriller, humour and speculative fiction. And as these stories suggest, often it’s when we are far away from home that we see it most clearly.
The collection includes my personal essay “Our Brass Bed”.


Edited by Karina Magdalena Szczurek

For this unique and impressive anthology, some of South Africa’s top storytellers were invited to interpret the theme of touch. The result is a scintillating collection of twenty-two stories about all kinds of human interaction. There are tales of love lost, and of discovering intimacy. Some describe encounters with strangers, others examine family relationships. Most deal touch in a physical sense; one or two explore the idea of ‘keeping in touch’.
Touch: Stories of Contact brings us work from such established luminaries as André Brink, Nadine Gordimer, Damon Galgut and Ivan Vladislavić, and exciting new voices such as Alistair Morgan and Julia Smuts Louw. Whether poignant or humorous, fictional or autobiographical, these innovative tales remind us of the preciousness of touch and are a testimony to the creative talents of South Africa’s writers.
All the authors have agreed to donate their royalties to the Treatment Action Campaign. Every copy sold therefore contributes to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Contributors: Emma van der Vliet, Michiel Heyns, Elleke Boehmer, Susan Mann, Willemien Brümmer, Julia Louw, Anne Landsman, Byron Loker, Maureen Isaacson, Ivan Vladislavić, Zoë Wicomb, Imraan Coovadia, Jonny Steinberg, Mary Watson, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Alex Smith, André Brink, Damon Galgut, Alistair Morgan, Liesl Jobson, Nadine Gordimer, Lauren Beukes.

Survivors of violence are often forced to flee – emotionally and geographically – from sites of violence. Women cross vast emotional and geographical borders in order to flee from violence to find a place of safety. This year, POWA called for entries in the three categories of poetry, short stories and personal essays that describe the transformation of the flight from violence into a journey of healing.
Told from a survivor’s perspective, they paint the reader a textured emotional picture of the highs and lows, and the inconsistencies of the struggle to put themselves together again as they battle to find their centre, and reclaim their space in the world.
Entries include poetry, short stories and essays, as well as artwork from the CDP Trust. My short story “Pickled Cucumbers” was a finalist in this POWA Women’s Writing Competition 2008.


Edited by Liz McGregor and Sarah Nuttall

Load-shedding is a collection of non-fiction stories from South Africa’s pre-eminent authors, journalists and commentators – and is a follow-up volume to Liz McGregor and Sarah Nuttall’s well-received first such collection, At Risk. Published at a time of great uncertainty – during the so-called “Second Transition” – these stories reflect the ambivalence and anxiety of our age.
Covering diverse subjects such as corruption in the countryside, sexual abuse, ‘Zuluness’ in time of Zuma, and ethnic panic, these personal accounts shed new light on our contemporary South African world.
Contributors: Makhosazana Xaba, Ashlee Polatinky, Jacob Dlamini, Michael Titlestad, Sarah Nuttall, Deborah Posel, Achille Mbembe, Rita Barnard, Jonathan Hyslop, Liz McGregor, Imraan Coovadia, Lara Allen, Pamila Gupta, Kgomotso Matsunyane, and Karina Magdalena Szczurek.

JM Coetzee in Context and TheoryJ.M. COETZEE IN CONTEXT AND THEORY (2009)

Edited by Elleke Boehmer, Robert Eaglestone and Katy Iddiols

Nobel Laureate and the first author to win the Booker Prize twice, J.M. Coetzee is perhaps the world’s leading living novelist writing in English. Including an international roster of world leading critics and novelists, and drawing on new research, this innovative book analyses the whole range of Coetzee’s work, from his most recent novels through his memoirs and critical writing. It offers a range of perspectives on his relationship with the historical, political, cultural and social context of South Africa. It also contextualises Coetzee’s work in relation to his literary influences, colonial and post-colonial history, the Holocaust and colonial genocides, the ‘politics’ and meaning of the Nobel prize in South Africa and Coetzee’s very public move from South Africa to Australia. Including a major unpublished essay by leading South African novelist André Brink, this book offers the most up-to-date study of Coetzee’s work currently available.
The collection includes my essay “Coetzee and Gordimer”.


Edited by Richard Zimler and Raša Sekulović

To suppport Save the Children, bestselling authors from around the world have banded together to create a bold and moving anthology of stories about childhood. Featuring an international constellation of notable authors, this anthology explores and celebrates childhood with tales touching on abuse and rejection, loneliness and love, the joys of friendship and discovery, and the first confused inklings of adolescent love. Some of the 26 stories are new, while others are difficult to find in print – yet each offers a moving, disturbing, surprising, or mysterious glimpse into the fragile and precious lives of children around the world. Participants include acclaimed and award-winning authors such as David Almond, Margaret Atwood, André Brink, Melvin Burgess, Nadine Gordimer, Eva Hoffman, Alberto Manguel, Meg Rosoff, Nicholas Shakespeare, Ali Smith and Richard Zimler.
The collection includes my short story “Rudolf’s Secret”, a finalist in the 2007 POWA Women’s Writing Competition.

Nadine Gordimer is one of South Africa’s most prominent authors. In 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Truer than Fiction charts this iconic writer’s post-apartheid work, focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the four novels she published between 1994 and 2005: None to Accompany Me (1994), The House Gun (1998), The Pickup (2001), and Get a Life (2005). The study includes a brief biographical outline of Gordimer’s life and a discussion of her long-standing status as ‘the voice’ of South Africa. It also provides the contemporary socio-historical and literary contexts for her work after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. The core of the study constitutes a thematic assessment of Gordimer’s fiction and non- fiction after 1994, explored in the light of these contexts. Drawing upon such schools of thought as postcolonial theory, cultural studies, ecocriticism, feminist criticism and gender studies, as well as the rich critical reception of her writing, Truer than Fiction illuminates the continued importance of Nadine Gordimer’s oeuvre in her home country and across the world.

POWA’s Women’s Writing Competition established itself as a pivotal platform to promote women’s writing as a way of healing, to increase discussion and debate about women’s issues and struggles, and to encourage women to write creatively.
The theme for 2007 was Murmurs of the Girl in Me. Whatever her age, when a girl experiences violence, something remains inside her; throwing her world into disarray, and sparking a range of murmurs in the survivor’s heart.
Murmurs of the Girl in Me is a collection of poems, personal essays and short stories told from the perspective of the girl within, from the moment of violence and through her struggles to survive and to reconcile a relationship with her present self. The entries came from a range of women of all ages, in five official languages and from diverse backgrounds and experiences from across South Africa. They include established writers, as well as the literary debut of fresh, innovative voices.
The volume includes my short story “Rudolf’s Secret”, a finalist in the competition.