When Rain Clouds Gather

When a political refugee from South Africa arrives in the small, poverty-stricken village of Golema Mmidi and attempts to introduce new agricultural methods, the villagers' traditional way of life is threatened. 

"The little Barolong village swept right up to the border fence.  One of the huts was built so close that a part of its circular wall touched the barbed-wire fencing.  In this hut a man had been sitting since the early hours of dawn.  He was waiting until dark when he would try to spring across the half-mile gap of no-man's land to the Botswana border fence and then on to whatever illusion of freedom lay ahead.  It was June and winter and bitterly cold, and his legs were too long to allow for pacing in the cramped space of the hut.  Every half hour the patrol van of the South African border police sped past with sirens wailing, and this caused an unpleasant sensation in his stomach."

Bessie Head (1937-1986) worked as a teacher and journalist until she left South Africa for Botswana as a political refugee.  Her three best-known works are all set in Botswana -- When Rain Clouds Gather (1968), Maru (1971), and A Question of Power (1973). 

Published:  1969
Length:  185 pages
Set in:  Botswana

BotswanaRayna ClarkeFiction