Fear, anger and the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Creativity, Nuanced Thinking, Politics, Religion, Truth2 Comments

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie was banned in Zambia In Zambia, The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie was a lump hidden under a towel in my bedside cupboard. It wasn’t a very effective hiding place. I knew that. I was afraid and angry every time I opened the cupboard door. I was afraid one of my house staff would […]

Women writing Africa

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Book Publishing, Feminism, Identity2 Comments

Last night I took part in the online book launch of Tina Beattie’s novel Between Two Rivers, a book I did enjoy reading. Among the panellists were Chiedza Musengezi, Kay Powell and Godess Bvukutwa. I knew some of the participants but I wish I had known everyone as the discussion was interesting and relevant not only to African women writers […]

Belonging and longing for home

Ruth HartleyDisplacement, Exile, Home, Identity, Journey, Migration, Race, Refugee2 Comments

Settlers and the unsettled I grew up in a settler community of new homes but the land we took was already the home of African peoples. Many of my school friends’ families were Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe who had nowhere else to go and hoped one day to go to Israel. I quote from a friend Paul M who […]

We need new names and new roles

Ruth HartleyFamily, Identity, Naming6 Comments

Do we marry a person or marry a wife or husband? We were a new family, my mother, stepfather, two step-sisters, my sister and me. I was 16 years old when my mother and stepfather had a bitter argument – a natural part of adapting to a new relationship. My mother in utter misery, took to her bed weeping and […]