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A new Jonny Steinberg book is always an event. A matchless investigator and observer, he manages to be both coolly incisive and rawly empathetic to his subjects.

He has won the prestigious Alan Paton Award for non-fiction twice, for Midlands and The Number, and the Windham-Campbell prize awarded by Yale University.

This month sees the publication of One Day in Bethlehem, about a man named Fusi Mofokeng who was wrongly incarcerated in 1992 and who was released 19 years later into a dramatically changed country.

Steinberg was intrigued by the idea of this South African Rip van Winkle, who could remind us of what had changed and what had not since the end of apartheid.

To coincide with the release, Jonathan Ball Publishers has reissued four of his superb books in striking new covers: Midlands; The Number; Three-Letter Plague and A Man of Good Hope. Together, they demonstrate that no other writer can parse the nation’s complexities as subtly as Steinberg.

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