The Short Story in South Africa
Contemporary Trends and Perspectives
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 25, 2022
This book considers the key critical interventions on short story writing in South Africa written in English since the year 2000.
The short story genre, whilst often marginalized in national literary canons, has been central to the trajectory of literary history in South Africa. In recent years, the short story has undergone a significant renaissance, with new collections and young writers making a significant impact on the contemporary literary scene, and subgenres such as speculative fiction, erotic fiction, flash fiction and queer fiction expanding rapidly in popularity. This book examines the role of the short story genre in reflecting or championing new developments in South African writing and the ways in which traditional boundaries and definitions of the short story in South Africa have been reimagined in the present. Drawing together a range of critical interventions, including scholarly articles, interviews and personal reflective pieces, the volume traces some of the aesthetic and thematic continuities and discontinuities in the genre and sheds new light on questions of literary form. Finally, the book considers the place of the short story in twenty-first century writing and interrogates the ways in which the short story form may contribute to or recast ideas of the post-apartheid or post-transitional.
The perfect guide to contemporary short story writing in South Africa, this book will be essential reading for researchers of African literature.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The short story in South Africa: New trends and perspectives
Corinne Sandwith, Rebecca Fasselt and Khulukazi Soldati-Kahimbaara
2. “Translated from the dead”: The legibility of violence in Ivan Vladislavić’s 101 Detectives
3. Coloured by history, shaped otherwise: A ‘decolonial’ reading of Zoë Wicomb
4. Hyper-compression and the rise of the deep surface: Flash fiction in "post-transitional" South Africa
5. Queer temporalities in two short stories by Makhosazana Xaba: The afterlife of Can Themba’s "The Suit"
6. Queerying examples of contemporary South African short fiction
7. Therianthropic power in Mohale Mashigo’s speculative short fiction
8. Navigating the spectacular in queer African erotic short fiction
Jenny Boźena du Preez
9. Imagining Africa’s futures in two Caine Prize-winning stories: Henrietta Rose-Innes’s "Poison" and NoViolet Bulawayo’s "Hitting Budapest"
10. On reading, writing and being read: Journeying with the short story
11. Short stories born from the womb of the past
12. "Concrete fragments": An interview with Henrietta Rose-Innes
Graham K. Riach
13. LongStorySHORT: Decolonising the reading landscape
Corinne Sandwith, Khulukazi Soldati-Kahimbaara and Rebecca Fasselt
14. "My stories will remain written the way I talk": A conversation with Niq Mhlongo
Rebecca Fasselt and Corinne Sandwith
Rebecca Fasselt is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Corinne Sandwith is Professor of English at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
"This volume of essays offers an up-to-the-minute overview of the extraordinarily diverse and vibrant palette of short story forms to be found in South Africa today. Combining critical acuity, theoretical eclecticism, and remarkable thematic breadth, this wonderful and timely volume provides a multiplicity of insights into a genre that refracts the complexity, the challenges, but also sheer energy of contemporary South African social dynamics."
Russell West-Pavlov, Universität Tübingen, Germany
"This volume is a groundbreaking, illuminating and incisive engagement with and interrogation of the exploration of a wider dimension of human experience that the short story genre post 2000 tackles. Setting up an interaction between the critic and literary craftsman, it will certainly provide an invaluable contribution to South African literary scholarship."
Jabulani Mkhize, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
"The Short Story in South Africa: Contemporary Trends and Perspectives provides a scholarly update on recent developments in South African short fiction, such as flash fiction, anti-detective modes, explorations of queer temporalities and spaces, and speculative Afrofuturistic dystopias. The essays in the volume are engaging, accessible, and pay close attention to textual detail – the kind of attention that short stories in particular reward."
Sue Marais, Rhodes University, South Africa