And Wrote My Story Anyway

Black South African Women’s Novels as Feminism
Author(s):
  • Publication Date: Sept 2020
  • Dimensions and Pages: 229 x 152 mm; 264pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-618-5
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-620-8
  • PDF EAN: 9781776146192
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 385.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 30.00

What becomes possible in fiction by Black South African women? In this study, Barbara
Boswell brilliantly reads novels by Miriam Tlali, Zoë Wicomb, Zukiswa Wanner, Kagiso Molope
and others, and threads them into a transnational feminist literary conversation in which
South African writing takes its rightful place. The result is a necessary and illuminating study
which will become required reading in Literature and Women’s Studies classes across the
globe. I read it hungrily and with gratitude.
Gabeba Badaroon, poet and Associate Professor, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
and African Studies, Pennsylvania State University

 

In And Wrote My Story Anyway Barbara Boswell offers a passionate, often intensely personal,
always persuasive engagement with an important genealogy of Black South African women
writers, extending from Miriam Tlali and Lauretta Ngcobo to Zukiswa Wanner and Kagiso
Molope. Taking her inspiration from Bessie Head’s declaration that writing opens spaces
of resistance and recovery, Boswell’s series of paired readings demonstrate the writers’
powerful contributions to discourses of family, race and nation, and their reframing of female
subjectivity.And Wrote My Story Anyway draws their work decisively out of the critical
shadows.
Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, Oxford University

 

Part literary history, part feminist historiography And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels as Feminism critically examines influential novels in English by eminent black female writers.
Studying these writers’ key engagements with nationalism, race and gender during apartheid and the transition to democracy, Barbara

Boswell traces the ways in which black women’s fiction critically interrogates narrow ideas of nationalism. She examines who is included and excluded, while producing alternative visions for a more just South African society.

This is an erudite analysis of ten well known writers, spanning both the apartheid and post-apartheid era: Miriam Tlali, Lauretta Ngcobo, Farida Karodia, Agnes Sam, Sindiwe Magona, Zoë Wicomb, Rayda Jacobs, Yvette Christiansë, Kagiso Lesego Molope and Zukiswa Wanner. Boswell argues that black women’s fiction could and should be read as a subversive site of knowledge production in a setting which, for centuries, denied black women’s voices and intellects.

Reading their fiction as theory, for the first time these writers’ works are placed in sustained conversation with each other, producing an arc of feminist criticism that speaks forcefully back to the abuse of a racist, white-dominated, patriarchal power.

Acknowledgements
Author’s Preface
Acronyms
Introduction ‘… And Wrote My Story Anyway’: Black South African Women’s Fiction and the Nation
Chapter 1 Writing as Activism: A History of Black South African Women’s Writing
Chapter 2 Rewriting the Apartheid Nation: Miriam Tlali and Lauretta Ngcobo
Chapter 3 Dissenting Daughters: Girlhood and Nation in the Fiction of Farida Karodia and Agnes Sam
Chapter 4 Interrogating ‘Truth’ in the Post-Apartheid Nation: Zoë Wicomb and Sindiwe Magona
Chapter 5 Making Personhood; Remaking History in Yvette Christiansë and Rayda Jacobs’s Neo-Slave Narratives
Chapter 6 Black Women Writing ‘New’ South African Masculinities: Kagiso Lesego Molopes and Zukiswa Wanner
Conclusion Literature as Theory: Towards a Black South African Feminist Criticism
Select Bibliography
Index

Barbara Boswell is a feminist literary scholar and Associate Professor of English at the University of Cape Town. She is the author of Grace: A Novel (2017), which won the 2018 University of Johannesburg Debut Prize for Creative Writing.

What becomes possible in fiction by Black South African women? In this study, Barbara
Boswell brilliantly reads novels by Miriam Tlali, Zoë Wicomb, Zukiswa Wanner, Kagiso Molope
and others, and threads them into a transnational feminist literary conversation in which
South African writing takes its rightful place. The result is a necessary and illuminating study
which will become required reading in Literature and Women’s Studies classes across the
globe. I read it hungrily and with gratitude.
Gabeba Badaroon, poet and Associate Professor, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
and African Studies, Pennsylvania State University

 

In And Wrote My Story Anyway Barbara Boswell offers a passionate, often intensely personal,
always persuasive engagement with an important genealogy of Black South African women
writers, extending from Miriam Tlali and Lauretta Ngcobo to Zukiswa Wanner and Kagiso
Molope. Taking her inspiration from Bessie Head’s declaration that writing opens spaces
of resistance and recovery, Boswell’s series of paired readings demonstrate the writers’
powerful contributions to discourses of family, race and nation, and their reframing of female
subjectivity.And Wrote My Story Anyway draws their work decisively out of the critical
shadows.
Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, Oxford University

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