This article investigates author profiles and writing in South Africa’s history, with a special
focus on changes that have occurred from the apartheid period to the present day. South
Africa has gone through significant change in the past few decades, including major political
upheaval. This has had a notable effect on South African writers and the works they produced
then, and still produce. These changes have also had an effect on the languages, readers,
publishers and book market in South Africa. This author has concluded that South African
authors have adapted to their environment and that their writing is representative of this.
While English-language books have always had a strong readership market, Afrikaans has
surged in popularity, while African languages continue to be poorly represented. Authors from
different races and both genders are being published in this country, but the themes of their
writings have changed from resistance to reconciliation literature. Today, a greater number
of publications on political disaster and crime are appearing, while books detailing South
Africa’s history remain popular with readers. Authors are also attempting to write ‘lighter’
material, such as romance, adventure and crime fiction. While there are more women writers
on the scene than before, there is a paucity of black women writers. In general, though,
women writers still lag behind their male counterparts in the popularity stakes.