On April 27, 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections providing black South Africans with the right to vote. Today marks 23 years of democracy in South Africa providing an excellent opportunity to reflect not only on the new socio-political dispensation but also reflect on the course of current literary production by a new generation of South African writers. Historically, the breadth of South African fiction has gone hand in hand with the tumultuous social conditions within the country. South Africa has a tremendous literary tradition championing human rights and the end of the Apartheid system. As South Africa transitions from Apartheid to Democracy writers explore both old and new themes that resonate with a changing society.
Over the many decades there have been tremendous contributions to South African literature. When one thinks of South African writers during the apartheid era one would think of Paton, Gordimer, Brink, La Guma, Mphahlele, Fugard, and Head. Now, in the Post-Apartheid literary landscape there are writers like; Coetzee, Mda, Duiker, Wanner, Beukes, Jooste, Maart, Mhongo, Ndebele, and Wiscomb. So, as South Africa celebrates Freedom Day today, let’s also celebrate the great contributions to the South African literary tradition.