Vladislavic, Ivan 1957-

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Vladislavic, Ivan 1957-


Born 1957, in Pretoria, South Africa.


Writer and editor.


Sunday Times Fiction Prize, 2002, for The Restless Supermarket; Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the Alan Paton Award, both 2007, both for Portrait with Keys.


Missing Persons: Stories, D. Philip (Cape Town, South Africa), 1989.

The Folly, Serif Publishing (Johannesburg, South Africa), 1994.

Propaganda by Monuments and Other Stories, D. Philip (Cape Town, South Africa), 1996.

The Restless Supermarket, David Philip (Cape Town, South Africa), 2001.

(With others) Post-Traumatic: New South African Short Stories, Botsotso Publishing (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2003.

The Model Men, University of Witwatersrand Art Galleries (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2004.

The Exploded View, Random House (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2004.

Willem Boshoff, D. Knut (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2005.

Portrait with Keys: Joburg and What-What, Umuzi (Roggebaai), 2006.


Thami Mali, Thami Mali Remembers Chris Hani: The Sun That Set before Dawn, Sached Books (Johannesburg, South Africa), 1993.

(With Hilton Judin) Blank—: Architecture, Apartheid and After, NAi (Rotterdam, South Africa), 1998.

T'kama-Adamastor: Inventions of Africa in a South African Painting, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2000.

Albie Sachs, The Free Diary of Albie Sachs, Random House (Johannesburg, South Africa), 2004.


Bessie Head, Life, ViVa Books (Johannesburg, South Africa), 1993.

Njabulo S. Ndebele, Death of a Son, ViVa Books (Johannesburg, South Africa), 1996.


Ivan Vladislavic is an award-winning South African short-story writer, novelist, and editor. He has earned critical praise for his distinctive post-modern writing style and works that "illuminate the sadness of urban dislocation as well as the humor and creativity of the lost, abandoned, mismatched, and migrant," according to World Literature Today reviewer Ingrid de Kok. His first published novel, The Folly, focuses on an empty patch of South African land and a man with an unconventional plan to build on it an imaginary building. In an article for WorldLiterature Today, Ursula A. Barnett compared The Folly with novels from other authors who "do not detach themselves from the South African scene. Instead, they turn it inside out and offer the reader a new perspective." A main character in The Restless Supermarket, Vladislavic's second novel, is a Johannesburg suburb during the postapartheid transformation that occurred the 1990s. The book was described by de Kok as "an intellectual and linguistic triumph." She further commented: "Through the verdant use of hilarious linguistic and etymological jokes, puns, and colloquialisms, Vladislavic marks the relationship between language and landmarks, home and homelessness, and between the conventions of social life and the isolation of subjects."

Portrait with Keys: Joburg and What-What is a collection of nonfictional commentaries on Vladislavic's native Johannesburg, covering over thirty years of observations and musings. Literary Review contributor Justin Cartwright believed that reading the book was "like reading an exceptionally perceptive reviewer on a play or book I have loved, a reviewer who articulates brilliantly what I have only half perceived…. What Vladislavic's book has done is to touch minutely, sensuously, poetically, ironically and exactly on this strange, utilitarian town." Cartwright concluded: "This is a truly marvellous piece of work, and my only fear is that it may not mean much to people who don't know Johannesburg."



World Literature Today, September 22, 1994, Ursula A. Barnett, review of The Folly, p. 872; winter, 2002, Ingrid de Kok, review of The Restless Supermarket, p. 125.


Literary Review,http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/ (September 7, 2007), Justin Cartwright, review of Portrait with Keys: Joburg and What-What.