Art Talk, Politics Talk looks at a deep issue, whether art should be in the service of political ends or be free to roam on its own and burgeon to the beat of the artist's perspective. Should art inform politics, or should it be the reverse? From the introductory thought how to talk about art in a politically demanding milieu to meditations on writers ranging from J.M. Coetzee to Nelson Mandela, Salman Rushdie to Nadine Gordimer, Art Talk, Politics Talk offers a continually surprising, consistently intellectual, and boldly original consideration of literary-cultural tradition and innovation that in many ways is a model for the world. The essays, self-contained yet cumulative in their argument and insight, locate ethical and aesthetic challenges in the postcolonial condition of our times, both in post-apartheid South Africa and globally. Teasing out the intricate value of literary culture in contemporary society, the author, in lucid prose, brings to this volume a new confidence and critical vocabulary that both energizes older controversies and marks out fresh ground for debate.