Zulu Novels of C. L. S. Nyembezi

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This study spotlights language as a tool of scholarly discourse in analyzing the stories created with it by one writer, C.L.S. Nyembezi, while also considering the Zulu language’s own process of self-revelation within its socio-cultural context. It is shown that Zulu has qualities not present in the English language which call particular attention to such elements as are unique to its literature. This study questions whether or not any culture has the right to claim exclusive ownership of the criteria of literary excellence.


“Incisive and cogent, informed by years of solid scholarship and research in the region’s mother tongues, this is a refreshing study of one of the most important African-language writers and a precious addition to the literatures that have restored the exiled and colonized minds to their lost selves without the polemics that color contemporary post-colonialist discourse.” – Dr. Frank M. Chipasula, Judge Willaims Holmes Cook Professor, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

“As we anxiously brace ourselves for regeneration, in a new Africa, sanctified by a new South Africa, exorcised of apartheid, the contribution of the African-language literatures to our regeneration cannot be minimal, provided they are of a high standard on our own terms. For the realization of such literatures, we shall owe no little debt to people such as Professor Kunene who has dedicated all his life to the cause of improving the standards of African-language literatures ... There is no doubt in our minds that, for generations to come, the impact of such an analysis [as this] will exert on the African writer and critic will be ever enlightening and beneficial.” – Dr. Ernest Mathabela

“This magnificent and instructive study is an announcement that African literature in the African languages will survive into the deeper throes of this beginning millennium.” – Dr. Ntongela Masilela, Professor of English and World Literature, Pitzer College

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 C.L.S. Nyembezi: A Biographical Essay
Chapter 2 Oral Influence in Nyembezi’s Novels: The Continuation of a Tradition
Chapter 3 Dialogue
Chapter 4 The Conjunction as a Catalyst of Human Wisdom
Chapter 5 Plot and Characterization
Chapter 6 Realism and Social Inequality
Chapter 7 Time as a Narrative Organizing Element
Chapter 8 Criteria of Literary Excellence: Who Owns Them?

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