Top 10 Iconic South African Writers Whose Books You Should Not Miss Reading


South Africa is one of the most economically stable countries in Africa and its education sector has contributed a lot towards the growth. South Africa has produce a lot of writers who have gained prominence and recognition worldwide and it is also home to one of the most renowned authors in the world and two Nobel laureates for literature. However, out of the many talented writers, some have distinguished themselves through works that have amazed everyone and left the entire world in awe of their uniqueness. Some of South Africa’s best authors are outlined below, these are the 10 who have gained prominence over all the others both at home and outside the country. Lets start from number 10.

10. Breyten Breytenbach

Having been exiled to France because of a mixed race marriage, one can clearly see his understanding of apartheid thanks to his personal experience. His literary works depict the life of a white person in an apartheid South Africa. In his book, The True Confessions Of An Albino Terrorist he writes his works based on his seven years of incarceration after being charged with high treason. This writer effectively depicts in his works just how far apartheid would go.

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9. Lauren Beukes

Born and bred in South Africa, this great South African writer is known for her great works in books like Zoo City, The Shining Girls and other literary works. Her fiction is imaginative and very entertaining. She has won awards such as the Arthur C. Clarke award , M-Net literary award, World fantasy award and many more. She is indeed one gifted writer.


8. Damon Galgut

Damon Galgut is one writer who has drawn inspiration from his difficult predicament. Having been diagnosed with cancer when he was aged six, he bases his literary works on this difficult period of his life. He is known for his book The Good Doctor which explores political tensions and other happenings in a hospital setting. Galgut’s writing style is truly unique because of his use of an unreliable narrator which actually makes an interesting read.

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The Globe and Mail

7. Achmat Dangor

Known for his books, Kafka’s Curse and Bitter Fruit, Achmat was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His works are inspired by the social injustices in his country. His writing style is gripping and one wouldn’t fail to notice the way he depicts the problems facing the nation. He even goes as far as referring to the country as a ‘schizophrenic nation’. His poetry, novels and short stories are indeed unique works of literature.


6. Antje Krog

Born in 1952 into a family of Afrikaner writers, Antje first wrote a famous poem for her school magazine which was clearly anti-apartheid and managed to scandalize her own Afrikaans- speaking community. She is famously known for her books Country of my skull and A change of Tongue. Her works mostly speak about the struggles and politics of the country and are interesting to read.

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African Success