Masande Ntshanga Chats About the South African Literary Landscape and His Debut Novel, The Reactive (Podcast)
Earlier this year Masande Ntshanga joined Andrea van Wyk in studio to chat about his breakthrough novel, The Reactive, also discussing the perceived whiteness of the South African literary landscape and upcoming voices in local literature.
Ntshanga says that he wanted to write a South African novel, set in Cape Town, “and started realising that it’s a strange country that’s very incoherent when it comes to not only national identity but also personal identity”. The Reactive explores this, along with themes of mortality, which act as the driving force behind the book.
In response to the complex #LitApartheid debate, Ntshanga says: “I suppose the literary landscape as an institution is not something that’s kind of separate from how the country’s economy works in general. For me, it’s more something that’s symptomatic of where the country is, where we still find a lot of people being excluded – the majority in fact – the minority being in spaces that have access to resources.”
There is a lot of merit to the argument, the young author says, but he calls on people to remember the fact that being a published author in this country is not an entirely negative experience.
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For more on The Reactive and Ntshanga follow these links: