Africa's 100 best come to UCT

05 August 2002
HONORARY Professor André P. Brink and Emeritus J.M. Coetzee are among the South African authors included in the long-awaited list of "Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century".

Brink's A Dry White Season and Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K are among the 100 works of fiction, children's books and non-fiction to make it on to the list, compiled by a jury of 16 academics, authors and scholars from around the world and headed by UCT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Njabulo Ndebele.
With Archbishop Desmond Tutu as its patron, the project has been described as the most ambitious ever embarked upon by the African publishing industry, running as it did from August 2000 to September 2001.

The panel finalised the list in Accra in Ghana in February this year, having worked its way through an initial 1 521 nominated titles.

Just over a week ago, Ndebele hosted a function at the Baxter Theatre Centre to fete the 100 works. The gathering formed part of an international conference on "The Impact of African Writing on World Literature", which also took place at the Baxter and boasted some of the leading figures in the areas of fiction, translation, human rights, democracy and African scholarly contribution to world knowledge.

The conference and celebratory function – together with a major book exhibition – was organised by the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) in run-up to ZIBF2002, which ran from July 27 to August 3 in Harare.

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