Part 1 The case for a new approach: the problems of the writer - material conditions, apartheid, censorship, the question of African tradition, the lack of literary tradition, problem of consciousness; attempts to find solutions towards a new ideology of literature - a time of change - from protest to consciousness, a time for action - from consciousness to participation, a time for experiment - new attitudes to form, language, production and distribution; criticism and black South African writing - black writing and literary theory, theories of artistic consciousness and socio-historical criticism. Part 2 Criticism as autobiography - the construction of a framework - Ezekiel Mphahlele: the west versus Africa; negritude; American black writing; the African tradition; Mphahlele and the Black Consciousness Movement; the influence of Marxist cultural theory. Part 3 Autobiography: a question of function - autobiography as a self-making process, the autobiographer as spokesman, autobiography as outlet for racial violence, humour as a defence mechanism, nostalgia and exile, bearing witness; the South African struggle with form - fragmented reality, restructuring reality, towards orthodox significant form, autobiography as novel - the hybrid form, life entire as autobiographical form. Part 4 Poetry as autobiography - Mongane Serote: individual development; historical consciousness; formal resolution; from individual development to group consciousness. Part 5 Autobiography and the literature of combat: the early protest novels; from liberation to liberation - the novel in the 1980s, Miriam Tlali - "Amandla", Sipho Sepamla - "A Ride on the Whirlwind", Mbulelo Mzamane - "The Children of Soweto", Mongane Serote - "To Every Birth its Blood".