UKZN Postdoc Student Co-authors Book on Contemporary SA Authors
English studies postdoctoral student in UKZN’s School of Arts Dr Danyela Demir has co-authored a book titled: Tracing the (Post)Apartheid Novel Beyond 2000. Demir is under the supervision of Professor Lindy Stiebel.
The book - published by UKZN Press and co-authored by Dr Olivier Moreillon - was launched at Ike’s Bookstore in Florida Road in Durban.
The work contains interviews with 14 contemporary South African authors: Mariam Akabor, Sifiso Mzobe, Fred Khumalo, Futhi Ntshingila, Niq Mhlongo, Zukiswa Wanner, Nthikeng Mohlele, Mohale Mashigo, Lauren Beukes, Charlie Human, Yewande Omotoso, Andrew Salomon, Imraan Coovadia and Fred Strydom.
Conversations with the writers are accompanied by vignettes of their lives and summaries of their works.
‘By allowing the authors to speak to and assess the literary landscape of which they form a part and co-create, we step beyond pure literary theory and analysis. This makes the book an accessible resource both for academics and non-academics interested in contemporary South African literature,’ said Demir.
The authors also trace concepts and terms that describe the current moment of South African literature, such as post-transitional literature and literature beyond 2000.
By adopting a world-literary approach to (post)apartheid literature, this book makes an important contribution to debates on contemporary South African writing. In addition, Tracing the (Post) Apartheid Novel beyond 2000 seeks to raise awareness about the imbalance in both critical and public attention between literary “big names”, such as Andre P Brink, J M Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and Zakes Mda - who are nationally and internationally celebrated - and the younger and newer generation of South African writers, who go largely unnoticed.
Demir, who holds a PhD from the University of Augsburg in Germany, is a postdoctoral Fellow at UKZN.
Her monograph, Reading Loss: Post-Apartheid Melancholia in Contemporary South African Novels, was published in 2019.
She has published articles on K Sello Duiker, Marlene van Niekerk, Kgebetli Moele and Sarah Penny, and has also edited a special issue of BKO magazine titled: Horns for Hondo at 30, which focuses on Lesego Rampolokeng’s work.
Demir’s current project is tentatively titled: Writing Against a Loveless World: In Search of Black Consciousness in Selected South African and Middle Eastern Texts.
Her latest book is available online and at all major book shops.
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photographs: Cedric Sissing