The Shaping of Water

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Displacement, Freedom Fighters, Storytelling, The Shaping of Water, Writing, Zambia4 Comments

The Shaping of Water Such a lovely thing happened to me today. My first novel The Shaping of Water has appeared on the Facebook Page and Website of Gadsden Publishers in Lusaka Zambia. This is the right place for my book to be – Zambia is the home of this novel. You can see the video about the book here […]

Remembering Rica Hodgson — my brave friend

Ruth HartleyAfrica, apartheid, Freedom Fighters, South Africa, Writing, ZambiaLeave a Comment

Hello friends and fellow readers. Are you amongst those who didn’t see or couldn’t read my post on 20 January? It was about my friend and mentor, Rica Hodgson, who died recently. I am really sorry that it didn’t reach all of you who are interested in South African history and the anti-apartheid movement. This was due to technical problems […]

Rica Hodgson: “foot soldier for freedom”, friend and hero

Ruth HartleyAfrica, apartheid, Freedom Fighters, South Africa, Writing, Zambia6 Comments

Rica Hodgson — the freedom fighter who rescued me 52 years ago This post is harder to write than I expected. I was at my desk and about to write Rica a letter when I learnt that she had died. It was not unanticipated. She was 97 and had been in frail health for a while. I had only just […]

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Displacement, Family, Migration, Politics, Race, Racism, ZambiaLeave a Comment

New Year in another country On New Year’s Day we fled from France across the snow-covered Pyrenees pursued by stormy winds and heavy rain. There we wandered along empty twisting roads among ruined and isolated stone villages and ancient monasteries in the  brutal mountains of Spanish Aragon. In our hotel room the television showed no news and told no stories […]

Mythological me – images from a memoir of childhood

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Colonialism, Family, Imagination, Race6 Comments

For a child, facts are fantastical and fantasy, factual Somewhere in my infancy, there is a thick green privet hedge, clipped and trimmed to right-angled perfection. It encloses a perfectly square empty space brimful of desolation. It contains no house, no people live there and it is nameless. Its eternal position is located somewhere inside the fortnight when my mythical […]