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Miriam Tlali was a novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, and activist against apartheid and patriarchal confinement. She worked consistently to build literary and political community, was one of the founders of Staffrider magazine, promoting the work of younger writers, and was the most prolific writer of her time.

Hailed as the first black woman to publish a novel within the country in English under apartheid, and as the first black woman to significantly impact the male terrain of South African short story writing, Tlali held the mantle of many firsts. Fiercely opposed to censorship, she went to great lengths to undermine the will and impact of the apartheid censors and wrote many essays exposing the violence and hypocrisy of apartheid censors. A prolific writer whose plays were performed on two continents, Tlali was routinely banned in South Africa – once after a mere public reading of a story before it was even published. Tlali was recognised as an important South African literary voice, and her first novel was translated into Japanese, Dutch, German and Polish, while it remained banned in the country of her birth.

This new addition to the Voices of Liberation series, Miriam Tlali: Writing Freedom, brings together select original writing by Tlali with analyses of the many ways in which she imagined freedom. Like the other books in the Voices of Liberation series, this title surfaces how Tlali’s writing of freedom retains relevance beyond the specific site and conditions of its emergence.

Product information

Format : 210mm x 148mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 240
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2562-6
Publish Year : January 2021
Rights : World Rights

Part 1 Her life

Introduction

Tlali and Staffrider/Black Consciousness

Literature

Tlali is born

Writing as activism

Part 2 Her voice (Selected writings of Miriam Tlali)

Introduction

Interviews

Cecily Lockett Interview with Miriam Tlali

Miriam Tlali interview with Lilian Ngoyi

Miriam Tlali interview with Annanias?

Miriam Tlali Interview with Flora Mooketsane

Novels

Chapters x and y from Muriel at Metropolitan

Chapters x and y from Between two Worlds

Chapter x from Amandla

Short stories

The haunting melancholy of Klipvoordam (short story published in Staffrider and later Mihloti) (p.92)

Soweto Hijack (short story)

Play

Crimean Injuria (three-act play)

Essays

Quicksands and Quagmires

Remove the chains

Note by Barbara Boswell on Amandla

Part 3 Her legacy

Introduction

Staffrider and Black Consciousness: Gendered

Blackness

Writing women

Race, class and gender

Boundaries and belonging

Resisting erasure

Writing the nation and articulating identity

Reappraising Tlali

Tlali as a generational pioneer

A black feminist writer's ambivalent locations

Tlali as a key feminist thinker on feminist community

Tlali as a key feminist thinker against rape

Tlali as a key thinker on black subjectivity

Tlali and Black Consciousness literature

Writing as activism

Staffrider women

Pumla Dineo Gqola is Research Professor at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at Nelson Mandela University. She is the author of five books including What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa (Wits University Press, 2010), the 2016 Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction winner Rape: A South African Nightmare (MF Books, 2015) and Reflecting Rogue: Inside the mind of a feminist (MF Books, 2017).

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