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Book Title: Tales Of Tenderness And Power|
ISBN 13: 9780435905798
The author of the book: Bessie Head
Edition: Heinemann Educational Books
Date of issue: November 1st 1991
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 786 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.2
Read full description of the books:
This is an anthology of stories, personal observations and historic legends. It reflects the author's fascination with Africa's people and their history as well as her identification with individuals and their conflicting emotions.
From Publishers Weekly
What is most striking about these stories is that the characters herein are constantly in flight. When the white man seized her native land of South Africa, the author infers, millions of people were left wandering in search of their identity. Head herself lived in exile in Botswana. The daughter of a white woman and her family's black stable hand, she grew up without ever knowing a single blood relative, and she writes about people who are similarly cut off from their families. In one touching story, a young man and woman run away when their voluntary union, in violation of their culture's tradition of arranged marriages, brings dishonor to their families. In another tale, a man planning his first trip away from his native Cape Town suddenly realizes the absurdity of this journey: "To . . . go gallivanting around like some fool in a foreign place like Durban would be an act of the most vile treachery." The stories in this collection, published posthumously, offer a rare insight into African history, culture and lore from a black perspective. The volume is a companion to Head's A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings (see review below); some writings, which straddle the fence between fiction and nonfiction, appear in both volumes.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Read information about the authorBessie Emery Head (6 July 1937 – 17 April 1986), though born in South Africa, is usually considered Botswana's most influential writer.
Bessie Emery Head was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the child of a wealthy white South African woman and a black servant when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa. It was claimed that her mother was mentally ill so that she could be sent to a quiet location to give birth to Bessie without the neighbours knowing. However, the exact circumstances are disputed, and some of Bessie Head's comments, though often quoted as straight autobiography, are in fact from fictionalized settings.
In the 1950s and '60s she was a teacher, then a journalist for the South African magazine Drum. In 1964 she moved to Botswana (then still the Bechuanaland Protectorate) as a refugee, having been peripherally involved with Pan-African politics. It would take 15 years for Head to obtain Botswana citizenship. Head settled in Serowe, the largest of Botswana's "villages" (i.e. traditional settlements as opposed to settler towns). Serowe was famous both for its historical importance, as capital of the Bamangwato people, and for the experimental Swaneng school of Patrick van Rensburg. The deposed chief of the Bamangwato, Seretse Khama, was soon to become the first President of independent Botswana.
Her early death in 1986 (aged 48) from hepatitis came just at the point where she was starting to achieve recognition as a writer and was no longer so desperately poor.
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