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Lauretta Ngcobo Biography

(1931– ), Cross of Gold, And They Didn't Die, Let It Be Told

South African novelist, born in Ixopo, Natal, educated at Fort Hare University. Forced into exile as a member of the banned Pan-African Congress, she arrived in Britain in 1970 and began working as a teacher in London. Cross of Gold (1981), her first novel, drew on her memories of the violent turbulence in South Africa from the 1950s onward; her difficulties in writing about the political experience of black South African women led her to feature a male activist as the book's central protagonist. And They Didn't Die (1990) succeeds in giving centrality to female characters, dramatically evoking the efforts of Jezile, a black domestic maid, to free herself from both white racism and the constraints of her people's traditional culture. Ngcobo is the editor of Let It Be Told (1987), a collection of essays by black women writers living in Britain, and the children's book Fiki Learns to Like Other People (1993).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: New from Tartary to Frank O'connor