The new edition is more learner-centred and has a greater multi-disciplinary approach. It uses literary analysis and literary studies as a platform to engage students in thinking about literature in the context of themselves as significant parts of the process of interpreting. Students are introduced to a range of contemporary arguments, theories and positions about self-representation, characterization, gender, and culture. Each chapter works from a simple accessible position towards more complex ideas and culminates in a creative writing exercise in which the student explores the ideas raised in that chapter. The textbook explores philosophical concepts and literary theories around identity and how identity is communicated through and created in language. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of representation together with a different genre of writing from autobiography to poetry to colonial and postcolonial novels. The book focuses on the needs of southern African readers by drawing on current social and ethical issues. The new edition has been updated to have a more contemporary focus and there is a greater emphasis on the writing process. The section on gender is more complex and includes discussion on masculinity. Students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge by means of discussion questions and creative writing exercises at the end of each chapter.