MacKenzie, Craig 1960-

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MACKENZIE, Craig 1960-


Born 1960. Education: University of Natal, M.A.; Rhodes University, Ph.D.


Office—Department of English, Rand Afrikaans University, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa. E-mail—[email protected].


Educator, editor, and author. Rand Afrikaans University, Aukland Park, South Africa, professor of English.


Bessie Head: An Introduction, National English Literary Museum (Grahamstown, South Africa), 1989.

(Compiler, with Catherine Woeber) Bessie Head: A Bibliography, National English Literary Museum (Grahamstown, South Africa), 1992.

(Compiler, with Dorothy Driver, Ann Dry, and John Read) Nadine Gordimer: A Bibliography, National English Literary Museum (Grahamstown, South Africa), 1993.

Bessie Head, Twayne (New York, NY), 1999.

(Compiler) Transitions: Half a Century of South African Short Stories, Francolin (Cape Town, South Africa), 1999.

The Oral-Style South African Short Story in English: A. W. Drayson to H. C. Bosman, Rodopi (Atlanta, GA), 1999.

Contributor to books, including Oral Tradition and Education, edited by E. R. Sienaert and Nigel Bell, Natal University Oral Documentation and Research Centre, 1988; Short Fiction in the New Literatures in English, edited by Jacqueline Bardolph, Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaine, 1989; Commonwealth Literary Cultures: New Voices, New Approaches, edited by Giovanna Capone, Claudio Gorlier, and Bernard Hickey, Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Straniere, 1990; International Literature in English: The Major Writers, edited by Robert L. Ross, Garland, 1991; Literature, Nature, and the Land: Ethics and Aesthetics of the Environment, edited by Nigel Bell and Meg Cowper-Lewis, University of Zululand, 1993; Essays on African Writing: A Re-evaluation, edited by Abdulrazak Gurnah, Heinemann, 1993; Oral Tradition and Its Transmission: The Many Forms of Message, edited by Edgard Sienaert, Meg Cowper-Lewis, and Nigel Bell, Campbell Collections and Centre for Oral Studies, 1994; New African Writing, edited by Derek Wright, Bayreuth African Studies, 1997; Translating Cultures, edited by Isabel Carrera and others, Dangaroo, 1999; Oral Literature and Performance in Southern Africa, edited by Duncan Brown, James Currey, 1999; They Shaped Our Century: The Most Influential South Africans of the Twentieth Century, Human & Rousseau, 1999; Apartheid Narratives, edited by Nahem Yousaf, Rodopi, 2001; African Writers and Their Readers: Essays in Honor of Bernth Lindfors, Volume 2, edited by Toylin Falola and Barbara Harlow, African World Press, 2002; and Emerging Perspectives on Bessie Head, edited by Huma Ibrahim, Africa World Press, 2004. Contributor to periodicals, including Hermeneus, Journal of Southern African Studies, Current Writing, English Studies in Africa, Literator, Research in African Literatures, Crux, English in Africa, and World Literature Written in English. Co-editor, English in Africa, 1994—.


(With Cherry Clayton) Between the Lines: Interviews with Bessie Head, Ellen Kuzwayo, Miriam Tlali, National English Literary Museum (Grahamstown, South Africa), 1989.

Bessie Head, A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings, Heinemann (Oxford, England) 1990.

(With Eva Hunter) Between the Lines II: Interviews with Nadine Gordimer, Menan du Plessis, Zoe Wicomb, Lauretta Ngcobo, National English Literary Museum (Grahamstown, South Africa), 1993.

Herman Charles Bosman, Mafeking Road and Other Stories, Human and Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 1998.

Herman Charles Bosman, Idle Talk: Voorkamer Stories I, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 1999.

Herman Charles Bosman, The Rooinek and Other Boer War Stories, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 2000.

Herman Charles Bosman, Old Transvaal Stories, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 2000.

Herman Charles Bosman, Seed-time and Harvest and Other Stories, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 20001.

Starlight on the Veld: Best of Bosman, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 2001.

Herman Charles Bosman, Unto Dust and Stories, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 2002.

Herman Charles Bosman, Young Bosman, Human & Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa), 2003.


Craig MacKenzie is an educator and author whose interests focus on African literature, with a specialty in South African literature, particularly the short story, narrative theory, and postcolonial fiction. His articles on South African literature have appeared in various journals and he has served as editor for numerous anthologies and collections. Much of MacKenzie's work focuses on the life and writings of South African author Bessie Head, who passed away in 1986. In a review for Research in African Literature, Carole Boyce Davies called Head "one of the most important critical thinkers and creative writers in the field." Of mixed parentage, Head wrote about madness, gender, race, class, and sexuality and how they played into society's power struggles. Penny Kaganoff stated in Publishers Weekly that "Head is an eloquent critic of the evils of apartheid."

MacKenzie, who once visited the noted author unannounced at her home, links Head's literary themes to the prejudice she faced while growing up. As the daughter of a white woman who died in a mental hospital and an African father whose identity is unknown, she was cast aside by her family. MacKenzie forwarded Head a copy of his dissertation discussing his theories, and she reportedly responded with a favorable reply shortly before her death. According to a review in Choice, the resulting volume, Bessie Head, "contributes significant and valuable insights into the literary production of Bessie Head." MacKenzie has also served as editor and compiler for several anthologies of Head's work, in addition to biographical collections of Nadine Gordimer and Herman Charles Bosman.



Choice, November 1999, B. Taylor-Thompson, review of Bessie Head, p. 531.

Publishers Weekly, October 12, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings, p. 57.

Research in African Literature, spring, 1992, Carole Boyce Davies, review of A Woman Alone, p. 210.


Rand Afrikaans University Web site, (July 20, 2004), "Craig MacKenzie."

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