Mandla Langa was born in Durban, grew up in KwaMashu and studied for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Fort Hare. After his release from 101 days in prison in 1976, he skipped bail, and went into exile in Botswana. In 1980 he won the Drum story contest for ‘The Dead Men Who Lost Their Bones’ and in 1991 he was awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for creative writing, the first for a South African. His published works include Tenderness of Blood (1987), A Rainbow on a Paper Sky (1989), The Naked Song and Other Stories (1997), The Memory of Stones (2000) and The Lost Colours of the Chameleon (2008), which won the 2009 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for the African region in the ‘Best Book’ category. The Texture of Shadows is his latest novel, published in 2014.