A collection of the most significant works of one of SA's foremost thinkers and writers, Es'kia Mphahlele - formerly writing as Ezekiel Mphahlele. Well known as a literary critic and fiction writer (his novel Down Second Avenue was recently selected as one of Africa's 100 best books), Mphahlele's intellectual concerns are far broader - including education, social consciousness and African culture. The aim of this volume is to introduce readers to Mphahlele the scholar, the teacher, the philosopher, the social and cultural activist and the man of letters. These writings span almost four decades - the crucial years of African independence, apartheid and exile. Five South African academics, all former students of Es'kia Mphahlele's, were invited to each select ten essays from his writings and public addresses. The selection made by James Ogude, Marcus Ramogale, Ndavhe Ramakuela, Sam Radithalo and Peter Thuynsma have been arranged into four categories: Education, African Humanism and Culture, Social Consciousness and Literary Appreciation. To each subject he brings a powerful intellect and a fresh, distinctly African perspective.
The essays are also very readeable, laced with humour and autobiographical anecdotes. Es'kia is a timely tribute to one of South Africa's intellectual luminaries, now in his eighties. It should remain a valuable resource on African thought for years to come. - Es'kia Mphahlele is one of the best known and most prominent South African creative writers and educators, yet his critical work is not readily available. - The first collection of Mphahlele's writings to reflect all the different aspects of his contribution to intellectual debate over many years. - This should remain a valuable resource on African thought for years to come. As social and political analyst and commentator and shaper of critical thought and social consciousness, his contribution can be compared to that of Sol Plaatje - Among Es'kia Mphahlele's works are: Down Second Avenue; Afrika my Music and Chirundu; also 'The African Image and Voices' in The Whirlwind and Other Essays.