Marie and David Philip at the 1996 Alan Paton Award ceremony.

Marie and David Philip at the 1996 Alan Paton Award ceremony.

New Africa Books' history starts with David Philip Publishers, which was founded in 1971 by Marie Philip and her late husband David. Over a long and distinguished career, David Philip published some of the great luminaries of African and South African literature, including Nobel Prize laureates Nadine Gordimer and Wole Soyinka, Guy Butler and Mongane Wally Serote, becoming what the former Sunday Times books editor Ben Williams called “a colossus who shaped the South African English canon more than anyone else”. Indeed, David Philip Publishers was, perhaps more than any other, the quintessential independent anti-apartheid publishing house in South Africa.

A colossus who shaped the South African English canon more than anyone else.

Not long after the Philips’ retirement in 1999, David Philip Publishers merged with two other small presses to become New Africa Books. Currently owned by the distinguished Sisulu family, and spearheaded by the highly experienced publisher Dusanka Stojakovic (formerly of Pan MacMillan), New Africa Books has in recent years recast itself as a perfectly formed small publisher, operating with a philosophy in contrast to the model that pervades much of the South African industry. We find gaps in the book market, and we fill them with meaningful, beautiful books. We address the problems our society faces.