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Captured in time: Five centuries of South African writing

Captured in time: Five centuries of South African writing

Five centuries of South African writing is represented by the collection of historcial snippets in Captured in time.
Clare, John

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Book title: Captured in time
Subtitle: Five centuries of South African writing
Editor: John Clare
Publisher: Jonathan Ball
Cape Town, South Africa 2010
ISBN 9781868423781 / ISBN 978-1-86842-378-1
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 600 pages, several b/w photos


The time has come to delve into the story of South Africa’s turbulent history, a story of exploration and conquest, rampant growth and war, oppression and ultimately, liberation. Captured in Time tells that story in a collection of extracts from the most illuminating, entertaining and significant works written about the country and its diverse people over almost five centuries. The writers are settlers, explorers, administrators, missionaries, hunters, travellers, novelists, playwrights, poets and politicians. They include Jan van Riebeeck, the first Dutch governor of the Cape, whose journal is the most detailed account in history of a colony's founding; Mazisi Kunene, the Xhosa poet, who chronicled the rise of Shaka, the Zulu empire builder, in epic verse; W. C. Scully, who took part in the diamond rush at Kimberley that set South Africa on the path to unimaginable wealth. Furtheron it is about Jan Smuts, the Boer War general who, with Cecil Rhodes, the arch Imperialist, was one of the architects of apartheid; and Nelson Mandela, apartheid's most famous victim, who became its nemesis. The novelists include two Nobel prizewinners, Nadine Gordimer and John Maxwell Coetzee. All have been eye-witnesses to South Africa's long journey from subjugation to freedom.

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