South African Womxn Writers – Day 14: SA Bookstagrammers to look out for – Abdeah Davis

If you’re a bibliophile like myself, then you’re probably always looking for good book recommendations. Thankfully there is an entire community of bookworms online who are dedicated to sharing their love for reading.

On Instagram the book community has taken micro-blogging to a whole new level with its aesthetically gorgeous photos, accompanied by short but sweet reviews. There is something for everyone regardless of whether it’s Young Adult Fiction or Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction or Non-Fiction you enjoy reading, you will find a Bookstagram account dedicated to your favorite genre. This community has encouraged and inspired me time and time again to read more widely, diversify my library and to actively engage in conversation. Not only is Bookstagram a good place for book recommendations, it is also an amazing source of online second-hand bookstores. But fair warning, you probably will end up with a giant TBR (to be read) pile next to you bed saying #bookstagrammademedoit

These are some of my favorite bookstagrammers talking about their favorite books by local womxn and queer authors.


Find them here:

“One of my favourite books by a South African author is The Ones With Purpose by Nozizwe Cynthia Jele. It’s her delicate treatment of black society and it’s ailments especially around the idea of sickness and death that makes this book precious. She tells the story with zero judgement and such profound respect even when highlighting some of our socio-cultural issues. The opening paragraph is also the hook that will keep you reading.”

ISBN: 9780795708435


Find them here:

“Due to my fascination with science fiction and horror genres I am particularly drawn to Lauren Beukes whose plots slip effortlessly into time travel and serial killers whilst still maintaining solid and sensitive grasp on South African history and political issues. I particularly loved The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes despite it being the only novel Beukes set in the United States rather than South Africa (at that time). It was the first time reading science fiction by a South African and it was incredibly inspiring.”

ISBN: 9780316216869


Find them here:

“My favourite book is Period Pain by Kopano Matlwa. It was one of my first books by a black South African female. It touched on issues we face in this country just as relevant as when it was first penned. We still deal with mental health, xenophobic attacks, and rape culture in our country. It makes you reflect on your own self as part of either the problem or the solution to the everyday problems in our country.”

ISBN: 9781431424375


Find them here:

“One of my favourites is Being Shelley by Qarnita Loxton because it feels like home. There are small moments like a mention of That Shoe Lady that bring back fond memories. It is contemporary fiction and the characters are relatable. Just a bunch of South African women trying to get through the day, with a little help from their friends.

ISBN: 9780795709609

Another favourite is Living while Feminist. Living while Feminist could have been “by Jen Thorpe” but instead is “edited by” Jen, and that distinction is relevant. She has given each writer their own space to write in their own voice, which is amazing. Feminism is complex and the experience of it is as diverse as the women of South Africa and this book honours that.”

ISBN: 9780795709418


Find them here:

“My favourite book by a South African woman author is Providence by Petunia Lehoka. It’s a very beautiful and touching story.”

ISBN: 9781542900980

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Abdeah Davis (Dee) is a creative who loves fantasy literature, helps find preloved books forever homes and dabbles in digital illustration.

You can find her blogs, reviews and online store here:

You can also find her on Instagram:

This month’s blog is curated by Jen Thorpe.

Jen Thorpe is a feminist writer. Her first novel, The Peculiars (2016), was long listed for the Etisalat Prize for Literature (2016) and the Sunday Times Fiction Prize (2017). Her second novel, The Fall, was published in July 2020. Thorpe has edited three collections of feminist essays – My First Time: Stories of Sex and Sexuality from Women Like You (2012); Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth (2018) and Living While Feminist (2020). Her writing has been published in Brittle Paper, Saraba Magazine, Jalada, and Litro. Find out more via Jen is also the host of the Living While Feminist Podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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