Synopses & Reviews
Using his own and others memories, professor Shaun Viljoen, a former colleague of Richard Rives, brings the noted South African writer, scholar, and literary critic to life with sensitivity and empathy. This biography follows Rive from the 1950s, when he was writing for Drum magazine and spending time in the company of antiestablishment writers such as Jack Cope, Ingrid Jonker, Eskia Mphahlele, and Nadine Gordimer, to his acceptance to Magdalene College at Oxford, where he completed his doctorate on Olive Schreiner, and his return to South Africa to resume his position as senior lecturer at Hewat College of Education. Vijoen presents a portrait of a man in full, an individual who was committed to the struggle against racial oppression and to the ideals of nonracialism but who also could be irascible and pompous, and who struggled with a troubled awareness of his dark skin color and was guarded about his homosexuality. The book will invite readers to think anew about how they read writers who lived and worked during the years of apartheid.
About the Author
Shaun Viljoen is an associate professor in the department of English at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His primary areas of focus are South African literature and East and West African literature in English and in translation.