S.A. Lit. beyond 2000 by Chapman, Michael
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press | 30 September
2011 Paperback | 512 pages
This title considers what, in South Africa, is being published and how we may value what is being published, now. 'Now' is not only post-apartheid, or after the Truth Commission - the familiar signposts - but beyond both Antjie Krog's Country of my Skull (1998), the TRC marker, and J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace (1999), a book that for many, including arguably its author, marks a point of no return in its Afro-pessimism. Looking beyond 2000, these surveys of fiction, drama, poetry and autobiographical writing include coverage of poetry in English and Afrikaans, South African Indian writing, Zulu literature, oral performance, 'queer' fiction and literature of diasporic and ecological concern. Coverage does not claim to constitute a history of the literature. Rather, the accent is on a younger generation of writers, several of whom, such as Phaswane Mpe, K. Sello Duiker, Brett Bailey, Gabeda Baderoon and Lebo Mashile, have received critical recognition. Recent winners of major literary awards like Anne Landsman, Imraan Coovadia and Sally-Ann Murray feature in commentary of what is different now to then.
Many writers then, of course, continue to be writers now, and the book does not ignore the more recent work of, among others, Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, Breyten Breytenbach, Antjie Krog, Athol Fugard, Zakes Mda, Njabulo S. Ndebele, Marlene van Niekerk, Zoe Wicomb and Ivan Vladislavic. SA Lit? The contraction points to a provocation: what is South African Literature beyond 2000?