The work contained in this Big Bridge feature is by no means a wide
representation of contemporary South African writing. It is rather a
bringing together of some writers whose work I respond to, and there
are of course many fine writers whose work is not here. It is therefore
not a general "anthology of South African writing". It is nevertheless
hoped this selection will give readers an insight into the diversity
of creative voices in South Africa; a diversity that is in part
reflective of the multicultural nature of South African society.
The voices range from established names such as Kobus Moolman and Kelwyn
Sole, to newer ones such as Neo Molefe Shameeyaa. There is the
performance-orientated work of Richard Fox and Mphutlane wa Bofelo, and
the socio-political voice of Vonani Bila. There are mavericks such as
Aryan Kaganof and Goodenough Mashego, and the subjective lyricism of Alan
Finlay and Mxolisi Nyezwa. There are also several women represented:
Arja Salafranca, Haidee Kruger, Janet van Eeden, Megan Hall, Colleen Higgs,
Makhosazana Xaba and Neo Molefe Shameeyaa.
The short fiction selection is only a handful of pieces, but again it is hoped they will indicate the diversity of short fiction writing in South Africa: from the poetic prose of Haidee Kruger and fantasy of Silke Heiss, to the playfulness of Liesl Jobson. There are the parables of Allan Kolski Horwitz and the exploration of relationships in the realistic work of Colleen Higgs and Arja Salafranca. Pravasan Pillay's story is a sensitive study of early adolescence while Gary Cummiskey's surreal horror story touches on issues central to a historically divided society: isolation, the Other, uncertainty and violence.