makes available all the stories from three best-selling anthologies: A
Century of South African Short Stories (1978); the revised edition (1993); and The
New Century of South African Short Stories (2004). The ‘Century' brand has endeared itself to a
wide public that supported the original editions through ten reprints. The Omnibus
is aimed at this public.
chronological arrangement of the stories traces a rich inheritance. Beginning
with San/Bushmen and African oral tales, first collected and translated in the
mid-19th century, the selection concludes literally in the new 21st
century, in a post-apartheid, globalizing South Africa.
talents of the past like Olive Schreiner, Pauline Smith, Herman Charles Bosman,
C Louis Leipoldt and Alan Paton share the pages with writers of the present
day: Nadine Gordimer, Es'kia Mphahlele,
Hennie Aucamp, Ahmed Essop, Njabulo S Ndebele, Peter Wilhelm, Sindiwe Magona,
Marlene van Niekerk, and Ivan Vladislavić, among them. Translations ensure representation in English
of South Africa's cultural diversity.
diversity is reflected in the storytelling imagination. The oral tale co-exists with the colonial
yarn, the shebeen sketch with the story of irony and implication. The apartheid landscape yields to current
challenges of a society re-inventing itself to retell its story, or stories.
the short story - Michael Chapman says in his Introduction - ‘this country has
an achievement of which to be justifiably proud.'
are invited to enjoy a good read!
Michael Chapman is also the compiler of The New Century of South African Short
Stories (2004). He is professor of
English at the University
of KwaZulu-Natal. His
numerous publications include Southern
African Literatures (1996; 2003) and Art
Talk, Politics Talk (2006).