Tony Simoes da Silva
University of Western Australia
There is an overriding issue facing African literature now, as at the time of
its inception in Europhonic writing, and that is change. The issue of change
appears in the preoccupations of authors faced with the struggle of a society
to adapt to, as well as to create, a new social and cultural order...
Kenneth Harrow, Thresholds of change in African literature: The Emergence of a tradition, 1994, p. 3
Change, in the context of the place of a work such as Basali! Stories by and about women in Lesotho, in contemporary Lesotho society, is witnessed also in the process which has allowed the women whose stories we read, or read about, access to University, and then to courses in creative writing within which they pursue a quest for 'a room of their own'. As the Editor to the collection notes, none of the women had ever seen themselves as writers, and although some will henceforth 'continue to write', for the majority the experience was essentially a private one, a quasi-cathartic exorcising of demons too dangerous to contain within the self. Simultaneously, however, both Kendall in her introduction, and the women in the practices they adopt or develop in the telling of their lives, seem to reveal a conscious awareness of the fact that, insofar as these accounts will appear in writing, and in the form of abook, they will be aimed at readership foreign to this world. That is to say that the reader these women imagine for their work is presumed to be, at least sympathetic to their struggle for change, at best dedicated to help them bring about the overthrow of a postcolonial (in its post-independence sense) order which continues to ensure that African women remain very much denied the benefits of decolonisation, however limited these might appear to be in the context of Southern Africa. For it is worth recalling that today, as always, the Republic of South Africa continues to dominate the way countries such as Lesotho participate in the community of nations that has emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War.
When Kenneth Harrow then goes on to assert that "change and literary tradition are inextricably linked [in Africa]" (1994: 4), he identifies therefore the extent to which a work such as Basali! is implicated both in the process of transformation and the creation of a literary tradition. Referring in a recent study to the African context, and then more specifically to the oral roots of contemporary African literature, Flora Veit-Wild teases out the link as follows:
While Veit-Wild's argument is persuasive, and arguably reflected in the literature she explores, there is a sense in which it may also appear somewhat overstated. It is difficult to see such elements as uniquely applicable to Africa, especially if we consider that societies such as India have just as rich and even more developed a literary dimension to their culture. Indeed one might even wonder what critics of Shakespearian or Victorian literature do if not explore precisely the extent to which the written text reflects a 'recognisable relationship with society'. As the New Historicist critic, Louis Montrose puts it in "Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture":
It is true that Ngugi wa Thiong'o's major impact on African literary production has been as a result of his appeals for a more politically engaged form of writing, and as such one clearly reflective of the relationship between society and literature. It is arguable however that such a stance dates back to, at least in the clearly stated manner of their posturings, Bertoldt Brecht's work, or that of the French philosopher, novelist and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre. I am conscious here of arguing a case for cultural mongrelisation that has the potential to erase whatever claims of originality most postcolonial writing might be seeking to make. Yet, although it has now come to be accepted that not all the literature that has emerged in the territories formerly colonised, Europe is exclusively preoccupied with what Ashcroft et al term a 'writing back' to the centre (Ashcroft et al 1989), there is a sense in which all writing in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese by African, Asian or South American authors will, inevitably, engage in a dialogic relationship with all that precedes it. Indeed, it is impossible to overlook the fact that all such major postcolonial figures as Ngugi, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon and George Lamming, to cite but a few of the most influential thinkers of that 'first generation', were the product of, or deeply immersed in the profound cultural and political transformations of post WW2 Europe. Thus the point is not that such texts cannot ever be wholly original, but rather that, to the extent that they are articulated in languages that originated elsewhere, they will always be writing over a dense palimpsest of meanings, structures and discourses of power which must then 'contaminate' the new texts (Brydon 1991).
This is in fact a position well rehearsed by Kwame A. Appiah in In My Father's House (1992), and indeed one with which I find I have some difficulties. What is arguable however is that African writing today, by its very temporal and geopolitical nature, cannot be but a compact of old traditions of story-telling, on which African culture has its foundations, and the essentially written component of a Western sensibility, each playing equally influential roles. Moreover, and as noted earlier, these are hardly novel debates. Anyone seeking to acquaint themselves with some of the literature that has emerged at this particular juncture will need to read what is now a considerable body of work, central to which are, in more recent years, Achebe (1975), Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1978; 1983; 1986), Fredric Jameson (1986), Aijaz Ahmad (1987; 1992), Benita Parry (1987), and many others. A particularly interesting exploration of the notion of cross-fertilisation at the heart of the post-colonial experience is found in a recent work by Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993). While Gilroy's argument in some ways restates the case put by Appiah, he might be seen to propose a much more pro-active view, insofar as the stress on 'cultural contamination' is seen to operate both ways. That is, postcolonial culture, rather than simply the product of the experience which emerged in the 'contact zone' established by the European encounter, is depicted as equally capable of acting upon the metropolitan culture. In this context, the work of the Jamaican poet, Louise Bennett, stands out as one of the most original and imaginative analyses of the way in which the 'voyage out' has its correlation in the 'voyage in'.
This is perhaps nowhere as evident as in the African short-story, whether in English, French or Portuguese. For however successful its translation to an African setting might at times be (and I am thinking here of the work of Ama Ata Aidoo, Luandino Vieira, Bessie Head, Mtutuzeli Matshoba, Luís Bernardo Honwana, and others), the short story remains a European literary genre par excellence. My argument, which I intend to develop with reference to Basali!, rests then on the assumption that the written short story is essentially European in its aesthetics while the spoken story remains more recognisably characteristic of oral cultures such as Africa's. As Craig Mackenzie puts it, in an article dealing with the work of Mtutuzeli Matshoba, Njabulo Ndebele and Bessie Head, in an African context the short story represents a "movement from the spoken to the written world". Craig Mackenzie's proposition, that the process of translation taking place in this way is best described as
is particularly pertinent to my reading of Basali!. Insofar as some of the stories in the collection were written down by a listener to whom they seemed worth recording, or someone acting on a request by the teller of a unique event - often with quasi-epiphanic consequences - the compilation illustrates the phenomenon to which Mackenzie alludes. For there is in the stories in this work little evidence of the way traditional African storytellers weave their accounts within a web of proverbs, popular sayings, or interpellations to an audience. Nor do the authors ever gesture towards maintaining, in any real sense, the gap between the oral and the written. Such traditional elements of orature as chants, refrains or exclamations are simply absent from the stories. Rather, if a level of the oral still remains, it is really in the self-absorbed 'telling' (writing) of events, experiences and situations which ultimately conveys a semi-solipsistic voice. It occurs in the "dialogue between the actual self and the written, autobiographical self", to borrow Huma Ibrahim's comments on 'self-making' in Bessie Head's short stories.
Basali! Stories by and about women in Lesotho is thus typical of this idiosyncratic manifestation of the short story in Africa. Indeed, to be fair it must be noted that nowhere is Basali! said to be a collection of short stories, but rather a compilation of stories, some little more that anecdotes recounting at times momentous experiences, often very mundane tales whose significance resides in the potential for a self-making that is intrinsic to much autobiographical writing. That, as Limakatso Kendall notes, many of the stories emerged from a course in creative writing she taught at National University of Lesotho, may be seen to explain some of this (1995: ix). She writes:
This collection is therefore a hybrid: a bridge, perhaps, between orature and literature. At the simplest level it is story-telling made solid in print. (xi-xii).
And at the simplest level it is also something akin to what Toni Morrison identifies, in "The Site Of Memory" as "literary archaeology", that is, the way in which the invention of a literary tradition allows women to recover a repressed dimension of their experiences as women (this is evident in much of her work, but especially in Beloved). More problematically however the stories are not always, and even then not overtly, said to be about the self, especially given the fact that some of the 'authors' are reported to have acted as translators, in the term's more literal sense of taking across, in this case into English, stories which they heard told in Sesotho. Some read as wonderful cultural vignettes of times gone by, or, perhaps more poignantly, of communities or individuals caught in the cross-cultural crisis of post-colonial Africa. Hence the subtitle to the work, Stories by and about women in Lesotho which stresses both the auto, and the biographical characteristics of the whole. As K. Limakatso Kendall, the self-confessed reluctant editor of work she sees as the result of the collective effort of the 'authors', of the original tellers of some of the tales, of the communities within which they circulated, and for whom they meant in ways that a reader, be it a Western one or, indeed, a Lesotho-born and educated individual, will never fully comprehend, remarks:
The comments, reproduced again on the back cover of the book, are clearly reminiscent of Veit-Wild's comment on the anthropological interpretation of much African writing, for they reflect a quasi-voyeuristic invitation into the world of the other. There is a certain irony in appearing on the one hand to be acting as a reluctant facilitator of the publication of the stories and on the other so knowledgeable on what the marketing of the politics of the exotic involves. That the publishers should be the University of Natal Press compounds the irony. Limakatso Kendall notes that the publishers "offered fifty percent of the proceeds after costs to the contributors" (1995: xiii). Nevertheless, the summary cited above is little different from the kind of copy found in Marie-Claire's heartfelt portraits of the suffering of women in China or Pakistan, rather than in downtown Detroit, Sydney or London. That so often the poverty found in the large urban sprawls in the 'First World' is so much more acute as a result of a complete breakdown of family or other community lines on support, stresses the way in which popular culture in the West remains at the forefront of attempts to make the world 'out there' seem to be desperately in need of civilisation and progress. That Limakatso Kendall herself may not even have been aware of this potential misrepresentation of the work's 'intention', might be explained by the insidious nature of discourses of re/presentation.
Much of the content of the stories revolves around the domestic sphere, and as such the women write about marriage, adultery, domestic violence and female circumcision. Significantly, in Basali! the domestic is generally, and at times in profoundly confronting ways, about economies of desire and sexuality in societies caught in the process of transition between 'traditional African ways', and a postcolonial modernity where the role and place of women is considerably less, and then paradoxically but inevitably, also more defined. As each tale of sorrow and suffering unfolds before our eyes we, as readers, are drawn towards the intimacy of the accounts, the deeply personal and private revelations. In turn, we become almost 'active' participants in the women's struggle to weave out of so much misery narratives of change and renewal. Thus, stories such as "Why blame her?" by 'M'atseleng Lentsoenyane, or "What about the lobola?", transcribed by Clement Moiketsi Matjelo, but the story of a woman who prefers to remain listed as 'Anonymous', address in a very obvious way the condition of women in 20th century Basotho communities, and, more importantly, in the postcolonial society that is Lesotho. It would be ludicrous to suggest that the women's awareness of the extent of their brutalisation at the hands of men is the result of an exposure to Western / Christian values. However, it is just as ridiculous to seek to justify the constant acts of violence against women by men, be it their fathers, husbands or brothers, as a fairly straight forward reaction by their male partners to the abuse they in turn suffer/ed at the hands of colonialism or more recently, the South African apartheid regime. Indeed, what so many of the stories in Basali! make clear is precisely the breadth of this problem in African societies, both prior to and postcolonisation. That the women's beatings should occur not only unopposed by, but also in full view of their neighbours and relatives, stresses the point.
Nevertheless, the implication, in a story such as "The African Goddess", by Monica Nthabeleng Ramarothole, that the author's brother's support and understanding (or that of her barely disguised protagonist, Monica), of her decision not to accept an arranged marriage were the result of his recent sojourn in the more Westernised world of Maseru, the big city, poses some difficulties. Ramarothole offers a simplistic juxtaposition of the village world, with its strong connotations of obscurantism and the oppression of women, to that of the city, where more tolerant and enlightened attitudes towards women would seem to be the norm. Such instances might in fact appear to some readers as perhaps reflecting either Kendall's own choice of texts, or her own teaching influences, given that so many of these accounts stem from her work as an academic at the National University of Lesotho. As she writes in her introduction, moreover:
The irony of a project supported by the USIS in Maseru, considered against the background of US involvement in the material and ideological apparatuses behind the South African regime of old, is just too rich a site of analysis to delve into in such a short essay, but one in itself worthy of investigation. One might suggest, on the other hand, that given the levels of cruelty endured by some of the women whose lives we read about, at times to the point of sadism, it would be difficult not to accept the sort of depictions of the male of the species offered by Ramarothole, Lentsoenyane and "Anonymous", through Matjelo. To presuppose that only Limakatso Kendall's editing could have given vent to the sort of views explored in the stories, or at any level, that only through her 'careful' guiding might such concerns have come to occupy such an important place in the stories is also to belittle the women's accounts in a way not dissimilar from the process Chandra Talpade Mohanty identifies in "Under Western Eyes".
Within this context the role of Christianity in (postcolonial) Africa, and particularly the way it is dealt with in some of the stories also merits some attention. For while to a writer such as the Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong'o, perhaps not incidentally a man, the Christian legacy to Africa has been more in the line of a poisoned chalice, in Basali! Christian teachings are seen as intrinsic to the subject positions available to the women. Hence in "Why blame her?", the main protagonist of the account tells her husband that she can no longer accept the traditional matrimonial arrangements wherein she would be one of a number of wives. In her own words:
The stories in Basali! are then cultural as well as historical documents that often exist as fiction and as non-fiction, allowing the tellers of the tales to recollect fragments of their existences, lives spent (a)cross(ing) borders, physical or cultural, historical or political periods of change and upheaval. One of the collection's most important contributions is in this sense the extent to which it establishes illuminating insights into the total dependency of states such as Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, on South Africa, both pre- and post apartheid. The point made by 'M'atsepo Nthunya, that the Maburu (Afrikaners) manipulated the inter-tribal fighting between the Basotho and the Maxhosa (1), illustrates the way South Africa operated in the Southern Africa of the time as a minor potentate, as impervious to rules of international law as it was to human decency. Thus, from a geopolitical viewpoint, the stories in Basali! help to explain why when the South African troops who recently invaded Lesotho, during the riots of September of this year, behaved very much in the way that the South African authorities did in the old days, when they made Bessie Head's stay in Botswana almost unbearable. Head's psychological crises were to a great extent exacerbated by the refusals of the government of Botswana to grant her residency, for fear of upsetting its almighty neighbour. These and other negotiations which became the bane of Southern African Black people, recall the extent to which "practices of self-representation ... illuminate the contradictory, multiple construction of subjectivity at the intersections ... of gender, race and sexuality".
Thus I want to return now to the way language becomes then the crux of a reclamation of self that is intrinsic to both postcolonial writing and to the autobiographical writing of self. In its focus on what in the introduction Kendall calls "Sesotho-ised English" (x), Basali! raises important questions about the use of the 'language of the coloniser' by the postcolonial subject. As Harrow notes: "The languages and the texts to which African writers were exposed entailed complex cultural transmissions - literary as well as social - for the African writer as for the European" (1994: 5). Referring specifically to the case of Mpho 'M'atsepo Nthunya, Kendall argues that in the speech of this "least formally educated of the writers in [the]volume" (x), one can hear the "cultural messages, ways of looking at life specific to the Basotho people" (x). Although the claim has something of the grandiloquently vacuous in its romanticisation of ways of seeing that simply are not those of Kendall herself, or my own, it also allows for an exploration of the way in which each writer acknowledges the gaps and fissures which develop in the process of translation to which Mackenzie alludes. This, it is worth recalling, is a "translation of oral culture into literary form" (57) which he suggests should best be seen as "'transposition', or 'transmutation'" (57). In Basali! the process takes place at a number of levels, often simultaneously. Although Kendall is correct to note that "Rhythm is a central element of form in many of the stories, as is experimentation with tense and syntax" (xiii), more often the translation is very much literal. More importantly, and in this sense recalling Ashcroft et al's views on glossing and / in postcolonial writing, the writers themselves repeatedly explicate from the text of their stories phrases or expressions inserted in Sesotho. That the book also provides its own glossary, obviously an editorial decision, is illustrative of the unspoken rifts between an outsider's eye for clarity and the authors' own desire to make their meanings clear. In other words, while for Kendall, and indeed for a particularly gifted or persistent reader, the glossary might suffice, for the average imagined reader - as the authors' themselves see them - there is a need for thorough glossing of Sesotho or, Sesotho-ised, utterances. This in itself seems a uniquely illustrative example of the ways in which the authors / 'authors' manifest their own awareness that what they are doing bears little relation to orature. In other words, such conscious opening up of Sesotho culture to an 'outsider' readership, demonstrates that the writers themselves recognise the linearity of interpretation the short story - in its Western guise - presupposes.
In "An Unexpected Daughter" for instance, 'M'amoroosi 'M'aseele Quacha reveals at once the extent of her awareness of writing for a non-Sesotho literate audience, and the function of her own role as an interpreter of culture. To borrow from Kendall's introduction she is, on the one hand, and in a very basic way, a translator of the Sesotho language, conveying across cultures the 'ways of looking at life specific to the Basotho people'. But in this willingness to act as an interconnecting link between cultures and ways of being in and seeing the world, she reveals simultaneously the nature of her 'modern' stance. Quacha is not content to tell stories as a way of self-making, but rather she seeks to convey them to an outsider audience. At times the similes and the images which they evoke, and upon which they operate, is so utterly familiar to a Western readership that it is difficult not to hear the influences of an English / Anglophone linguistic heritage. The non-Sesotho speaking reader can only wonder whether there is in Sesotho an expression similar to "Curiosity kills a cat" (51), or whether this is instead a manifestation of the Sesotho-ised English Kendall of which speaks. This level of ambiguity, perhaps much more accidental than intentional, ultimately instils what are at times fairly repetitive accounts of self-invention with an element of surprise which actually sustains the narratives.
In this context "Arriving Home in a Helicopter", by Sr. Alina Khabane, is one of the most complex and accomplished stories. Focusing primarily on the main character's move to the big city, Maseru, to pursue an English education, it implicates in its conclusion the discourse of political expediency and modernity. As Marebetsana returns home, she does so in the helicopter carrying the veterinary doctor charged with "nurs[ing] the PM's animals" (49). In a land of so much poverty and suffering as depicted in the stories, the cavalier way in which resources are abused by political figures makes real the newly emergent forms of neo-colonialism. From a language perspective, "Arriving Home in a Helicopter" is also one of the most interesting stories. Thus, although the narrator herself speaks of limited contact with the English, the use of expressions such as "like a cat at the sight of a rat" (43) suggests that they are either thoroughly universal or the result of a growing Anglicisation of Lesotho languages.
In conclusion then, I want to address briefly the extent to which the narratives also operate as political commentary, and to argue that the latter level of meaning is neither central to the works nor in any way overt. Even though Kendall's editorial posturing, and, her own photographic essay appear as somewhat half-hearted delineations of a 'women's movement' on the rise, this is not the stated focus of the collection. That so many of the writings should then highlight a quasi-Manichean relationship between men and women, not very different from that which first impelled the women's Movement in the west, might be seen as confirmation of the way in which patriarchal discourses of oppression and inequality circulate across both cultures and languages. Thus Harrow writes in his comment on Bessie Head's work: "Change has become the issue of women's writing since independence - change and not simply rights or equality" (1994: 195). No, not simply, but a bit of both.
 Basali! : Stories by and about Women in Lesotho. Edited by K. Limakatso Kendall. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: University of Natal Press, 1995.
 Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. A Room of one's own. London: Hogarth Press, 1931.
 A landlocked country, Lesotho's fortunes have long been tied in with those of its neighbours, but more specifically those of South Africa. During the Apartheid years, South African Black political activists were often denied asylum in Lesotho for fear of upsetting the country's only land way to the world, which was then, as is now, via South Africa. Thus, although rarely forced to return to South Africa as such, they were encouraged to leave as soon as possible, meaning more often than not on the very next plane. That is not to say that some activists did not remain in the country, in some cases for many years, but they did so at a price, for they were required to tone down their criticism of the South African regime. In the last few months of 1998, South Africa again came to play the role of local policeman, as its troops crossed the border to put down a rebellion which threatened to bring political turmoil to Lesotho, and, potentially, to the region.
 Paul Gilroy. The black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness. London ; New York: Verso, 1993. In his argument, Gilroy in turn is 'writing over' the work of an African-American critical tradition which explored in contemporary American culture the traces of an African / slave heritage. Specifically, the term has come to be associated with W. E. B Du Bois.
 See also Jean Comaroff, 1991 and Isabel Hofmeyer, 1993.
 Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial eyes: travel writing and transculturation. London; New York: Routledge, 1992. Pratt uses the term to define that space of cultural interchange where coloniser and colonised met. An earlier thesis along these lines was proposed by Urs Bitterli's Cultures in Conflict: encounters between European and non-European cultures, 1492-1800, translated by Ritchie Robertson. Cambridge: Polity, 1989. While Bitterli's argument is problematic in other respects, insofar as it theorises the encounter between cultures as one between 'discoverers' rather than colonisers, it also calls attention to the semi-accidental birth of colonialism. Moreover, Bitterli suggests in his argument that the process of cultural change that began to occur in the space of contact was mutual, that is, it affected both Europeans and 'Natives.
 Particularly useful examples of this ability to identify the 'return home' as it has affected European cultures since the early 1950's, especially, are poems like "Colonization in Reverse" and "Miss Mattie". See The Penguin book of Caribbean verse in English, edited by Paula Burnett. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1986. Similarly, the influence reggae has had had within Western popular culture, and notably youth culture, illustrates the way cultural interchange - 'contamination', in Brydon's apt definition - always operates in multiple ways.
 While the terms are often used with specific reference to the mission civilisatrice proper and to the mass migrations to the capital cities of the former imperial powers which have occurred since the 1960s, I am using the term here in the sense of a cultural transaction, that is, a process of ex/change that has not always been desired by its recipients.
 Craig Mackenzie, "Translating Oral Culture into Literary Form: The Short Story of Mtutuzeli Matshoba, Njabulo Ndebele and Bessie Head", in Contemporary African fiction, edited Derek Wright, Bayreuth, Germany: Eckhard Breitinger, Bayreuth University, 1997: 57. pp. 57-65.
 Huma Ibrahim, Bessie Head: subversive identities in exile. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996. See especially Chapter 5, "Women Talk".
 Toni Morrison, "The Site of Memory", in Inventing the Truth: the Art and Craft of Memoir. Edited by William Zinsster. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1987: 112. pp. 103-124.
 Toni Morrison Beloved: a novel. London: Pan Books in association with Chatto & Windus, 1988, c1987.
 Limakatso Kendall is an American academic who spent two years at the National University of Lesotho. Apart from acting as the facilitator for the work, she also contributed a brief introduction and a photographic essay. In Africa in pursuit of her own love affair with the continent, her relationship is neither in the Isaak Dinesen mode nor in the that of the current fad among some English women to travel to the Gambia in search of love. Yet it is also similar, in the sense that it is symptomatic of the Westerner's ability to shift allegiances, safe in the knowledge of an America to go back to. Moreover, insofar as the White American academic acts here as the intermediary between a tradition of oppression and backwardness and a new world of Christian values and modern notions of gender equality, she re-situates herself at the forefront of the mission civilisatrice. It is arguable that in her decision to help the women there is a also a sense of genuine empathy with the condition of the women to whose stories her book gives voice. However this is compromised by the way she fails to acknowledge the privileged position she occupies, as an American academic working in Lesotho under the auspices of a Fullbright Fellowship.
 In his account of the operations of Heinemann in Africa, and specifically of its work on behalf of such early African authors as Chinua Achebe, Flora Nwapa, Bessie Head and others, S. A. Hill remarks that he first came across Ngugi wa Thiong'o's work at a conference organised at the University of Makerere, in Uganda, in 1963, allegedly with the support of the United States Information Services. See In Pursuit of Publishing. London: Evans, 1988.
 Chandra Talpade Mohanty, "Under Western Eyes": Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses", in Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Race and Postcolonial Perspectives, edited by Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti and Ella Shohat. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
 See, especially, the article by David Maugham Brown, "Matigari and the Rehabilitation of Religion", Research in African Literatures, 22 (1991), pp. 173-180, as well as Ngugi wa Thiong'o's own writings in Decolonising the Mind: The politics of Language in African Literature (1986), or Barrel of a Pen: Resistance to Repression in Neo-Colonial Kenya (1983). In Matigari(1987) the first novel he wrote in Gikuyu, the treatment of Christianity is even more overtly critical. Ngugi's involvement in a critique of the implication of religion within colonial discourses of oppression and dispossession, however, dates back to Devil on the Cross (1982).
 See, in this context, Gillian Stead Eilersen's Bessie Head: thunder behind her ears: her life and writing, London: James Currey, 1995.
 Biddy Martin, cited in Huma Ibrahim, Bessie Head: subversive identities in exile.Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996: 4.
Kwame Anthony Appiah. In my father's house: Africa in the philosophy of culture. London: Methuen, 1992.
Paula Burnett ed.. The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1986.
Urs Bitterli. Cultures in Conflict: encounters between European and non-European cultures, 1492-1800, translated by Ritchie Robertson. Cambridge: Polity, 1989.
David Maugham Brown. "Matigari and the Rehabilitation of Religion", Research in African Literatures, 22 (1991), pp. 173-180.
Diana Brydon. "The White Inuit Speaks: Contamination as Literary Strategy", in Past the Last Post: Theorizing Post-Colonialism and Post-Modernism. Edited by Ian Adam and Helen Tiffin. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. pp. 191-203..
Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff. Of revelation and revolution: Christianity, colonialism, and consciousness in South Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991
Gillian Stead Eilersen. Bessie Head: thunder behind her ears: her life and writing. London: James Currey, 1995.
Paul Gilroy. The black Atlantic: modernity and double consciousness. London ; New York: Verso, 1993.
Kenneth W. Harrow. Thresholds of change in African literature: the emergence of a tradition. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann; London: Currey, 1994.
S. A. Hill. In Pursuit of Publishing. London: J. Murray in association with Heinemann Educational Books, 1988.
Isabel Hofmeyr. "We spend our years as a tale that is told": oral historical narrative in a South African chiefdom. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann; Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press; London: J. Currey, 1994.
Huma Ibrahim. Bessie Head: subversive identities in exile. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996.
K. Limakatso Kendall, ed.. Basali!: stories by and about women in Lesotho. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: University of Natal Press, 1995.
Françoise Lionnet. Postcolonial representations: women, literature, identity. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1995.
Craig Mackenzie. "Translating Oral Culture into Literary Form: The Short Story of Mtutuzeli Matshoba, Njabulo Ndebele and Bessie Head". In Contemporary African fiction, edited by Derek Wright, Bayreuth, Germany: Eckhard Breitinger, Bayreuth University, 1997: 57. 57-65.
Chandra Talpade Mohanty. "Under Western Eyes": Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses". In Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Race and Postcolonial Perspectives, edited by Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti and Ella Shohat. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
Louis A. Montrose. "Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture". In The New Historicism, edited by H. Aram Veeser. New York: Routledge, 1989.
Toni Morrison. "The Site of Memory". In Inventing the Truth: the Art and Craft of Memoir, edited by William Zinsster. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1987: 112. 103-124.
Toni Morrison. Beloved: a novel. London: Pan Books in association with Chatto & Windus, 1988, c1987.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Barrel of a pen: resistance to repression in neo-colonial Kenya. London: New Beacon Books, 1983.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Decolonising the Mind: The politics of Language in African Literature London: J. Currey; Portsmouth, N.H : Heinemann, 1986.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Devil on the cross. Translated from the Gikuyu by the author. London: Heinemann, 1982.
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o. Matigari. Translated from the Gikuyu by Waugui wa Goro. Oxford : Heinemann, 1989. Originally published in Gikuyu, in 1987.
Mary Louise Pratt. Imperial eyes: travel writing and transculturation. London; New York: Routledge, 1992.
Virginia Woolf. 1882-1941. A Room of one's own. London: Hogarth Press, 1931.
Dr. Tony Simoes da Silva teaches at the University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University in the areas of Anglophone and Lusophone postcolonial writing. He is the author of Race, Gender and Class in the Novels of George Lamming (Forthcoming with Rodopi). Recent publications include: "Whose Bombay is it, anyway? A reading of Anita Desai's Baumgartner's Bombay", ARIEL, 1997; "Desire, mateship and the 'national type'" in Vance Palmer's Legend for Sanderson", Australian Studies, 1999 (forthcoming); and number of entries in the revised edition of the Encyclopaedia of World Literature in the 20th Century (St. Martin's Press, 1999, 'in press')."