Bernth Lindfors is one of the most renowned critics and historiographers of African literature, and also one of the most prolific writers on the subject, whose dozens of essays are now being systematically collected in volume form. The present volume might have referred in its title to “Southern” rather than “South” Africa, as one of the authors covered is the great Lesotho novelist Thomas Mofolo. It is the fifth in a series collecting Lindfors’s essays, though the first, Early Soyinka, is rather different, comprising a collection of Soyinka’s early writings, edited by Lindfors. As Geoffrey Davis puts it in the blurb to the present volume, Lindfors is “never one to miss a good story” and the result is a volume impeccably researched, “perceptive, committed and eminently readable”. Although Lindfors is renowned for his generosity of spirit, he can also be pretty trenchant, suitably barbed, as in the pieces reprinted here on Dennis Brutus’s critics and on Mbongeni Ngema.
- Early Black South African Writing in English by Bernth Lindfors
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