Myth and Magical Realism in the work of Ben Okri and Zakes Mda

Myth Reading Group

Thursday 25 May

12.00-1.30pm in Room 5B.330

We are very pleased to announce that Jeremy Solnick will continue our discussion of Myth & Magic with a session on myth and magical realism in the work of Ben Okri and Zakes Mda

Xhosa boys before circumcision ceremony

Xhosa boys before the circumcision ceremony

In this session, we will be discussing two seminal but very different works of magical realism.  Ben Okri’s The Famished Road was published in 1991 and is loosely based on a country that might be Nigeria.  Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness was published in 2002 and is about post-apartheid South Africa.  Both novels use a myth based style of magical realism to draw readers into an alternative reality where the fault lines of their dystopian communities are exposed through the agency of non-human characters seemingly immune from the rules which govern everyday life.

Please read the following extracts: The Famished Road, The Heart of Redness, and  André Brink’s essay, “Interrogating Silence“.


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