Bessie Head's Australian Interviews
Edited and Introduced by Dorothy Driver
Bessie Head’s international reputation – as novelist, short-story writer, essayist and chronicler – brought her to Australia in 1984, primarily for Adelaide’s Writers’ Week but also to visit Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. In Adelaide, in February, she was interviewed by Suzanne Hayes of the College of Technical and Further Education. The following month, in Launceston, she was interviewed by Andrew Peek of the Tasmanian College of Adult Education. Both interviews are re-printed here: first, Peek’s, minimally re-edited (the original audio recording appears not to be extant), and second, Hayes’, edited anew from its original recording. Over a third of a century has passed since then, but Head’s voice rings out to us with a lamentably contemporary relevance: ‘choked’, as she tells Hayes, in a white-dominated South Africa, where she lived for the first twenty-seven years of her life, and then alienated in Botswana as a refugee and as a female writer of ‘mixed race’, ‘deprived all round’.
Copyright (c) 2020 Dorothy Driver
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
1. Upon accepting the Editor's offer to publish, the Author/s grant/s to Writers in Conversation an irrevocable and non-exclusive right to publish, reproduce and communicate their Work in whatever form the Editorial Board deems fit, including the right to enter into agreements authorising third parties to do the same.
2. The Author/s retain/s copyright in their Work and may publish or authorise others to publish the entire work or any part thereof, provided always that due acknowledgement is made in any further publication that the Work was originally published in the Journal.
3. The Author/s warrant/s that they are the sole copyright owners of the Work and that it contains nothing that is defamatory or of such a nature to incur liability of any kind whatsoever, and the Author/s further agree/s to indemnify the Publisher and its employees and agents against any liability, loss or harm caused by actions arising from the publication of the Work.
4. The Publisher has the sole right to determine publication and may make editorial changes of a non-substantive nature to the work without consulting the Author/s.