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In Search of a 'Rock Star': Commemorating Kabelo Sello Duiker's Life and Work Ten Years on

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Demir Danyela, Moreillon Olivier, Muller Alan,
Project Cities in Flux: Capetonian and Durbanite Literary Topographies
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Volume (Issue) 27(1)
Page(s) 26 - 37
Title of proceedings Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa


19 January 2015 marked the tenth anniversary of South African writer K. Sello Duiker’s passing. 15 years after the publication of his first novel, Thirteen Cents, his works remain an important contribution to post-apartheid writing. His novels are taught at several South African universities and they still attract interest for research, particularly amongst young academics. This article, which consists of two parts, commemorates Duiker’s life and oeuvre. The first part traces the author’s private life by relating the author’s encounters and interviews with Duiker’s mother and brother, which took place in Johannesburg in January 2015. During the conversations, they allude to Duiker’s and his mother’s common love of reading, his protectiveness and love towards his siblings, and his need for space and privacy during phases of writing. The second part of the article focuses on the impact that Duiker’s oeuvre continues to have on academia and contemporary South African fiction. In addition, the latter half of the article crafts a collage of voices of various academics and writers who speak about the importance of Duiker’s novels for contemporary South African literature, The authors also reflect Duiker’s influence on more recent South African literary texts by analysing both explicit and implicit intertextual references to Thirteen Cents (2000) and The Quiet Violence of Dreams (2001) in texts such as Fred Khumalo’s Seven Steps to Heaven 2007) Songeziwe Mahlangu’s Penumbra (2013), Perfect Hlongwane’s Jozi: A Novel (2013), Niq Mhlongo’s Way Back Home (2013) and Charlie Human’s Apocalypse Now Now (2013).