Read The Cardinals: With Meditations and Short Stories by Bessie Head Free Online
Book Title: The Cardinals: With Meditations and Short Stories|
ISBN 13: 9780435909673
The author of the book: Bessie Head
Edition: Heinemann Educational Books
Date of issue: December 18th 1995
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.46 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.5
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Gradually Bessie Head is becoming my most read author. It all started after the Writers Project of Ghana held its twitter discussion on her book A Question of Power. I had earlier read the book (and two others: A Woman Alone and Maru), even before it was chosen and had had it reviewed on this blog. However, the discussion got me thinking about that woman, her beautiful spirit, her audacious writings, and her sense of humour even in the midst of dire adversity. Thus, I picked three of her books, including Tales of Tenderness and Power and When Rain Clouds Gather.
The Cardinals with Meditations and Short Stories (1993; 141) contains a novella and seven short stories and meditations. It is a story about the effects of racial discrimination and how it breaks down families and flings their members about to the ways of the storms of life. In The Cardinals, set in South Africa, not only are the lives of the natives battered by poverty and destroyed by lack, politics, and racial discrimination and abuse, but even within the blacks there is a class system.
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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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