A New Chapter for SA Literature

22 Jun 2015
Mandla Langa

PEN SA Executive Vice-President Mandla Langa has written an article calling for a national writers’ conference to come up with a better model for the South African literary industry. Published in the Sunday Times yesterday, the article was written in response to the recent debate sparked by PEN SA member Thando Mgqolozana about the South African literary system.

“At the risk of determining policy on the hoof, organisations such as PEN South Africa should pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Mgqolozana and many, many voices out there and call for a countrywide writers’ conference.

Even though it would not be a panacea for all evils — evils, for instance, such as the nonavailability and rapid remaindering of titles by black authors — it would get the writing community doing what it does best, thinking and strategising and finding solutions to problems. It would be a conference that confronted the question of booksellers and their penchant for presenting South Africa literature as an afterthought or a poor cousin of US or European offerings.”

A new chapter by Mandla Langa, published in the Sunday Times 21/6/2015 (pdf download)

(Image courtesy of Victor Dlamini)