Mandla Langa was born in Durban, grew up in KwaMashu township, and studied for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Fort Hare. After being arrested in 1976, he was sentenced, skipped bail and went into exile. 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. In 2007, he received the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for his literary and journalistic contribution to democracy. Langa’s 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 award-winning The Lost Colours of the Chameleon (2008). The Texture of Shadows, his latest novel, was published in 2014.