The past fifteen years have been remarkable in terms of history, literary creativity, and publishing opportunities in southern Africa. Zimbabwe achieved its independence in 1980, Namibia followed suit in 1990, and in 1994 apartheid was officially abandoned in South Africa, signifying the end of the colonial legacy. Elections shortly afterward in Malawi witnessed the defeat at the polls of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who had ruled as a demi god for three decades; and there are signs of a new political dispensation coming to Mozambique and Angola. During this same period young writers such as Njabulo Ndebele, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Dikobe wa Mogale made their mark on the literary scene, while established authors such as Andre Brink and Breyten Breytenbach rose to new heights. These are critical essays on a range of writers who have become prominent during the last two decades of the twentieth century, and who have helped give birth to a fiercely interesting literature.