Foreword: Jailbirds and Others

For me, a writer is a filter of experience – experience both lived and observed.      
So when I write, I am inspired by real people and I write about real people.

My characters do not come straight out of my imagination They leap out of life into my imagination where they become involved in a struggle for freedom because that is what I am interested in – defining freedom.

I see writing as the documentation of the individual’s or individuals’ pursuit of freedom.  Because freedom has positive connotations and we assume we know what it means, we take it for granted. But, in fact, total freedom is frightening.  It makes the onerous demand that one take responsibility for creating one’s life.  To avoid that responsibility, most of us submit to the security of social norms and values even when these become restricting.
The characters in my stories are women for whom life within the social contract has become a jail sentence.  Some     break through the regulations and find the freedom to be themselves; others, fearful of breaking rules remain trapped in the prison of social conditioning and never find themselves

Muthal Naidoo