Much recent critical practice, sharpened by an engagement with theory, has questioned conventional notions about literature.
There has been a tendency to democratize our understanding of literature, so as to include a wide range of cultural practices that might formerly have been excluded from literary-critical concern.
In addition, more attention is being paid to the conditions surrounding literary production and teaching. Critical projects of this kind have a particular urgency and relevance in South Africa today.
The country is characterized by processes of repression and democratic struggle.
Debates about South African literature take place within a context where there are intimate links between political and literary discourses.
The essays in this book reveal the complex and arguably inevitable politicization of South African literary culture.