John Eppel

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John Eppel is a Zimbabwean novelist who taught English at Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo. His first novel, D G G Berry’s The Great North Road, won the M-Net prize. His poetry collections include Spoils of War, which won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. Aside from five other novels and three poetry collections, he has written two collections of poetry and short stories.[1]


John Eppel was born in Lydenburg, South Africa. He moved to Colleen Bawn, a small mining town in the south of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), at the age of four. He married at the age of 34 and has three children; Ben, Ruth and Joe. His ex-wife, Shari, is a poet and prominent human rights activist. Eppel teaches English at Christian Brothers College, Bulawayo.


He was educated at Milton High School in Bulawayo, and later attended the University of Natal in South Africa, where he completed his English master's degree in 'A Study of Keatsian Dialectics'.


He has published 20 books, one of which has been translated into French (The giraffe man), created a creative writing course for the University of South Africa and published three 'O'Level and one 'A' Level literature study guides. He was awarded the Ingrid Jonker Prize for his first poetry book, "Spoils of War" and the MNet Prize in 1993 for his Novel, 'D G G Berry's the Great North Road'. His second novel, 'Hatchings' was nominated for the MNet prize in 1993/4. His works are studied in universities across South Africa.

List of Published Books

  • "O Suburbia", Weaver Press
  • "White Man Walking", Mwanaka Publishing
  • "Landlocked", Smith/Doorstep
  • "Textures" (with Togara Muzanenhamo), 'amaBooks.
  • "Hewn From Rock" (with Philani Nyoni)
  • "Together" (with Julius Chingono), 'amaBooks/UNO Press/UKZN Press.
  • "Absent: The English Teacher", Jacana.
  • "White Man Crawling", (2007) 'amaBooks.
  • "Hatchings" (reprint), Republished by 'amaBooks.
  • "Songs My Country Taught Me", Weaver Press.
  • "The Caruso of Collen Bawn and other short writings", 'amaBooks.
  • "The Holy Innocents", 'amaBooks.
  • "The Curse of the Ripe Tomato", 'amaBooks.
  • "Selected poems 1965-1995", Childline.
  • "Sonata for Matabeleland", Snailpress/Baobab Books.
  • "The Giraffe Man", Quelliere.
  • "Hatchings" Carrefour.
  • "D G G Berry's The Great North Road", Carrefour/Hippogriff (1992) (Recently re-published in E-Book format on Amazon).
  • "Spoils of War", (1989) Carrefour.
  • "Four Voices" (with N.H. Brettell, Rowland Molony, and David Wright) Books of Zimbabwe.


  1. [1], Sunday Times Books Live, Accessed: 3 August, 2020

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