Dorothy Driver

is professor at the University of Adeleide, and visiting professor at the University of Cape Town and Stanford University. She is the pre-eminent critic of South African literature. For twenty years she compiled the Bibliography of South African Literature in English and wrote an annual survey published in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature. For five years she was co-editor of Southern African Review of Books.


Despite the increasingly hegemonic status of the English language, South African literary production in the first decade of the new democracy shows evidence of change. South African literature has been deeply affected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s fundamentally narrative mode: its public interest in converting traumatic memory into narrative memory. Included in contemporary debate are questions about the practice of ubuntu – compassion – and about the position of women in an emerging South African nation.