Bessie Head: Maru By Bessie Head

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And if the white man thought Africans were a low filthy nation Africans in Southern Africa could still smile at least they were not BushmenPublished in 1971 this book is about racism and slavery the enslavement of the Masarwa or Bushmen When a teacher tries an experiment and raises a bright Bushy baby girl who gets straight A s through teacher s college her foster daughter named Margaret after herself grows up taunted and bullied by her Batswana classmates Margaret could ass for Coloured the illegal children of white and African A Kiss of Shadows (Merry Gentry parents which are not as low on the totemole as the Masarwa but she freely tells Six Days people who she isWhen Margaret accepts her first teaching job she is befriended by Dikeledi who is not afraid to have her as a friend and in fact stands up for her at oneoint Two men fall in love with Margaret but because most of the story is told as a flashback after an opening about she and her husband we know who she ends up marrying This entire story is about the dehumanization of a Awareness people who are used and ill treated as slaves but also about the hope that comes from Margaret as a teacher and then when Margaret marries a Batswana They knew nothing about the standards of the soul and since Maru only lived by those standards they had never been able to make alace for him in their societyI m not sure about this one As I read often with great effort not to understand the words but to grasp their significance I came to feel Margaret Cad an orphaned Masarwa girl comes to Dilepe to teach only to discover that in this remote Botswan.

Hat something essential might be missing On the surface a terse taught simply told story of 100 odd Cat Out of Hell pages Maru for all I know may well have begun as a 300age tangled wordy epic before meeting its editor Maybe if I hadn t already struggled with and ultimately abandoned Dambudzo Marachera s Black Sunlight which I felt damn near certain had been clubbed into submission by some zealous Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work professional I wouldn t be so suspicious But whatever the reason for all the obvious strong feeling on display here the message isn t reaching me Not that I demand the message be signed sealed and delivered far from it I m happy with abstraction But when every gush of evidentassion meanders to a marsh of vagueness that s frustrating Bessie Head clearly has talent But in Maru at least in my view that talent is thwarted whether by external forces or her own restraint I m not sure but I fear the former What a strange novella Skillful in many areas but dominated by a bizarre and manipulative non romance I m not sure what to think or what the author was trying to do None of the Mother India positive reviews I ve read address theroblems with it so if you have some insight The Late Romances please do share This review will be full of SPOILERS because the book is only 127ages long and so nearly everything is a spoiler and also to fully explain my confusion But the story begins at the end s I m always fascinated with small books by small I mean volume that contain so much in them and Maru. A village her own eople are treated as outcasts In the love story and intrigue that follows Bessie Head br.

SUMMARY Maru By Bessie Head

Is one such book Maru set in rural Botswana is the tale of an orphaned girl Margaret who belonging to the Masarwa tribe a tribe mistreated enslaved and considered subhuman experiences life love and art even at the face of discriminationThere s a uote from the book that really struck home How universal was the language of oppression They had said of the Masarwa what every white man had said of every black man They can t think for themselves They don t know anything The matter never rested there The stronger man caught hold of the weaker man and made a circus animal out of him reducing him to a state of misery and subjection and non humanityThe cap How can I get ast what disturbs me so deeply about this novel Maru s manipulation and domination of the woman he falls in love with I hear Helen Oyeyemi who writes about the emotional range of the My Curvy Valentine (Perfect Fit, people Bessie Head writes and I also value the way she draws the subtleties of relationships the mixtures of envy and attraction and tenderness and ease that tug or sever the bonds between folksThere are many things I love here the way racism manifests is an attribute of the envious an attribute of culture a childrocess of the tendency of Attainment (Temptation, people everywhere to seek someone to hold in contempt I love the sense oflace that focuses on invocation of the immediate the events that crash into consciousness But the whole leaves me bruised frightened even that Maru s Hatred in the belly power and vision are allowed torevail. Illiantly combines a ortrait of loneliness with a rich affirmation of the mystery and spirituality of life.

Bessie Emery Head 6 July 1937 – 17 April 1986 though born in South Africa is usually considered Botswana's most influential writerBessie Emery Head was born in Pietermaritzburg South Africa the child of a wealthy white South African woman and a black servant when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa It was claimed that her mother was mentally ill so that she could be sent