A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter 1, Beginnings, South Africa, 1937-1964

• Bessie Head was born July 6, 1937.

• Bessie was born at Pietermaritzburg Mental Hospital in South Africa where her mother was a patient.

• Bessie's mother was a white, upper class woman, and her father a black stable manager.
• Bessie was given up for adoption to a black family.

• At age 13, Bessie was sent to a missionary orphanage.

• Bessie discovered the library there and developed a life-long love of books and writing.
• The orphange refused to let Bessie visit her adoptive family during school holidays, which devastated her.

• The court and the missionaries told Bessie that her real mother was white and that she was insane, which Bessie may be someday, also, if she isn't careful.

• Bessie developed a hatred for missionaries and Christianity and never went to church again.
• Bessie moved to various cities in South Africa and began a journalism career.

• In "Let Me...

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