Crossing Over. stories of the transition, or “history from the inside”
CITATION: Gaylard, R. 1997. Crossing over. stories of the transition, or “history from the inside”. Literator, 18(3): 103-118, doi: 10.4102/lit.v18i3.552.
The original publication is available at http://literator.org.za
Crossing Over: stories of the transition, or “history from the inside” The collection of stories entitled Crossing Over: New Stories for a New South Africa (1995) commemorates a remarkable turning point in this country's history, the election of South Africa's first-ever democratic government. By inviting contributions from writers from a variety of backgrounds, and in any of the eleven official languages, the compilers hoped to provide "a rounded picture of our times ” and to contribute to the making of a new South African culture o f inclusivity. Contributors were asked for stories dealing with "some kind of crossing over, " and exploring the response of young people to the transition. In spite of limitations as regards representativeness, the collection does bring together an unusually varied group of writers. This article explores the extent to which, by promoting a renewed awareness of "self in relation to "others", the anthology goes some way towards uncovering and undoing the racism and stereotyping that have been endemic to our society. In doing so, it provides us with a kind of "history from the inside However, the collection also demonstrates the continuing presence o f the past, and suggests the extent to which the lives o f many ordinary people have not changed significantly.