Michael Chapman
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Omnibus - Blurb



This Omnibus 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.

            The 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.

            Acknowledged 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.

            This 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.

            In the short story - Michael Chapman says in his Introduction - ‘this country has an achievement of which to be justifiably proud.'

            You 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).  [www.michaelchapman.co.za]


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