Andrea Thorpe
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Detour - South African writers and London networks of black British activism
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In this short study, it is argued that co-operation between exiled anti-apartheid activists and black British activists in London became more evident in the 1980s. Focusing on the relationships forged between writers and within literary institutions, this ‘detour’ explores these activist networks through a consideration of the history of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books and through an exploration of the role that South African Lauretta Ngcobo played in forging alliances between black British and South African women writers. Exiled South African writers like Ngcobo shaped the direction of British publishing and anti-racist politics, even as their end goal remained forging solidarities that would help to turn the tide of apartheid in South Africa.

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South African London

Writing the metropolis after 1948

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