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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Making and unmaking 'African foreignness': African settings, African migrants and the migrant detective in contemporary South African crime fiction
Author:Fasselt, Rebecca
Year:2016
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Volume:42
Issue:6
Pages:1109-1124
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:crime novels
migrants
xenophobia
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2016.1253925
Abstract:This article aims to examine the portrayal of African migrants and South Africa's relationship to the African continent in post-apartheid crime fiction. Exotic settings and the figure of the stranger have featured in the crime genre since its emergence in the 19th century. Reading Mike Nicol's 'The Ibis Tapestry' (1998), his trilogy 'Payback' (2008), 'Killer Country' (2010) and 'Black Heart' (2011), and H.J. Golakai's novel 'The Lazarus Effect' (2011), this article suggests that the themes of migration and 'xenophobia' have become central to reconfigured socio-political commitment in contemporary South African crime fiction. The article argues that the re-writing of generic formulae and boundaries in 'The Ibis Tapestry' and 'The Lazarus Effect' becomes a powerful vehicle for an enquiry into constructions of 'foreignness' and a means to allot a space to African migrants in the 'new' South African imaginary. The simultaneous unmaking and remaking of 'African foreignness' that characterizes the Revenge trilogy draws attention to the paradoxical temporality of transitional literatures and cultural formations, in which former discourses of 'the foreign' remain imprinted. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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