Her debut novel, “The Grass Is Singing” (1950), examined the tragic relationship between two Africans, a white farmer’s wife and her black servant, and a study of unbridgeable racial conflicts. That, in addition to her outspoken criticism of racial injustice and apartheid in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, prompted those places to ban her for 30 years.
She wrote more than 50 books, as well as many short stories, essays and plays, before publishing her final book, “Alfred and Emily” (2008), which both imagines and explores the lives of her parents.
Her most ambitious and most discussed novel was “The Golden Notebook” (1962), in which she considers relationships between the sexes through a complex narrative, revealing how political and emotional conflicts are intertwined. The protagonist, a modern female writer who tries to live as freely as a man, keeps four color-coded notebooks in which she reviews her experiences, reflects on her political life, writes a novel and pens a personal diary, bringing all four together into a golden notebook.