Published in 2011, Ivan Vladislavic's novel Double Negative follows a young man who after establishing his career overseas comes back to South Africa to find a changed Johannesburg. Through his relationship with a seasoned photorapher, the young man's perspective on democratised South Africa widens into questions about perceiving and being perceived.
Considering the documentation of a country attempting to transition from white supremist rule, Vladislavic brings the difficulty of depicting South Africa to the fore.
Below is an excerpt from the book.
The end of apartheid put my nose out of joint, I must confess. Suddenly the South Africans were talking to one another. They wouldn’t shut up. Every so often one of them would wave a fist or shout a slogan, but it did not stem the flow. The world looked on amazed that these former adversaries had come together to talk the future into a different shape. After a decade of wilfully excluding myself, I felt left out of the club.