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Literary giant's legacy will long be cherished

By unknown | Oct 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Es'kia Mphahlele has not been called the Giant of African literature for nothing, going by the rich heritage that he left behind.

In the 1950s, Mphahlele wrote a series of stories for Drum, and these stories helped in defining and developing the tradition of storytelling in the country.

However, he is most admired for his intellectual and scholastic erudition when he penned Down Second Avenue (1957), which has been made available to a wide audience through translations into other languages. This is a masterpiece in terms of autobiographical writing.

He is also known for writing short storiessuch as Man Must Live and The Living and the Dead both published in 1961. Six years later, he wrote In Corner B from East Africa.

The contents of both collections of short stories are included in The Unbroken Song (1986), which also contains some of Mphahlele's poems.

He was also respected for his scholastic exploits when in 1962 he published The African Image, a result of his MA, a window into history of African literature in South Africa.

He followed up his academic achievements by publishing The Wanderers, which originally was submitted as a dissertation for his PhD in creative writing.


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