Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

On our Lists this week: Bessie Head, the Randlords, and The Golden Girls

THE READING LIST

Bessie Head: Thunder Behind Her Ears by Gillian Stead Eilersen (Wits University Press): A colleague lent me this book months ago and during a particularly satisfying belt of the word “Bravoooo” from Edith Piaf’s Bravo Pour Le Clown in my lounge, I looked over my shoulder to my bookshelf and saw Bessie’s face on the cover of Gillian Stead Eilersen’s biography of her and picked it up. The parallels between Bessie Amelia Emery’s birth story and author Sara-Jayne King, who wrote Killing Karoline (Danielle Bowler reviews this book on page eight), are chilling and uncanny. They expose the human cost of the Immorality Act in South Africa but also reveal the weight of the stigma of a mixed child on the constructed stainless image of white motherhood in apartheid South Africa. I’m nearly halfway through the book and following the trajectory of a life rejected but ultimately, visible. (MB)

Art & Aspirations: The Randlords of South Africa and Their Collections by Michael Stevenson (Fernwood Press): Guys! Come through, it’s lit. I thought I knew enough to just get by but then I realised that I’ve been living under several rocks after reading this book. For his thesis, gallerist Michael Stevenson studied a group of people from modest backgrounds who got rich from mining in Kimberley, the Randlords. To assert their wealth and attempt to fit in, the Randlords spent money on art to build large collections. In this book, Stevenson transforms his thesis into what almost reads like a vintage episode of Days of Our Lives. It’s dramatic, deeply informative and has added a valuable layer to my understanding of the artistic landscape. (ZH)

THE PLAY LIST

The Golden Girls: I was too young to appreciate the brilliance of what I feel is the model that inspired Sex and the City, Living Single and Girlfriends to make 1990s TV the riot that it was. Totally ahead of its time, utterly hilarious and as politically conscious as a show could be for 1985, I really, really love this show. Obviously Sophia is my favourite but I have found myself walking around the house talking in my best Blanche Devereaux accent and roaring with laughter in front of the mirror. (MB)

The Lists are compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo, and Zaza Hlalethwa

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Arts Desk
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R270m ‘housing heist’ bid deprives people of decent homes

After alleged attempts to loot Eastern Cape housing funds, 39 200 people in the province will continue to live in atrocious conditions

Cabinet reshuffle not on cards yet

There are calls for the president to act against ministers said to be responsible for the state’s slow response to the unrest, but his hands are tied

More top stories

R270m ‘housing heist’ bid deprives people of decent homes

After alleged attempts to loot Eastern Cape housing funds, 39 200 people in the province will continue to live in atrocious conditions

Stolen ammo poses security threat amid failure to protect high-risk...

A Durban depot container with 1.5-million rounds of ammunition may have been targeted, as others in the vicinity were left untouched, say security sources

Sierra Leoneans want a share of mining profits, or they...

The arrival of a Chinese gold mining company in Kono, a diamond-rich district in the east of Sierra Leone, had a devastating impact on the local community, cutting its water supply and threatening farmers’ livelihoods – and their attempts to seek justice have been frustrated at every turn

IEC to ask the courts to postpone local elections

The chairperson of the Electoral Commission of South Africa said the Moseneke inquiry found that the elections would not be free and fair if held in October
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×