Early in 1996 a group of Southern African women came together to compile the first historical anthology of Southern African women’s writing.1 The decision was made possible partly because the 1994 democratic elections in South Africa had brought an end to the time when most feminist academics and activists preferred to focus their energies on topics and issues relating to racial rather than gender inequalities. Partly, too, South Africa’s entry into democracy and the end of the armed struggle against apartheid (this had involved all Southern African countries in one way or another) meant new geopolitical identifications became possible. Primarily, however, the decision was made through the enterprise of the African-American feminist and academic, Tuzyline Allan, who motivated the New York publisher, Florence Howe of Feminist Press. They, with others on her team, envisioned a series of anthologies under the general title Women Writing Africa, intended to represent women’s oral and literary production through the African continent. The publisher and series editors, wished the Southern African volume to be the first in the African series and had in mind as their major market the North American educational system.
Driver, Dorothy, Women Writing Africa: Southern Africa as a Post-Apartheid Project, Kunapipi, 24(1), 2002.