Critical Essays On Bessie Head

Critical Essays On Bessie Head

by Rosemary Fithian Guruswamy


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Critical Essays On Bessie Head by Rosemary Fithian Guruswamy

Through narrative and rhetorical strategies that subvert genre and challenge the discourse of race and gender, black South African woman writer Bessie Head creates alternative healing spaces that empower and enoble the marginalized, provide potential for transcendence and self-creation, and render ineffective the power of language to subjugate. This book features new critical material on her life and works and explores the techniques she uses to inscribe an idealistic vision in response to the psychic fragmentation and rootlessness she experienced as an exile.

The traumatized characters of When Rain Clouds Gather reflect Head's own use of agriculture and writing as means of coping with her suffering. Maru is a radical subversion of the romance genre, arguing for black women's need for space as creators. A Question of Power employs madness as a potential site of resistance to official constructions of reality. Viewed from the Lacanian association of the incest taboo and the entry into language, The Cardinals proposes a cosmic realm as an alternative to the categorical edicts of patriarchal language. And endowed with a didactic voice, the narrator of The Collector of Treasures claims the authority of several hundred groups to critique the patriarchal society she views. The contributors to this volume draw on new biographical information as well as Head's private papers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313315572
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/30/2003
Series: Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies: Contemporary Black Poets Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

MAXINE SAMPLE is Associate Professor of English at State University of West Georgia, where she teaches African and African American literature courses. She has published in such journals as Modern Fiction Studies and Studies in Short Fiction.

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