n Journal for Islamic Studies - Lessons in writing, : reflective essays and poetry

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7062



As an undergraduate, I was introduced to the writings of Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. Walker, in particular, inspired my imagination and made me want to read fiction by black women in South Africa, who I presumed were writing about my experiences as a black, Muslim woman. So, filled with youthful enthusiasm, I flew up the university library steps to enquire about such local writers, primarily women of Indian descent. The librarian handed me a few stapled pages, a list of book titles and authors, saying that if such writers existed, it would be easy enough to find them since they should all have names like Pillay or Naidoo. I was incredulous. This was one of those moments where you wake up in the middle of the night with just the right cutting retort, since, at the time, you can hardly think, let alone say anything. I slunk away.

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