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Andrew van der Vlies

Andrew van der Vlies

Andrew van der Vlies is Professor in the Department of English, Creative Writing, and Film at the University of Adelaide, and Extraordinary Professor at South Africa’s University of the Western Cape. A graduate of Rhodes University and the University of Oxford, he has published widely on South African and African literature and art, most recently Present Imperfect (Oxford, 2017) and, as an editor, Race, Nation, Translation (essays by Zoë Wicomb; Yale, 2018) and South African Writing in Transition (Bloomsbury, 2019). The Bloomsbury Handbook to J. M. Coetzee is forthcoming in September. 

Andrew van der Vlies reviews ‘Tremor’ by Teju Cole

April 2024, no. 463 25 March 2024
Tunde, a photographer and art professor at Harvard, attempts to photograph a hedge in his neighbourhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Waved away by a white property owner suspicious of a Black man on his street, Tunde tries again midway through Teju Cole’s new novel, Tremor, but, trusting his feeling of unease, leaves. (One is put in mind of the notorious 2009 incident in which neighbours reporte ... (read more)

Andrew van der Vlies reviews 'Retroland: A reader’s guide to the dazzling diversity of modern fiction' by Peter Kemp

December 2023, no. 460 27 November 2023
In the dying months of the last century, I took a crash course in Modern British Fiction. I had opted for the most contemporary course on the Oxford English MPhil that covered the most contemporary period (1880 to the present, then generally understood to have ended circa 1970). My elective choices had all been a little unpopular: rather than a term parsing Ulysses, I read all of Conrad; where the ... (read more)

Andrew van der Vlies reviews 'The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa' by Stephen Buoro

July 2023, no. 455 27 June 2023
'A fifteen-year-old African genius poet altar boy who loves blondes is not a criminal, not a racist, not a sell-out.’ Perhaps not unlike other fifteen-year-old males, he is prone to bouts of solipsism and radical empathy, as absorbed by superhero fantasies of escape (and retribution) as he is by the semiotics of text messaging and sneakers. He is as unique as the next genius-poet altar boy – b ... (read more)