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Review: Peter McDonald, "The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences"
MFS: Modern Fiction Studies
  • Shane Graham, Utah State University
Document Type
Book Review
The John Hopkins University Press
Publication Date
Censorship has, of course, been much discussed in South African literary studies. But Peter McDonald's The Literature Police is a groundbreaking book in two ways: first, it is to my knowledge the first book to attempt a comprehensive historical overview of censorship in apartheid South Africa and its effects, not just on writers, but on publishers, literary journals, writers' organizations, and other key institutions. Second, it is the first text to look closely and methodically at the paper trail left behind by the Board of Censors to analyze precisely which texts were banned and the reasons given. The Literature Police is densely packed with important and original findings, and will surely be a study that scholars of South African literature will have to acquaint themselves with for years to come.
Citation Information
Shane Graham. "The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences (review)." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 58.2 (2012): 389-391.