Zakes Mda is a writer, painter and music composer. He has published 22 books, 10 of which are novels. The rest are collections of plays and poetry, and a monograph on the theory and practice of theatre for development. His works have been translated into 20 languages. They have won a number of awards in South Africa, the US and Italy, including the Amstel Playwright of the Year Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the M-Net Prize, the Sanlam Prize (twice), The Pringle Award, the Sunday Times Literary Prize, the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award, the Premio Narrativa Sud del Mondo, the University of Johannesburg Literary Prize, the American Library Association Notable Book Prize and the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize. Zakes Mda is a recipient of the Ikhamanga Order in Silver from the South African government. His novel Cion, set in south-east Ohio, was nominated for the NAACP Image Award. His memoir titled Sometimes There Is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and was the New York Times‘ Notable Book for 2012. His latest works are a novel set in rural Ohio, titled Rachel’s Blue (Seagull, 2016) which examines what happens when a rapist fights for paternity rights over the rape-conceived child, and Little Suns (Penguin Random House/Umuzi 2016), a historical novel set in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, between 1879 and 1912. Zakes Mda has published a number of articles in refereed academic journals, and has participated in literary festivals, conferences and book tours in North America, Europe, South America and Australia. His plays are performed quite often at theatre festivals in various parts of the world. He commutes between the US and South Africa, working as a (retired) professor of creative writing at Ohio University, a beekeeper in the Eastern Cape (running a project he established in 2000 with rural women), a director of NeoZane, a publishing house and animation-film production company based in Johannesburg, and an Extraordinary Professor of English at the University of the Western Cape.