“The perception that crime fiction in South Africa is a new form of literature is erroneous” – an excerpt from A Survey of South African Crime Fiction

by Adele on Jul 28th, 2017


Is crime fiction the new ‘political novel’ in South Africa? Why did the apartheid censors disapprove of crime fiction more than any other genre?

Crime fiction continues to be a burgeoning literary category in post-apartheid South Africa, with more new authors, titles and themes emerging every year. This book is the first comprehensive survey of South African crime fiction. It provides an overview of this phenomenally successful literary category, and places it within its wider social and historical context.

The authors specialise in both literary studies and print culture, and this combination informs a critical analysis and publishing history of South African crime fiction from the nineteenth century to the present day. The book provides a literary lineage while considering different genres and sub-genres, as well as specific themes such as gender and eco-criticism.

The inclusion of a detailed bibliography of crime fiction since the 1890s makes A Survey of South African Crime Fiction an indispensable teaching and study aid.

Sam Naidu is an associate professor in the Department of English at Rhodes University. Her main research and teaching areas include South African crime/detective fiction; transnational literature; the poetry of Emily Dickinson; monstrous, grotesque and abject bodies in literature; and the oral-written interface in colonial South Africa.

Elizabeth le Roux is an associate professor and the co-ordinator of Publishing Studies in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria. She is co-editor of the journal Book History, and her research focuses on the history of books and publishing in South Africa and in Africa more broadly. She recently published A Social History of the University Presses in Apartheid South Africa.

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