Dogs in southern African literature

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Where are the dogs in southern African literature? The short answer is: everywhere, if you keep looking. Few texts centralise them, but they appear everywhere in the corners of people’s lives: pets walking alongside, strays in the alleys, accompanying policemen, at the dog shows, outhunting, guarding gates. There are also the related canids— jackals, hyenas, wolves—making real and symbolic appearances. Dogs have always been with us, friends and foes in equal measure.

This is the first collection of studies on dogs in southern African literatures. The essays range across many dogs’ roles: as guides and guards, as victims and threats. They appear in thrillers and short stories. Their complex relations with colonialism and indigeneity are explored, in novels and poetry, in English as well as Shona and Afrikaans. Comparative perspectives are opened up in articles treating French and Russian parallels. This volume aims to start a serious conversation about, and acknowledgement of, the important place dogs have in our society.

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Van Schaik

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7-8 Days

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