A novel set in Long Street, Cape Town
  • Winner of the Prix du Marais 2005
  • Winner of the Percy FitzPatrick Award 2002
  • Second place in Sunday Times Fiction Award 2001
  • Long-listed in the prestigious IMPAC, Dublin International Award 2002
  • Listed: South African Twenty Five Must-Reads 2007
  • Translations: Afrikaans, Italian, French, Swedish

Skyline is a vibrant novel set in contemporary times in a run-down block of flats in Long Street, central Cape Town.

Through this novel, narrated by an adolescent girl, I explore the lives of African refugees who come to South Africa seeking a new life and better place, having fled wars and poverty in their own countries.

Skyline is a magnificent book about human spirit

- The Cape Times

My narrator and her sister befriend a warm and caring refugee from Mozambique called Bernard. They help him battle the terrible sadness and loneliness his country’s civil war has inflicted upon him. He in turn, along with others from Zimbabwe, Sudan and Congo, introduces the sisters to the music, wisdom and energy of Africa.

There is sadness in this story, for it gives a hard look at the emotional carnage caused by war. But there is also hope and humour and friendship.

You will enjoy the Long Street I depict and, if you know this part of town, will recognize the Long Street Baths, the Bead Shop and numerous cafes.

Review comments:
"Skyline is a magnificent book about human spirit"
- The Cape Times
"Skyline is a highly original first novel"
- The Sunday Independent
"Skyline is a moving story and Schonstein Pinnock's voice is to be welcomed"
- Natal Witness
"Simply written, yet powerful"
- The Sunday Times
"A great epic. The characters live like lighted candles"
- Expressen (The Express) Sweden
"This book is a delight"
- Betty Welz. Citizen
"A tremendous novel"
- Dagens Nyheter (Daily News) Sweden
"Skyline is an entrancing, wonderful book with an amazing richness of metaphor"
- Glyn Hewson, Vista Nova

“Skyline is a novel that has moved away from the transition to democracy, which concerned South African authors in the previous decade, to an issue which is topical not only in South Africa but globally – the migration of refugees and legal and illegal immigrants from war-torn, impoverished countries to wealthier ones…In the narrative and the paintings of Skyline, [the author] explores South Africa since the Truth & Reconciliation Commission hearings. She extends the process of healing through elegy and anamnesis to include a new category of the marginalised in South Africa – the immigrant.

It is typical of a postcolonial literature that in the aftermath of independence it looks inwards on the country as it struggles to establish an identity of nationhood. Schonstein’s novel has proceeded to the next stage, in which she looks outwards to establishing its identity in relation to the rest of the world.”

– Elwyn Jenkins: Fictional paintings & immigration in a South African novel

English Paperback: Published by African Sun Press
ISBN 978-1-874915-13-3
186 pages

Swedish: Skyline Published by Tranan 2002
Translated by Roy Isaksson
ISBN 91 88420 47 7

Swedish: Skyline Published by En bok för alla
Translated by Roy Isaksson
ISBN 91-7221-473-2

Afrikaans: Horison Published by African Sun Press 2013
Translated by Carié Maas
ISBN 978-1-874915-17-1
Available from the publisher:

French: Skyline Published by L'Éclose Éditions 2004
Translated by Brice Matthieussent
ISBN 2 914963 05
Available on

Italian: Il Cielo di Cape Town ISBN 88-87122-67-9
Editrice Pisani
205 pages