Ezekiel Mphahlele Biography | Author of Mrs. Plum

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Es'kia Mphahlele was born on December 17, 1919, in Marabastad Township, Pretoria, in the strictly segregated country of South Africa. His father was a messenger, and his mother a housemaid, like the character Karabo in "Mrs. Plum." His childhood was not a happy one, and Mphahlele learned to admire strong, resourceful women who survived in spite of domestic violence, poverty, and an oppressive government. His mother, for example, kept her children fed and clothed, and even sent them to good schools, by working as a domestic.

In 1945, Mphahlele began working as a high school teacher and married Rebecca Mochadibane, who became the mother of his five children and his supporter over more than fifty years. An avid reader, he had begun writing short stories and published his first collection, Man Must Live, in 1946. Mphahlele was a devoted teacher, but in the early 1950s the government made new laws...

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This section contains 461 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mrs. Plum Study Guide
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Mrs. Plum from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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