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Book Title: When Rainclouds Gather; Bessie Head; Book|
ISBN 13: 9780230024403
The author of the book: Bessie Head
Date of issue: February 1st 2008
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 381 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
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The poverty-stricken village of Golema Mmidi, in the heart of rural Botswana, offers a haven to the exiles gathered there. Makhaya, a political refugee from South Africa, becomes involved with an English agricultural expert and the villagers as they struggle to upgrade their traditional farming methods with modern techniques. The pressures of tradition, the opposition of the local chief, and, above all, the harsh climate threaten to bring tragedy to the community, but strangely, there remains a hope for the future.
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Read information about the authorBessie Emery Head (6 July 1937 – 17 April 1986), though born in South Africa, is usually considered Botswana's most influential writer.
Bessie Emery Head was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the child of a wealthy white South African woman and a black servant when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa. It was claimed that her mother was mentally ill so that she could be sent to a quiet location to give birth to Bessie without the neighbours knowing. However, the exact circumstances are disputed, and some of Bessie Head's comments, though often quoted as straight autobiography, are in fact from fictionalized settings.
In the 1950s and '60s she was a teacher, then a journalist for the South African magazine Drum. In 1964 she moved to Botswana (then still the Bechuanaland Protectorate) as a refugee, having been peripherally involved with Pan-African politics. It would take 15 years for Head to obtain Botswana citizenship. Head settled in Serowe, the largest of Botswana's "villages" (i.e. traditional settlements as opposed to settler towns). Serowe was famous both for its historical importance, as capital of the Bamangwato people, and for the experimental Swaneng school of Patrick van Rensburg. The deposed chief of the Bamangwato, Seretse Khama, was soon to become the first President of independent Botswana.
Her early death in 1986 (aged 48) from hepatitis came just at the point where she was starting to achieve recognition as a writer and was no longer so desperately poor.
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