WHEN RAIN CLOUDS GATHER & MARU

: Head (B.)

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338pp., paperback, Reprint, London (1969 & 1971) 2010

 

Two novels by Bessie Head, set in Botswana.

In When Rainclouds Gather Makehaya, a South African political refugee, and Gilbert, an English agricultural expert, meet in the poverty-stricken village of Golema Mmidi and work together to modernise farming methods to benefit the community, challenging local authority and traditions.

In Maru Margaret, an orphan from a despised tribe raised by a missionary's wife, accepts her first teaching post in a remote village, and is befriended by Dikeledi, sister of Maru, the chief-in-waiting.

Bessie Head (1937-1986) was born in South Africa but spent much of her life in Botswana. She is the author of Tales of Tenderness and Power, an anthology of stories, personal observations and legends; A Woman Alone, autobiographical writings; the novels The Cardinals, A Collector of Treasures and A Question of Power, and the history Serowe: Village of the Rain Wind.