Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi
Title Details

272 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

31 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: James Currey

Sol Plaatje's Mhudi

History, criticism, celebration

Edited by Sabata-mpho Mokae and Brian Willan

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International scholars explore one of the most important postcolonial novels of African literature.
Joint winner of Best Non-Fiction Biography, Humanities and Social Sciences Awards 2020

Sol Plaatje's Mhudi is the first full-length novel in English to have been written by a black South African and is widely regarded as one of Africa's most important literary works. Drawing upon both oral and literary traditions, Plaatje uses the form of the historical novel, and romance genre, to explore the 19th-century dispossession of his people, to provide a novel black perspective on their history. It is a book that speaks to present-day concerns, to do with land, language, history and decolonisation. Today the novel has iconic status, not only in South Africa, but worldwide - it has been translated into a number of languages - and its impact on other writers has been profound. The novelist Bessie Head described it as "more than a classic; there is just no other book on earth like it. All the stature and grandeur of the author are in it."
A century after its writing in London in 1920 [it was published in South Africa in 1930, for reasons explained in the book], and at a time of intellectual ferment, with debates on decolonisation to the fore, in popular culture as much as in the academy, this book celebrates Mhudi's place in African literature, reviews its critical reception, and offers fresh perspectives. The contributors discuss Mhudis genesis, writing and publication; its reception by literary critics from the 1930s to thepresent; Mhudi as a feminist novel; Mhudis use of oral tradition; issues of translation; Mhudi in the context of African literature and history, and the decolonisation of the curriculum. An authoritative listing of all editions of Mhudi, translations as well as in English completes the book.

SABATA MOKAE is a novelist and lecturer in creative writing at Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, and the author of The Story of Sol T. Plaatje (2010).

BRIAN WILLAN is Senior Research Fellow at Rhodes University, Extraordinary Professor at Sol Plaatje and North West Universities. He is the author of Sol Plaatje: a life of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje,1876-1932 (2018), and co-editor (with Janet Remmington and Bheki Peterson) of Sol Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa: Past and Present (2016).

Africa: Jacana
Bra Sol Othandekayo, a poem by Siza Nkosi-Makhele
Introduction: Mhudi at one hundred - Sabata-mpho Mokae and Brian Willan
Mhudi's genesis: The writing and publication of Mhudi - Brian Willan
On writing historical fiction vs fictionalised history: Lessons from Sol Plaatje's Mhudi"In front as at the rear": Black soldiers, white imperialism and Mhudi - Chris Thurman
"The glory of the silver trees": Mhudiand the Union celebrations of 1910 - Laurence Wright
Comets, porcupine holes, chiefs and wagons: A complete interconnected universe in Mhudi - Antjie Krog
Sol Plaatje's MhudiReasoning creatively in Mhudi - Bheki Peterson
Maropeng: On repatriating MhudiWomen's solidarity in Sol T. Plaatje's Mhudi - Jenny Bozena du Preez
Mhudi and the critics, by Brian Willan - Brian Willan
Deferred hopes and dreams: A reflection on Plaatje's dedication to Olive Ngwetsi - Karen Haire
When the bones call - Sabata-mpho Mokae
Bibliography: Editions of Mhudi - Brian Willan and Sabata-mpho Mokae
Sabata Mokae is a novelist and lecturer in creative writing at Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley. He has written and lectured on Sol Plaatje, is the author of The Story of Sol Plaatje (Kimberley: Sol Plaatje Educational Trust, 2012) and is co-editor (with Brian Willan) of an edited collection of Plaatje's letters, to be published by Historical Publications Southern Africa (formerly the Van Riebeeck Society) in 2020.
Brian Willan is Senior Research Fellow at Rhodes University, Extraordinary Professor at Sol Plaatje and North West Universities. He has written extensively on Sol Plaatje and other aspects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century South African history and literature. He is author of Sol Plaatje: a life of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, 1876-1932 (Jacana, 2018), and co-editor (with Janet Remmington and Bheki Peterson) of Sol Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa: Past and Present, co-edited (Wits UP, 2016) and (with Sabata Mokae), of a collection of Plaatje's letters, to be published by Historical Publications Southern Africa in 2020.

Hardcover

9781847012760

16/04/2021

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Title Details

272 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

31 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: James Currey