Human & Rousseau

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Author Focus

Gabeba Baderoon

Biographical info

Gabeba Baderoon was born in Port Elizabeth on 21 February 1969. She matriculated at Livingstone High School in Cape Town. She studied English literature at the University of Cape Town.

She obtained her doctorate in English, about the image of Islam in South Africa, at the same university in 2004. She has lectured in South Africa, Europe and America and was a research associate at UCT’s Africa Gender Institute, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Växjö in Sweden. In 2005 she was an associate guest writer at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden.

She is currently associate professor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gabeba has published three books of poetry: The Dream in the Next Body (2005), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005) and A Hundred Silences (2006). She received the DaimlerChrysler Prize for South African poetry in 2005. Her poetry has been widely published and she has been a featured poet at several international literary festivals. In 2014, she published a monograph titled Regarding Muslims: from Slavery to Post-apartheid, which was long-listed for the 2015 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Gabeba is at work on her fourth poetry collection, titled Axis and Revolution.

Did you know?  

  • A Hundred Silences was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg and Olive Schreiner Prize in 2007.

Author bookshelf

A Hundred Silences, Kwela Books (2006)
The Dream in the Next Body , Kwela Books (2005)


DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry (2004)

List of titles

2005 The Dream in the Next Body, Kwela Books
2005 The Museum of Ordinary Life, DaimlerChrysler
2006 A Hundred Silences, Kwela Books
2014 Regarding Muslims: from Slavery to Post-apartheid, Wits University Press


The Silence Before Speaking – a volume of her poetry

  • Swedish (Tystnaden innan vi talar, 2008)


“Do yourself a huge favour and read the poetry of South African-born Gabeba Baderoon. It is thought-provoking, awe-inspiring and mind-blowing.” – Qurasha Rajkumar on The Dream in the Next Body, The Witness (2008)

“Reading Gabeba Baderoon ... you feel surrounded by the multi-dimensionality of the world, touched by all its infinite possibilities”. – Jacqui L'Ange oor A Hundred Silences, Cape Times (2006)

“I am totally awed by Baderoon’s power of observation.” – Wumi Raji oor A Hundred Silences, Daily Independent, Nigeria (2006)

“Buy a copy of The Dream in the Next Body and celebrate one of South Africa's most exciting voices. It's a collection that will make you think, weep and laugh. It does what good poetry should do in every sense.” – Jennifer Crocker, Cape Times (2005)

Books By This Author