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The English Department’s Dr Graham Riach has published a new book: 'The Short Story After Apartheid: Thinking with Form in South African Literature'. It explores how literary form helps us to think differently, what short forms can do better than long ones, and what becomes of political writing in the wake of monumental societal change.

The Short Story after Apartheid offers the first major study of the anglophone short story in South Africa since apartheid’s end. By focusing on the short story this book complicates models of South African literature dominated by the novel and contributes to a much-needed generic and formalist turn in postcolonial studies. Literary texts are sites of productive struggle between formal and extra-formal concerns, and these brief, fragmentary, elliptical, formally innovative stories offer perspectives that reframe or revise important concerns of post-apartheid literature: the aesthetics of engaged writing, the politics of the past, class and race, the legacies of violence, and the struggle over the land. Through an analysis of key texts from the period by Nadine Gordimer, Ivan Vladislavić, Zoë Wicomb, Phaswane Mpe, and Henrietta Rose-Innes, this book assesses the place of the short story in post-apartheid writing and develops a fuller model of how artworks allow and disallow forms of social thought.

Dr. G.K. (Graham) Riach

Faculty of Humanities

Departement Mediastudies