In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

With the abrogation of apartheid in South Africa, that country and its writers happily face new beginnings. But from 1948, when apartheid was first instituted, until its recent dismantling, the situation of the white writer in apartheid-ridden South Africa has been a difficult and complex one. Using the privileges given to men and women with white skins, understanding their access to publishers and to the literate world both within and beyond South Africa, the white writers largely directed their talents to reviling the very system and society that privileged them. To be a member of the dominant group and to challenge that dominance from within required nearly as much fortitude as attacking the dominant group and doing so from the ranks of the disadvantaged and oppressed. White writers such as Nadine Gordimer, Athol Fugard, Breyten Breytenbach, Andre Brink, Stephen Gray, J. M. Coetzee, Alan Paton, and Guy Butler used their writing to attack the apartheid system under which they have lived. As a result they had their works rejected and banned, and they themselves were sometimes imprisoned or placed under banning orders by their fell ow whites. At the same time, they were reviled for their privileged white lives by their oppressed black and coloured fellow countrymen. The plight of white anti-establishment writers in South Africa was surely not an enviable one. Such writers had, furthermore, a double public, their own countrymen and the international community; and in many cases the writers wished not to plead South Africa's special circumstances but instead to use the South African situation to illuminate more universal truths.