African Literature

Literary works written in South Africa or written by South Africans living in other countries come under South African literature. South Africa has a very rich and diverse literary history. Realism being the dominating feature in the production of fiction in South African literature. The authors try to capture the country’s chaotic history and that of the experiences of its people. Fiction has been the dominating genre. Fiction has been written in all eleven official languages in South Africa – with a large body of works in Afrikaans and English.
The first fictional works to emerge from South Africa were produced by colonial writers whose attitude to native South Africans was, at best, ambivalent, if not outright hostile. This is especially true of the writers of adventure-type stories, in which colonial heroes are romanticised and the role of black South Africans was reduced to that of an enemy or a servant. One such writer, Rider Haggard, wrote many mythical and adventure stories, beginning in the early 1880’s. His most famous book is King Solomon's Mines (1886), a bestseller in its day.
Olive Schreiner's novel The Story of an African Farm (1883) is generally considered to be the founding text of South African literature. Schreiner was born on a mission station and worked as a governess on isolated Karoo farms, an experience that informed the novel. It tells the story of several characters representing aspects of South African society of its day.   Lyndall, the young heroine, is the focus of Schreiner's feminist concerns. Bonaparte Blenkins is a portrait of the "imperial rogue" and thus allows Schreiner to express her budding anti-colonial ideas.
The novel draws on the post-romantic sensibility of Wuthering Heights, and depicts rural South African life with realism and enthusiasm. It has been criticized for its silence with regard to the black African presence in South Africa, but it is still a key text in the formation of a truly...