oa Alternation - Shades of Nkosi: still beating the drum

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Lewis Nkosi's reputation is largely based on his acute and unflattering analysis of South African cultural production rather than on the short stories and plays that he published in the nineteen sixties. Indeed, hardly any critical commentary on the South African literary scene remains untouched by his 1965 seminal essay, 'Fiction by Black South Africans'. In fact, such has been its impact on the South African literary debate that Lewis Nkosi has had to consistently defend and constantly elaborate on it in his subsequent essays. Yet a section of his readership, in South Africa and elsewhere, maybe oblivious to the fact that after gaining his apprenticeship in journalism Nkosi dabbled with writing short stories and plays. That he has even written some poetry is certainly a revelation to some of us.

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