Bessie Emery Head (1937-1986) was born in South Africa, and considered Botswana's most influential writer. She was the child of a wealthy white South African woman and a black servant when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa. Her key works include When Rain Clouds Gather (1969), A Question of Power (1973) and Tales of Tenderness and Power (1991).
In the 1950s and 1960s, she was also a teacher and then a journalist for the South African magazine Drum. In 1964, she moved to Botswana (then still the Bechuanaland Protectorate) as a refugee, having been peripherally involved with Pan-African politics.