The Cardinals by Bessie Head

50FEF4D9-890B-4977-AD7E-1E64BD798018Book set in Cape Town, South Africa. Reread on 2020/07:

Reviewed on 2019/10:

I think it’s absolutely futile to dissociate this story from the writer. #thecardinals is #bessieheadand Bessie Head is The Cardinals. This symbiosis makes for a powerful and devastating read, if and only if you know something of #head ‘s personal life. There is no way of getting around this existential connection. If you don’t do that, you will risk passing by a raw story written in desperation, loneliness and hopelessness. The Cardinals is basically a puzzle or a maze without a way out. These were all too personal feelings for Head living under the brutal and dehumanizing #apartheidsystem. From the books I’ve read which deal with apartheid, I’ve never read one that explores so existentially the internal effects of a system designed to make you feel inhuman and worthless on a daily basis. #mouse was born in a well of desperation and regardless of what she does, she can’t help but to sink in even further and further until oblivion and complete apathy from others. Again I can’t emphasize enough the fact that the text together with Head’s life are the two necessary pieces of a puzzle timelessly waiting to be read. #highlyrecommended #capetown#forbidden #censored #heinemann#heinemannbooks #africanwriterseries#southafricanliterature #botswana#botswanaliterature #shortstories#runningaway #nowayout#autobiographical #forbiddenlove

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