Griffin Shea, is the owner of independent bookstore Bridge Books located in downtown Johannesburg. Founded in 2016, the stores focus is on African literature, and on finding new ways of getting books to readers.
Griffin has also founded the African Book Trust, which gives new, local books to schools and libraries. The trust is now working on a new partnership with the Johannesburg Development Agency to create a Literary District in Joburg CBD.
Before opening Bridge Books, Griffin worked as a journalist for 15 years, mostly with the international news agency AFP. He is currently working on a PhD in Publishing Studies at Wits University.
Maboneng: Garden of Cosmopolitan at 2 Albrecht Street by the corner of Commissioner.
CBD: Rand Club, shop entrance on Commissioner Street.
Here is a list of recommended reads for this summer holiday.
An Orchestra of Minorities, by Chigozie Obioma R325
- He was short-listed for the Booker Prize for his last novel, The Fishermen. In this novel, the story is about a poultry farmer who falls in love with a wealthy woman. His efforts to prove himself worthy to her family are narrated by his chi, sort of a guardian angel, or life spirit in Igbo belief.
I love you, I hate you by Bradley Kirshenbaum R440
- The brains behind Love Jozi. This is a gorgeous book with breathtakingly original images of Joburg, and essays by 34 Jozi thinkers, doers, and makers. Despite the title, there’s lots of love in this book.
Story Story, Story Come Edited by Maimouna Jallow and published by Zukiswa Wanner’s new Paivapo Press. R195
- Lovingly illustrated by Olusayo Ajeniunmobi, this is a collection of folktales gathered from across Africa and retold with a storytellers’ delight
Others on the list include…
Triangulum by Masande Ntshanga R250
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead R295
House of Stone by Novuyo Tshuma R270
Perfect Imperfections by Makanaka Mavengere-Munsaka R220
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell R350