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Born in 1947 in Wiesbaden, I grew up under the authority of a strong-viewed father and the spirit of an intrepid mother. From a protected childhood, I was thrown into the tumultuous years of political student activism in West Berlin in the late 1960s, followed by Maoist cadre organisations in the 1970s.

 

Together with my husband and our two sons, we restarted our lives in the early 1980s in newly independent Zimbabwe. During the ten years in a beautiful home in Harare, my life changed in unexpected ways. I became a renowned scholar, critic and editor of Zimbabwean Literature. After my PhD in 1991, I was appointed Professor of African Literature at the Humboldt University in Berlin (1994 to 2012). During those years, I also engaged in the performing and the visual arts as well as creative writing. Now in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, I feel grounded, having come full circle. My horse out in Brandenburg and, intermittently, my London-based grandsons provide distraction as well as mental and physical challenge.