Head, Bessie: Further Reading

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Abrahams, Cecil, ed. Tragic Life: Bessie Head and Literature in Southern Africa. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 1990, 131 p.

Collection of essays that explore Head's personal life, politics, and spirituality.

Eilersen, Gillian Stead. Bessie Head: Thunder behind Her Ears: Her Life and Writing. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1995, 312 p.

Covers Head's life and development as a writer, with information on her travels abroad.


Bazin, Nancy Topping. "Venturing into Feminist Consciousness: Two Protagonists from the Fiction of Buchi Emecheta and Bessie Head." SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women 2, no. 1 (spring 1985): 32-36.

Analyzes budding African feminist concerns in novels by Buchi Emecheta and Head.

Flockemann, Miki. "Breakdown and Breakthrough? The Madness of Resistance in Wide Sargasso Sea and A Question of Power." MaComère 2 (1999): 65-79.

Explores the relation of living in exile to the search for identity and, ultimately, to madness in Wide Sargasso Sea and A Question of Power.

Ibrahim, Huma. Bessie Head: Subversive Identities in Exile. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996, 252 p.

Posits that women of third-world countries are inherently subversive, examining Head's works in this context.

——, ed. Emerging Perspectives on Bessie Head. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2003, 326 p.

Collection of essays representing the most recent scholarship on Head.

MacKenzie, Craig. Bessie Head. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1999, 140 p.

Thematic analysis of each of Head's works, including those published posthumously.

Matsikidze, Isabella P. "Toward a Redemptive Political Philosophy: Bessie Head's Maru." World Literature Written in English 30, no. 2 (autumn 1990): 105-109.

Explores Maru to find evidence of Head's political philosophy as it appears in her fiction.

Ola, Virginia U. "Women's Role in Bessie Head's Ideal World." Ariel 17, no. 4 (October 1986): 39-47.

Examines Head's celebration of the life of the individual woman in her novels.

Osei-Nyame Jr., Kwadwo. "Writing between 'Self' and 'Nation': Nationalism, (Wo)manhood, and Modernity in Bessie Head's The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales." Journal of the Short Story in English, no. 39 (autumn 2002): 91-107.

Argues that Head, despite her unusual parentage and lack of family history, was not constrained in her writing by her sense of "otherness" in male-dominated black African society.

Taylor, Carole Anne. "Tragedy Reborn(e): A Question of Power and the Soul-Journeys of Bessie Head." Genre 26, nos. 2-3 (summer-fall 1993): 331-51.

Explores Head's use of the genre of tragedy in A Question of Power, specifically as it relates to African women's suffering.


Additional coverage of Head's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: African Writers; Black Literature Criticism; Black Writers, Eds. 2, 3; Concise Dictionary of World Literary Biography, Vol. 3; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 29-32R, 119; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vols. 25-82; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vols. 25, 67; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 117, 225; DISCovering Authors Modules: Multicultural; DISCovering Authors 3.0; Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, Ed. 3; Exploring Short Stories; Feminist Writers; Literature Resource Center; Major 20th-Century Writers, Eds. 1, 2; Reference Guide to Short Fiction, Ed. 2; Short Stories for Students, Vols. 5, 13; Short Story Criticism, Vol. 52; World Literature and Its Times, Vol. 2; and World Writers in English, Vol. 1.