Casa África Reading Club with the novel “Nubes de lluvia” (When Rain Clouds Gather) by Bessie Head

On 23 November 2017
Club de Lectura Casa África con la obra "Canción dulce", de Fatema Mernissi. El 24 de mayo de 2018 en Casa África
Casa África is holding a new meeting of its Reading Club, which has been reading When Rain Clouds Gather, by the South African writer Bessie Head.

As always, the meeting will be moderated by Ángeles Jurado, journalist, writer, Africanist, inveterate reader and member of the Casa África team who also wrote the prologue to this work.

Bessie’s life can be described by many adjectives, but “easy” is not one of them. Born as the result of an interracial union in apartheid South Africa, she experienced rejection from an early age. The suffering that has accompanied her in her life is reflected in her works, which contain a strong autobiographical charge. As she once said, she was building a stairway to the stars. That was why she wrote.

When Bessie Head wrote When Rain Clouds Gather, she was in a situation of extreme poverty, living in a refugee camp in Botswana, having arrived there from South Africa with her son. The novel won her recognition, but it didn’t help her to get out of the situation she was living in.

When Rain Clouds Gather is one of the two books by this author that we can enjoy in Spanish. It gives us the opportunity to enter the world of a very interesting writer who surprises us with her observations and her way of viewing reality through her sharp and unique lens. Her experience as an exile appears in this work through the story of a male journalist, Makhaya, who is forced to leave his native land, South Africa.

Makhaya is an atypical hero who serves in the novel for Bessie Head to expose the issues that concern her: power struggles, women’s tribulations coexisting with their strength, spirituality and harmful traditions. Through Makhaya, Bessie Head proposes new models of man and relationships in a patriarchal, racist and xenophobic context that dehumanizes those who are different and oppresses women.

La coleccionista de tesoros (A Collector of Treasures), a work translated into Spanish by El Cobre and already discontinued, is a compilation of several stories where Head expresses all her sensitivity. After When Rain Clouds Gather (which was her first published novel), came Maru, A Question of Power and Serowe: Village of the Rain Wind. From her own life experience, the writer captured thousands of issues to stop and discuss, which is what members of the Casa África Reading Club will do in this new meeting taking place on 23 November 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Multimedia Room at Casa África


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Anyone interested in participating in the Casa África Reading Club should send an email to cultura@casafrica.es because space is limited. Once confirmed as members of the Reading Club, participants can collect a copy of the book along with the reading guidelines.

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