Description : This book is an exploration of the way in which Head's writing is her idiosyncratic response to her personal life. Her desire to portray and yet subvert oppression- political, racist, and sexist- that she encountered in South Africa and Botswana, led to a Romanticism born of her need to create an antithesis to what she perceived to be the reality around her. Her eagerness to discover a haven in her adopted rural Botswana led to a Utopia of her own making, a literary resolution imagined, not actual. A mental breakdown led to the creation of her greatest novel, A Question of Power, one which examines the depths of evil, but allows also for the dawning of the heights of goodness. The appendix contains many heretofore unpublished letters that help to explain the personal compulsion that provided for Head's creativity.
Description : One of the foremost African writers of our time, who dispelled the silence between colonial and feminist discourses by "talking back", Bessie Head at last gets her due in this first book-length, comprehensive study of her work. This book locates Head's unquestionable importance in the canon of African literature. Author Huma Ibrahim argues that unless we are able to look at the merging of women's sexual and linguistic identity with their political and gendered identity, the careful configurations created in Head's work will elude us. Ibrahim offers a series of thoughtful readings informed by feminist, diasporan, postcolonial, and poststructuralist insights and concerns. She identifies a theme she calls "exilic consciousness" - the desire to belong - and traces its manifestations through each phase of Head's work, showing how "women's talk" - a marginalized commodity in the construction of southern Africa - is differently embodied and evaluated. Bessie Head's works are frequently featured in courses in African literature, third-world literature, and fiction writing, but there is little critical material on them. Ibrahim offers readings of Head's novels When Rain Clouds Gather, Maru, and A Question of Power, as well as the collections Tales of Tenderness and Power, A Collector of Treasures, A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings, and The Cardinals, the histories Serowe: Village of the Rain Wind and A Bewitched Crossroad, and her letters to Robert Vigne collected in A Gesture of Belonging. In Head's exploration of oppressed people, especially women and those in exile, Ibrahim finds startling insights into institutional power relations. Head not only subverts Western hegemonic notions ofthe third-world woman but offers a critique of postcoloniality.
Description : The most comprehensive reference work on African literature to date, this book covers all the key historical and cultural issues in the field. The Encyclopedia contains over 600 entries covering criticism and theory, African literature's development as a field of scholarship, and studies of established and lesser-known writers and their texts. While the greatest proportion of literary work in Africa has been a product of the twentieth century, the Encyclopedia also covers the literature back to the earliest eras of story-telling and oral transmission, making this a unique and valuable resource for those studying social sciences as well as humanities. This work includes cross-references, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive index.
Description : The success of the Caine Prize for African Writing and the growth of online publishing have played key roles in putting the short story in its rightful place within the study and criticism of African literature.
Description : Concert of Voices combines poetry, fiction, drama, and essays in a wide-ranging anthology of world literature in English. The collection includes a number of established writers who despite their great reputations, have often been perceived as standing apart from the main currents of English literature (and have rarely found their way into English Department reading lists). Most selections, though, are by a remarkable range of much less established authors. In addition to the selections, the editor has provided a general introduction and a brief biographical note on each author. "The intention in Concert of Voices is both to provide an alternative text to anthologies of traditional and established writings (in which the new writings in English invariably are displaced and marginalized) and to complement these anthologies. In this regard, the word 'other'—which points up apartness and division—was found wanting and dropped from the provisional main title. Its omission draws attention to a concept (and conviction) operative in the construction of the anthology: despite historical and cultural specificities (the focus of cross-cultural and multicultural studies), commonalities and affinities exist among these writings and between writing on both sides of the hegemonic divide. The anthology, then, is not intended simply as an offering of sociological or anthropological insights into these 'different' peoples. The pieces in Concert of Voices also demonstrate that imaginative writings can evolve from a cocoon of particularities into what can be called—modifying a catch-phrase of certain other disciplines—Literature Without Borders." - from the introduction
Description : Explores the narrative strategies Head employs to inscribe an idealistic vision in response to the psychic fragmentation and rootlessness she experienced as an exiled black South African woman writer.
Description : This work analyzes the fiction of four contemporary multicultural writers who render a 'floating world' in which cultures converge or collide in unexpected, exciting, and dangerous ways. The novels and short stories of Kazuo Ishiguro, Bessie Head, Bharati Mukherjee, and Salman Rushdie explore a literal and metaphorical floating world (adapted from the Japanese concept of 'ukiyo'-a still-point between briefly-held earthly pleasures and spiritual immutability) where the characters, like their authors, are poised between conflicting worlds, cultures, and traditions. The manner in which these four authors articulate such a 'floating' experience, Burton argues, enriches our understanding and appreciation of the increasingly interconnected world around us.
Description : Introduces key concepts needed for map reading and map making. This series explores different types of maps, photographs and illustrations, and includes activities and quizzes, making it ideal for learning essential map skills.