The Lava of This Land

Cloth Text – $58.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-5068-3

Trade Paper – $26.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5069-0
Publication Date
August 1997
Page Count
328 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 1/2

The Lava of This Land

South African Poetry 1960-1996
Denis Hirson

The lava of change has spilled over South Africa again as apartheid as ended. What sort of social and artistic emerges as it cools? This anthology, containing more than two hundred poems by over fifty poets, spans five distinct historical periods in the contemporary development of South Africa, from the 1960s Durban worker strikes to the dismantling of apartheid in the 1990s. Most of the poems have been written in English, but forty-eight have been translated from Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, and /Xam, a Bushman linguistic group. Inspired by music, by the language of the streets, by the sensual and the erotic, and by social, political, and economic turmoil, these poems showcase a remarkable complexity of literary traditions. They provide a fascinating and moving rendering of South Africa's hybrid language and unique worldview.

About the Author

Denis Hirson is the author of the prose memoir The House Next Door to Africa and a coeditor of The Heinemann Book of South African Short Stories. He lives in Paris.