© 2016

Transition and Transgression

English Young Adult Fiction in Post-Apartheid South Africa


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Judith Inggs
    Pages 1-8
  3. Judith Inggs
    Pages 9-25
  4. Judith Inggs
    Pages 27-43
  5. Judith Inggs
    Pages 45-64
  6. Judith Inggs
    Pages 65-83
  7. Judith Inggs
    Pages 85-103
  8. Judith Inggs
    Pages 105-117
  9. Judith Inggs
    Pages 119-120

About this book


This book conveys the story of a society in the throes of restructuring itself and struggling to find a new identity.  A particularly attractive aspect of this study is the focus on young adult literature and its place in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as its potential use in the classroom and lecture hall. Intersecting these two topics provides a compelling lens for refocusing debate on young adult fiction while offering a new and novel angle on debates in South Africa after the end of apartheid.  The multilingual and multicultural South African society has resulted in fiction that differs from other parts of the English-speaking world. This work presents a holistic critique of South African young adult fiction and addresses issues such as change and transformation, identity politics, sexuality, and the issue of the right of white writers to represent and “write” characters of different races.  ​


YA fiction in education identity politics and literature multilingual education post-apartheid literature in South Africa postcolonial literacy young-adult fiction in multilingual society

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Translation & Interpreting StudiesUniversity of the Witwatersrand Translation & Interpreting StudiesJohannesburgSouth Africa

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Transition and Transgression
  • Book Subtitle English Young Adult Fiction in Post-Apartheid South Africa
  • Authors Judith Inggs
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-25532-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-25534-7
  • Series ISSN 2211-1921
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-193X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VI, 120
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Language Education
    Language and Literature
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


This book by Judith Inggs will be invaluable to educators and librarians wishing to read contemporary young adult literature with high school students. She has selected for discussion some of the most powerful English young adult fiction set in South Africa since apartheid started to crumble. Thematically arranged chapters begin chronologically with the experiences of young people in the unstable 70s and 80s and follow them through the changing political and social years to the present. The novels shift in narrative technique and focus, depicting teenagers finding themselves in a rapidly changing geographical and social environment. From intensely realist fiction  Inggs moves on to fantasy, horror and dystopian genres, which have opened up new ways of exploring identity in modern South Africa. 

The author’s analyses of the books are guided by insights drawn from current work on young adult fiction by international scholars and critics, and are written in such a way that they are accessible not only to readers in South Africa but internationally. The lives of young South Africans have much in common with their counterparts around the world, but the extraordinary history of modern South Africa gives the novels some unusual elements, particularly the breakdown of racial barriers and the consequent mixing of cultures. 

Elwyn Jenkins, University of South Africa