And Wrote My Story Anyway
Black South African Women's Novels as Feminism
Wits University Press, 2020
Studying these writers' key engagements with nationalism, race and gender during apartheid and the transition to democracy, Barbara Boswell traces the ways in which black women's fiction criticality interrogates narrow ideas of nationalism. She examines who is included and excluded, while producing alternative visions for a more just South African society.
This is an erudite analysis of ten well-known South African writers, spanning the apartheid and post-apartheid era: Miriam Tlali, Lauretta Ngcobo, Farida Karodia, Agnes Sam, Sindiwe Magona, Zoë Wicomb, Rayda Jacobs, Yvette Christiansë, Kagiso Lesego Molope, and Zukiswa Wanner. Boswell argues that black women's fiction could and should be read as a subversive site of knowledge production in a setting, which, for centuries, denied black women's voices and intellects.
Reading their fiction as theory, for the first time these writers' works are placed in sustained conversation with each other, producing an arc of feminist criticism that speaks forcefully back to the abuse of a racist, white-dominated, patriarchal power.