The Cardinals is a short novel
by Bessie Head
. It was published posthumously
in 1993. It is the only one of her books set in South Africa
, her country
The main character of the book is a woman nicknamed Mouse, whose thirst for writing helps her escape the slums. She is a very withdrawn person, and a charismatic journalist helps her develop as a person and a woman. The novel deals with racial repression and sexism in South Africa.