New Writing from Southern Africa: Authors who Have Become Prominent Since 1980

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Emmanuel Ngara
James Currey, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 172 pages
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The past fifteen years have been remarkable in terms of history, literary creativity, and publishing opportunities in southern Africa. Zimbabwe achieved its independence in 1980, Namibia followed suit in 1990, and in 1994 apartheid was officially abandoned in South Africa, signifying the end of the colonial legacy. Elections shortly afterward in Malawi witnessed the defeat at the polls of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who had ruled as a demi god for three decades; and there are signs of a new political dispensation coming to Mozambique and Angola.

During this same period young writers such as Njabulo Ndebele, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Dikobe wa Mogale made their mark on the literary scene, while established authors such as Andre Brink and Breyten Breytenbach rose to new heights. These are critical essays on a range of writers who have become prominent during the last two decades of the twentieth century, and who have helped give birth to a fiercely interesting literature.

The "rebirth" of South Africa is an opportune moment for examining the literary wealth of Southern Africa. The essays in this collection bear witness to the rich cultural heritage of the region, combining as it does the cultures of Africa, the West, and the Orient. Both the authors analyzed and the contributors themselves represent strikingly different ethnic groups, cultural traditions, and colonial histories. The essays in Part I focus on narrative/prose fiction, while those in Part II focus on contemporary poetry.

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