In two powerful novels of belonging, one of Africa's most important writers explores village life and the traditions of Botswana.
When Rainclouds Gather: Escaping South Africa and his troubled past, Makehaya crosses the border to Botswana, in the hope of leading a peaceful, purposeful life. In the village of Golema Mmidi he meets Gilbert, a charismatic Englishman who is trying to modernise farming methods to benefit the community. The two outsiders join forces, but their task is fraught with hazards: opposition from the corrupt chief, the pressures of tradition, and the unrelenting climate ever threaten to bring tragedy. Maru: Margaret, an orphan from a despised tribe, has lived her life under the loving protection of a missionary's wife. She has only to open her mouth to cause confusion, for her education and English accent do not fit her looks. When she accepts her first teaching post, in a remote village, Margaret is befriended by Dikeledi, sister of Maru the chief-in-waiting. Despite making influential friends, Margaret faces prejudice even from the children she teaches, and her presence causes Maru and his best friend - also Dikeledi's lover - to become sworn enemies.
Bessie Head (1937-1986) is one of Africa's most prominent writers. In her short life, she left an important literary legacy to Africa and the world. Head was born in South Africa but spent much of her life in Botswana. Her works were mostly inspired by her own traumatic life experiences as an outcast in Apartheid South African society.
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