Bessie Head Biography | Author of Life

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Bessie Head was born in 1937 in a South African mental institution where her mother had been admitted upon the discovery of her pregnancy. Head was the child of an illegal union between a white mother and an unknown black father. Head was placed in foster care with a black family. Head's mother remained in the institution where she died six years later. During this period, Head's grandmother occasionally visited, but in 1943, all contact between Head and her white relatives ceased. Head grew up believing that her foster family was her true family, but when she was thirteen, welfare officials removed her to an orphanage due to the poverty of her foster home. There she acquired an education that encouraged her readily apparent interest in reading, and eventually she learned the truth about her background.

Head studied for her teacher's certificate, and in 1957, she taught at a primary school...

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This section contains 427 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Life Study Guide
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Life from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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