Children of Sugarcane by Joanne Joseph

In this episode of TGE’s Current Read, veteran broadcaster and bestselling author Joanne Joseph joins Samanatha Herbst (co-host and founder of parenting podcast The Great Equalizer) to chat about her debut novel, Children of Sugarcane.

Set against the backdrop of 19th Century India and the British-owned sugarcane plantations of Natal, Children of Sugarcane paints an intimate and heart-wrenching picture of indentured labourers in South Africa, told from a woman’s perspective.

Shortlisted for the 2022 Sunday Times Literary Awards, this book transports readers to a part of South African history that doesn’t get nearly enough airtime, and one that’s strongly rooted in Joseph’s own heritage.

Joseph chats with Sam about her writing process, what it was like to delve into the female experience at different points in history, and how pulling at the thread of ancestry and colonisation exposes so much about our world – and country – today.