Running and other stories
When Phil entered my bedroom, he was breathing heavily, carrying a parcel in old newspaper, folded as neatly as only Phil could fold. It was the suit. I was shocked he had even remembered to bring it with him. But that was Phil. He thrived on detail. From “Behind The Suit”
Running and other stories
Turning her back on what is considered conventional, Makhosazana Xaba engages with her subject-matter on a revolutionary level in Running and Other Stories. She takes tradition – be that literary tradition, cultural tradition, gender tradition – and re-imagines it in a way that is liberating and innovative. Bracketed by Xaba’s revisitings of Can Themba’s influential short story, The Suit, the ten stories in this collection, while strongly independent, are in conversation with one another, resulting in a collection that can be devoured all at once or savoured slowly, story by story. By re-envisioning the ordinary and accepted, Xaba is creating a space in which women’s voices are given a rebirth.
Makhosazana Xaba is a Writing Fellow at the Wits School of Public Health working on a book on the history of nursing in South Africa. She has published two collections of poetry: these hands and Tongues of their Mothers. Her poetry has been translated into Mandarin and Italian and published in China and Italy. Her long term project is a biography of a South African woman writer Helen Nontando (Noni) Jabavu. In 2005 Makhosazana won the Deon Hofmeyr Award for Creative Writing for her then unpublished short story, Running. She holds an MA in Writing (with distinction) from Wits University. Running and other stories is her first collection of short stories.
“With a strong local flavour, this rich collection of short stories is exquisitely well-written.”
– Judy Croome
“The worlds Xaba creates in these short stories are courageous; they are also playful and brimming with curiosity… This is a collection that unapologetically centres women’s voices and experiences, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of what this ordinarily means. Xaba has never been content in her writing to simply present the unconventional – she re-imagines the very notion of what we expect from a short story, from a woman, from a girl. In Running and other stories, she raises the bar on what is conceivable for creative writers and imaginative readers. With the generosity of a novelist and the precision of a poet, Running and other stories is a gem of a collection. I am thrilled it is now exists in the world.”
– Pumla Gqola
“Reading the ten stories in Makhosazana Xaba’s inaugural collection is a breath taking experience, not only in the kaleidoscope of themes and plot structure but also in the innovative way she consistently transgresses the mould of conventional perceptions of the socio-political issues she portrays.”
– VM Sisi Maqagi, English Studies, NMMU
“With this collection, with its wonderful breadth of subjects and characters, Xaba has made a rewarding, beautifully told, and urgently needed contribution to South African literary fiction.”
– Brent Meersman for GroundUp
“[These stories] are skillfully and intelligently crafted, arouse curiosity and compassion, stimulate suspense and some amusement.”
Eva Hunter, Cape Times