WATCH | A virtual launch of Barbara Boswell’s ‘And Wrote My Story Anyway’: Black South African Women’s Novels’

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Published by Wits Press in September 2020 Barbara Boswell’s ‘And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels’ examines influential novels published in English by eminent black femme writers. (Cheeky Natives/ Wits Press)
Published by Wits Press in September 2020 Barbara Boswell’s ‘And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels’ examines influential novels published in English by eminent black femme writers. (Cheeky Natives/ Wits Press)

Part literary history, part feminist historiography And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels critically examines influential novels in English by eminent black women 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 fi ction 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.

The Cheeky Natives and Barbara Boswell discuss femme displacement, politicising fiction and writing while black and femme in South Africa

The Cheeky Natives are a literary collective comprising of Dr. Alma-Nalisha Cele and Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane. Click here to visit Cheeky Natives. 


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