In the name of Allah the Merciful

Bessie Head and the Trauma of Exile: Identity and Alienation in Southern African Fiction

Joshua Agbo | 0367710285, 978-0367710286, 9780367710286, B092KPYTGN

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This book investigates themes of exile and oppression in Southern Africa across Bessie Head’s novels and short fiction.

An exile herself, arriving in Botswana as a South African refugee, Bessie Head’s fiction serves as an important example of African exile literature. This book argues that Head’s characters are driven to exile as a result of their socio- political ambivalence while still in South Africa, and that this sense of discomfort follows them to their new lives. Investigating themes of trauma and identity politics across colonial and post- colonial contexts, this book also addresses the important theme of black- on- black prejudice and hostility which is often overlooked in studies of Head’s work.

Covering Head’s shorter fiction as well as her major novels When Rain Clouds Gather (1969), Maru (1971), A Question of Power (1973), Serowe: Village of the Rain Wind (1981), and A Bewitched Crossroads: An African Saga (1984), this book will be of interest to researchers of African literature and postcolonial history.