Bessie Head

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Bessie Amelia Emery Head (6 July 1937 – 17 April 1986) was a South African writer who, though born in South Africa, is usually considered Botswana's most influential writer. She wrote novels, short fiction and autobiographical works.


Maru (1971)[edit]

  • Before the white man became universally disliked for his mental outlook it was there.
    • p. 5
  • You just have to look different ... then seemingly anything can be said and done to you as your outer appearance reduces you to the status of a non-human being.
    • p. 5

Quotes about Bessie Head[edit]

  • I think there's something very special about women writers, black women writers in America and those that I know of in any real sense in Africa-Bessie Head, for example, in Africa or Gloria Naylor here. There's a gaze that women writers seem to have that is quite fascinating to me because they tend not to be interested in confrontations with white men-the confrontation between black women and white men is not very important, it doesn't center the text. There are more important ones for them and their look, their gaze of the text is unblinking and wide and very steady. It's not narrow, it's very probing and it does not flinch. And it doesn't have these funny little axes to grind. There's something really marvelous about that.
    • 1986 interview in Conversations with Toni Morrison edited by Danille K. Taylor-Guthrie (1994)

External Links[edit]

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