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Review: Michael Chapman, ed., "The Drum Decade: Stories from the 1950s" and Lindy Stiebel and Liz Gunner, ed., "Still Beating the Drum: Critical Perspectives on Lewis Nkosi"
ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature
  • Shane Graham, Utah State University
Document Type
Book Review
Publication Date
The negritude movement had Présence Africaine; the Harlem Renaissance had Crisis and Opportunity; South African writers of the 1950s had Drum magazine. Paul Gready has written that Drum’s “flashy muck-raking journalistic style attempted to capture the vivid life of the townships. Drum became a symbol of a new urban South Africa” (146); for Rob Nixon, it “amplified the voices of a defiantly impure cosmopolitanism, projecting an urban look and ethos” (28). Lewis Nkosi, who went to work for the magazine in 1957, said that Drum “wasn’t so much a magazine as it was a symbol of the new African cut adrift from the tribal reserve—urbanised, eager, fast-talking and brash" (Home and Exile 8) The magazine serialized novels by Alan Paton and Peter Abrahams, and occasionally published the work of black American writers like Langston Hughes.
Citation Information
Shane Graham. Review: Michael Chapman, ed., The Drum Decade: Stories from the 1950s and Lindy Stiebel & Liz Gunner, ed., Still Beating the Drum: Critical Perspectives on Lewis Nkosi. ARIEL 38.4. 169-73.