Document Type

Book Review

Journal/Book Title/Conference

MFS: Modern Fiction Studies

Volume

58

Issue

2

Publisher

The John Hopkins University Press

Publication Date

Summer 2012

First Page

389

Last Page

391

DOI

10.1353/mfs.2012.0030

Abstract

Censorship has, of course, been much discussed in South African literary studies. But Peter McDonald's The Literature Police is a groundbreaking book in two ways: first, it is to my knowledge the first book to attempt a comprehensive historical overview of censorship in apartheid South Africa and its effects, not just on writers, but on publishers, literary journals, writers' organizations, and other key institutions. Second, it is the first text to look closely and methodically at the paper trail left behind by the Board of Censors to analyze precisely which texts were banned and the reasons given. The Literature Police is densely packed with important and original findings, and will surely be a study that scholars of South African literature will have to acquaint themselves with for years to come.