Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Although Athol Fugard has written in a variety of literary forms, he is known primarily for his plays. Tsotsi, a long-lost novel written between 1959 and 1960 and abandoned until its publication in 1980, displays characterization, graphic language, and sardonic humor that foreshadow much in Fugard’s later drama. Of Fugard’s screenplays—The Occupation (1964), Boesman and Lena (1973), The Guest (1977), and Marigolds in August (1982)—the last three, under the superb direction of Ross Devenish, have been filmed and released. A post-apartheid version of Boesman and Lena starring Danny Glover and Angela Bassett was released in 2000. Fugard also wrote Mille Miglia (1968), a television script for the British Broadcasting Corporation, which explores in flashback the relationship between race drivers Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson, who won the last Italian one-thousand-mile race in 1955, and their preparations for the race.

Fugard’s Notebooks, 1960-1977 (1983) testify to the breadth of the influences on him and his influence on others. The notebook entries reflect his political engagement as well as his practical concerns as a dramatist. His Cousins: A Memoir (1994) relates the playwright’s early-life experiences with two influential relatives: his older cousins Johnnie and Garth. Johnnie’s love of music and performance and Garth’s adventurous wanderlust were important elements in shaping Fugard’s personality.