n Mousaion - Namibian children's and youth literature written in English

Volume 32, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



This article examines 15 works of fiction written in English for children and young adults which have a Namibian setting. The earliest was published in the 1920s and the latest in 1998. The books are examined in order to ascertain what the Namibian setting has contributed: whether the authors have engaged with the history of the country; what they make of the setting; and whether there are any particular plots and themes that emerge. A notable trend in the English-language books published after the 1960s is that they focus on the personal growth of the protagonists. Rather than serving as a background for adventure, as the earlier books did, the Namibian settings and social circumstances serve as catalysts for psychological drama, while the landscapes with their flora and fauna play out as objective correlatives to the characters' interior struggles. In keeping with this subject matter, the writing is usually sensitive and lyrical.

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