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"Southern African Literatures" is a major study of the work of writers from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia, written at a time of crucial change in the subcontinent. It covers a wide range of work, from the storytelling of stone-age Bushmen to modern writing by figures. The author argues that literary history in the southern African region is best based on a comparative method which, while respecting differences of language, race and social circumstance, seeks cultural interchange including 'translations' of experience across linguistic and ethnic borders. Instead of perpetuating division, the study examines points of common reference, as it asks what makes a literary culture. Who are to be regarded as major and minor authors? What are the strengths and limitations of local and international perspectives? Should literature in today's southern Africa be confined to the art forms of poems, plays, and fiction?
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press
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