Lewis Nkosi's insights into South African literature, culture and
society first appeared in the 1950s, when the `new' urban African
in Sophiatown and on Drum magazine mockingly opposed then Prime
Minister H.F. Verwoerd's Bantu retribalisation policies. Before his
death in 2010, Nkosi focused on the literary-cultural challenges of
post-Mandela times. Having lived for 40 years in exile, he returned
to South Africa, intermittently, after the unbannings of 1990. His
critical eye, however, never for long left the home scene. Hence,
the title of this selection of his articles, essays and reviews,
Writing Home. Writing home with wit, irony and moral toughness
Nkosi assesses a range of leading writers, including Herman Charles
Bosman, Breyten Breytenbach, J.M. Coetzee, Athol Fugard, Nadine
Gordimer, Bessie Head, Alex La Guma, Bloke Modisane, Es'kia
Mphahlele, Nat Nakasa, Njabulo S. Ndebele, Alan Paton and Can
Themba. Combining the journalist's penchant for the human-interest
story with astute analysis, Nkosi's ideas, observations and
insights are as fresh today as when he began his 60-year career as
a writer and critic. Selected from his out-of-print collections,
Home and Exile, The Transplanted Heart and Tasks and Masks, as well
as from journals and magazines, Lewis Nkosi's punchy commentaries
will appeal to a wide readership.
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