Basali!: Stories by and about Women in Lesotho

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K. Limakatso Kendall
University of Natal Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 136 pages
Basali! means 'women' and is one of the most common exclamations in the Sesotho language. Usually uttered by a woman and delivered with a laugh, a shaking of the head, or a clapping of hands, Basali! evokes Basotho women's admiration and wonderment for themselves and each other. These stories in 'Sesotho-ised' English reveal a way of life and a way of perceiving experience that is unique in African literature. The stories offer glimpses of traditional healers, circumcision schools, witches, bride-prices, and extended rural family life. There are families disrupted by migrant labour, women and men brutalised by apartheid, teenagers who violate tradition, and middle-class office-workers whose rural families live by a different click than the one that ticks for them. The focus of each story is the decisions women make, the actions they take to protect and to provide for themselves and their children, and to care for the people they love.

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