SJ Naudé

S J Naudé _  head and shoulders

SJ Naudé grew up in South Africa, where he studied law. After practising law in New York and London for many years, he returned to South Africa for a master’s degree in creative writing. The Afrikaans edition of The Alphabet of Birds has won several prizes including the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and a South African Literary Award. He was awarded the 2014 Jan Rabie & Marjorie Wallace Writing Scholarship, the largest award for creative writing in South Africa. Naudé currently lives in Cape Town.

Praise for SJ Naudé

  • ‘Naude’s honest confrontation of [complex] questions is unsettling . . . the response he is guiding us towards in these disturbing yet uplifting stories is openness.’ Alison Kelly, Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘Cool and intelligent, unsettling and deeply felt, Naudé’s voice is something new in South African writing.’ Damon Galgut (from his Introduction to The Alphabet of Birds)
  • ‘Here is the beginning of something extraordinary. Profound, complex, luminously written, and brilliantly orchestrated, SJ Naudé’s first collection establishes him indubitably as a writer who will reshape the contours of South African literature in years to come.’ Neel Mukherjee
  • ‘[I]n Naudé, openness and sincerity create surprising moments of great emotional authenticity.’ Anneke Rautenbach, L. A. Review of Books
  • ‘Makes one truly excited about what else this author will produce … an extremely rewarding reading experience.’ Jacomien van Niekerk, Tydskrif vir letterkunde 
  • ‘Naude’s cool, incisive prose acts as a scalpel, laying bare the sinews and tendons of the stories he is telling.’  Literary Review (US)

More information

  • Read more about The Alphabet of Birds in the book section.
  • SJ Naude was interviewed by Nancy Richards on the The Literary Show on Sundays on SAFM (South Africa) during which they discussed the And Other Stories edition of The Alphabet of Birds (in first 18 mins).
  • SJ Naudé writes for PEN Atlas here on the experience of translating yourself and in Asymptote Journal he reflects on the odd literary status of Afrikaans and talks about Afrikaans literature today – read it here.
  • S.J. Naudé reads from The Alphabet of Birds and discusses the Afrikaans language amongst young South Africans in the new South Africa in the excellent BBC Radio 4 series ‘Writing a New South Africa’ (at 18:38)


Author of:
The Alphabet of Birds



  1. This is a most wonderful collection, Naudé’s writing confers a terrible beauty on the South African landscape and the dislocation of being far from home, where ever that home might be. I look forward to watching for his future work and to supporting And Other Stories so that more daring and gifted authors can reach audiences hungry for exciting, vibrant literature.


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