Songs of sand and grit : a collection of narrative literary journalism

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The introduction explicates the nature of narrative literary journalism and situates the four stories within this edifice. This body of work experiments with the classical form of narrative literary journalism. The Soul Searcher tells the story of the ethnomusicologist John Turest-Swartz who wants to promote the little known rural musician Louisa Steenkamp. It traces the development of an indigenous South African band over a period of one year. Thumeka in the Dunes is a career portrait in the context of urban nature conservation. The protagonist Thumeka Mdlazi is both part of the obstacle - the community threatening the nature reserve - and its solution, as a protector of the dunes. A Place to Live under the Rainbow deals with the repeated attacks against Somali refugees in South Africa portraying victims and perpetrators alike. On a meta-level, the story also reflects on the topic of xenophobia in a more discursive style. A Runner's Mind is a first-person creative non-fiction narrative. The core of the story is the motivation for ultra-marathon runner Randall Turner to keep running. This account is framed by my own personal reflections on running and non-running. All stories are anchored in a South African social setting and reflect people's struggles and small achievements in overcoming seemingly hopeless situations.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 87-92).