BM’s In Memoriam – Miriam Tlali (feminist author extraordinaire)

It was re-issued in 2004 by the title she had preferred from the start, “Between Two Worlds”. Based on her time as an administrative assistant at a furniture store in downtown Johannesburg during the height of apartheid, the novel documents the daily humiliations of petty apartheid. “Muriel at Metropolitan”/“Between Two Worlds” was the first literary text that portrayed the degrading conditions under which African women laboured during apartheid. It highlighted how strict influx control into “white” cities hampered blackwomen’s opportunities for employment and fulfilling family lives.

“Muriel at Metropolitan” made a big impact globally. Forty five different editions of the novel were published between 1975 and 2005, with translations into three languages.

Read the full feature here

Portrait: Adrian Steirn’s 21 Icons South Africa project. Date: 15.10.2014. Adrian Steirn/Courtesy of 21 Icons South Africa

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