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Gail Strever-Morkel was born in 1951 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She was educated at St. Peter's Diocesan School, the Bulawayo Technical College of Art, where she obtained a first class BA Fine Arts degree. Her body of work 'In Absentia' dealt with issues of colonialism and feminism, based on her research of southern African history, particularly the history of Bulawayo where she grew up.

This book, her first, marks a determination on her part to record her father's stories as he told them. She spent a series of years recording their conversations. This book is the result of that discussion. She lives in Uniondale with her husband Mike Morkel, and has two children and a grandchild.