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Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region: v. 1

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Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region: v. 1

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This book brings together over 120 selections by women in six countries of southern Africa, in English and in translation from over 20 different languages, ranging from wedding songs and work songs to letters, prison diaries, poetry, memoirs, and recent testimony before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The famous are here (Doris Lessing, Sindiwe Magona, and more), but most of the voices are new, and they open up worlds too long excluded from the history books. The authoritative, readable introductory notes to each selection provide essential background and biography, but whether the context is the German genocide of the Herero people during WW I or today’s AIDS epidemic in Botswana, the focus always is on how it affects the daily lives of people at home. One of the most moving pieces is about the Widows of the Reserves, their husbands torn away as migrant labourers, the women alone with work and family. The first in a projected series of four regional African collections, this is a must for women’s studies and African history and literature collections.

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