Bessie Head, 1937–86, South African writer. Born in South Africa to a white mother and black father, she was placed in foster homes and orphanages as a child. After 1964, she lived in exile in Botswana. Her candid writing voiced her strong concerns about racism, economic stagnation, and the status of women in her adopted country. Her novels include A Question of Power (1973), Maru (1971), and A Bewitched Crossroad: An African Saga (1984); a collection of stories, The Collector of Treasures (1977), and the acclaimed oral histories Serowe: The Village of the Rain Wind (1981).