Muriel at Metropolitan
Adendorff, Tamaryn S.
Rademaker, Courtney N.
Format Extent1 artwork
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Copyright Stellenbosch University
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Description of Artwork Miriam Tlali, the first black woman to publish a novel in South Africa, was the forerunner of South African literature for black women. Born in 1933 and brought up in Sophiatown in Johannesburg, she wanted to study literature at the University of the Witwatersrand but was prevented from doing so because of her race. She studied at Pius XII University (now the University of Lesotho) instead but was unable to complete her studies due to financial issues. After leaving university, Tlali worked as a bookkeeper and here she wrote her first novel, Muriel at Metropolitan, which was largely based on her experiences at the time. The novel was only published six years later, in 1975, when a publisher agreed to publish the novel on condition that five chapters be removed. However, the novel was still banned by the apartheid government in 1979. The full work was later published internationally under the title, Between Two Worlds. Tlali has written many popular novels since. She has played an important role in the world of literature and has successfully highlighted the difficulties of life as a black South African female author.
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