South Africa literature

See also: African literature

African Postcolonial Literature in English
Part of the Postcolonial and Postimperial Web created by Professor George P. Landow, English and Art History, Brown University with contributions by Brown University students, postgraduate students, lecturers from the Univ. of Zimbabwe, and others. Information on South Africa, etc. Some areas lack information.

African Publishing Companion: A Resource Guide
(Print and online editions). Some areas require subscription for access. Produced by Hans Zell Publishing Consultants. Information on African publishing and the booktrade (with many South African publishers), resources for African writers, and related sites.

African Studies Centre Leiden - Afrikaans Literature and Language
"...titles on Afrikaans literature and music, language policy, and the position and use of Afrikaans in post apartheid South Africa, the dossier contains titles of Afrikaans novels, short stories, poetry, prose and drama published since 2000." Links to related sites.

African Visions 2004. A Decade of Democracy. South Africa the Next Chapter, October 11–17, 2004
U.K. tour of seven prominent South African writers. Includes biographical information.

Alternation (Durban, South Africa)
Journal published by the interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Southern African Literature and Languages, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa. Volumes Vol 2. No. 2. 1995 and Vol 6. No. 1. 1999 are online. [KF]

Amazwi Museum. South African Museum of Literature
Was formerly the National English Literary Museum. Has over one hundred thousand original manuscripts. Acquires "monographs, criticism, manuscripts, correspondence, proofs, photographs, recordings and personalia..." Has the papers of Thomas Pringle, Roy Campbell, Dennis Brutus, Athol Fugard and others. The Museum is funded by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. Based in Makhanda (Grahamstown), South Africa.

Barefoot Press
South African poetry web site. The Barefoot Press distributes free poetry pamphlets. Lists addresses of other South African poetry magazines. Link to the Electronic Sesame, journal of the Lional Abrahams Writers' Workshop; has issues from No. 1, Dec. 1995. Barefoot Press - Electronic Sesame -

Benadé, Therese - Kites of Good Fortune
(Cape Town : David Philip, 2004) Site for a South African historical novel. Author's biographical information, an extensive introduction by James Armstrong (the first Library of Congress Field Director, Nairobi), background to research on the book, and photos of the book launch in South Africa. ISBN: 0864866003

Book Southern Africa
In English and Afrikaans. "The Internet Newspaper for SA Books" "a literary news and social network for publishers, authors and the general book-buying and -reading public....reports on local fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biography, book happenings, reviews and more" Podcasts, video.

Brians, Paul - African Literature Study Guides
Professor Brians, Dept. of English, Washington State Univ. (Pullman) has prepared study guides for works by Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard, and Nadine Gordimer.

A Celebration of Women Writers - South Africa
"Indexes" web sites on women writers by surname, country; includes birth/death dates where available. Maintained by Mary Mark Ockerbloom, Department of Computational Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Main page:

Chimurenga Magazine (Cape Town)
A quarterly, international(ist) revue of new writing and imaging on African arts cultures, politics. "We seek unconventional essays, memoirs, reviews, poetry, short stories and forms not listed here (and nowhere else) in all South African languages plus French and Portuguese. Has the table of contents, includes online articles not in the print edition, an events calendar. Website hosted on the Panafrican Market.

Coetzee, John Maxwell
South African writer, John Coetzee won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, as announced October 2, 2003.
Attwell, David. J.M. Coetzee: South Africa and the Politics of Writing. Berkeley, Cape Town: University of California Press, c1993. Full text book.
Swedish Academy Announcement of Nobel Prize, October 2, 2003.
BBC Announcement of Nobel Prize, October 2, 2003.
The Novel in Africa, is the text of November 1998's Una's Lecture, delivered by South African novelist J.M. Coetzee. "The lecture, embedded in a fiction, produces both irritation and surprise." Read the abstract or download the publication. 28 p. in Adobe pdf. (Townsend Center, Occasional Papers 17).
How I Learned About America - and Africa - in Texas. Account by Coetzee about when he was a graduate student at the University of Texas, Austin in the 1960s. In the New York Times, April 15, 1984.
Animal Rights: What the Nobel Committee Failed to Note by Tom Regan and Martin Rowe. On the Common Dreams site of progressive citizens.

Critical Arts (Durban, South Africa)
Published by Taylor & Francis. Formerly by Culture, Communication and Media Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. Table of contents. Full text of 1980-1992 issues is online, from Michigan State University.

Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
A journal devoted to southern African writing (including works produced in exile). Has the table of contents from Vol. 1, 1989 to date. Includes an online subscription form. Based at the University of Natal, Durban.

Encyclopaedia of South African Arts, Culture and Heritage, ESAACH
"Led by Prof Mbulelo Mzamane, the Encyclopaedia .... aims to produce a multi-volume, multi-media work of encyclopaedic scope that will encompass the verbal, performing and visual arts as well as many expressions of South African cultural heritage. The Wiki encyclopaedia link is on the home ESAACH home page. Hosted at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Centre for African Literary Studies (Cals).

English in Africa
"...founded in 1974 to provide a forum for the study of African literature in English.... published twice a year (in May and October) by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa." Index of authors and subjects, table of contents of recent issues. Libraries pay $22 per year for subscriptions. [KF]

February, Vernon Alexander
The African Studies Center Library, Leiden, Netherlands has an attractive profile and bibliography on the South African poet, writer, and literature scholar. Lists books, journal articles, chapters in books, has a photograph of the author, covers of his books. [KF]

Fugard, Athol
About Fugard's plays, films, writings. Includes photographs, playbills, profiles of individuals involved with Fugard, links to related sites. Maintained by Iain Fisher.
See also A Gift for His Seventieth Birthday: Athol Fugard's Sorrows and Rejoicings by Marianne McDonald. On Fugard's play, Sorrows and Rejoicings. On the web site of the journal, Theatre Forum (U.C. San Diego, La Jolla, CA).

galzone - we know the g-spot (Grahamstown)
"...women's ezine based in South Africa....has revolutionary poetry and open-expression articles."

Goldstuck (Arthur) - South African Urban Legends
Sample chapters from South African author, journalist Goldstuck's books on urban legends.

Gordimer, Nadine
Guide to the Nadine Gordimer Papers in the Lilly Library - The papers are deposited with the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. "The Gordimer collection contains approximately 6,700 items covering the years 1934 to 1991 and consists of correspondence, short stories, novels, articles, lectures and speeches, a childhood diary, notebooks and research materials."
Nobel Foundation Museum Project - Gordimer won the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. Has Gordimer's biography, Nobel Lecture, and a short story, "Loot." On the official site of the Nobel Foundation.
UNESCO. Letters to future generations - Essays written by 22 world leaders and thinkers. Has Nadine Gordimer's letter to generations in the year a 2050.

Hanzer. South African Travel Writing: Shipwrecks, Botanical Journalism, Women Travelers, Re-enactments of contact Dramas
Abstracts of journal articles, conference papers, links to poetry. Maintained by Margaret Hanzimanolis.

Horn, Peter - Poetry and Essays
The full text of poems and critical essays by Peter Horn. Reviews and a bibliography of Horn's writings.

Illuminations, An International Magazine of Contemporary Writing
No. 14 of the magazine was a special issue on South and Southern African writing (poetry, prose, interviews, art work). Editor: Simon Lewis, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.

Incwadi, A Journal of South African poetry and photography
Founded in 2009. "represents new work by most of South Africa’s prominent poets. Editor: Ingrid Andersen. "Incwadi means both letter (missive) and book in Nguni languages."

KwaZulu-Natal Literary Map
KwaZulu-Natal writers in English, Afrikaans and Zulu, their biographies, bibliographies, photographs, excerpts from their works. Audio and video files on Douglas Livingstone , Alan Paton, and Johan van Wyk, links to related tourism sites. The 'Literary Tourism in KwaZulu-Natal' project, led by Professor Lindy Stiebel, will produce a database of all published KZN writers, past and present, in all the languages of the region, on CDROM. Project team includes Zoe Molver, Prof. Graham Stewart, Zwelibanzi Ndayi.

A literary journal, primarily in Afrikaans, published at Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys,Bureau for Scholarly Journals, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

In Afrikaans (and a little English). News about new books, book reviews, profiles of writers, book and publishing events, the language debate, essays / opinion pieces, writings competitions and book awards, films, theatre, music, gay literature, Xhosa, Zulu and more. Based in Stellenbosh, South Africa.

Mail and Guardian Book Reviews
Reviews and author interviews. Includes photographs. From the South African newspaper, Mail and Guardian.

Mbuli, Mzwakhe - Campaign for Release of Mzwakhe Mbuli
"This site is dedicated to liberation of Mzwakhe Mbuli, prominent artist and hero of the movement for justice in South Africa, whose poetry fueled a movement and inspires a nation. He was arrested on October 28, 1997 on trumped-up charges because he had knowledge of corrupt officials and complained about police failure to charge anyone for the third attempt on his life." Includes articles, photographs, an online petition. Based in Cambridge, Mass.
For a BBC report on the case, which includes audio clips and related sites, see:

New Contrast (Cape Town)
Website for the literary journal (founded in 1960 as Contrast). The print journal has published many of South Africa's most distinguished writers and is indexed by the MLA international bibliography. [KF]

New York Times Book Reviews
Search for past book reviews from 1980 to date from the New York Times Book Review section by author, title, subject. Seaching on an African country generally pulls up one or more titles.

Ossendryver, Ilan - Writings -Short Stories of Apartheid era
Writings about South Africa during the Apartheid era - short stories by Ilan Ossendryver. Ossendryver also has a web design / photography studio.

Poetry Africa - 8th Poetry Africa Festival 18-23 October 2004
Sponsored by the Centre for Creative Arts, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban (formerly University of Natal). The Centre also sponsors the Time of the Writer Festival.

Poetry International - South Africa
Poetry, with writer biographies, by Lionel Abrahams, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Patrick Cullinan, Ingrid de Kok, Finuala Dowling, Keorapetse Kgositsilem, Antjie Krog, and others. [KF]

Pretexts: Literary and Cultural Studies
Full text online through subscription only. Some universities subscribe. "Though the journal has a special interest in Southern African writing, it is by no means restricted to publishing work in this area." The Editorial Board is based in South Africa.

Robben Island Slide Show
"A slide show combining poetry and photography in a tribute to the spirit of South Africa's democracy." The show combines a poem by ex Robben Island prisoner and poet, Dennis Brutus, with images of Robben Island. Maintained by Joop Bersee. [KF]

[Serote, Mongane] Roland Collection of Films & Videos on Art Writers Talk: Ideas of Our Time - Mongane Serote
Video of the complete film interview with South African writer, Mongane Serote. Part of the Heinemann African Writers Festival. 38 minutes. Requires soundcard, speakers / headset. [KF]

South Africa Online - Poetry
Sites from a South African directory service.

South African Association for Literary Theory / Suid-Afrikaanse Vereniging vir Algemene Literatuurwetenskap (SAVAL)
Society to "to promote the study of the phenomena of literary theory and comparative literature."

South African Internet Society for Poetry
" that is dedicated to the free publication of poetry by South African poets." "even if you don't have access to the internet, we will still publish your work." Maintained by Donald Currie.

South African Pen
"...a non-political organisation representing writers of the world, defending free-expression" Covers South African issues. Based in Cape Town, South Africa.

South African Poetry
" for a celebration of South African poets and South African poetry. Every poem has a poll attached to it so that you can rate the poem." Biographies and examples of their poetry.

South African Studies Database, 1987 to present - NISC BiblioLine
Citations to articles in South African journals. For Subscribers Only by IP filtering. [Stanford, and other subscribers, click on - "BiblioLine.  Subscribers click here for databases"]  Includes the Index to South African Periodicals, South African Theses and Dissertations. Citations can be emailed to you. A description of the 9 different databases in the South African Studies database is available. They offer certain databases free for 30 day trials. The National Information Services Corporation (NISC) is in Baltimore, Maryland

South African Voices
"...oral tales, histories, and poems from among the Nguni peoples: the Xhosa and Zulu in South Africa, the Swati in Swaziland, and the Ndebele in the southern part of Zimbabwe. Collected by Professor Harold Scheub, Department of African Languages and Literature, UW-Madison. From the late 1960s into the 1970s. Text is keyword searchable. Includes audio files. From the University of Wisconsin Library, Madison, Wisconsin.

Southern Rain Poetry
"A compilation of new and previously published South African poetry."Poetry by Anna Anuradhá Varney, Mzi Mahola, Gary Cummiskey, Ike Muila, Zola Sikiti, Vonani Bila, Kobus Moolman, Botsotso Jesters, Robert Berold, Phillip Zhuwao, Isabella Motadinyane, Dennis Brutus, Kelwyn Sole, Na Ncube, Arja Salafranca, Allan Kolski Horwitz, Bernat Kruger, Gabeba Baderoon, Joan Metelerkamp, Nadine Botha, Seitlhamo Motsapi, Mbongeni Khumalo, Mzwandile Matiwana, Mike Alfred, Charl-Pierre Naude, Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya, Angifi Dladla, Finuala Dowling, Liesl Jobson, Siphiwe David Tirivanhu, Danie Marais, Henning Pieterse and Sincedile Mngomeni." Includes biographies and South African literary links.

Stellenbosch Writers
Literary / book news, literary award announcements, etc. Originally created for the book by Rosemarie Breuer. "This website is my service to the community and was created to present Stellenbosch authors of books..." - Rosemarie Breuer.

Steve Biko Foundation
Hosts an annual memorial lecture. Prominent African writers presented past lectures including Ngugi wa Thiong'o who presented the 2003 lecture, Recovering Our Memory: South Africa in the Black Imagination (full text in pdf). Includes Ngugi's biography and photos. [KF]

sweetmagazine (Cape Town)
Literary magazine. Edited by Paul Wessels. Published by Substance Books. "an online platform for the expression of almost unheard of desires: flash fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and all other matters of substance." Has a mailing list, links to other literary journals.

Tydskrif vir letterkunde (Pretoria)
Published by the Tydskrif vir letterkunde Association. "the oldest literary journal in South Africa,,,an independent refereed journal publishing in Afrikaans, Dutch, English and French...accepts articles on theoretical, applied or comparative aspects of African literatures and cultural practices." Abstracts and author index online. Based at the University of Pretoria.

Ubu and the Truth Commission 
"Contemporary Johannesburg is the setting for the new play, written by Jane Taylor and designed by Adrian Kohler with William Kentridge. Directed by Kentridge, this [play] examines the South African apartheid regime, through the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,..." Presented by the Handspring Puppet Company.

University of Cape Town Poetry Web
Has a discussion list, haiku page, poems submitted by members. Hosted in the web site of Peter Horn.

University of Florida - African Writers: Voices of Change
Biographical information on African writers prepared by Dan Reboussin, University of Florida, George Smathers Libraries. Includes Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Alex La Guma, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Alan Paton.

University of South Africa. Children's Literature Research Unit
To "promote children's literature and reading through study, research, community programmes and other promotion activities."

University of the Witwatersrand. School of Literature, Language and Media
Department history. annual reports.

Writers Network
In English, Afrikaans, Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu. Articles on how to get published, publishing in South Africa, internships in writing and publishing, directory of writing competitions, events, links to South African literary journals and other literature sites. Their Word Project assists secondary teachers of poetry. Find editors, illustrators. Writers' groups, by province. [KF]