Writing the Deep South: The Mandela Lecture and Other Mirrors for South Africa

Ariel Dorfman
Picador Africa
2011

From his first visit to South Africa in 1997, Ariel Dorfman, acclaimed Chilean-American author, human rights activist and distinguished professor, has felt a deep connection to the country, its people and the issues it grapples with.In Writing the Deep South Dorfman has brought together a personal selection of his widely read texts from past decades that are of particular significance to South Africans. In these pieces, Dorfman reflects on familiar challenges and issues such as terror and peace, bilingualism and globalisation, compassion and war, torture, fear and dignity in the aftermath of 9/11, civilisation and barbarism, and the necessity and insufficiency of truth commissions. He draws from Latin Americans such as Che Guevara and Gabriel García Márques that have exceptional messages for South Africans. There is also his 2010 Mandela Lecture, and reflections on what it will mean to say goodbye to Nelson Mandela.Writing the Deep South is a volume that holds up multiple mirrors for South Africa and the rest of the world, allowing a welcome reflective space for the pressing issues of language, identity, renewed struggle and integrity.

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Ariel Dorfman