The Literature Police


Book cover for The Literature PoliceThis website is a supplement to Peter D. McDonald’s book The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences, which was first published by Oxford University Press in February 2009. It is intended for anyone curious to know more about the subject and for those interested in doing further research into the vast topic of apartheid censorship. Read the publisher’s original flyer for the book.

The Literature Police is available to purchase from Oxford University Press and is available in the United States from Oxford University Press USA

About the Author

Peter D. McDonald is a Fellow of St Hugh's College and a Lecturer at the University of Oxford. He has written extensively on the history of 'literature' as a category from the nineteenth century to the present day, on publishing history, and on the relationship between literary institutions and the modern state. His other principal publications include British Literary Culture and Publishing Practice, 1880-1914 (Cambridge, 1997) and Making Meaning: 'Printers of the Mind' and Other Essays by D F McKenzie, co-edited with Michael Suarez (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002).

Praise for The Literature Police:

"McDonald's book is a vigorous yet subtle and always compellingly readable contribution to the history of and debate about the borders of the literary and the place of words in the world." - Shaun de Waal, Mail and Guardian

"Indispensable reading if we wish to understand the forces forming and deforming literary production in South Africa during the apartheid years." - JM Coetzee

In his penetrating investigation as much into the history of censorship in practice as into its philosophical and ideological foundations, McDonald brilliantly and sometimes startlingly fills in [a] disturbing our country's recent intellectual history." - Andre P. Brink, Die Burger

"Censorship crafted silences into South African cultural life: McDonald speaks, from this historical distance, into those silences...This is historical recovery at its best." - Michael Titlestad, The Times of South Africa

"An amazing book - a gift actually." - Antjie Krog

"The Truth and Reconciliation Commission laid greater emphasis on reconciliation than on truth. It has now become the function of scholarship to reveal the unvarnished truth about apartheid machinations. Most of us have always wondered why our literary works were banned - what convoluted logic informed censorship. Peter McDonald's book lifts the veil of secrecy under which state censors operated in South Africa." - Mbulelo Mzamane

"The Literature Police is one of the most comprehensive, scholarly and human examinations of censorship ever compiled. The Project names, and shames, the censors and posts the blacklist of apartheid South Africas banned books. An inspiration to all of us..." - FACT - Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

Copyright 2009 by Peter D. McDonald unless otherwise specified
Website by Andrew Kirkpatrick