Miriam Tlali : Writing Freedom by Gqola, Pumla Dineo
HSRC Press | 30 July 2021
Paperback | 240 pages
Miriam Tlali was a novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, and an activist against apartheid and patriarchal confinement. She worked consistently to build literary and political community, was one of the founders of Staffrider magazine, promoted the work of younger writers, and was the most prolific writer of her time. Hailed as the first black woman to publish a novel within the country in English under apartheid, and as the first black woman to significantly impact the male terrain of South African short story writing, Tlali held the mantle of many firsts. Fiercely opposed to censorship, she went to great length to undermine the will and impact of the apartheid censors, and wrote many essays exposing the violence and hypocrisy of apartheid censors. A prolific writer whose plays were performed on two continents, Tlali was routinely banned in South Africa - once after a mere public reading of a story before it was even published. Tlali was recognised as an important South African literary voice, and her first novel was translated into Japanese, Dutch, German and Polish, while it remained banned in the country of her birth. This new addition to the Voices of Liberation series, Miriam Tlali: Writing Freedom, brings together select original writing by Tlali with analyses of the many ways in which she imagined freedom. Like the other books in the Voices of Liberation series, this title surfaces how Tlali's writing of freedom retains relevance beyond the specific site and conditions of its emergence.