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At the Crossroads Hour

Lewis Nkosi: Chinua Achebe, 12 November 1998

Chinua Achebe: A Biography 
by Ezenwa-Ohaeto.
Curry, 326 pp., £25, November 1997, 0 253 33342 3
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... There are times when the act of writing becomes a burden, a fate, even a retribution for the need to be recognised or honoured; when what at first was the joy of creation and self-realisation turns into an affliction; when, in Africa especially, the vocation of writing takes its revenge on those who have tasted the thrill of representing the drama of a vast, unwieldy and refractory continent – a drama of becoming ...

An UnAmerican in New York

Lewis Nkosi: The Harlem Renaissance, 24 August 2000

Winds Can Wake Up the Dead: An Eric Walrond Reader 
edited by Louis Parascandola.
Wayne State, 350 pp., $24.95, December 1998, 0 8143 2709 5
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... Between the end of World War One and the Great Depression there occurred in Harlem such a flowering of music, dance, theatre and painting as to change white American perceptions of African American artistic expression. In a little over a decade, more books by black Americans appeared in print than had been published in the entire history of black American writing ...

Turns of the Screw

Hugh Barnes, 7 August 1986

Mating Birds 
by Lewis Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... The first novels of Lewis Nkosi and Catharine Arnold raise issues that have been in the news of late: racist oppression in South Africa and the ugly behaviour of the smart set at England’s oldest universities. Neither phenomenon is new, but that is not all they have in common: both can be regarded as symptoms of madness, which is always making news – this, at any rate, is the diagnosis favoured by Nkosi and Arnold ...


James Fox: On Drum Magazine, 8 March 1990

... Nat Nakasa threw himself to his death. The names were spoken with reverence in the Drum office: Lewis Nkosi, Bloke Modisane, Arthur Maimane, and the photographers Bob Gosani and Peter Magubane, Winnie Mandela’s friend, now in New York; Can Themba, whose home in Sophiatown was known as ‘The House of Truth’; Casey Motsisi, who began one ...

Focus, Shoot, Conceal

Jeremy Harding: Apartheid in Pictures, 27 July 2023

House of Bondage 
by Ernest Cole.
Aperture, 230 pp., £50, December 2022, 978 1 59711 533 9
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... but Drum had assembled some of the best writers in the country, among them Es’kia Mphahlele, Lewis Nkosi and Bessie Head, as well as gifted photographers, and there was no shortage of energy.In the early 1950s the Drum crew had hung out in Sophiatown, a suburb north-west of Johannesburg inhabited mostly by low-income Black freeholders and their ...

A Dangerous Occupation

R.W. Johnson: The Land Wars of Southern Africa, 1 June 2000

... Getting to Dave Lewis’s farm was not easy, even though I had instructions.* Travelling any distance out of Harare is fairly tense stuff because you can never be sure you’ll have enough fuel to get back (I freewheeled on all the downhill stretches, keeping a careful eye on the engine revs) – not to mention what’s been happening on Mashonaland farms these last three months ...

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