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Unisa Press

Reconsiderations: South African Indian fiction and the making of race in postcolonial culture

Ronit Frenkel

Unisa Press, Pretoria. First edition, first impression

Format 245 x 165 mm (Laminated softcover)

Pages 172

April 2010

ISBN 978-1-86888-548-0 (Unisa Press Item 8215)

SA price: R 185 (VAT incl)

Africa price: R203 (Airmail incl)

Rest of the world:

US$35.50 (Airmail incl) GB ₤19.40 (Airmail incl) € 25.80(Airmail incl

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Catalogue Subject Area: Humanities

Keywords: South Africa, Indian fiction, postcolonialism, sociology, racial identity

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About the book

The book investigates contemporary South African fiction in order to examine how this literature gives rise to new ways of thinking about South African culture. The dramatic changes that South Africa has experienced in recent years have prompted fresh ways of understanding its cultural history, which move beyond ideas based on integration. South African Indian fiction offers a different lens through which to view the tangled and complex forms of interdependency that mark both South African and transnational cultures broadly. In Reconsiderations, South African Indian fiction is read as a model for an intellectually integrated cultural formation. Instead of focusing on ideas of embodiment and difference, South African Indian fiction pivots on the conception of race as a social category shaped by its historical roots. The study spans the movement of Indians to South Africa during the nineteenth century, covering issues of migration, diaspora, transnationalism, hybridity, difference, cultural undecidability and a blurring of boundaries in post-apartheid fiction.

About the author

Ronit Frenkel completed her PhD in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Arizona and is currently a senior lecturer in the English Department at the University of Johannesburg. Her most recent book was released by Unisa Press (Pretoria, South Africa) in April 2010, and is entitled Reconsiderations. South African Indian Fiction and the Making of Race in Postcolonial Culture. During April 2010 Frenkel was also a co-author in the book , and wrote a chapter in that book entitled A History of Cultural Negation in Indian Ocean Literature: Julia Blackburn’s The Book of Color and Lindsey Collen’s The Rape of Sita.

She has co-edited a collection of essays with David Watson (Uppsala) and Pier Paolo Frassinelli (Monash) called Traversing Transnationalism: the horizons of cultural and literary studies which is forthcoming from Rodopi Press.



Chapter One


Chapter Two

Reconsidering current theory: Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret (2005) and South Africa in the global imaginary

Chapter Three

Writing South Africa in diaspora: Imraan Coovadia’s The Wedding (2001) and Shamin Sarif’s The World Unseen (2001)

Chapter Four

Performing race, reconsidering history: Achmat Dangor’s recent fiction

Chapter Five

Ordinary secrets and the bounds of memory: Traversing the TRC in Farida Karodia’s Other Secrets (2000) and Beverley Naidoo’s Out of Bounds (2001)

Chapter Six

Reconsidering late apartheid literature: The short stories of Agnes Sam and Jayapraga Reddy

Chapter Seven

Conclusion: Reconsidering


Brief historical chronology from colonialism onwards

Additional Resources