The end of apartheid 2 signalled a tremendous shift, not just in South African politics, but also in writing. The political protest writing so familiar and, some might say so necessary during apartheid, has given way to a politics of writing that must simultaneously engage with the trauma of the past and the potentialities of the future as South Africa struggles to redefine itself as a post-apartheid nation. This necessitates a negotiation of a shared past that was nothing short of brutal in its systematic disenfranchising and dehumanizing of the majority of South Africa’s population. At the core of the reconciliation project was the idea that truth and testimony would heal the wounds of the past and facilitate the transformation of a country ravaged by apartheid into a ‘rainbow nation’ of peace and harmony (Tutu 1999). Storytelling then became central to the process of healing, just as it was a crucial aspect of resistance. During apartheid, it was almost impossible to untangle the politics of writing in South Africa from the politics of resistance; whether in the form of protest poetry, the prison memoir or novel, writing in and of itself was considered an act of defiance. Writers were encouraged to deploy their pen as a weapon against oppression, favouring, as Rita Barnard drawing on the work of Louise Bethlehem notes, ‘an almost journalistic kind of realism, one associated with the documentation of physical surroundings in “stark grim detail,” along with “minute-to-minute sensations”’ ( Barnard 2007: 12). Protest writing and a desire to tell the story of what was ‘really’ happening behind the euphemistic language of the regime’s ‘separate development’ policies motivated writers in a multitude of different ways. There are prison memoirs by Nelson Mandela, Breyten Breytenbach, Albie Sachs, Ellen Kuzwayo and Ruth First; the edited collections by Jack Mapanje and Julia Landau; the protest poetry and prose by Jeremy Cronin, Mongane Serote and Dikobe wa Mogale, Loretta Ngcobo, André Brink, Zoë Wicomb, Njabulo S. Ndebele; not to mention literary magazines such as Drum and Staffrider. All of these texts lay claim to the revolutionary possibilities of writing. Furthermore, the narrative power of this resistance writing is dedicated to exploring the conditions of what Nadine Gordimer has described as ‘the interregnum’.