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Articles tagged "South African Literature"

The City and the Writer: In Cape Town with Margie Orford

If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.             —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Cape Town as you feel/see it? Capricious, seductive. Cape Town is known in South Africa as the Mother City, but this city is no nurturing earth mother. The city is charming, cruel, changeable,...

from “Poison Karoo”

Author’s Note: Poison Karoo is a work of fiction, written out of concern and dismay at the proposals for hydraulic fracking in the Karoo. Ludo is an old man, gray now and with eyes that grow bluer the longer he stares at the sea, longing for the woman he has never seen again, not since those years long ago. He lives alone, and sits on his stoep gazing out over the bay. His house is small and square, turned to face northeast, with its back to Paternoster’s harshest winds. In...

Ingrid Winterbach’s “To Hell with Cronje”

If two books can be said to constitute a trend (or even the whiff of a trend) then we might just be in the midst of something of an Afrikaans literary boom. First came Agaat, the new novel by Triomf author Marlene Van Niekerk, published by Tin House Books in May and hailed as a modern masterpiece by, among others, the American Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. “I was immediately mesmerized,” Morrison announced on the book’s cover. “Van Niekerk’s achievement is as...

from “Thirty Nights in Amsterdam”

[The narrator, Zan (Susan), is the daughter of MaOlivier de Melker, a prominent citizen of Graaff Reinet, a small conservative South African town. Also living with them is Henkie, the young son of Zan’s farmer brother. Zan is prone to epileptic fits; she is also, as a form of resistance to the conformity around her, publicly promiscuous.] “A bicycle, a bike,” I nag at MaOlivier, and she has to phone around, first my old Snoozebrother on the farm, then the husband of...
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