South African Literature after the Truth Commission: Mapping Loss

Overview

In the wake of apartheid, South African culture conveys the sense of being lost in time and space. The Truth Commission provided an opportunity for South Africans to find their bearings in a nation changing at a bewildering pace; the TRC also marked the beginning of a long process of remapping space, place, and memory. In this groundbreaking book, Shane Graham investigates how post-apartheid theatre-makers and writers of fiction, poetry, and memoir have taken this project forward, using their art to come to terms...

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Overview

In the wake of apartheid, South African culture conveys the sense of being lost in time and space. The Truth Commission provided an opportunity for South Africans to find their bearings in a nation changing at a bewildering pace; the TRC also marked the beginning of a long process of remapping space, place, and memory. In this groundbreaking book, Shane Graham investigates how post-apartheid theatre-makers and writers of fiction, poetry, and memoir have taken this project forward, using their art to come to terms with South Africa’s violent past and rapidly changing present.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Shane Graham's compelling new study brings a thematic order to the vast and generically diverse body of literature produced in post-apartheid South African. Generously inclusive and interdisciplinary, the study is nevertheless conceptually unified by an effort to understand the connection between bodies, places, and memory: a nexus that Graham teases out in a series of deft, lucid, and judicious readings. South African Literature After the Truth Commission is an unfailingly intelligent and readable book and will prove to be an indispensable scholarly resource."—Rita Barnard, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, author of Apartheid and Beyond: South African Writers and the Politics of Place

"It has often been remarked that following the political transition in South Africa, the country's literature took an inward turn. From a literature in which the need to bear witness was all-powerful, the emphasis began to fall on autobiography and confession, memory, and aesthetic and moral self-reflection. Shane Graham's account of post-apartheid literature complicates that picture: immensely well informed, his astute and lucid analyses show how the inward turn of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has turned outward, leaving its mark on the public and social spaces of a fledgling and still struggling democracy."—David Attwell, Professor and Head of English, University of York, UK, author of Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230615373
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Shane Graham is an Assistant Professor of English at Utah State University, and was formerly a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Mapping Loss
Part One: Spaces of Truth-Telling: The TRC and Post-Apartheid Literatures of Memory
• The Calcification of Memory: The Story I Am About To Tell and He Left Quietly * A Theater of Displacement: Ubu and the Truth Commission * The Lie Where the Truth is Closest: Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull * Words That Look Like Acts: Ingrid de Kok’s Transfer and Terrestrial Things * Irredeemable Blood, Irretrievable Loss: Sindiwe Magona’s Mother To Mother
• Conclusion, Part One
Part Two: Post-Apartheid Urban Spaces * Peace Through Amnesia: Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit * The City Dissected: Ivan Vladislavic’s The Exploded View * Linguistic Trips: Phaswane Mpe’s Welcome To Our Hillbrow * Peripatetic Mapping: K. Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams * Excavating the City: Aziz Hassim’s The Lotus People
Conclusion, Part Two
Part Three: Excavations and The Memory of Landscapes * A Map of Echoes: Anne Landsman’s The Devil’s Chimney * Buried Footprints: Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story
Burdened by the Scars of History: Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness
Conclusion, Part Three
Conclusion

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